[sword-devel] Docs for getting started...

Jesse Jacobsen sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sun, 5 Aug 2001 20:16:10 -0500

Hi Sword development folks!  

I have one or two questions, but who I am might help you to answer
them.  Programming is a hobby for me, but I've used it to good effect
in writing several very useful (to me) things for my real work as a
pastor.    One of those accomplishments is a work-in-progress to more
or less duplicate the power of Bible Works on Linux.  

Before converting everything to Linux while at seminary, I used Bible
Works very much and became spoiled with it.  It's really an exegete's
friend, and I missed it sorely on Linux.  Since I still own a couple
copies of BW, I'd exported its most useful Bible databases to text
files in something that must be like your VPL format.  Since then I've
written a handy and quick client-server program (in Python) that can
load a number of databases (based on those text files) and do things
with them.  Current realities are: arbitrary verse/range exports of
text, regexp searches, and very fast string searches.  I also have a
word-oriented search using a specially-constructed database working in
its infancy that has the potential to grow into something like Bible
Works' spectacular word-oriented searches.  The potential is amazing.
Furthermore, I'm writing additional modules that will facilitate usage
of Bible texts based on a modern version of the ancient lectionary and
Church Year.  If/when finished, it should answer questions like: What
are the lessons (Old Testament, Epistle, Gospel) for the first Sunday
of November next year?  It's meant to automate a lot of menial work I
have to do. 

I've been reading this mailing list for quite a while now, but haven't
dug into Sword yet.  Part of the problem is the language barrier, as I
don't yet grok C++ (though I notice that C and Pascal are also
represented in the sources).   Recently, however, I've installed a few
modules and renewed my interest in Sword.  I'd like to contribute to
Sword, perhaps by writing an interface between it and my Python-based
efforts, or maybe by helping with the Gnome Sword front-end.  I'm
willing to learn C++ if necessary. (But I'm sure Python is more fun!)

My trouble is unfamiliarity with some of the things you all may take
for granted.  For example, what does rawgbf refer to, and what's its
spec?  Is there a place where that kind of "basic" information has
been collected, or maybe several places I can look for it?  The "doc"
subdirectory in the distribution seems to contain mainly API
information, but I'm lacking some things even more elementary.

Also, have you considered keeping the source in a CVS repository with
anonymous or guest access?  It's a very convenient way to collaborate,
to offer the "latest and greatest," and to make snapshot releases. 

Thanks for your help in advance, and for your labor promoting the use
of God's Word.


Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

1024D/2E3EBF13 Jesse Jacobsen (Grace, Madison WI) <jmjaco@home.com>