[sword-devel] Sword targets (was: conversations with Stallman)

Mike Dougherty sword-devel@crosswire.org
20 Dec 2001 13:29:29 -0800

On Thu, 2001-12-20 at 11:20, Lutz, Tom wrote:
> I know that we're not missing the main idea but I can't resist...
> What do we think the main populace of Bible software users (basic or
> advanced) will be working on, Windows of Linux?  Clearly, today, it's
> Windows.  I don't see this changing too much in the near future and wouldn't
> develop for something other than Windows for Bible software because of it.
> How to reach the most people: go where they are and today that's Windows.
> Tom

Note: I'm not sure if this is on topic or not. I think it is, therefore
I am sending it. Please forgive my mistake if not.

Interesting logic, which I hear a lot. But it is slightly flawed. While
most computer users are Windoze users, they are trained to think
commercial software is the best (and only) solution to their needs. Few
think of any Open Source application as something they could use for
"real" work. So the majority of Open Source software users are going to
be Linux. So I'm guessing that the predominant Sword user is of the
Linux persuasion.

You also make the assumption that Open Source developers are going to
develop for a target platform because it's the most popular on the
market. Which is a commercial software mentality. But doesn't quite work
here. Most Open Source developers are going to contribute to the
platform which they use. Again, this favors Linux. Most Windoze
developers (that I know, anyway) don't understand Open Source, even
fewer yet actually contribute.

Granted the goal of Sword is to distribute free Bible software to
anyone. But given the current mentality of "most" users about Open
Source, I don't think it has hit main stream yet. And I am not sure it
will until the common user understands the value of Open Source in
general, and Sword in specific.

About the only caveat which I have experienced is in regards to Java.
There are a large number of Java developers that contribute to Open
Source projects such as Apache. A large number of them also work on a
Windoze platform. This is the one area (other than Sword) in which I
have seen the two philosophies (seem to) work in unison. But of course
Java in and of itself breeds a whole new mentality: "platform

So your implication that Sword should be focusing it's development
efforts on it's largest audience is correct (if it had control over that
aspect). But the assumption that that platform in Windoze is (I believe)

Actually, it would be interesting learn the actual stats. Does anyone
know the percentages of the platforms that visit Crosswire, download
Sword, its UIs, and/ modules? I'd be willing to parse through the log
files if needed.


 Mike Dougherty -- Java Software Engineer
 Overdrawn?  But I still have checks left!