[sword-devel] Open Content Creation

Bryan Fordham sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 02 Feb 2001 19:05:39 -0500

Hash: SHA1

Paul Gear wrote:

> I agree, but how far do you take it?  Do we let Buddhists, Muslims,
> and New Agers in?  My gut feel is no, but it's very hard to draw the
>  line. We've already got a Christadelphian - do we allow JWs and
> Mormons, too? I really don't know what to do about this issue.
> Darwin is right - as the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to
> guard against heresy.  But how can the line be drawn?  That is a
> really tough one, especially when we want to remain "open" (in your
> "looser" sense).

The difficulty, as others have pointed out, is that we're not dealing
with a closed group, but with whomever wants to get involved.  I see
three options.

1) Close the development.  Meaning Crosswire forms a core group and
issues a doctrinal statement.  Developers must agree to this to be
allowed into the "inner sanctum."

The obvious flaw is I download the code and do whatever I wish, neatly
nullifying all that hard work on a doctrinal statement.

2) Allow all content, regardless of source.

Completely shunning all Christian responsibility, of course.  It's not
viable, but an option nonetheless.

3) Get out of the module business.  Seperate the Sword engine from the
modules entirely.  The base install can stay the same, but additional
modules are produced by third parties.  (Of course a third party can
consist of all Sword developers, if they want.)

I think 3 is the only real option.  It is simply not possible to stop
someone from creating a NWT module and putting it out for downloading.

That's not too comforting, I know.  As a lay-preacher and as a plain ol'
Christian I don't like the idea of JW's or whomever using Sword.  But
that's the nature of the GPL.  Perhaps have some "trusted" sites
Crosswire will link to and they can not provide simple access to the
others.  I'd be happy to volunteer for that.

How is another party deciding the doctrinal statement better?  It
seperates the content from the engine, which allows the developers to
develop.  And if Crosswire decides a trusted site shouldn't be trusted
any longer, kill the link.

Not perfect, but perhaps some food for thought.

- --B
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