[sword-devel] Propaganda

Christian Renz sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 8 Aug 2002 19:04:59 +0800

>wrong list to ask? Is everybody on holiday? Or is it just Chris who
>think it is worth to have a newsletter for Sword and related projects?

Well, I have not been involved in sword for too long, but since you
asked, I will offer my opinion :-)

I think it would be a good idea to publish a regular newsletter that
informs those interested about new developments in sword as well as
needs that arise (for more developers, for translatons, for prayer,
...). Also, I think it would be  a good idea to contact major
christian websites to ask them to publish an article about sword. I
will do that for jesus.de, one of the major christian internet portals
in Germany.

The communication amongst the developers seems to be very good and can
be handled by a mailinglist, but the communication towards (possible)
users needs to be quite different. The average pastor/cell
leader/... is not a nerd that is interested in technical details, and
they probably never heard of the GPL as well. Some good non-techie
material about the wealth of modules in sword, sword's features,
advantages of free software etc. would sure be good. For some, using a
computer to read the bible might still be rather clumsy -- some
education needs to be done here.

Also, I think it would be good to target special possible user groups
as well. I'd love sword to be an indispensable tool for missionaries
to China one day :-). Seriously, I think sword's unicode features
could make it a useful tool on the mission field.

Another "special user group" would be module authors. We need tools so
people can publish their own modules easily. For example, the personal
commentary module could be modified so that it offers options to
bundle it into a commentary module that can be given away to others --
not necessarily via crosswire, but via a churches website, for
example. (A HTTP-capable install manager would be cool for that.) I'd
also love to see more personalization options in sword -- highlighting
in the bible text, little markes next to the verse that show that the
current commentary has a comment for this verse, ...

Maybe we also need some DAUs (German for Dumbest Users Possible ;-))
to tell use what is wrong with sword right now. It is nice to use for
people that are familiar with computers, but what about those that are
not working with them on a daily basis? I'm sure we could improve the
interface. I'd love to see sword deal with a load of modules more
comfortably (without those long lists of tabs), and to present the
texts in a nicer way. We all know it is hard to read text on a
computer screen; more formatting options would be helpful to make it
more apealling to read.

I got a bit carried away from the authoring problem. I don't have
enough faith to see major Christian authors releasing their works for
sword :-) but I do think we need better tools to publish modules,
especially commentaries and books. Maybe the existing structure needs
to be abit more flexible as well -- e.g. somebody might want to
publish a mixture between a book and a commentary. That would be a
genbook, with an automatically created index of bible verses
used. This way, the user could be alerted that the book relates to the
current verse when he reads the bible.

Also, is there any support right now to include graphics (maps etc)?

Well -- enough of random thoughts. For now.


crenz@web42.com - http://www.web42.com/crenz/ - http://www.web42.com/

"A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not
know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad
people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived
a sheltered life by always giving in."  -- C.S. Lewis