AW: [sword-devel] Marketing of sword initiative?

David Burry
Wed, 12 Jun 2002 09:22:21 -0700

----- Original Message -----

> * When people risk a lot to bring bibles into China, sword CD is a good
> alternative. Yes, China is not as rich as the west yet, but don't
> underestimate the sheer number of city/educated people who have access to
> computers.

Yes, I agree with that.

> * To reach out to Chinese people, word of mouth is powerful. One hurdle,
> IMHO, is unicode support, esp. in Windows. e.g. 1.5.3 seems to move the
> bible text screen down too much. My guess is that a Chinese UTF-8
> 'character' is actually a word in Chinese and is rendered to occupy two
> character positions.

Yes, of course there are "compound words" so to speak that are made up of
several smaller words, but those are so hard to detect properly by algorithm
it's best to ignore that fact when it comes to computers and indexing
purposes etc.

> I'm giving away sword CD's for free in my church but I have a hard time
> explaining to people the 'unprofessional look and feel' in rendering
> Chinese. Please don't take this as an insult. I very appreciate sword and
> the efforts the few over-worked people put in. I just wish I know
> sword code and font rendering well enough to help out.

To achieve a truly "professional" look all characters should line up in a
sort of two dimensional grid, with an option to display the lines vertically
for traditionalists, but even just line at a time like English except with
the lines split anywhere would be somewhat acceptable.  Also finding good
looking freely distributable unicode fonts that support all languages like
chinese is a challenge (notice I said "good looking" as I know there are
several that are good looking for western languages but code2000 just
doesn't cut it for chinese for instance).

> * If we accomodate sound ideas, lots of good modules, sword will sell
> itself (for Chinese people IMHO.) I've seen sword mentioned in Chinese
> web sites.

Yes, I agree with that too.

> God remembers his saints' efforts.


By the way, I'm not a chinese person just a regular white american, but I
did spend 4 years in mainland China, two studying Chinese in a university
over there.  I'd love to help fix chinese rendering issues but I'm not
_that_ experienced with that kind of low level rendering coding, I'm more of
a web applications developer who is used to letting the browser do all that
sort of work ;o)  Also I'm already so involved in so many projects of my own
I'm not sure how much time I'd be able to devote to code anyway, but I'd
certainly love to at least contribute ideas from a distance if nothing else.