[sword-devel] The OSIS Vision vs STEP

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Fri, 4 Oct 2002 11:48:23 -0700 (MST)

On Mon, 30 Sep 2002, Don A. Elbourne Jr. wrote:

> STEP was supposed to be the same thing, and it appears to have flopped. I
> hope OSIS succeeds. As a format, it is better, but I am partial to XML. As
> far as vision goes, I'm not sure what real world advantages it will have
> over STEP, if any.

It's never going to happen the way Troy hopes it will.  It's also never
going to work like STEP did (thankfully).

OSIS is an XML standard.  It's plaintext.  It's completely unprotected 
from copying and redistribution.

The only content owners who would consider distributing material to
consumers in a format like this are the ones who don't care about
restricting distribution, which is almost none of them.  And they're the
ones who give us premission anyway, so this solves no problem.

Content owners might use STEP as an interchange format with other
corporations (other content holders, software publishers, etc.), but not
so that they can give out the whole plaintext document.  They'll do it so
that they can easily & predictably produce protected content (printed 
books, encrypted electronic texts, etc.).

IBS/Zondervan are never going to give out an OSIS edition of the NIV.

Relying on Bible societies to do their own sales is a nice way of shirking 
all responsibility and ensuring that nothing will ever be accomplished, in 
my opinion.  They have essentially no motivation when other platforms 
already provide their translations.  It also hinders the users who have to 
go to 3 different publishers and perform 3 different transactions just to 
buy the three most popular translations, which you can do in one 
transaction when using any other Bible program.

In my opinion, the most viable solution to the problem of getting 
copyrighted texts into people's hands is to partner with someone who does 
this already--a few of you know who I mean.

In short though... to answer your question:  STEP is a hack of RTF.  All 
the content creation tools were proprietary and expensive.  OSIS is XML 
and easy to create--by design.  Anyone can make an OSIS document, even me!  
People like XML, it's chic, it's hip.  No one ever liked RTF.  Except MS.  
Lot's of other reasons too.  It's open.  Well thought out, etc.  Yeah.