[sword-devel] New filter for red letter words

Jimmie Houchin sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 21:35:59 -0600

I too am very pro powerful software. I am pro open software.

A feature I am very fond of which permits powerful software and in fact 
encourages it is what you could call living software. Software which can 
  be changed while in use. ie: a living system. Software, that while I 
am using it I can code in, accept the code and run it.

I am hopefully going to begin a project in the near future developing a 
Bible frontend to the Sword Modules. It will not rely on any of the 
Sword DLLs or executables. This is something I've wanted for a long, 
long time.

I am not a developer/programmer but am in the process of learning 
Squeak. Squeak is an open source Smalltalk system. It is very cross 
platform. I personally have run it from my wife's Power Mac 604e 200mhz, 
my children's iMac (rev. B), my Linux machine, a Win95 PII 266 machine 
at work, and now a WinXP 2ghz Athlon at work. It runs bit identical on 
something like over 30 machines. Some people use it on their PDAs, like 
iPaq, Zaurus.

It is extraordinarily portable. It has a portable VM and all else is 
identical on all platforms.

When a Bible system is written in Squeak it will instantly run on all 
the above platforms and easily portable to future platforms. It handles 
all its own graphics and events. This means it isn't a native GUI.

Some people have a problem with that. I don't.
I don't most users will have a problem either. The biggest problem with 
most non-native GUIs is that they were poor interfaces, not that they 
weren't native. MS proves you can have poor GUIs which are native. :)

The look and feel is completely at the control of the developer. Its not 
  limited to the native UI. It is multimedia. Does MP3, Ogg (or will 
soon), MPEGs, JPEGs, MIDI. A 3D OS is being written in it right now.

It is like an OS. It is a complete environment, user and developer all 

For example. If a Sword frontend was developed in it, and I wanted to 
add a feature, say search for Strongs numbers. (If I remember correctly 
you used to not be able to in Windows and still can't in GnomeSword.)
A developer could open up a code browser, add the method, save the 
method, and then begin using it immediately. He could then share this 
new feature via a ChangeSet and email it to the list and it would be 
available to everyone.

Very interesting and powerful software.

For information on Squeak.
There is an active mailing list.

Squeak itself is based on Smalltalk 80. This means its been around 22+ 
years. Smalltalk is over 30 years. It is a stable and full featured OO 

If anyone is interested in talking about a Sword frontend in Squeak 
email me. We can have a private conversation or on this list if it is 
deemed sufficiently on topic.

Jimmie Houchin

Daniel Russell wrote:
> Number one rule in software:
> Power to the user is more valuable than any philosophy that he 
> programmers may artificially impose on the project.
> Here i use the word "artificially" in the sense that the philosophy is 
> contrived' as opposed to being a natural restriction, under whatever 
> rationale.
> I wish this golden rule of software design was followed, but more oft 
> than not, programmers are very adamant about "how things should be".
> I'm currently working on a project that will eventually become an 
> interface to Sword, i hope. Rule #1 for me is that i don't restrict 
> myself. If a feature is avaible, i'll put it in whenever possible. 
> However, i've seen so many times in this forum these artificial, almost 
> religious, adherences to restrictions.
> I think sometimes programmers take their philosophies a *lot* more 
> seriously than the rest of the world. But the software is for the rest 
> of the world ;).
> Just my two cents from countless fustrating encounters with such 
> philosophies as reported in various READMEs, FAQs, project manifests, 
> etc... for various proggies.
> I've come to be highly suspect of the worth of any philosophy where the 
> programmers say "we didn't think this was a feature that 'fit-in' with 
> our paradigm" or something of the sort.
> Please don't flame me. :P
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