[sword-devel] Other religions?

Mete Kural sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 17 Apr 2004 01:42:14 -0700 (PDT)

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Hello Chris,
> I didn't think you were really suggesting that we
> add the Qur'an as a book 
> of the Bible, but that's effectively how it would
> look if we just added it 
> as another book in the Bible book dropdown list.

I understand. I have a couple of suggestions as
alternatives to get around this - namely, being able
to add a book to be viewed with the Bible interface
without giving the impression that it is a book of the

1) Add a second dropdown list next to the Bible books
dropdown and label it "Other books". There "other
books" would not be viewed using the GenBook interface
but rather the bible interface and by labeling the
dropdown list as "other books" it would effectively
communicate to the user that they aren't books of the
2) Use only one dropdown list but partition the list
into several sections such as "Books of the Old
Testament", "Books of the New Testament", "Other
Books", etc. This way the "Other Books" would be clear
to the user that they are not books of the Bible
although they are viewed using the same interface.
3) Make the dropdown list configurable by the user
himself and let the user create new subsections in the
dropdown list such as "Books of the Bible", "Quran",
"Hindu Scriptures" etc. I think I like this option
better. It's the most flexible for the user.

> To the broader question of whether we could present
> books other than the 
> Bible using the same interface as the Bible display,
> the answer is: 
> vaguely, yes.  Should we strive to achieve this?  I
> think so.  There are 
> plenty of valuable applications besides the Qur'an
> that deserve fixing the 
> display problems you pointed out and improving the
> interface to allow e.g. 
> parallel displays.  Doing all of this is not
> trivial, but it should be 
> done, nonetheless.  If you can get a look at
> BibleTime, you will actually 
> see that most of the problems you identified are not
> problems in that 
> frontend.  So the problems really boil down to a
> lack of people 
> maintaining BibleCS (The SWORD Project for Windows)
> and a lack of people 
> developing reasonable alternatives (e.g.
> wxSword/BibleStudy).

I admire your openness to this. Yes I think being able
to view other books using the Bible interface would be
a very good enhancement to Sword. You could enable the
Bible interface to view any chapter/verse structured
book. What do you think about this?

> He would have to answer that himself, but I believe
> the plan would 
> essentially allow that.  I don't think it would be
> especially wise to 
> present non-biblical books using what is
> fundamentally a Bible-oriented 
> driver.

Yes, you could leave the default interface as it is
and simply allow the user to add other books to be
viewed in the Bible display. It would also be nice if
it would be possible to enable such customization to
be done during the installation step. Say I set up an
environment and a repository of texts that I like and
spent quite a lot of time preparing. If I want to
install the same setup on my friends computer, it
would be nice if I could provide automated
customization of the software during installation so
my friend doesn't have to re-do all the
customizations. Would this be too hard to do the way
Sword for Windows is designed right now?

I would like to help in enabling Sword to support
other books to be viewed using the Bible interface. I
am a Java developer and I also have knowledge of XML,
although Sword for Windows doesn't seem to be written
in Java. Could I be of any help in this regard?

God bless,