[sword-devel] Other religions?

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 17 Apr 2004 13:37:29 -0700 (MST)


On Sat, 17 Apr 2004, Mete Kural wrote:

> 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
> bible.

It's not merely that we don't want to give the impression that the Qur'an 
is a book of the Bible through presenting it alongside Revelation, etc.  
There's a great deal of logic in the Bible module drivers (RawText/zText 
and eventually RawText2/zText2--and their associated 
commentary-correlates) that is specific to Bibles and really wouldn't make 
sense, if it were applied to some other set of books.  We need to ensure 
(as well as possible) that the thing inside the Bible window is always a 
Bible so that biblical references from the other windows always have an 
appropriate landing site.  With the new drivers, there will be 
versification interchange code that is really unnecessary for the Qur'an.  
Basically, nothing about the GenBook drivers is wrong for handling all of 
these books that are not part of the Bible.

Your argument essentially boils down to the fact that GenBooks aren't
displayed very well.  Bibles, on the other hand, are displayed
comparatively well, so you figure that we should present, e.g. the Qur'an
through the Bible drivers.  It is only by luck that the Qur'an happens to
have one less level of hierarchy than the Bible (discounting certain books
that lack the chapter hierarchy).  This fluke makes this seem as a more
attractive option, but doesn't much help when the next person comes along 
wishing to present a book with one more level of hierarchy than the 
Bible--because of which we would assumedly have to make massive changes to 
the Bible drivers.

Luckily, we have the GenBook drivers.  They were created for exactly these 
purposes.  They are unconstrained by a strict 3-level hierarchy.  They 
will never be saddled with the overhead of versification interchange code.  
And they will never be targeted by Bible references.

Bible display works well and shouldn't be adjusted for the purpose of 
displaying non-biblical books.  The GenBook interface has problems.  So it 
should be fixed.  Something akin to the BibleTime interface would be one 
option.  Bugs, such as failure to support right to left (actually a 
Win9x-only bug) and failure to support the DisplayLevel .conf attribute, 
just need to be fixed.  I'd also really like to see a better display of 
the module key, probably using a template held in the .conf files--e.g. 
rather than "/1/1", you might see "1:1", "1.1", or "Chapter 1, verse 1", 
depending on the template.

In other words, we should fix what is broken (GenBook), not modify what is
working correctly (Bibles).

> > 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?

I'm sorry, I think I was being too vague there.  If my last few paragraphs 
didn't make it abundantly clear, I really don't think the Qur'an should be 
introduced via thr Bible drivers.  What I had in mind in the paragraph 
quoted above are two things:

The BibleCS interface to GenBooks is poor and should be fixed.  Making it 
similar to the Bible interface is one option.

There are plenty of books that are not really considered part of the Bible
today that we SHOULD present in the context of a Bible and using the Bible
drivers because they were historically part of the Bible or part of
historical Bibles.  (I have in mind things like Laodiceans in the Vulgate,
Odes in the LXX, and Hermas in Codex Sinaiticus.)  I think Daniel's work 
will accommodate this sort of addition or make it much simpler, at least.