[sword-devel] Other religions?

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:08:27 -0700 (MST)

Hi Mete,

On Sat, 17 Apr 2004, Mete Kural wrote:
> I read that you are using a term "driver" such as Bible drivers, GenBook
> drivers. Are drivers modular application components that you can plug in
> to Sword to enable it to display books in a specialized manner? For
> example Bible drivers for displaying the Bible and GenBook drivers to
> display general books.
> If that is the case is it possible to design Sword in such a way that
> one can develop his/her own driver and plug it in to Sword. For example
> Sword could come with Bible and GenBook drivers by default. And then
> someone could develop a Quran driver if they wished to and plug it in to
> Sword. The Quran driver could simply be a driver that extends the
> GenBook. Would it be possible to write more specialized drivers that
> extend the Quran driver.

Bible, GenBook, and LD drivers of various types are essentially modular,
but they are could not be characterized as plug-ins.  If someone were to
completely ignore my reasoning from previous messages and, against all
sound engineering sense, decided that they wanted to derive a
Qur'an-specific driver.  Anyone who went down that path would be obliged
to fork the code.  There's no chance of such code being incorporated in
Sword.  Completely ignoring the fact that CrossWire is a Christian
organization, it would just be a very bad design & engineering decision.  
A project to produce such a fork would (soon enough) find that it's
difficult to maintain synchronization with current releases of Sword plus
at least one highly specialized front-end.  Before long, the people
working on such a project would lose interest and it would shrivel up and
die.  (I'm not being overly pessimistic here.  I've just seen many far
less complicated projects go through this type of lifecycle.) You should
just trust me that GenBooks are the way to go for any hierarchical book
that is not a Bible, but the GPL, of course, permits you do try this if 
you really want to.
> Yes there are also other books such as the Book of Sirach that is
> generally not accepted by Protestant denominations but has always been
> accepted by the Catholic Church. There is also two other Gospels
> recently discovered through archialogical efforts: Gospel of James and
> Gospel of Barnabas. These books are not part of the mainstream canonized
> Bible but they are accepted by certain denominations. Such
> extra-biblical books such as the Book of Sirach, Gospel of James, Gospel
> of Barnabas, and the Quran, nonetheless, have structure exactly the same
> as any book of the Bible. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to be able
> to view such books using an interface similar to the Bible interface.
> How can this be accomplished?

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus is a book of the Bible.  We'll have that included in 
Sword's Bibles where appropriate as soon as possible.  (Again, this is the 
sort of shortcoming that Daniel's work should address.)

The Infancy Gospel of James and the Gospel of Barnabas fall into a group 
of books generally termed the New Testament Apocrypha.  There are a number 
of good "canons" under which this sort of literature is collected.  The 
Apostolic Fathers, for example, are generally regarded as "true" writings, 
more or less by the authors to whom they are attributed.  Then there are 
works such as the Infancy Gospel of James and the Gospel of Barnabas, 
which fall into the category of poorly executed medieval forgeries.  
There's no real reason not to make such material available (provided it 
carries appropriate disclaimers, where applicable), but again these would 
be GenBooks.  The two versions of Ethiopic Enoch (i.e. 1 Enoch) that we 
currently provided are a perfect example of how we might handle such