[osis-editors] Re: [sword-devel] The death of OSIS?

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Wed Aug 11 10:24:12 MST 2004

 	I understand Michael's point.  On a few occasions I have voiced a 
concern regarding <q>/" rendering, for a little different, more selfish 
reason, but haven't pressed the issue too much:

 	As a developer of software for rendering OSIS texts, I do NOT want 
to be forced to have a language expert on staff that encorporates all 
diverse QUOTE rendering logic for each language we support, into our 

 	ie. I don't want my software to have to know how a Spanish Bible 
expects its quotes to be rendered, just because it is Spanish.

 	I wouldn't get it right for Spanish, much less for any of a 
hundred other languages I've never heard of.

 	There NEEDS to be a programmatic way to derive the rendering of 
quote marks simply, and without software variation based on the language.

 	I would suggest a heading element similar to

<renderQ render="true" open1='"' open2="'" openContinuation1='"' 
openContinuation2="'" />

 	(please ignore symantics of above suggestion, but understand what 
it is attempting to supply)

 	MPJ could simply specify <renderQ render="false">, then use <q 
who="Jesus"> to mark all the quote containers he wishes, and use ",' and 
whatever else he wants in his doc.  (This is probably how I would prefer 
quotes, as well, at the expense of the Theoretical Publisher who wishes to 
change his rendered quote style for each edition of his text.)

 	Preserving original document quote content is also a concern, but 
my overwhelming desire for this is to relieve the burden for myself to 
actually KNOW OR CARE how all languages of the world render their quotes.


  On Wed, 11 Aug 2004, Patrick Durusau wrote:

> Greetings,
> As one of the principals in the OSIS project I must confess I an not 
> encouraged by statements announcing the illness or death of OSIS.
> I realize that I have not always been as prompt as I would like in answering 
> suggestions/complaints but that is a reflection on my time management and not 
> the viability of the OSIS standard.
> Rather than simply taking shots from the cheap seats, perhaps you would like 
> to suggest markup based solutions to any problems you encounter with OSIS?
> Note that I said markup solutions, realizing that most of the problems that 
> have been brought to my attention involve presentation, which is NOT 
> something markup is intended to cover. Seems unfair to blame OSIS for 
> something markup was never intended to do.
> If you want absolute control over appearance you need to use Postscript, PDF, 
> Word or TeX as your Bible format. See how portable that will be across 
> platforms or into other formats. (Well, with the exception of TeX but it is 
> not widely supported.)
> Actually markup can handle presentation as well, but only as part of the 
> transformation process, such as XSL-FO, but that is not covered by OSIS.
> So, rather than posturing with negative statements about OSIS, how about 
> making constructive suggestions? I am in the last stages of a new version of 
> the users manual and could use constructive suggestions.
> Hope you are having a great day!
> Patrick
> Kahunapule Michael P. Johnson wrote:
>> At 16:18 11-08-04, Chris Little wrote:
>>> Kahunapule Michael P. Johnson wrote:
>>>> 1. OSIS does not properly preserve quotation punctuation in all cases, 
>>>> as 
>>> currently documented. Furthermore, the keepers of the standard don't 
>>> seem to think that quotation punctuation is important to preserve, but 
>>> they seem to believe that such punctuation should always be generated 
>>> from markup according to modern English rules of grammar, independent of 
>>> the way the translators punctuated their work. Therefore, it is 
>>> impossible to code a Bible translation in OSIS that differs in the way 
>>> quotations are punctuated and expect that OSIS readers and renderers 
>>> will render the quotation punctuation correctly. Just ignoring the <q> 
>>> tag doesn't work if you want to mark text for possible use in a "red 
>>> letter" edition.
>>> We've covered this a great deal, including downsides to your 
>>> suggestions.  The best solution will probably lie in identifying, 
>>> presumably in the header or on each <q> element, the rendered form. 
>>> Encoding quotation marks directly is just not a good solution.  If 
>>> you're willing to entertain the possibility that others who have 
>>> opinions differing from your own just might have good ideas too, you can 
>>> re-read the previous threads in sword-devel or the discussions in 
>>> osis-core (I think it is publicly archived).
>> I have never gotten a satisfactory response to my objections. Granted, I 
>> haven't seen everything in sword-devel, and I didn't read any discussion 
>> about that in osis-core. I tried to find the archive, but could not find 
>> it on my first attempt. A direct pointer (URL) would be appreciated.
>> I am quite willing to entertain the possibility that others with differing 
>> opinions might have good ideas, too. I am not willing to use a Bible 
>> interchange format that systematically allows for corruption of the 
>> punctuation or that always enforces English rules of punctuation.
>> I can easily live with identifying the rendered form of each quotation 
>> punctuation mark in each <q> element, provided that I can put a <q> 
>> element everywhere that a quotation punctuation mark should be, including 
>> opening punctuation mark reminders at paragraph and stanza beginnings. It 
>> doesn't have to be elegant. It doesn't have to be implemented the way I 
>> want it. It just has to work and it has to be included in a way that works 
>> in the standard.
>>> OSIS was designed with at least one principle in common with Perl: 
>>> "Common things should be easy; advanced things should at least be 
>>> possible."
>> I like that philosophy. I may differ in my opinion of how well this was 
>> implemented. I would have considered rendering the words and punctuation, 
>> including quotation marks (whichever quotation marks are used in the 
>> target language and style of the translation in question), of Bible text 
>> to be a common thing that should be easy. I also think that verse marking 
>> -- probably the most common thing done in Bible texts -- would be easier, 
>> but that is a minor nit.
>>>> 5. OSIS expects a lot of metadata not found in many existing Scripture 
>>> texts to be added to it to comply with higher levels of conformance. 
>>> This may slow or prevent the conversion of some texts to OSIS.
>>> No one expects every document to conform to the highest levels of 
>>> conformance.
>> Yes, but even the lowest level of conformance excludes the best OSIS I 
>> could generate for the World English Bible, primarily because of the 
>> quotation marking issue. The fact that you consider that level of OSIS to 
>> be unacceptable for direct reading by the Sword Project is, to me, an 
>> indicator that OSIS itself is inadequate in its current form.
>>> I think there is more support than you know of.  Again, just because no 
>>> one bothered to tell you about it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  I 
>>> believe an OSIS document was used earlier this year as the basis for a 
>>> new Bible's first printing.  There are applications for editing, 
>>> converting, rendering, and reading OSIS documents.  And there are around 
>>> a dozen fully marked OSIS Bibles that I know of (and that excludes all 
>>> of CCEL's documents that are converted by stylesheet and CrossWire's 
>>> documents converted by exporters).
>>> The rumors of OSIS' death are greatly exaggerated.
>> Maybe... but the jury is still out.
>> I guess what I'm really saying is that the patient needs some care. It may 
>> die, or it may just be crippled. Now is a critical time in OSIS' life. 
>> Maybe nobody cares if I use or support OSIS. Maybe nobody cares about 
>> little details like preserving quotation marks.
>> Sometimes you have to make some noise to see if the patient is dead or 
>> deaf...
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