[sword-devel] idea i've had for a bit

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Mon Oct 10 20:19:31 MST 2005

Ideally the Sword engine could be adopted to a program such as you are
talking about, but whether one is in progress or not I do not know. Since
the Sword project is just the engine producing the text, the formatting
would have to be a new front-end idea. Typesetting of whole works,
particularly of an entire Bible, would be a very complex procedure, and I
don't believe that a program could be written in any trivial manner that
could handle a single leanguage and certainly not one that could be applied
to multiple languages. I would be surprised if it is not possible to get a
normal print-off from some of the front ends. I don't have any in front of
me to check, but I would imagine that out of the selection available
(BibleTime, Gnomesword, BibleCS, Biblestudy, MacSword and the related
JSword) at least one of those is available with printing support, thus
enabling someone to print out a selection of Bible ranges (most seem to be
limited to displaying one chapter at a time, so the user would be limited to
prtining one chapter at a time).

I think a major question would be if there is actually a market of people
who would use it and be aware of its existence. I have trouble imaginging
that someone with enough access to the Internet, a computer and printer and
able to download Sword from within a "restricted area" would go to the
trouble of making a hard copy of that Bible text that could be traced back
to them. But, perhaps, I am mistaken. Most or all of the texts that come
with Sword seem to be ones that have been around for some time, so the
commercial use of such an open source program seems dubious to me as does
the liklihood of a person producing multiple copies of a Bible off of a home

That said, there might be a market for non-nationals to take in a computer
with Bible software containing scriptures in the native language and thus
not have to worry about smuggling in printed Bibles. If that person was so
equipped, they could then run off copies of the text in the native area.
However, I still think it would require a massive undertaking of coding,
especially by people familiar with typesetting and layout of texts, to
produce a program that could conceivably churn out a printable version of
the Bible.

Just my $.02 on the matter (OK, so it's more like $20.00, but you get the

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