[sword-devel] OSIS:What is the future? Who is using it now?

Kahunapule Michael Johnson kahunapule at mpj.cx
Tue Mar 7 03:05:01 MST 2006

Chris Little wrote:
> To make a long story short, OSIS is the best format for everything
> that Sword needs to do. It encodes Bibles richly and explicitly. It
> can contain every other type of book we handle (though none of these
> require the same level of richness in markup). And it's open and it's
> XML. And if there are problems with it, we can make recommendations
> for the next version to improve it.
> GBF and ThML are incapable of the richness of markup that OSIS provides.
> ThML isn't especially good for Bibles (for which it was not really
> designed).
> GBF is a proprietary format and non-XML.
GBF is not proprietary, at least not as I understand the word. It is
non-XML. It is openly published, freely usable, and one of the first
formats supported by The Sword Project. In spite of its limitations, it
is still in use, and anyone is free to create derivatives of it if they
wish. That doesn't sound proprietary to me. Perhaps it would help if you
explained what you mean, really.
> XGBF still lacks richness and openness. (U)SFM, at the time we chose
> to standardize on OSIS, was a proprietary, not publicly documented,
> non-XML, non-standardized format; when we asked for documentation and
> offered to implement SFM in Sword, our offer was declined.
I'm sorry that happened. That was unfortunate.
> USFX is proprietary and not a standard.
USFX is open enough, and can be made more open. "Standard" is relative.
> The idea that standardization on OSIS will somehow slow development of
> Sword is unfathomably and absurdly illogical.
I think the evidence indicates that my point of view is justified, but
you are welcome to your opinion. It is exactly that-- an opinion.
> There are a lot of things I would rather do than write a full new set
> of filters AGAIN for another new markup format, plus 2 for each
> existing data format for conversion purposes.
That would really be a bummer, especially if the new markup format were
not substantially easier to support than OSIS (something not difficult
to envision). Nevertheless, this isn't just about writing new filters,
but discarding existing ones that are already written. I see little
point in that, unless it is all about a crusade to take over the world
with OSIS rather than about writing good open source Bible study software.
> Standardizing on a single format means providing a consistent feature
> set with all texts, rather than one set for one format and a lagging
> subset for another.
That is a good thing if and only if the format chosen is good. Therein
our opinions differ, probably permanently.

More information about the sword-devel mailing list