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

chrislit at crosswire.org chrislit at crosswire.org
Tue Mar 7 21:24:29 MST 2006

On Tue, 7 Mar 2006, Kahunapule Michael Johnson wrote:

> Chris Little wrote:
>> 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.

My definitions of open/proprietary and standard are a bit ad hoc:
A format is proprietary if it is controlled by a single party who created 
the format primarily for their own purposes and without any committment to 
taking input from interested third parties. In that sense, GBF, ThML, and 
sundry flavors of SF are proprietary. OSIS on the other hand would be 
open. There's nothing inherently wrong with proprietary formats, we just 
don't want to commit to one for purposes of archiving and internal data 
representation. (Sword's own module formats are likewise proprietary.) 
Extensibility doesn't make a format open; extensions just constitute 
another layer of proprietariness.

And by "standard" I mean basically just that a format is intended as a 
standard and has some degree of adoption. It's not really "standard" if a 
format only has one user.


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