[sword-devel] Sword OSIS quotation mark handling question

Kahunapule Michael Johnson kahunapule at mpj.cx
Mon Apr 30 09:19:33 MST 2007

How does the Sword project handle display of OSIS text quotations when:
1. the <q> or <speech> element is used without a marker attribute,
2. the <q> or <speech> element is used with a marker attribute,
3. no <q> or <speech> elements appear, or
4. quotation punctuation (“, ‘, ’, ”, «, », —, newline, etc.) appears
outside of <q> or <speech> elements (i. e., not in a marker attribute)?

I want to (1) ensure that Bible texts are displayed correctly, and (2)
minimize the amount of manual labor necessary to make #1 happen.

It should not be necessary to do any manual editing of Bible source
texts in well-formed Unicode USFM to create a valid Sword module. (USFM
or something close to it is the format in which a very large number of
minority-language Bibles exist.) In USFM, quotation punctuation, if any,
is in the text of the document, with no special markup. In an informal
extension to USFM, sometimes << is used for “, < for ‘, etc. (A space is
required to disambiguate “‘ and ‘“.) Speaking of ambiguity, apostrophe,
closing single quote, and (in some languages) glottal stop all use the
same character. This ambiguity, coupled with language and style
considerations, seems to be a serious problem in automatically
converting from either GBF or USFM to OSIS, in general.

I'm wondering if I should target OSIS or GBF as a target format for a
converter I'm writing, and also working on updating the dialect of OSIS
that the World English Bible and HNV are distributed in. While I'm not
in favor of dropping support for GBF, yet, I'm not very thrilled about
the idea of putting any new work into supporting it, either. However, if
I can't make an OSIS module without a lot of manual labor, any
reasonable alternative is worth considering.

Your brother in Christ,

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