[sword-devel] Tagging verses and verse lists

Jonathan Morgan jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 06:33:27 MST 2007

On Dec 20, 2007 12:11 AM, Eeli Kaikkonen <eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:
> On Tue, 18 Dec 2007, DM Smith wrote:
> > I see them as the same thing from an implementation level. The
> > application is free to use the mechanism in various ways: Bookmarks,
> > Topic lists, saved state, ..... How the application presents them to
> > the user gives the appearance of transience or permanence.
> The engine and api would define the "syntax" (implemantation) but the
> user interface gives the "semantics". For semantics we must have a
> standard, otherwise we will have the same situation as with the Personal
> Commentary. It has syntax (technical implementation) but no semantics
> (which markup to use).
> For app specific lists their is no need for standards but if we are
> talking about interchangeable bookmarks they are necessary. For example:
> What encoding should be used for headers/comments? If I had my will done
> we would use only utf8 (as you probably could guess :). Otherwise it has
> to be given with each piece of text separately because it cannot be
> guaranteed that different frontends which edit the same bookmark list
> use the same encoding.

A good point that hadn't occurred to me (I'm still very much an ASCII
man).  For Sword, UTF-8 might end up best, but technically it is one
of the worst formats possible.  Its only redeeming feature is that it
allows existing 7-bit ASCII to work unchanged.  For the rest, I need
to employ special parsing techniques to ensure that it is parsed
correctly.  I prefer 16-bit character unicode, since it is a very
simple and direct representation at the level of intent, which still
allows my array accesses to work correctly and so on.

> How are headers/topic texts/comments used? How long can they be?  If one
> frontend accepts one km long text and another one accepts one line of
> 255 characters there will be problems.

I would think it is possible at present to define the complete set of
attributes supported by verse lists (though length may be an issue).

> Is any markup allowed in texts? Which one?

I view the description and comments as simple plain-text comments, and
so do not see the need for markup.

> Is one bookmark one verse, one verse range, several verse ranges? (This
> can actually be a technical implementation question.)

As said just before, I think the verse range is the most compelling
one (though this gets more interesting if we want to deal with more
than just Bible references).

> Which data fields should be used with bookmarks? Are there any fields
> which are implemented in techical level but should not be used with
> bookmarks? (For example, if one fronted accepts comments and the end
> user writes comments for individual verses which are important to him
> and then moves the bookmarks to another app, he looses the comments
> if another app thinks that bookmarks should not have comments.)

I don't see this as a problem.  So long as Sword defines the
attributes that the thing can have, no information will be physically
lost.  If applications choose to display a subset of the data
available then that is probably a little unfortunate for the user, but
it will not actually lose them data.  Applications should be
recommended to make the data available in some form, but I don't think
it is required.


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