[sword-devel] Dead Sea Scrolls module(s)

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Thu May 10 22:48:02 MST 2007

Karl Kleinpaste wrote:
> [ This got a bit longer and more philosophical than it started
>   out to be.  I hope I don't annoy folks too much with it. ]
> I wonder if the web forums should merely be shut down.  They're really
> of no timely benefit to anyone.  Consider: On 21 April, Eeli wrote:

I monitor the forums semi-regularly. I'd stepped away from them for a 
while, but have been checking them daily for the last 3-4 weeks. 
Nonetheless, I don't post on topics about which I have no knowledge 
(like MacSword, GnomeSword, & BibleTime). A lot of my activity on the 
forums consists of deleting inappropriate/duplicate posts and 
recategorizing posts in the wrong forum.

> | Why we don't attract developers and community?  ...  Closed source
> | products have active forums, BibleCS (sub)forum gets 4 message
> | threads per year, of which one was "Is Sword for Windows Dead?".
> | What's the problem?

That post was made over two years ago and got 14 replies. I don't see 
how your quoting this is relevant and, furthermore, it seems like it 
proves exactly the opposite point of what you're arguing.

> I think it would be better to shut them down, rather than to give the
> false impression of a useful resource which is seen empirically to be
> less than useless -- for the (especially new) user to come to the
> forums, post a question or two, and then wait for weeks, minimally,
> for any kind of answer, and often never to get one at all, is a sure
> way to generate frustration and then disinterest.  Perhaps that level
> of disinterest is one reason why, when I have approached various
> electronic publishers about generating Sword format materials, I am
> told, "We have no plans for..."

Publishers don't want to publish in Sword format because we have bad 
forums? Because we provide insufficient support?

> As a matter of course, such activity as can be found in the Sword
> Project is in mailing lists, not web forums.  Even so, I try to stop
> in on the GnomeSword forum there now and again; probably as often as
> not, I end up answering peoples' questions with an addendum of telling
> them to join the mailing lists.  Some do, some don't.
> About 5 weeks ago, in the middle of a very bad attitude, I wrote a
> longish screed intended for this list about the lack of progress even
> in bug-reported module problems for which fixes had been offered over
> many months without any updates being seen.  In an unusual fit of good
> taste and self-restraint, I didn't send that, instead just tucking it
> away for future cogitation.  Then, about 2 weeks ago, we abruptly had
> a sudden burst of activity in beta modules, fixes, and general
> updates.  I'd like to think that this new activity shows we've not
> lost our collective way, but I do wonder if there isn't a need for
> some serious re-thinking of how the forums, mailing lists, and general
> supporting infrastructure of Sword is constructed and maintained, with
> an eye to the possibility of finding some needed, and I suspect fairly
> drastic, update and improvement to the process by which progress is
> made, and not just on UI development.

I do module updates when I have time and when I feel like it. That's not 
a reflection on whether we have lost "our collective way."

It's not practical to spend the amount of time it would require to 
accept every module bug report, track down whether or not it is actually 
a bug, track down what is the correct method of correction, correct the 
text, recompile the text, test the text, and release. I keep the emails 
and will address them when it's practical to do a module update and when 
I have time/feel like it.

> (Because, by and large, we are a bunch of programmers who think code
> is king -- and we're wrong when we think that.  Sure, Joe Random likes
> UI features, but what Joe Random *needs* is a wider set of resources
> with which to work: *Modules* are king.  UI features are helpful to
> Joe's workflow structure at best, and just intrusive sugar at worst.
> If there's a class of UI features about which we need to give
> considerably more thought, it's with regard to authoring tools --
> better ways for users to write new material or convert existing
> material, something far beyond the editable "Personal" commentary.
> When I have poked at the GS lists about GS' future, probably the most
> common observations are about [a] the lack of new modules and [b] the
> need for ways to write and share new stuff.)

We have made available all of our module conversion utilities. We only 
use stardard markup formats, each documented by their respective 
maintainers. Individuals incapable of using those tools to compose 
modules are unlikely to create modules of sufficient quality that we 
would want to publish them.

The forums aren't going anywhere, but it would be great if more people 
could answer questions there. We all have different knowledge sets, so a 
variety of developers are needed to answer all of the questions.

There are also RSS feeds (e.g. 
http://www.crosswire.org/forums/mvnforum/rss for the whole set, but 
there are also feeds for individual forums) so you can always know 
whether there is a new forum topic to read/answer.


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