[sword-devel] OLPC - One laptop per child
dmsmith555 at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 6 13:41:34 MST 2008
Earlier I reported about BibleDesktop running on an OLPC. Since then I
have been trying out 3 other SWORD alternatives.
GnomeSword - Bottom line: not very workable.
I encountered several problems. First, while the laptop is based on
Fedora 7 and has GTK it is very light on what packages it has
available. I enabled yum to look at the fedora 7 repository. I then
installed GnomeSword. It required 54M of download and by the time the
packages were installed there was only about 30% of the 1G available.
That is, it took up about 1/3 of the available flash. I was surprised
at what it installed, such as perl. I don't think everything it needed
got installed, either. There were diagnostics as to some missing items
when starting the program.
When I ran the program, I was impressed that the fonts were
appropriate for the screen's size. The screen is 1200x900 with 200DPI.
It appears that GnomeSword uses resolution independent font size.
Super! However, the program at 6" x 4.5" was squished. There was only
enough room to see a verse or two at a time. The controls at the top
of the window overlapped.
But the biggest problem that I ran into was constant out of memory
errors. Not so much when running GnomeSword, but when doing anything,
whether or not I had run GnomeSword after reboot. It seems that the
OLPC needs a lot more of the 1G flash available to run programs. Don't
Anyway the machine wouldn't run any two programs at the same time. The
second would hang and not die gracefully. So essentially the machine
was unstable and I had to re-image it.
Sword Read - Bottom line: Great first start.
This program is custom built for the OLPC and is very simple. The
interface has an input box where one can input a reference and the
chapter containing that reference is shown below. It is not at all
clear what English Bible translation is being used. I think this is
being done via the Python wrapper for SWORD.
This is fast and light and takes up very little of the machine. And
this is the only solution that is integrated into the desktop and
available directly from the OLPC activity list.
However, while it is a published activity it doesn't seem to be not
very OLPC like. I didn't see any way to share the activity with
another. And personally, I think that the large amount of text is a
bit much for a child.
Bible Tool - Bottom Line: very usable.
The Bible Tool can be reached from the "Browse" activity. Like
GnomeSword, it appears that Browse uses resolution independent font
size. This made it very readable. In the parallel tab, having two
texts is reasonably the most one could have. But over half of the
screen was taken up with the list of Bibles on the left and the list
of Commentaries on the right.
What would be cool would be to have a simplified UI that could be used
on small devices (iPhone, PDA, OLPC, ...) that have real browser
capabilities. And for the OLPC, to have a Browse Bible activity which
would bring up the website in Browse.
As to developing for the OLPC, I think most development will be done
via emulators. If you want to develop for the OLPC see: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Developers
Working together in Christ,
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