[sword-devel] Bible Software Review
jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 21:17:15 MST 2008
On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM, Chris Little <chrislit at crosswire.org> wrote:
> Jonathan Morgan wrote:
> > On a different point, if we genuinely believe that Sword for Windows
> > is not or should not be undergoing active maintenance then we should
> > probably remove it or de-emphasise it. It is quite understandable
> > that an average user like him will look at the website, find a product
> > entitled "The Sword Project for Windows", assume that it is the best
> > software offered by CrossWire for Windows, try it, dislike it, and
> > then avoid CrossWire software in future.
> The SWORD Project for Windows is the only full-featured frontend for
> Windows. Indeed, it is probably the most full-featured frontend for
> Sword, period. You can complain about the interface. I think there are
> definitely easier to use and more polished programs (at least in some
> respects), but they are all lacking features.
I don't want to get into a lengthy debate, but a full featured system
that is not used will not help anything. I, for one, will not use
Sword for Windows in its current state, and I think you can see in his
response to it how the average user will respond. [note that I have
considerable exposure to usability ideas, so I tend to view
goal-directed design and usability as more important than feature
> Bible Desktop suffers the inherent lag of JSword behind Sword (so
> drivers for GenBooks, for example, are still lacking I believe).
> GnomeSword may once have been buildable on Cygwin, but it isn't
> presently. And SwordBible certainly shows some definite promise, but I
> think it's still a bit basic at present.
How about BPBible? I'll willingly admit to bias here, but I claim
that it supports most features that ordinary users will actually use
(Install Manager style support is an exception, but that is currently
a work in progress), and does so in a way that I hope means users will
like it and use it.
> Regarding the review in general, I can't help thinking we were a bit
> cheated. We got low marks on support, though we've actually got very
> good, prompt support at present (between email & the forums). I find no
> record of the unanswered email he claims to have sent, so I'm willing to
> place the fault on him (such as he didn't actually send the email, he
> managed to make it look very spammy to the filters, or he acted like a
> jerk (since I just delete rude messages)). His discussion of the forums
> is just plain inaccurate.
> I'm still pretty well certain that we have the widest selection of
> modules among free programs, too, so it's a bit annoying that programs
> who've copied our library got higher marks. It seems like we ought to
> get a little credit for the fact that The Word, e-Sword, Online Bible,
> and Zefania are all enjoying content that came from us.
I would have thought that e-Sword has more modules than we do.
Anyway, you can't really expect a person investigating the usefulness
of available software to determine whether it has been helped by the
work of others.
> Only a 3 of 5 for extensibility? Based on his own criteria, he's wrong.
> His assessments of the UI & searching are partly legitimate and partly
> due to inadequate documentation (which is to say that he doesn't know
> about the search functionality) or his not reading the documentation.
Again from the usability point of view, I claim that if a person
cannot use a feature, the fact that it is there does not help them.
However, I have certainly had no trouble searching with Sword for
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