[sword-devel] Adding abbreviated names to the module conf file (was Re: isalnum(3) for i18n)

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Thu Dec 18 04:20:50 MST 2008

Peter von Kaehne wrote:
> Chris Little wrote:
>> I suspected there would be disagreement with my suggested number, but I
>> had assumed that it would seem too low. So... some of my reasoning:
>> Many Bibles will include a year, which eats up 4 characters in itself.
>> Bibles with standard abbreviations aren't a big issue (WEB, NIV, NASB,
>> NRSV, etc.) but many others incorporate a translator/place/organization
>> name--which can be longish (Elberfelder, Webster, Grünewald, Rotherham,
>> Delitzsch, Tischendorf, Cornilescu, etc.)
>> So, we could make the limit lower, but I worry that we would limit the
>> meaningfulness of these strings. Maybe we could cut it down to 12?:
>> xxxxxxxxxxxx
> I would argue against this. If we restrict Abbr in this severe fashion
> then we only recreate the situation around the current [Name]. If a
> frontend is really incapable for space reasons to do anything with
> decent sized titles then  they can always revert to the Name/ModuleID.
> At least frontends which are capable of displaying a complete title will
> not be limited. Why have two limited size names?

Abbr and the module ID would have entirely different sets of 
restrictions. Module IDs are restricted to [A-Za-z0-9_]+. They have no 
concrete length limits. Abbr would be limited to something (roughly) 
like [\p{L}\p{M}\p{S}\p{N}\p{P} ]+ which is: letters, marks, symbols, 
numbers, punctuation, and space. It would have a length limit, though 
(as I mentioned in my first proposal of Abbr and as DM has picked up on) 
the limit would be a soft limit. It could be exceeded, but there would 
be no guarantee of correct display if it were. And in practice, official 
modules would not exceed the limit.

Abbr wouldn't be a place for full titles, which are contained in 
Description. We necessarily need to draw a line somewhere between the 
Description field, which is unlimited in length, and the Abbr field, 
which should be short and manageable.

> Elberfelder1905 - 15 letters. I am sure there are longer ones about.
> Russian is probably a good candidate for long titles.

"Elberfelder 1905" (16 spacing codepoints) is the actual source of my 
initial 16 character suggestion. I think we could abbreviate 
Elberfelder, however, to simply Elb. or Elberfeld

I would guess the opposite, regarding Russian. Unlike Russian translated 
to Latin, Russian in Cyrillic has a very close 1 sign to 1 phoneme 
relationship. So the addition of soft/hard signs in Cyrillic is more 
than made up for by not requiring 2 signs for the labialized vowels or 
multiple signs for the sounds sh, shch (sht), ch, & ts--which those of 
us not accustomed to reading Cyrillic will have come to expect in 
Russian names/words. So, everyone's favorite beet soup, spelled 
variously borscht, borshch, or borsht, needs only 4 letters in Cyrillic. 
And case endings & patronymic suffixes add only a few letters to a word.


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