[sword-devel] New website - installation instructions

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Sat Dec 20 04:06:49 MST 2008

Greg Hellings wrote:
> Personally I see the joy in this, but it also strikes me as somewhat
> anti-Windows.  When I'm in a Unix-like environment, I expect that my
> vi, vim and gvim will all read the same ~/.exrc (I think that's the
> name of it), then vim and gvim will read ~/.vimrc and then gvim will
> also read yet another file (~/.gvimrc, IIRC).  However, in Windows,
> I'm not expecting that behavior.  My perception of Windows programs is
> that they're more siloed than their Unix counterparts.  While I am
> deep in the workings of SWORD and sort of can see why this behavior
> would be nice for developers and programmers, I definitely wouldn't
> expect it, if I wasn't aware that the various applications share so
> much of a common heritage.
> Judging from how I look at programs in Windows - even if they are all
> capable of reading the the same file formats pulled from the same
> electronic library, it might startle me that changing a configuration
> in, say, GnomeSword, changes how my BPBible works, while installing
> what I thought was an application-specific module in BibleCS results
> in the same thing appearing in BibleTime.  I'd imagine most people who
> aren't deeply steeped in SWORD lore and who aren't familiar with the
> concept of the shared library (or cross-platform library, to be more
> accurate) across the applications might be curious and report to the
> BibleTime people, "My BibleTime is reading files from The SWORD
> Project for Windows.  Help!" or to the BibleCS group, "BibleCS deleted
> my GnomeSword modules - why'd it do that?"
> Just my impressions from the world of Windows/Unix differences.
> --Greg

If this really is the case for most of the users, this whole 
conversation has been meaningless - the applications should store the 
modules in app-specific directories and the library shouldn't find all 

It is true that many users might not expect cross-application behaviour, 
but a user-friendly way to cure this would be to let user know what will 
happen in an informational dialog. When the user edits the data paths or 
installs/removes modules the app could show a dialog saying "Changing 
the installation paths and adding or removing modules will affect all 
Sword-based programs installed on this system, for example The SWORD 
Project for Windows, BibleTime, GnomeSword, and BibleDesktop. Do you 
still want to continue? [X Don't show this message again] [Cancel] [OK]".

This means more code, but as I've said, and as all frontend developers 
should already know, user-friendliness doesn't come automatically or for 
free. The features and functionality should be dictated by the user 
needs, not by the used techologies or by easiness of implementing something.

If the users doesn't want to see all installed modules, at least BibleCS 
and BibleTime1.7beta let the user hide modules from the list. This is 
both app-specific and user-specific at least in BibleTime, it doesn't 
affect other frontends or other users.

I also understand the need of putting the Sword technology background 
and invisible, but we shouldn't think that the users can't understand 
anything technical. How can they ever learn about CrossWire or Sword if 
they aren't informed? When we get more applications (i.e. GS and BT) to 
Windows it could be very useful for the whole project if one app 
advertises the other frontends and the common "heritage".

--Eeli Kaikkonen

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