[sword-devel] modules upload etc - suggestion

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Tue Jan 15 03:33:23 MST 2008

peter wrote:
> One of the things which are recurrent on the mailing list is the
> difficulty + slowness of getting a module through the door - i.e. both
> to put it into beta and to get it from beta eventually transferred into
> release.

I don't know what you mean by 'alpha' since we have no such thing. It's 
not particularly difficult to get a module into beta, provided it's of 
reasonable quality (well made, relevant, something we would ever 
release, etc.) and distributable (not copyrighted or licensed to us for 

Getting from beta to release requires that the module have been tested 
for a while (and any reported errors be corrected, of course) and that 
its required Sword version be supported on at least the major platforms 
(i.e. by BibleTime, GnomeSword, & BibleCS). We should probably include 
MacSword in this list, but I don't follow MacSword development 
sufficiently to know what it's supporting--maybe I'll go buy a MacBook 
Air tomorrow or finally start running MacOS on my mini. And I would like 
to include Bible Desktop, as well, but it might be a greater challenge 
since it's using completely different drivers that might develop at a 
different rate.

At any rate, right now we can't release any of the 1.5.10-requiring 
module because BibleCS is still at 1.5.9. If you would like to see them 
released, contribute to fixing the existing known BibleCS 1.5.10 bugs.

> There is also no fast way of doing corrections on released module - at
> least for those without adequate rights on the server. Another
> difficulty for those of us behind slow upload connections are that even
> minor changes in the module become a nightmare of hour long uploads.

There are two kinds of errors in our modules: those that are our fault 
due to conversion mistakes and those that are in the upstream providers' 
source documents. The former kind we will fix. The latter, we generally 
won't, since we are really not set up to be a text maintainer and we 
don't have the expertise to be one.

> Could I suggest the following reorganisation?
> 1) a reasonably wide open alpha area where plenty can upload - i.e.
> everyone with some reasonably close connection to CrossWire. We can deal
> with copyright problems there reactively - an assertion that a module is
> OK should be enough if accompanied by

I think we would like to do something like this. Are you volunteering to 
write the code?

I do have a problem with dealing with copyright problems reactively, but 
I think we could make a fairly simple process of submission -> approval 
-> release.

> 2) a wider range of people who can upload from alpha to beta

I don't see a problem with allowing anyone to post to alpha via an 
automatic submission process, provided an approval process is in place.

Speaking from experience, more people putting things in the existing 
beta site makes problems because of permissions problems. Although quite 
a number of people have permission to put items in the beta repository, 
I think it's probably best if one person (presently me) be in charge of 
public submissions.

> 3) both alpha and beta running under subversion - so that changes can be
> made on the server and done in a collective fashion. Often there is one
> who understands the language and the module, while another has much
> better clue of the relevant technology.

I'm guessing that this is supposed to remedy the issue of large 
downloads, but I don't see how it does so at all. It just complicates 
the whole process by making maintenance of the SVN repository itself and 
dealing with all of the logins into a nightmare. In practice, I don't 
believe anyone other than the person in charge has modified the SVN 
repositories pertaining to the two modules in SVN.

> 4) a module maintainer for each module who can authorise update
> releases, so that these do not need to go through the current slow
> approval process.

See above, speed of approval not related to the modules themselves.

> It took me several months to get FarsiOPV into beta, FarsiLB and FarsiTV
> are still not in beta despite several requests and FarsiOPV needs some
> urgent corrections to the configuration file.

Send submissions to sword-modules at crosswire.org. Things not sent there 
will probably be ignored forever.

There are modules that have been sent there that I haven't yet released, 
but I should have everything currently sent there released in the next 
week or two (excluding things that we wouldn't release).


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