[sword-devel] usfm2osis.pl

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Tue Jul 1 05:23:38 MST 2008

Adrian Korten wrote:
> Good day,
> I'm a newbie with OSIS. Could someone say why you would prefer one over 
> the other? Or how this relates to how Crosswire handles the files?
> ak

My interpretation of this question (in contrast to the existing 
responses) was that it was not a question of why OSIS vs. other formats 
but rather why prefer one SFM to OSIS converter rather than another.

Assuming that reading, I'll first give a plug to the Wiki page 
discussing the topic of SFM to OSIS conversion: 

There are three notable SFM to OSIS converters, each has its merits and 

First is Bibledit export. It's best feature is probably that it's still 
under development. I don't believe it was included in the most recent 
version of Bibledit I've tried, so I've never actually tried it.

SFMToOSIS from Snowfall Software is difficult to get running, especially 
if you don't have access to Paratext or Paratext project files for your 
translation. But it has rather robust support for SFM and produces (at 
least most of the time) valid OSIS. It employs the defined mapping from 

usfm2osis.pl is easy to get running. (If you can run a perl script, you 
can run usfm2osis.pl.) It's not very robust. It will often produce 
invalid OSIS. I wrote it, but don't recommend its use and have no plans 
to improve it.

At this point in time, if I got a set of USFM files, I would load them 
into Bibledit to do some basic SFM cleanup and sanity checks, export the 
Bible as USFM again, and use SFMToOSIS to convert it. Then I would 
validate the XML and repeat steps as necessary until I get good markup.


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