[sword-devel] Taming Wild Threads (was: Getting stuff done (Re: External links))

Chris Little chrislit at crosswire.org
Thu Nov 27 05:04:54 MST 2008

Matthew Talbert wrote:
> I don't know how to say this nicely, but your reply reinforces to me
> that you don't know how to relate to people of lower technical ability
> and knowledge than yourself. It illustrates quite clearly to me why
> there is frustration with your handling of module issues. As someone
> who also has this trouble, I can certainly relate, but I wish you
> could really understand what this does to the project as a whole. I'm
> afraid you don't and won't. I'm sorry if this is offensive. i am going
> to shut up now.

This is an open source project. If you have an itch, it's your own 
responsibility to scratch it. If you don't know how to do something, 
it's your own responsibility to learn how.

When I started working on Sword, we didn't have any general purpose 
import tools. We didn't have documentation explaining the Sword module 
format. We didn't have example importable documents. And I had only a 
modicum of experience in programming--and far too much of that was in VB.

But I wanted to be able to add more content than Sword had available at 
the time, so I teased out the module format from the API's drivers and 
eventually wrote working importers that became vpl2mod. And I wanted to 
provide a more general and robust input method and one that could handle 
non-Bible texts, so I developed the imp2* tools and eventually thml2gbs, 
which would become xml2gbs. Since then, Troy has written osis2mod and DM 
has written tei2mod. So now it's easier to create content for Sword than 
it has ever been.

It's not my point that everyone who wants to work on Sword should 
already know everything they need to know to do that work. My point is 
that if you don't know something, it's your own responsibility to figure 
  out how to learn it.

That can include digging through source code, asking questions through 
the mailing list, IRC, or privately, searching mailing list archives, 
reading that documentation that does exist, etc.

The point of open source software isn't to ask other people to scratch 
your itch for you. They have their own itches. Do it yourself. And if 
you don't know how, figure out how to find out.


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