[sword-devel] Making Import Easier

Jonathan Marsden jmarsden at fastmail.fm
Mon Apr 6 19:34:03 MST 2009

Matthew Talbert wrote:

> There is one serious advantage to adding import tools to a frontend
> (ie, on Windows). There is a tremendous amount of content in ThML at
> CCEL, but the licensing prohibits distributing said content. It's for
> personal use only. The only formats that are re-distributable are the
> plain-text documents. Adding this to a front-end would make it
> trivially easy for a user to download a book from CCEL and add it to
> his software.

Ugh.  So software design considerations takes a back seat to someone 
else's peculiar licencing of one particular set of (admittedly useful) 
content?  The right way to go is to work with the content provider to 
fix the licencing, not work around it in your software, isn't it? 
Sounds like they could switch to a form of the Creative Commons licence 
with minimal impact on their business model.  I realize it might take 
real work (and some prayer!) to persuade them of the benefit to the 
community of doing this!

> As to why the tools aren't distributed, for Xiphos (on Windows) it's
> because the tools are around 20MB and a fairly strong element want to
> keep the package download size as small as possible.

Ouch!  On Ubuntu those tools occupy...

  echo `dpkg -c libsword7_1.5.11-1~jmarsden2~intrepid_amd64.deb |grep 
/usr/bin/ |sed -e 's/ \+/ /g' |cut -d ' ' -f3` |sed -e 's/ /+/g' |bc -q

about 300K.  So Windows somehow bloats them by a factor of 66?  Can 
nothing be done to improve on that?

> As to why the current documentation isn't better, or why there aren't
> more modules in source format to look at, it's essentially CrossWire
> policy to keep it so that average users can't create modules easily

In which case, any form of "Making Import Easier", whether standalone or 
embedded into the front end reader programs, runs contra to the wishes 
of CrossWire... so is the whole issue therefore moot in this forum 
(sword-devel at crosswire.org) anyway??

Does this also mean I am likely to find my offering manpages for the 
existing conversion tools turned down on the grounds that they improve 
the usability of the tools, and such usability is explicitly unwanted!? 
  That would be an unusual reason for declining contributed documentation.


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