[sword-devel] Concerns about Alternate Versification

Eeli Kaikkonen eekaikko at mail.student.oulu.fi
Tue Jan 6 03:14:36 MST 2009

Familie von Kaehne wrote:

> Not correct. The TSK or any other reference work will have used an
> underlying particular versification - even if this is not documented.

Not only that, but TSK uses explicitly several versifications. It refers 
to LXX with LXX versification. It's indicated by "book ch:v (LXX)" or 
something similar. This is true at least for the paper print. If this is 
not taken care of by module makers - as it most probably has not - the 
module creates faulty results when used in an application. For a high 
quality module we should detect all versifications and change the 
references accordingly, either with KJV v11n or with mapped references. 
And the only "high" quality solution for me would be to keep the 
original printed text and use mapped references internally. This means 
that we need a way to use several v11ns in OSIS and in software 
references (sword://reference(v11n)).

TSK is independent of any specific translation, but it's really 
dependent on couple of versification schemes. If we want to discuss 
about this, it's important to make distinction between the text and the 
outer appear of the reference - and the real reference. For example, we 
have a KJV verse Ps 56:1:

"Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting 
daily oppresseth me."

But in some other translations the same text is Ps 56:2. So this can be 
referenced as "Ps 56:1" within its original context, or "Ps 56:1 (KJV)" 
or "Ps 56:2 (OtherTrans)" in general context. But we are speaking of 
techical reference implementation here, not about any printed text. In 
printed text "Ps 56:2 (OtherTrans)" means always the text of the 
OtherTrans, it's not a technical reference to any translation.

So, we should define our terms. There are at least three:

- "Biblical text" or "text of a translation", e.g. "Be merciful..."
- "Reference text" or "end user reference" (the visible text of a 
reference, e.g. "Ps 56:2"), maybe in generalized form.
- "Technical reference" or "reference implementation" or "software 
reference" which always includes the versification scheme. Independent 
of any visible appearance and book/ch/v indicators. Can be used to point 
to any translation if there is mapping and the translation scheme is known.

As Peter said there are at least two use cases for different 
versifications: to see the reference texts as they are in the original 
printed version, and to refer to any work/translation generally. If we 
would need the first one only, it would be enough to have a mechanism 
which uses blindly any versification. The second one is needed if we 
want to use several modules together and yet provide the original 
versifications, and that's much more difficult. The need for mapping is 
so obvious it shouldn't even need a mention.

There are difficulties with the frontends, too. They haven't been 
discussed at all yet IIRC.

Should the frontend give possibility to change the default v11n? Users 
may have accustomed to a certain scheme and would like to use it for all 
modules so that they can use their favorite translation and still find 
references in other modules easily.

Should it be possible to use the module v11ns? When user has KJV open he 
would use KJV v11n and when he uses LXX he would use LXX v11n.

Should the original v11ns be somehow visible even when some common v11n 
is used?

How about parallel views? Should them use the KJV v11n or the given 
default v11n? Or should it be possible to select one of the used v11ns?

Have the developers already thought about these? Have you decided to use 
some specific solution? I would like to hear.

--Eeli Kaikkonen

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