[sword-devel] Ndebele and Shona Bibles

Jonathan Marsden jmarsden at fastmail.fm
Thu May 7 23:47:38 MST 2009

Teus Benschop wrote:

> Shortly ago the Ndebele and Shona Bibles were sent to
> modules at crosswire.org. 
> Is there anything that we need to do for these modules to get posted
> among the other Bibles available on crosswire.org?

I'm a newcomer to all this, but I took a quick look at the Shona one.  I
used bibledit 3.7 (and SWORD 1.6.0RC3) to export it as a "SWORD module
and OSIS file".  Using the "old method" mostly worked, although based on
some of the output from osis2mod, I suspect I am (or bibledit is) using
an incorrect versification... what versification system do these Shona
and Ndebele bibles use?  If that info is encoded in the *.usfm files
somehow, forgive me, but I didn't see it when I looked at them.

Once I found the XML file (see below), I discovered that the OSIS XML
file does not validate, according to the command:

  xmllint --noout --schema
http://www.bibletechnologies.net/osisCore.2.1.1.xsd ~/osis-from-usfm.xml

It generates over 1800 lines of error messages.  I think that Bibledit
should be careful to generate 100% valid OSIS XML.  In fact, perhaps if
xmllint is available at run time, bibledit could use it to validate the
OSIS export file, before running it through osis2mod?  Maybe this use of
xmllint can be a checkbox option in the export dialog, or something like

I don't know exactly what you sent to modules at crosswire.org, but ideally
you would provide an OSIS file which (a) is valid OSIS XML and (b)
osis2mod can use without generating much (or even any!) warning or
informational text.  If you also provide a workable .conf file for the
module with appropriate translator and copyright info etc. in it, I
think that is all that is needed :)

Incidentally, thinking ahead a little, now that osis2mod has a -v for
versification switch you may want to add the ability for bibledit to use
that switch to select the appropriate versification for the project
being exported.  The current code in bibledit (in src/export_utils.cpp )
does not seem to do this (probably because the -v switch is very new!).

Lastly, before I forget: the way the OSIS XML file ends up at a fixed
(but undocumented?) filename in the user's home directory feels a bit
unhelpful.  I ended up searching for all XML files on my machine that
were less than a day old, in order to discover it :)

Maybe the OSIS XML file name (and path) could be a field that is given
defaults during the export dialog, but which the user can change if
desired, so they can choose (and will know!) where they put the file?
Failing that, or in addition to that, perhaps you could consider
including the full osis2mod command line in the system log, so that
looking in there will help novice users (like me!) find the XML file
more easily.


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