[sword-devel] Bible Resource Identifiers

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Sat Apr 3 17:34:33 MST 2010

As a deeply network-centric person, I am always uncomfortable with any
specification that includes phrases such as "use the closest server,"
because the concept of "close" is effectively moot, particularly in the
face of VPNs.  I am near Pittsburgh, but also routinely VPN'd to/through
a site in Germany -- define "close" for me in any meaningful sense.  Am
I "close" to a reference site for the Bible named "Hoffnung feur alle"?
Net.topologically speaking, yes, I am, but physical packet-hop-wise, no,
I'm not...and just try convincing any network path optimizer of that
fact, considering that the VPN keeps it from seeing the first dozen
hops.  Better would be "use the fastest," because that at least can be
objectively tested, but speed at that level is primarily a concern when
there will be bulk data transfer.  I have a strong sense that these
sorts of queries are intended to generate short responses.

At present, and as far as I'm aware, no Sword Project application has a
facility to link directly outside the local machine.  That is, for those
which grasp sword://, it is interpreted exclusively within the universe
of texts locally installed, and (I could be wrong here, but...) none of
the apps is prepared to make arbitrary network accesses on the basis of
http://.  At the moment, Xiphos treats bible:// as equivalent to
sword://; the code to do so is very old, and pre-dates my participation
-- this would be easily correctable for another purpose, of course.

I suppose what concerns me most about the offered mechanism is the
numerous formats and their qualifiers and what appears to be the
seriously complicated interpretations by which to return results based
on them.  I haven't had the time to watch the video yet, but how much of
this query syntax is already, say, coded and supportable?  (I am only
dimly aware of Open Scriptures.)  I saw in the web page TODO that you
don't yet have a formal grammar, and I have a sense, somewhat
incomplete, that there is considerable ambiguity in such matters as ';'
-vs- '|' especially when combined.  It almost seems silly to ask, but is
there operator precedence?

Even while seeing some amount of value in most of the offered samples
(though "token/23" seriously freaks me out), how much of this API can be
expected to be put into day-to-day practical use, and within what sorts
of user applications?  I'm looking for practical use cases that would
apply to our (that is, Xiphos') users particularly, just because that's
where I live, to decide whether it makes sense to expend the effort to
glue an API of this sort into it.

Just ruminating...


More information about the sword-devel mailing list