[sword-devel] Markup Options

Ben Morgan benpmorgan at gmail.com
Thu Dec 2 02:08:19 MST 2010

Hi Greg,

On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 3:32 PM, Greg Hellings <greg.hellings at gmail.com>wrote:
> User-specified stylesheets would not help me much at all.  Since each
> module has its own look and feel that it needs to maintain.  Yes,
> there is a certain uniformity to them, since they largely all come
> through the same publisher, but there are differences - differences it
> would be ridiculous to ask the user to try and specify out of the blue
> (our target audience with these modules are people who are largely
> without technology at all except for when they sit in front of the
> Bible app we provide them with).  Instead, each module came with its
> own layout and styling and should maintain it.
I wasn't suggesting that each user maintain a stylesheet, but if the
application lets users supply their own, such a stylesheet could be created
and distributed (it could even potentially target individual modules).

> Your print analogy is perfect here, but I think you draw the backwards
> conclusion from it.  Every print Bible has its own style, layout,
> formatting, etc.  In the same way, every module should have its own
> styling, layout and formatting.  When a publisher creates a 4-in-1 or
> 8-in-1 print, then they hold the prerogative to determine a basic
> formatting for all of them.  Likewise, every SWORD module should have
> its own styling unless the user is viewing it in parallel with other
> modules.  By forcing the styling to be placed inline, you are
> surrendering that ability.  Now, I just place my styling inline and it
> gets foisted on the parallel display and individual displays alike.
> It looks great in the individual display but messes up the parallel
> display.  With external stylesheets you avoid that by simply opting to
> exclude it from parallel displays and inserting it during solo
> viewing.
You come at this from a different viewpoint. My viewpoint is that the texts
in a piece of Bible software should be as consistent as possible. The fact
one publisher likes a particular font, or has verse numbers 1pt smaller, or
like dull beige tones on the verse number or footnotes is to me largely
irrelevant. Print bibles can define their own styling because they stand
entirely alone - completely different books. Within one user interface (e.g.
BPBible), switching between Bibles, I want to see consistency. I suspect we
aren't going to agree on this one though...

As to you using inline styling, I don't think you should be doing that (not
necessarily you in particular, but modules we generally have for
distribution). I'd agree a per-module external stylesheet would be
preferable to that.

 > I'm all for giving the application and user more control; I'm just not
> > convinced we should give module creators this level of control. I fear
> > per-module stylesheets would be somewhat brittle, liable to be targeted
> at a
> > particular frontend (which is what Jon was saying above), and likely to
> > reduce the consistency in the interface. That said, I can see there could
> be
> > a few cases where it might be necessary - say if a publisher insisted
> that
> > their Bible look the way their print one does - but I would prefer
> > consistency to each Bible looking like their print counterpart.
> This is exactly the scenario I am in.  The publisher is insisting that
> these modules look the same way in BibleTime and Xiphos as they do in
> Logos.  So I force the style inline and take away control of the
> display from both the application and user.  What I am offering is a
> way to make my job easier (I only have to produce an external
> stylesheet which can easily be adapted to an OSIS source later when
> these modules go that direction) AND it returns control back to the
> user and application by allowing them to opt-out of the stylesheet
> when it is inappropriate - the same way web browsers opt out of screen
> stylesheets when printing.
I'd like to say this is a special case, and I'd much prefer if it stayed
that way. I guess some of this is because I like to have control over the
way things are in BPBible (which is also why I mostly would prefer people to
use OSIS if possible - it is easier to work for a lot of things than ThML).

By the way, what is the types of styling you are doing (color, font,

God Bless,
Multitudes, multitudes,
    in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
    in the valley of decision.

Giôên 3:14 (ESV)
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