[sword-devel] Remote Module Repository Wiki

Jonathan Morgan jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Fri Nov 5 07:02:26 MST 2010

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 12:34 AM, Peter von Kaehne <refdoc at gmx.net> wrote:

> > Von: Jonathan Morgan <jonmmorgan at gmail.com>
> > (though I'm not convinced that a large percentage has these tools at
> their
> > disposable or is aware of them).
> At which point that particular debate probably ends :-)

Indeed :).

>  > While drag and drop installation has a certain coolness factor, I feel
> > having a menu option (like the "File > Install Books" BPBible has, also
> > including multiple book installation) is more discoverable and thus
> > perhaps
> > more useful to the starting off user.
> No objection, but also no contradiction.

Both things (I suspect) require frontend support as well as SWORD support,
if any.  I suspect drag and drop needs a little more work to implement than
a menu option popping up a file chooser, and then delegating to SWORD, but
I'm really not sure.

>  Also, people coming from the
> > background of e-Sword or similar tools are probably used to seeing a
> large
> > collection of books on a web page to download, and when they see a
> similar
> > list at Crosswire they do the same: download books and look for a way to
> > install them, while some people just like downloading a thing to make
> sure
> > they have it and could it share it with others if they wanted to (though
> > with "the cloud" this is probably less common than it used to be).
> I think the huge number of support emails "I have downloaded x number of
> modules and now what am I supposed to do" suggests the same - though of
> course us taking away the zips from the webpage would be a helpful step to
> stop that.
> Downloading a zip for sharing is of course a very useful way to pass about
> modules via sneaker net. And that is in turn a way of some importance where
> the interent is either sparse or controlled. I think we acknowledge this by
> making the zip's available but we do not exactly facilitate it beyond that
> point. And that is a shame.

Two points here:
1. Part of the trouble comes from having multiple download options (e.g. Raw
Zip, Mac and Windows).  I have in the past suggested that there only be one
(and that that one be the Raw Zip, as the most universal).  Apparently
BPBible supports all three download formats, but I can't expect everyone
else to do that, and it's still potentially quite confusing.

2. Offering a list of downloads at CrossWire tends to suggest that they are
the *only* books available.  While I can download zip files from Xiphos FTP
directly (for example), it's not easy to find out about, and I'm sure some
people evaluate the software purely on the basis of the books available
without even trying the software.

I think the latter point is probably the more important of the two.  While
it is no doubt a worthy goal to have publishers independently able to
publish their own work, I expect to be able to come to a software
organisation's website and see what books are available from that website
for that software.  I don't know if we can facilitate this discovery from
the website (and if so how) but people do judge the software on the library
and so this is something that bears thinking about.  (Once we get to the
Logoses of this world people also expect an integrated web store which
allows you to purchase books and keeps track of every book you have access
to and allows you to sync between software, etc.  I don't think we're going
there any time soon...)

BPBible relies on zip installation at present.  I think this is a reasonable
decision, though we would like to grow Install Manager support at some point
(in part to get easier access to the Xiphos repository).

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