[sword-devel] CrossWire website showing all known modules available

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Mon Nov 8 05:57:51 MST 2010

Jonathan Morgan <jonmmorgan at gmail.com> writes:
> I tend to dislike software that forces me to search in certain ways:
> whether it's "You must select the language before we show you what's
> available" or "You must select the type of book" or "You must select
> the publisher's repository", there will be some times when this
> matches the way I want to search and what I'm looking for, and some
> times when it does not.

I find it an extraordinarily odd perspective, that knowing what type of
book you're looking for is not a normal, all-the-time prerequisite to
finding what you want.  Does anyone ever ask a salesclerk, whether human
or automated, "show me the book selection, but I don't even know what
I'm looking for, much less the language in which it's printed, least of
all the author or publisher"?

Since this is Bible study software, how would it ever be, that someone
looking for new books in our environment would not know if he's looking
for a Bible, or a commentary, or something else?

If my imagination is insufficient about this problem, feel free to say
so.  But the idea that you have to specify that you need English or
Suomi or Caribbean Javanese texts seems to me to be a "level 0" kind of

In any event, as a current use case, Xiphos' module manager provides
module listings both per-category as well as per-availability (that is,
updates and yet-uninstalled content).  Under each per-availability case,
there is only a language distinction, on the idea that you still want to
hunt down modules in a language you can read, but there is no type
(Bible, commentary, genbook, ...) distinction.  Users have found it
productive to have the ability to locate everything available in
English, for example.

> Interesting thoughts.  However, my expectation comes not from Amazon,
> but from other Bible software I have used.  If I want to know which
> books are available for e-Sword, I go to the e-Sword website.  If I
> want to know which books are available for Logos, I go to the Logos
> website.  If I want to know which books are available for CrossWire, I
> go to the CrossWire website.  It doesn't list Dore Woodcuts, so I know
> it doesn't support it.  [I do actually know that both e-Sword and
> Logos have resources which aren't sold by the respective company, but
> with Logos it's a minority and with e-Sword my impression is that they
> are mostly breaking copyright so I don't bother looking].  Because I'm
> interested in Bible software, I'm usually willing to spend the time
> looking.  I'm not sure that everyone is.

I think the problem is that the model breaks down in the face of our
intent for multiple publishers.  Amazon gives us the
one-place-in-the-world model.  You describe Logos and eSword in the same
motif.  But that's expressly not what we're up against.  We're trying to
create an MxN crossbar, users x publishers.  We're not (and never will
be) in bed with publishers in the same way that Logos and eSword are.

We may need another model entirely.

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