[sword-devel] Bibtex for modules

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Tue Jan 11 18:48:23 MST 2011

Without wishing to become rude, Trevor I do not remember (and I have
looked through the last 6 years of sword-devel archives...) a single
post of yours in a positive, constructive and encouraging tone. I also
do not remember a single patch or contribution either on sword-svn or
indeed in our module library (or in any frontend I follow or contribute
to). There were of course a significant number of negative, dismissive
or discouraging posts made by you.

I therefore consider you a user and not a particularly friendly one.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

With that, I propose to ignore your "wrong, wrong, wrong" and "no,no,no"

Wrt previous discussions I suggest you simply use your own search
capabilities, rather than asking others for links.

So, back to the subject to be a bit more clear:

I propose a single new entry to the conf file which contains a complete
bibliographic entry for the given module.

BibTex = @book {Webster1913,Author={Webster},Editor={},Title= {Revised
{U}nabridged {D}ictionary of the {E}nglish
{L}anguage},Publisher={CrossWire {B}ible {S}ociety},year={1913},}

I propose to use BibTex for this, mostly because it is a well known
format, widely supported by open source tools and because I like it.

I propose that we (everyone interested) work together on the wiki page
linked priorly to create for each existing module such an entry and once
these are at a satisfactory level, we (I) can add them in bulk to the
module conf files if the consensus (among developers) to do such is there

If a frontend wishes to make use of this and export it, the methods in
swordlib to read arbitrary conf entries are there.

If no frontend supports these, a user can still extract all his modules'
entries with a minimally sized shell script .

If a user wishes to transform this entry (these entries) into a
different format - the tools are there. Most bibliography tools can read
any number of formats and can transform them into whatever they need.

I have considered the main alternative - to clean up the conf files and
add entries/content to create in a second step bibliographic entries.
This is a valid alternative. The main obstacles I see is - it will
require a whole bunch of new entries and it will create endless
confusion in new module makers. We already have ongoing confusion
regarding the function of various entries (Description and About,
Copyright and DistributionLicense etc). A "cat ~/.sword/mods.d/*conf"
will confirm this to any doubter. And dual use (entries both for
descriptive purposes and bibliographic data) is not good for the same

A single well defined entry, solely for a single purpose (bibliographic
data) will be relatively straightforward to maintain and likely not add
confusion to those who create new modules.


 On 12/01/11 00:36, Trevor Jenkins wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Jan 2011, Greg Hellings <greg.hellings at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> No no no. That way leaves to inconsistencies and corruption. Apply 3NF and
>>> 4NF normalisation to this data. If the bibliographic data is to be there
>>> put it there only once and then have some API layer to extract and present
>>> it in what ever format the user needs.
>> Did you read the rest of my email or did you stop to throw fire on one
>> of a list of alternatives I gave?
> The rest of your email posits multiple copies of the same bibliographic
> data repeated in .conf files. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If there has to be
> bibliographic data in there then it should be in a neutral format
> (consistent with the rest of the .conf file syntax) not BibTeX mashed in
> there.
>> 3NF, BCNF and 4NF are all fine and good when you're drawing out a
>> database schema on a piece of paper.  In actual practice they often
>> lead to massively more computation and upkeep than simply
>> denormalizing the data.
> Well of course one could have N1NF data in there and then there's is the
> very great risk of inconsistencies within the multiple copies of the
> bibliographic data. Think about the issues involved not the emotional
> response to a specific but minority format.
>> ... In this case, BibTeX is basically the same as
>> what you are prescribing - each of the pieces of data split out into
>> its own, separate field.
> No the difference is that BibTeX would require the .conf parser to be
> extended with a heavyweight parser dealing with the vagaries of BibTeX.
> Sure sliplt the data in to fields but in existing .conf file format. Then
> add API functions to extract format neutral data and present it in the
> required formats.
>> ... It is already a standardized, well built tool
>> to handle all of the intricacies and details of creating the type of
>> information the user has requested.  It is open and has a large array
>> of tools which can process it into many different types of output
>> format.
> What you call "intricacies" I call vagaries. It isn't a well-documented
> format. There's too much to go wrong.
> Very true. I've used must of those tools over the years but not mashed up
> and mixed in with other data. And to support this format you're going to
> have to re-implement much of all of them simply to make it work.
>> So which is it - do you want this data to be Normal Formed into the
>> ground and then SWORD needs to know how to support the citation format
>> du jour plus all the legacies?
> I want single instance of data. I want neutral encodings. As to the
> specific of bibliographic data (in any format) embedded in .conf files? I
> remain to be convinced.
>> ... Or shall we produce something that the end user, with a specific and
>> pointed problem, can use?  I sure don't want to keep track of processing
>> some arbitrary number of formats.  We have a person who has asked for
>> BibTeX support - is there any reason for not supporting BibTeX other
>> than, "Well I don't use it?"
> Oh I use it. I never said I didn't. What I said was that to embedded
> BibTeX in the .conf for one person (the obverse "Well I do use it") is
> wrong. A more general and non-knee jerk solution is required.
> Don't go parsing BibTeX citations when it isn't required. The issue is one
> of generating bibliographic formatS from a single consistent set of data.
> Don't make the .conf file overly complex. You will break it. Rememeber
> KISS. The complication should be at a level where it can be managed safely
> and without distrupting existing modules, that is NOT in the .conf
> file parser.
> Regards, Trevor
> <>< Re: deemed!
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