[sword-devel] Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

David Haslam dfhmch at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 20 09:23:28 MST 2011

Greg wrote, "GoBible overcomes this by using Graphite somehow."

Well, I suppose some phone manufacturers may have designed in Graphite into
their firmware, but the fact of the matter is that Go Bible relies entirely
upon what Unicode font coverage has been provided by the mobile phone
manufacturer. It's pretty rare for any phone to have font coverage for the
whole of the Basic Multilingual Plane. Manufacturers tend to have firmware
variants for different marketing regions, to keep their stock levels

For some phone models, one might be able to rebrand the firmware so as to
convert it for use in a different region, but in most cases, this would
invalidate the warranty, and would always be at the user's own risk. Such
services are also not free.

Plus it's not just a text display issue. There is also the requirement to be
able to write in any given language, in order to use the Go Bible search
feature. Even if a particular [Nokia] phone can display [say] Amharic, that
doesn't mean you can edit SMS messages in this language. Search item editing
uses the same JSR as for SMS.

As for fonts in Android devices, Martin Denham will know more about this,
but from my own personal contact with the IT support guy for the *Pashto
Zeray* translation, I have seen that it's feasible to customize Android font
coverage to deal with the extended characters and their presentation forms
required for Pashto, which are beyond those in either Arabic or Farsi.

That being the case, even for scripts (such as for Myanmar and other
languages) not yet supported by Google, there must be potential solutions,
albeit requiring a lot of detailed knowledge as well as involving a lot of
hard work.

In one sense, Android (being open) is more amenable to such inventiveness
than iOS. You can only display Bibles in PocketSword for those languages and
scripts that have been built in or approved by Apple. You can ask Nic Carter
for further details.


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