[sword-devel] [sword-support] Video tutorials

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Tue Apr 3 08:41:04 MST 2012

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM, Barry Drake <bdrake at crosswire.org> wrote:
> On 03/04/12 16:01, David Haslam wrote:
>> I've stopped using The SWORD Project for Windows (aka BibleCS) ever since
>> I
>> replaced my Acer Aspire (WinXP) by a Toshiba Satellite (Win7 x64) in
>> August
>> 2010.  Next month, it'll be exactly four years since BibleCS was last
>> updated.
>  There was some discussion on this list a few months ago asking why BibleCS
> was still so heavily promoted on the website.  I know there was overwhelming
> feeling that things should change.  They did not!
> Valiant attempts were made years ago by David Trotz to improve the
> appearance and usability of BibleCS - but David left the project a few years
> ago.  There are now at least four excellent front-ends that can run under
> Windows and the web-site ought to reflect that, and encourage the new user
> to try each of them.
> Could I ask all of you to visit the web-site and try to behave as though you
> know nothing about the Sword Project.  Or better still, have a friend go
> through it and then see what impression they are left with.  It's quite an
> eye-opener.

There is always the disconnect between who our target audience is and
who we are. Some people think the website should be targeted at end
users. If so, then it should be remade to be more like www.ubuntu.com
where it is unmistakably easy to figure out what you need to do in
order to acquire the software. There is one single, prominent button
that you click on and it takes you right to a list of downloads for
the program. Our website doesn't even have a link with the word
"Download" in it - and that rubs me the wrong way. Whenever I visit
software sites as a user I want a big link somewhere prominent -
either like Ubuntu's button or a menu item - that says "Download" or
"Download Now" or possibly "Get It!" since that is what I almost
universally encounter on websites. We just have a link that says
"Software" and it is tucked away in a menu broken between multiple
lines. I still have to sit and stare at the website for several
seconds before I remember what link to follow - and this after nearly
a decade of using our software.

Then there are developers who our site also targets. Granted, we don't
target them very well, but neither do almost any open source projects.
Almost all of open source projects suffer from a lack of good material
for a new developer coming into the project. But we are also targeting
them with the website. Some people seem to think that the Wiki is
aimed at developers and the website at users - others seem to have the
opposite opinion. The result is that 1) the website has no link to the
wiki that I can ever find so how would anyone know about it? 2) Both
the website and the wiki are very poor amalgamations of multiple sets
of data targeting diifferent audiences and the result is that neither
one is effective in its objective.

Several people have offered to tackle updates to the website with
varying degrees of success. Some have had issues because they were
developers and developers tend to do poorly at such design. Some have
had issues because they were designers and were not so good at
actually implementing their designs. Others have simply run out of
time or have met with resistance and thus given up. I don't believe
the poor quality of the site and the wiki are a result of someone's
desire for a low quality face but a reflection of the fact that almost
none of us have all three: 1) design skill 2) developer skill 3) time
to tackle the massive overhaul it would require.


> God bless,        Barry.
> --
> From Barry Drake (The Revd) Health and Healing advisor to the East
> Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church.  See
> http://www.urc5.org.uk/index for information about the synod, and
> http://www.urc5.org.uk/?q=node/703 for the Synod Healing pages.
> Replies - b.drake at ntlworld.com
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