[sword-devel] New public git mirror of Sword SVN trunk and why

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Mon Dec 17 15:48:26 MST 2012

Hi Jaak.  Of course I would discourage confusing potential developers 
with an unofficial fork of the SWORD library on gitorious.

But I'm confused by your comments.

My apologies if I have any outstanding commits in my queue from you 
which I haven't committed.  Do I?

My complaint against the Bibletime code is that they inefficiently use 
the SWORD engine by trying to wrap everything in their own classes which 
even I have trouble understanding the intent.  SWORD was made to be used 
in a frontend, and we make it pretty easy to use. I use it directly in 
the frontends and projects I have written and cater it to real frontend 
needs.  Bibletime, for the long life of the project, has said they want 
to maintain this wrapper layer around SWORD such that they can replace 
SWORD with an alternate backend in the future.  This has never happened, 
and I the Bibletime frontend code which has been 'protected' from SWORD 
has itself been rewritten many times, as far as I can see from the 
mailing list.  And though we've tried to encourage collaboration for 
years, we have seen next to zero contributions to SWORD from any of the 
Bibletime team (no offence to Greg and others who contribute to many 
projects and who do contribute to SWORD).  I have tried to get 
participation, but I usually only get complaints and arrogant calls for 
a complete rewrite from developers who don't even understand what's 
under the hood.

I personally am old school and haven't acclimated to git.  I've used it 
for work projects and can get around. There are many things I don't 
like, but git proponents seem to love it.  I firmly don't believe that 
our source control system is the hindrance to contribution.  We have a 
fairly high bar for contribution because so many projects use our 
engine.  In my experience, most open source developers don't take code 
criticism well and are not willing to submit to an authority when they 
are volunteering their time-- which is their prerogative.  We don't 
allow our code to simply 'churn' because people want change it.  We 
require a real use case and defence for changes, to protect our frontend 
developers from having to change their code, and our interface has 
remained fairly stable over the year because of this.

Having said this, I do have a couple submissions (e.g., 
inter-versification mapping framework) which I have not been diligent to 
confirm and commit.  But unless this is your specific complaint, I'm not 
quite sure why the rebellious nature of your email, instead of a 
friendly conversation about how to get your developed new feature into 
the engine.  I'd be happy to work with you on anything you've developed.

Just a generic defence,


On 12/17/2012 01:13 PM, Jaak Ristioja wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Hello!
> The Mirror
> ==========
> I created a new git mirror of the SVN trunk of Sword at gitorious:
> Gitorious web page:
>    https://gitorious.org/sword-svn-mirrors/trunk
> Git URLs:
>    https://git.gitorious.org/sword-svn-mirrors/trunk.git
>    git://gitorious.org/sword-svn-mirrors/trunk.git
>    git at gitorious.org:sword-svn-mirrors/trunk.git
> Why?
> ====
> In short: there's a possibility that there might arise forks.
> The BibleTime team has long been contemplating on how to relate to
> various issues with Sword and its development, which has somewhat
> hindered the development of BibleTime, fixing or working around bugs
> dependant on Sword etc. Up to this point, we have discussed
>    1) writing an alternative backend for BibleTime to replace Sword,
>    2) writing a better wrapper around Sword which would hide its
> deficiencies,
>    3) a combination of 1) and 2) and allow BibleTime to use multiple
> backends,
>    4) forking Sword as a separate project, and
>    5) embedding a forked version of Sword SVN in the source code of
> BibleTime which would be partly kept up-to-date with the original project.
> At this moment we have not yet reached any decision whatsover, but
> these discussions have become rather frequent.
> Personally, as a developer and the current lead of the BibleTime
> project, I'm not satisfied with the code quality of Sword, and find
> lacking the documentation of Sword interfaces and file formats. In
> addition, as an outsider I have long found it difficult to do anything
> about it, partly because of the centralized version control system
> used by Sword (SVN), and partly because the lack of explicit
> guidelines for new developers (how do I start, get my proposed fixes
> and changes applied etc).
> I just wanted to clarify what has been under discussion @ BibleTime
> during the previous years and what we feel we're experiencing towards
> using Sword. I'm not offering any silver bullets, except that for one
> thing I urge the Sword project to release a new version of Sword soon.
> However, personally, I'd place my bets on recruiting new developers
> for the Sword library (and git).
> Blessings (and please don't ban me :),
> Jaak Ristioja
> The BibleTime team
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