[sword-devel] USFM -> OSIS -> Sword

Jonathan Morgan jonmmorgan at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 19:53:13 MST 2012


On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM, Kahunapule Michael Johnson <
kahunapule at mpj.cx> wrote:

>  On 03/06/2012 04:12 PM, Jonathan Morgan wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 6:17 AM, Kahunapule Michael Johnson <
> kahunapule at mpj.cx> wrote:
>>  On 03/06/2012 12:47 AM, Jonathan Morgan wrote:
>>>    1. You accurately preserve all of the original text and punctuation
>>>    (including quotation punctuation) exactly as it was in the original USFM.
>>>    This involves the complete process from module creation to display in all
>>>    front ends. This is an absolute requirement with respect to the canonical
>>>    text. If this condition isn't met, then I don't have permission to convert
>>>    these Scriptures to Sword format, nor do you have such permission.
>> I'm afraid I do not understand how either you or CrossWire can ensure
>> that *all* front ends display all text correctly.  I have no idea from your
>> descriptions whether BPBible or any other frontends would meet the
>> requirements currently.  However, even if they did it is conceivable that a
>> new front end is created which does not meet the requirements.  Does this
>> mean that CrossWire immediately loses permission to distribute the text for
>> use in any of the front ends? (including all the front ends that are
>> compliant, of course).
>>  That is a very good question-- one that I really don't want to have to
>> raise with the copyright owners!
>> At a minimum, noncompliant front ends may not use the texts if they
>> cannot do so without corrupting them.
> A couple of things:
> 1. Non-compliant frontends do not use the text: users do.
> 2. Non-compliant frontends do not distribute modules: CrossWire (or some
> other organisation) does.
> Blame-shifting is not productive. Quality control at all stages in the
> complete system from Bible translator to user is productive.

I'm sorry, but I'm not blame-shifting.  I'm suggesting copyright is the
wrong tool to use to enforce such claims, since I can't see that it will
actually target the one responsible for the wrong.  I agree quality control
is a great thing to have.  I disagree that wide-ranging and not readily
enforceable copyright claims will achieve it.

>> I'm not talking about getting all of the formatting correct. I'm just
>> talking about exactly preserving all text and punctuation of the canonical
>> text. If a front end cannot do that, it should be withdrawn from public
>> distribution, as it is clearly a threat to our ability to distribute
>> Scriptures. Actually, there is a greater threat that copyrights: the fear
>> of God. I wouldn't want to be caught dead or alive corrupting the Holy
>> Bible. I would think that you wouldn't, either. It is a fearsome thing to
>> fall into the hands of God when He is angry.
> All of this assumes knowledge of errors.  Unless you manually test every
> verse of every Bible in every frontend, some could display a result
> different from what you expected.  I know that at different times I have
> seen some unusual bugs.
> A few (real world) cases:
> 1. A bug in BPBible meant that when Strong's Numbers were displayed, some
> verses in the Chinese would not display.
> 2. A bug in encoding meant opening a Bible to a particular chapter would
> raise an error message.
> 3. Incorrect font usage meant that the text displayed completely wrongly.
> When these bugs are encountered and reported, we will fix them, but I
> cannot write (consistently) bug-free code and I don't think I've ever met a
> developer who can.  Certainly a fairly high percentage of the module
> rendering errors that are reported to me in BPBible are caused by modules I
> had never used (often in languages I did not know), and where for whatever
> reason my assumptions were wrong.
> I understand the limitations of imperfect human programmers. What I expect
> is that:
>    - Each part of the whole Bible study software system from translation
>    to module creation to back end development to front end display is
>    carefully designed to correctly handle Bible texts without corruption.
>    - Reasonable care is taken by everyone involved to ensure that the
>    implementations are correct.
>    - Reasonable testing is done.
>    - High priority is given to correcting any problems that result in
>    corruption of the text.
> This is not unreasonable, is it?
No, I agree with you.  However, my objection is that that is not what a
copyright based requirement seemed to be saying.

Two other things that occurred to me:
1. If your module uses a versification other than KJV, BPBible won't
support it right now.  Other frontends may also not support it.  That will
not show all the text of the module.

2. If your module used a RtoL script, BPBible didn't support it until 0.5
late last year.  Other frontends may also not support it.  That may not
show all the text of the module accurately.

In both of these cases, I would argue that BPBible was actually behaving
reasonably in the presence of technical limitations.  While there exists a
large subset of modules which are supported and supported well by BPBible,
it is a useful presence.  The idea of stopping the text being available in
other frontends because of BPBible limitations seems very suspect to me.

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