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

Kahunapule Michael Johnson kahunapule at mpj.cx
Thu Mar 8 01:13:15 MST 2012

On 03/07/2012 09:04 PM, Matěj Cepl wrote:
> On 8.3.2012 07:14, Kahunapule Michael Johnson wrote:
>> The #1 reason they give me for copyrighting Bibles is that they want
>> some way to protect the text from corruption. Arguments to the
>> contrary are futile.
> Can I ask for clarification here? Is the problem existence of bugs in software or willful changes in their text (because the text is available in open)? If they haven't got over the existence of the software bugs, then I am sorry. They were misinformed.

Both are problems. They vary in their severity and consequences.

The existence of software bugs that are fixed within a reasonable amount of time after their discovery is very minor. I doubt that would trigger much of a response, let alone a severe response, from copyright owners.

Chronic or excessive bugs, or bugs that are serious but don't get fixed are a major problem.

Designed-in bugs that don't get fixed are show-stopper problems.

Bible translation copyright owners, in general, are not stupid or misinformed about the realities of software development. They also have valid concerns with respect to protecting the integrity of God's Word. They usually aren't as trigger happy as the RIAA or MPAA, but we really don't want to be giving them reasons to not grant permission to distribute God's Word in such a way as to maximize ministry impact.

Personally, I don't see how copyright restrictions could ever be significantly more compelling than Rev. 22:18-19 with respect to protecting the integrity of God's Word.

I'm on the verge of trying to create hundreds of Sword modules. Alternatively, if it seems that we can't provide a reasonable level of assurance of corruption-free text display in the Sword project, my time might be better spent targeting different Bible study software. Are the standards of quality of the Sword Project and associated front ends high enough to keep God happy? Are they high enough to keep Bible translation copyright owners happy? If not, what needs to be done to make it so? Are there people
willing to do that?

I'm not really asking if The Sword Project is 100% bug free, but I'm testing the waters to see if there is really an awareness here of the seriousness of the importance of preserving all of the jots and tittles of Bible texts throughout the project, including in module creation, file and interchange formats, APIs, and front ends. Just how serious is it if the versification isn't KJV-only? Will 3 John 1:15 or Romans 14:24-26 be discarded or fail to display?

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