[sword-devel] Sword support of indents and line breaks

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Fri Apr 12 06:58:16 MST 2013

On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 6:57 AM, John Austin <gpl.programs.info at gmail.com>wrote:

> You didn't address my main point: Content providers should be given a way
> to have final control over how their formatted texts appear, and one which
> is simple and reliable. I'll comment below, but a Bible translation is not
> a web-page or an app which might need a new look someday, or a new skin.
> CSS and content abstraction etc. are great ideas, but they should not be
> artificially forced onto Bible publishers. Yes, they should be offered, and
> even encouraged- fine. But publishers should be able to say: "This is
> exactly how I want the formatting, everywhere, any time. Period." I don't
> understand why this expectation is so abhorrent. Offering a handful of
> content abstractions and extensions, all of whose definitions are arguable
> (see below) and likely in flux, is neither simple, nor satisfying to
> content providers who desire control over the presentation of their texts.

You'll find that many people in this list are strongly opposed to giving
content providers any sort of presentational control over their text. This
is unfortunate, but it is the direction Sword is lead in.

If you really want to have presentational control over your text, you can
always encode into ThML. This gives you most of the full range of HTML tags
and allows you to place CSS into a 'style' attribute on elements inherited
from HTML. This style will work great in any Sword applications that use
HTML rendering (Xiphos, BibleTime, BPBible, PocketSword, etc). It will be
stripped and ignored on those few applications which leverage Sword and are
not doing so with HTML-enabled display widgets (The SWORD Project for
Windows, diatheke, etc). I have used this to fine effect to prepare
documents with styles vastly different from what Sword condones.

Getting ThML shoe-horned into a Bible or Commentary module requires you to
use the imp format and place ThML fragments into them. So you can do
something like

$$$Genesis 1:1
<span style="font-variant: small-caps">In</span> the beginning <span
style="font-weight: bold; font-variant: small-caps">God</span> created the
heavens and the earth.
$$$Genesis 1:2
And the earth was formless and void

It's obviously not recommended, but it's the only viable workaround I've
encountered to circumvent the proscription against module creators being
allowed to style their modules.

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