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

Matěj Cepl mcepl at redhat.com
Fri Apr 12 13:35:21 MST 2013

On 12/04/13 13:57, John Austin 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.

If they want to do so, they should use different format than OSIS or any
other honest XML format (yes, maybe that document could be generated
from the OSIS one, but the formatting shouldn't be encoded in OSIS every).

> But often content providers do rightly desire their texts to appear
> with formatting similar to their printed texts, since this is
> exactly what the translators deemed easiest to read and understand.

Yes, then they should use software which is adequate to their goals. But
this has absolutely nothing with the way how the document should be
recorded in the OSIS.

I am sorry, if I am too harsh, but it seems that the SWORD project is
already slipping on this dangerous slippery path towards making its
products useless for its intended purpose (long time record of the
Biblical texts for any possible purpose), so I want to make this point
very very clear.

Really, please, educate yourself and google for "xml separation of
content and presentation".

The main point is that any illusion that you know how the document
should be rendered is just that, an illusion. You said "printed text",
but how do you know that the Bible text will be printed at all?

How should I know when running the document through speech generator how 
should I present in voice an element <milestone type="x-p-indent" />? 
Does the indentation matters or not? Perhaps I can ignore it, but maybe 
you wanted to mark something really important by it, which I shouldn't 
ignore. How should I know?

How do you know how the text will be presented in twenty years ... will 
it be possible/desirable to indent text on whatever-will-come-after-iPad?

Perhaps you wanted to say that this is a start of the chapter, or that
you are recording dialog and you want to mark different partners in
dialog by indentation, or perhaps something else. Then please do record
that (<p class="dialog-reply"> or <p class="first-in-chapter">), but
never ever include the presentation oriented codes into the text.

If we want to have OSIS documents be relevant for long time, and not
one-time-use throwaway ones (for which there are other formats ... MS
Word, Adobe PageMaker, PDF, etc.) then IMNSHO we should be absolutely
vigilant against any proposals like this.



http://www.ceplovi.cz/matej/, Jabber: mcepl at ceplovi.cz
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