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

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Fri Apr 12 18:34:44 MST 2013

On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM, Matěj Cepl <mcepl at redhat.com> wrote:

> My point was that documents are more valuable and more difficult to change
> than programs. So we should orient on perfecting documents and change
> programs if necessary. And yes, possibility of using stylesheets would be
> awesome, but that isn't necessarily the point.

The point is
1) His publishers want to control indents
2) Sword doesn't want to give this control through XML
3) Sword does not support stylesheet mechanisms for giving module creators
this control.

Presently, there are some half-way workarounds that are only effective in
some places.

1) Not use OSIS XML but instead use ThML. But this only functions in
HTML-based applications
2) Use the forms of OSIS XML that are mentioned earlier, which are
non-ideal. But this only works in xulsword
3) Change the applications, which is an unfeasible level of effort, as the
number of applications could increase without bound.

This problem has been hashed out many times. There seems to be no
satisfactory method to give publishers the type of control they want. We
can't specify CSS styles, since only some of our applications can parse and
utilize CSS. We can't specify RTF for the same reason. We can't allow XSL
because only JSword uses XSLT on the OSIS whereas Sword uses a stream text
processor that roughly resembles SAX which allows it to work marvelously on
low-memory devices with great success.

In theory the ideal way for us to handle XML sources would be to allow each
application or device to specify an XSLT which is combined with one from
the module to prevent certain output that the target device cannot handle.
But, in practice, this doesn't work very well as not every programming
environment has access to XSLT libraries and some devices can't handle the
large memory overhead needed to load in an XML file that is several MB
(like the one for the KJV), transform it, and write it back out in an
efficient manner.

So we're stuck in an unenviable position of being forced to either suggest
a user select one of these partial hacks or tell people that we can't honor
their request for control over the formatting.


> Blessings,
> Matěj
> --
> http://www.ceplovi.cz/matej/, Jabber: mcepl at ceplovi.cz
> GPG Finger: 89EF 4BC6 288A BF43 1BAB  25C3 E09F EF25 D964 84AC
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