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

John Austin gpl.programs.info at gmail.com
Fri Apr 12 18:54:06 MST 2013

On 04/13/2013 02:35 AM, Matěj Cepl wrote:
> 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".

This is a very important point in this discussion, and it seems to be 
the real sticking point. So please consider thinking about this again, 
because this is truly the reality: The line indents in IBT's texts were 
carefully added, one by one, by the translators themselves. They were 
never automatically generated. They are not there for style or 
presentation. They are actually a very real part of the CONTENT of the 
translation itself, purposefully placed, just like the spaces between 
words- to aid comprehension and readability. Please fulfill your stated 
purpose by providing IBT and other publishers a way to encode all their 
real content. This simply means putting these indents in the OSIS file 
as a milestone of type indent, and then always rendering an indent as an 

Please consider the hand placed indents of a translation as the content 
which they really are. Because they are as much so as the spaces between 
words, or any other translator dictated element of a text.

I'm not asking you to begin treading a slippery slope of encoding 
presentation into content. I am simply asking you to recognize these 
intends for the actual content which they are.

> 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?

It says right on the tag: "indent". So anyone at anytime, who knows some 
English, will know exactly what to do with this tag in any situation. It 
is ideal really. Please note that this would NOT be the case if IBT is 
required to encode these all as <p>...</p>.

If IBT is required to encode those hand placed indents as paragraphs, 
then this important aspect of these translations could be LOST forever 
in the future. Because at that time it may become unclear what a <p> 
really meant in this particular situation. They will wonder why the 
encoder had not simply put a milestone indent there if that's what they 
had intended.

Please let reason rule here.

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