[sword-devel] Project “Free Scriptures” started

Stephan Kreutzer skreutzer at freiebibel.de
Sat Feb 22 13:02:40 MST 2014


I just want to announce that the project “Free Scriptures” (see 
http://www.free-scriptures.org) was started some time ago, which has the 
goal of developing freely licensed software for processing bible texts 
into various output formats. It will also serve as platform for 
“language teams” who work on the digitalization, proofreading and 
reproduction of bible texts of their native language. This way, we hope 
to establish a repository of public domain and freely licensed bible 
texts, which are carefully checked and ready for processing. At the same 
time, the language teams will be responsible for preparing and 
publishing the bible texts according to the context of their own 
language. The international “Free Scriptures” platform is intended to 
help the language-specific “branches” of the project. As we promote free 
software philosophy and practices in the field of bible software, we’re 
therefore limited to bible translations which are either in the public 
domain or which are freely licensed initially. Not only are our software 
tools freely licensed, they’re also required to be usable on freely 
licensed computer software environments. We refuse to use or integrate 
non-free, restrictive, proprietary software, because digital freedom 
matters for each and every user, especially if it comes to a highly 
important topic like the text of the bible. Please note that price isn’t 
an issue at all as we face artificial legal and technical restrictions – 
freely licensed bible software and bible texts can be used commercially 
and non-commercially at the same time.

Since the SWORD project doesn’t seem to be much concerned about digital 
freedom (no repository of OSIS sources, only unreadable SWORD modules) 
or the quality of bible texts (no checking, distribution of incorrect 
texts), I hope you at least don’t hinder our efforts, since you too can 
benefit from them. Probably you may even improve your approach to one 
which is more compatible with other free (bible) software. If you have 
some questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. We host a 
discussion board on our website, where guests have write access. At the 
moment, there are several posts present in German language, which only 
stay there for the purpose of translation.

As a first task, we’re working on a tool for converting OSIS to Haggai 
XML. In the past, we’ve specified Haggai XML as our own bible text 
encoding format, which is based on Zefania XML. Since neither Zefania 
XML nor OSIS are well-designed XML formats for bible text encoding, 
Haggai XML was intended as an improvement suggestion for Zefania XML. 
Zefania XML will now get improved to Zefania XML 2014, hopefully by 
keeping it’s basic and primitive structure, which is ideal for the 
digitalization of old, printed bible texts. If Zefania XML 2014 gets 
released, we will consider to replace Haggai XML as main input format 
for our tools by it. As for now, we automatically generate PDF, EPUB2/3 
and XHTML from Haggai XML input. In order to do the processing for the 
German “Offene Bibel” (“Open Bible” – the only freely-licensed modern 
bible translation in German language, which gets translated 
collaboratively on Wiki software, providing OSIS output), we work on a 
simple, basic conversion from OSIS to Haggai XML, so that we can use all 
of our tools we’ve developed so far. Those tools will get migrated to 
“Free Scriptures” within the next time.

Stephan Kreutzer

PS: I can’t register to your forum, the registration form gives a 404.

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