Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

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Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
Some time ago David pointed out the SIL Pathway project, which is a
plugin for the Paratext. Paratext is a popular scripture translation
editor which is available from the United Bible Societes
(http://paratext.ubs-translations.org/) and is popularly used within
Wycliffe Bible Translators. Paratext, from what I understand, natively
operates in USFM for saving and editing files. Pathway is an FOSS
plugin (http://code.google.com/p/pathway/) that SIL has developed for
use with Paratext and FieldWorks which will facilitate digital
publishing of works out of Paratext and into various media. It is
mainly developed to help streamline the process of export and
encourage the translators to consider things like copyright, licensing
and DRM. It supports export at present to GoBible, PDF, E-Book (epub),
Logos and Open Document Text (OpenOffice/LibreOffice). For the GoBible
export, Pathway will actually create the entire .jar file ready for
directly loading onto a cell phone.

David had expressed surprise at why there was not method to export to
a SWORD module but there was a method for GoBible export.  I was down
at the Wycliffe/SIL center in Dallas yesterday for the finale of their
biennial Bible Translation conference. While there I had a chance to
sit in on a talk being given about the uses of Pathway, its purposes
and its aid to the WBT community. Afterwards I got to speak with Greg
Trihus, who is the lead of that project about the absence of SWORD
export.  His comments were quite illuminating.

The real thrust of the Pathway project is getting the scriptures into
an electronic form that is useful for distribution on mobile devices
or for print.  As such they support GoBible for low-end machines,
E-Book and Logos for smart phones, ODT for to-print media and PDF to
cover all of the above.  Several people in the discussion asked about
getting the scriptures into a form where they could directly enter a
scripture reference rather than having to scroll through an ebook or
PDF on a smartphone (the Logos option supports that, but involves
several more steps for the content author who needs to pass the file
through the hands of several people at SIL and then on to Logos so the
work can be hosted in the official Logos content system). Greg told me
that he had considered the Android mobile options - since many of the
target people with smart phones would be Android users - but when he
had tested AndBible it had been woefully slow and had even crashed
when opening longer passages like Psalms 119. Therefore he had avoided
putting his own human resources onto developing a SWORD format
exporter and was not advertising that through the Pathway project. He
did leave me with a few action points which he would love to see:

1) Since Pathway is open source, he would welcome anyone from our
community who wanted to develop a Paratext/Fieldworks -> SWORD
converter. The export is done through an XHTML/CSS pathway, and they
are supporting any form of output, not just scriptures. This would
include commentaries, dictionaries and general papers/books. Pathway
is written in C#, so if there are any C# developers around looking for
something to do, this would be a highly desired project which wouldn't
be another "Just write a front-end in my language because I want to"
contribution to both world-wide scripture distribution and CrossWire.

2) Improve the quality of AndBible (JSword based?) and/or Bishop
(Troy's proof-of-concept frontend based on the SWORD library with Java
bindings). There is a round-about way that SIL can publish these
scriptures to the YouVersion application framework, but YouVersion
does not incorporate any linkages with Dictionaries. Greg expressed a
strong desire to see SWORD formats supported due to our ability to
closely integrate a text with a lexicon/dictionary - a sister text
which almost all WBT translation projects will develop in parallel
with their scripture translation. Those of us over in the BibleTime
world are also hoping to eventually support mobile versions of
BibleTime, but the time frame for those is definitely long term since
it would involve a major refactoring effort on BT to separate the
backend code from the GUI portions before any work could begin on a
mobile UI based on Qt.

3) Help with the C# bindings for SWORD. I know some people have talked
about them in the past, but I don't know what state they might be in.
Since Pathway is written in C#, it would be a great help to anyone
writing a SWORD export path if they could access the engine bindings
directly through C# rather than having to dump to a file and somehow
invoke a copy of the utilities.  The people who are interested in
using Pathway are incredibly illiterate when it comes to technology -
most of them weren't even able to identify the differences between a
smart phone and a "feature phone". So any export would need to write
out an entire module, ready to be uploaded directly to a hosting
location (or possibly a single ZIP archive which could be emailed to a
technical member of SIL by the translator for hosting). Our SWIG
bindings are OK and already in use for Python and Perl, and SWIG
supports C#, so hopefully getting them working would not be a huge
burden for someone. As the current pumpkin holder for SWIG I am
willing to work with anyone who wants to tackle adding C# to the set.
I don't work in C# at all, so I can't touch that myself.

Greg's final comment was along the lines of, "There is desire and need
for SWORD support in Pathway, but no one is asking for it because they
don't realize they need and desire it." That sentiment is in line with
the (extensive) questions I heard after the presentation. I have
passed on to him information about PocketSword, because they do also
want to support the iOS platform and he was not aware of PocketSword's
presence there. I would encourage anyone with fingers in these areas
or a desire to help on any of these action points to take them up
(including putting them on a list of available projects on the wiki,
David, if there is such a page?). SIL did not overlook us because they
don't want to support us or because they are unaware of us - there
were just some technical challenges.

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Matthew Talbert
> 3) Help with the C# bindings for SWORD. I know some people have talked
> about them in the past, but I don't know what state they might be in.
> Since Pathway is written in C#, it would be a great help to anyone
> writing a SWORD export path if they could access the engine bindings
> directly through C# rather than having to dump to a file and somehow
> invoke a copy of the utilities.  The people who are interested in
> using Pathway are incredibly illiterate when it comes to technology -
> most of them weren't even able to identify the differences between a
> smart phone and a "feature phone". So any export would need to write
> out an entire module, ready to be uploaded directly to a hosting
> location (or possibly a single ZIP archive which could be emailed to a
> technical member of SIL by the translator for hosting). Our SWIG
> bindings are OK and already in use for Python and Perl, and SWIG
> supports C#, so hopefully getting them working would not be a huge
> burden for someone. As the current pumpkin holder for SWIG I am
> willing to work with anyone who wants to tackle adding C# to the set.
> I don't work in C# at all, so I can't touch that myself.

SWIG and C# are not fun....Python is the most well-supported language,
there are quite a few things used in SWORD that are not currently
supported with SWIG and C# (multimaps, for example). The other option
is to write a wrapper in managed C++, which I think would probably be
better (though I know little about it myself). Work has already been
done on that, though not by the most popular person around.... After
looking, it looks like very little has actually been done, but still
it's a proof of concept:
http://bibleworkplace.sourceforge.net/sword2netdoc/sword2net_8cpp_source.html

Matthew

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:48 PM, Matthew Talbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> 3) Help with the C# bindings for SWORD. I know some people have talked
>> about them in the past, but I don't know what state they might be in.
>> Since Pathway is written in C#, it would be a great help to anyone
>> writing a SWORD export path if they could access the engine bindings
>> directly through C# rather than having to dump to a file and somehow
>> invoke a copy of the utilities.  The people who are interested in
>> using Pathway are incredibly illiterate when it comes to technology -
>> most of them weren't even able to identify the differences between a
>> smart phone and a "feature phone". So any export would need to write
>> out an entire module, ready to be uploaded directly to a hosting
>> location (or possibly a single ZIP archive which could be emailed to a
>> technical member of SIL by the translator for hosting). Our SWIG
>> bindings are OK and already in use for Python and Perl, and SWIG
>> supports C#, so hopefully getting them working would not be a huge
>> burden for someone. As the current pumpkin holder for SWIG I am
>> willing to work with anyone who wants to tackle adding C# to the set.
>> I don't work in C# at all, so I can't touch that myself.
>
> SWIG and C# are not fun....Python is the most well-supported language,
> there are quite a few things used in SWORD that are not currently
> supported with SWIG and C# (multimaps, for example). The other option
> is to write a wrapper in managed C++, which I think would probably be
> better (though I know little about it myself). Work has already been
> done on that, though not by the most popular person around.... After
> looking, it looks like very little has actually been done, but still
> it's a proof of concept:
> http://bibleworkplace.sourceforge.net/sword2netdoc/sword2net_8cpp_source.html

I believe Python is the only language that has a SWIG implementation
of std_multimap. In order to get the Perl bindings up and running
again I had to find a std_multimap.i file which is included in the
source of SWORD now.  Getting C# working would probably require a
similar feat along with writing up any build/install scripts to
actually create a DLL (or whatever the library style required for .NET
is).

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

mjdenham
In reply to this post by Greg Hellings
Hi Greg,

AndBible has always been able to display Psalm 119, even on low powered devices, and many people say that, far from being slow, it is very responsive.  I can only think that Greg was getting confused with some other bible software.

Martin

On 19 October 2011 19:29, Greg Hellings <[hidden email]> wrote:
Some time ago David pointed out the SIL Pathway project, which is a
plugin for the Paratext. Paratext is a popular scripture translation
editor which is available from the United Bible Societes
(http://paratext.ubs-translations.org/) and is popularly used within
Wycliffe Bible Translators. Paratext, from what I understand, natively
operates in USFM for saving and editing files. Pathway is an FOSS
plugin (http://code.google.com/p/pathway/) that SIL has developed for
use with Paratext and FieldWorks which will facilitate digital
publishing of works out of Paratext and into various media. It is
mainly developed to help streamline the process of export and
encourage the translators to consider things like copyright, licensing
and DRM. It supports export at present to GoBible, PDF, E-Book (epub),
Logos and Open Document Text (OpenOffice/LibreOffice). For the GoBible
export, Pathway will actually create the entire .jar file ready for
directly loading onto a cell phone.

David had expressed surprise at why there was not method to export to
a SWORD module but there was a method for GoBible export.  I was down
at the Wycliffe/SIL center in Dallas yesterday for the finale of their
biennial Bible Translation conference. While there I had a chance to
sit in on a talk being given about the uses of Pathway, its purposes
and its aid to the WBT community. Afterwards I got to speak with Greg
Trihus, who is the lead of that project about the absence of SWORD
export.  His comments were quite illuminating.

The real thrust of the Pathway project is getting the scriptures into
an electronic form that is useful for distribution on mobile devices
or for print.  As such they support GoBible for low-end machines,
E-Book and Logos for smart phones, ODT for to-print media and PDF to
cover all of the above.  Several people in the discussion asked about
getting the scriptures into a form where they could directly enter a
scripture reference rather than having to scroll through an ebook or
PDF on a smartphone (the Logos option supports that, but involves
several more steps for the content author who needs to pass the file
through the hands of several people at SIL and then on to Logos so the
work can be hosted in the official Logos content system). Greg told me
that he had considered the Android mobile options - since many of the
target people with smart phones would be Android users - but when he
had tested AndBible it had been woefully slow and had even crashed
when opening longer passages like Psalms 119. Therefore he had avoided
putting his own human resources onto developing a SWORD format
exporter and was not advertising that through the Pathway project. He
did leave me with a few action points which he would love to see:

1) Since Pathway is open source, he would welcome anyone from our
community who wanted to develop a Paratext/Fieldworks -> SWORD
converter. The export is done through an XHTML/CSS pathway, and they
are supporting any form of output, not just scriptures. This would
include commentaries, dictionaries and general papers/books. Pathway
is written in C#, so if there are any C# developers around looking for
something to do, this would be a highly desired project which wouldn't
be another "Just write a front-end in my language because I want to"
contribution to both world-wide scripture distribution and CrossWire.

2) Improve the quality of AndBible (JSword based?) and/or Bishop
(Troy's proof-of-concept frontend based on the SWORD library with Java
bindings). There is a round-about way that SIL can publish these
scriptures to the YouVersion application framework, but YouVersion
does not incorporate any linkages with Dictionaries. Greg expressed a
strong desire to see SWORD formats supported due to our ability to
closely integrate a text with a lexicon/dictionary - a sister text
which almost all WBT translation projects will develop in parallel
with their scripture translation. Those of us over in the BibleTime
world are also hoping to eventually support mobile versions of
BibleTime, but the time frame for those is definitely long term since
it would involve a major refactoring effort on BT to separate the
backend code from the GUI portions before any work could begin on a
mobile UI based on Qt.

3) Help with the C# bindings for SWORD. I know some people have talked
about them in the past, but I don't know what state they might be in.
Since Pathway is written in C#, it would be a great help to anyone
writing a SWORD export path if they could access the engine bindings
directly through C# rather than having to dump to a file and somehow
invoke a copy of the utilities.  The people who are interested in
using Pathway are incredibly illiterate when it comes to technology -
most of them weren't even able to identify the differences between a
smart phone and a "feature phone". So any export would need to write
out an entire module, ready to be uploaded directly to a hosting
location (or possibly a single ZIP archive which could be emailed to a
technical member of SIL by the translator for hosting). Our SWIG
bindings are OK and already in use for Python and Perl, and SWIG
supports C#, so hopefully getting them working would not be a huge
burden for someone. As the current pumpkin holder for SWIG I am
willing to work with anyone who wants to tackle adding C# to the set.
I don't work in C# at all, so I can't touch that myself.

Greg's final comment was along the lines of, "There is desire and need
for SWORD support in Pathway, but no one is asking for it because they
don't realize they need and desire it." That sentiment is in line with
the (extensive) questions I heard after the presentation. I have
passed on to him information about PocketSword, because they do also
want to support the iOS platform and he was not aware of PocketSword's
presence there. I would encourage anyone with fingers in these areas
or a desire to help on any of these action points to take them up
(including putting them on a list of available projects on the wiki,
David, if there is such a page?). SIL did not overlook us because they
don't want to support us or because they are unaware of us - there
were just some technical challenges.

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

David Haslam
In reply to this post by Greg Hellings
Did Greg Trihus or anyone else at the Dallas conference happen to mention the USFMtag extension to Wikimedia servers?

This is being developed by a programmer in Indonesia connected with Distant Shores Media and the Door43 portal.

It would seem to me that there could be a useful synergy between USFMtag and the Pathway project.

And once it matures, might it be worthwhile to install this extension in the server for our Developer's Wiki?

David

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
In reply to this post by mjdenham
Martin,

My initial thought was Greg may have been using an early test version
or a module which had some problems. A further problem that And Bible
suffers from (YouVersion hits the same problem) is lack of fonts on
Android systems. GoBible overcomes this by using Graphite somehow. For
instance I'm looking at the Burmese Bible in AndBible right now and it
displays a beautiful set of blank "missing glyph" boxes interrupted by
occasional Arabic numerals for verse numbers.

I will encourage him to re-look at the crash issue. Any ideas on the
possibilities of including fonts with an application?

--Greg

On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 3:08 AM, Martin Denham <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Greg,
> AndBible has always been able to display Psalm 119, even on low powered
> devices, and many people say that, far from being slow, it is very
> responsive.  I can only think that Greg was getting confused with some other
> bible software.
> Martin
> On 19 October 2011 19:29, Greg Hellings <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Some time ago David pointed out the SIL Pathway project, which is a
>> plugin for the Paratext. Paratext is a popular scripture translation
>> editor which is available from the United Bible Societes
>> (http://paratext.ubs-translations.org/) and is popularly used within
>> Wycliffe Bible Translators. Paratext, from what I understand, natively
>> operates in USFM for saving and editing files. Pathway is an FOSS
>> plugin (http://code.google.com/p/pathway/) that SIL has developed for
>> use with Paratext and FieldWorks which will facilitate digital
>> publishing of works out of Paratext and into various media. It is
>> mainly developed to help streamline the process of export and
>> encourage the translators to consider things like copyright, licensing
>> and DRM. It supports export at present to GoBible, PDF, E-Book (epub),
>> Logos and Open Document Text (OpenOffice/LibreOffice). For the GoBible
>> export, Pathway will actually create the entire .jar file ready for
>> directly loading onto a cell phone.
>>
>> David had expressed surprise at why there was not method to export to
>> a SWORD module but there was a method for GoBible export.  I was down
>> at the Wycliffe/SIL center in Dallas yesterday for the finale of their
>> biennial Bible Translation conference. While there I had a chance to
>> sit in on a talk being given about the uses of Pathway, its purposes
>> and its aid to the WBT community. Afterwards I got to speak with Greg
>> Trihus, who is the lead of that project about the absence of SWORD
>> export.  His comments were quite illuminating.
>>
>> The real thrust of the Pathway project is getting the scriptures into
>> an electronic form that is useful for distribution on mobile devices
>> or for print.  As such they support GoBible for low-end machines,
>> E-Book and Logos for smart phones, ODT for to-print media and PDF to
>> cover all of the above.  Several people in the discussion asked about
>> getting the scriptures into a form where they could directly enter a
>> scripture reference rather than having to scroll through an ebook or
>> PDF on a smartphone (the Logos option supports that, but involves
>> several more steps for the content author who needs to pass the file
>> through the hands of several people at SIL and then on to Logos so the
>> work can be hosted in the official Logos content system). Greg told me
>> that he had considered the Android mobile options - since many of the
>> target people with smart phones would be Android users - but when he
>> had tested AndBible it had been woefully slow and had even crashed
>> when opening longer passages like Psalms 119. Therefore he had avoided
>> putting his own human resources onto developing a SWORD format
>> exporter and was not advertising that through the Pathway project. He
>> did leave me with a few action points which he would love to see:
>>
>> 1) Since Pathway is open source, he would welcome anyone from our
>> community who wanted to develop a Paratext/Fieldworks -> SWORD
>> converter. The export is done through an XHTML/CSS pathway, and they
>> are supporting any form of output, not just scriptures. This would
>> include commentaries, dictionaries and general papers/books. Pathway
>> is written in C#, so if there are any C# developers around looking for
>> something to do, this would be a highly desired project which wouldn't
>> be another "Just write a front-end in my language because I want to"
>> contribution to both world-wide scripture distribution and CrossWire.
>>
>> 2) Improve the quality of AndBible (JSword based?) and/or Bishop
>> (Troy's proof-of-concept frontend based on the SWORD library with Java
>> bindings). There is a round-about way that SIL can publish these
>> scriptures to the YouVersion application framework, but YouVersion
>> does not incorporate any linkages with Dictionaries. Greg expressed a
>> strong desire to see SWORD formats supported due to our ability to
>> closely integrate a text with a lexicon/dictionary - a sister text
>> which almost all WBT translation projects will develop in parallel
>> with their scripture translation. Those of us over in the BibleTime
>> world are also hoping to eventually support mobile versions of
>> BibleTime, but the time frame for those is definitely long term since
>> it would involve a major refactoring effort on BT to separate the
>> backend code from the GUI portions before any work could begin on a
>> mobile UI based on Qt.
>>
>> 3) Help with the C# bindings for SWORD. I know some people have talked
>> about them in the past, but I don't know what state they might be in.
>> Since Pathway is written in C#, it would be a great help to anyone
>> writing a SWORD export path if they could access the engine bindings
>> directly through C# rather than having to dump to a file and somehow
>> invoke a copy of the utilities.  The people who are interested in
>> using Pathway are incredibly illiterate when it comes to technology -
>> most of them weren't even able to identify the differences between a
>> smart phone and a "feature phone". So any export would need to write
>> out an entire module, ready to be uploaded directly to a hosting
>> location (or possibly a single ZIP archive which could be emailed to a
>> technical member of SIL by the translator for hosting). Our SWIG
>> bindings are OK and already in use for Python and Perl, and SWIG
>> supports C#, so hopefully getting them working would not be a huge
>> burden for someone. As the current pumpkin holder for SWIG I am
>> willing to work with anyone who wants to tackle adding C# to the set.
>> I don't work in C# at all, so I can't touch that myself.
>>
>> Greg's final comment was along the lines of, "There is desire and need
>> for SWORD support in Pathway, but no one is asking for it because they
>> don't realize they need and desire it." That sentiment is in line with
>> the (extensive) questions I heard after the presentation. I have
>> passed on to him information about PocketSword, because they do also
>> want to support the iOS platform and he was not aware of PocketSword's
>> presence there. I would encourage anyone with fingers in these areas
>> or a desire to help on any of these action points to take them up
>> (including putting them on a list of available projects on the wiki,
>> David, if there is such a page?). SIL did not overlook us because they
>> don't want to support us or because they are unaware of us - there
>> were just some technical challenges.
>>
>> --Greg
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> sword-devel mailing list: [hidden email]
>> http://www.crosswire.org/mailman/listinfo/sword-devel
>> Instructions to unsubscribe/change your settings at above page
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> sword-devel mailing list: [hidden email]
> http://www.crosswire.org/mailman/listinfo/sword-devel
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>

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
In reply to this post by David Haslam
David,

On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 7:46 AM, David Haslam <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Did Greg Trihus or anyone else at the Dallas conference happen to mention the
> http://www.dsmedia.org/blog/publishing-usfm-encoded-bible-translations-mobile-phones-instantly
> USFMtag extension  to Wikimedia servers?

During Greg's talk there was no mention of wiki pages. Then again,
there is no interest in allowing wiki-style editing for a scripture
work, so it's not really relevant to the people Pathway is trying to
address. Paratext already includes very powerful features to allow
group collaboration of scripture editing by leveraging the Mercurial
library for file diffing, branching and merging back to the master
copy on the translator's lead. Wikis are not very interesting for the
work Wycliffe is doing in this area.

Additionally I was only there on Tuesday. The conference extended from
Friday through Tuesday, so it's possible someone else discussed wikis
in a different discussion topic.

>
> This is being developed by a programmer in Indonesia connected with
> http://www.dsmedia.org/ Distant Shores Media  and the
> http://www.dsmedia.org/blog/introducing-door43-mobile-portal Door43 portal .
>
> It would seem to me that there could be a useful synergy between USFMtag and
> the Pathway project.

I'm not sure what useful synergy there would be. Paratext and Pathway
do not support anything remotely like the wiki-style of interactions,
and neither does Paratext use MediaWiki syntax.

>
> And once it matures, might it be worthwhile to install this extension in the
> server for our Developer's Wiki?

I doubt it. Perhaps if we setup a second wiki for people who want to
produce or create wiki-based Bibles, then it might be useful, but I
doubt it would ever be useful on the Developer's Wiki.

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

David Haslam
Maybe you didn't delve deep enough into the detail of the Distant Shores Media blog post?

The USFMtag extension to Wikimedia server is not to facilitate further editing.

It's to allow USFM content to be pasted "as is" into a wiki page.
Once saved, the server extension will display the content as properly formated Scripture content.

This provides a rapid way to "publish" a USFM Bible (or Bible portion) such that even a mobile user (without edit privileges) can view the wiki page for that passage with the minimum of preprocessing having been required by the translation team.

Once you grasp the concept, it makes a lot of sense.  In fact, it's a brilliant concept.

Hat's off to Tim Jore and his colleagues for the lateral thinking that led to this breakthrough.

David

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

David Haslam
In reply to this post by Greg Hellings
Greg wrote, "GoBible overcomes this by using Graphite somehow."

Well, I suppose some phone manufacturers may have designed in Graphite into their firmware, but the fact of the matter is that Go Bible relies entirely upon what Unicode font coverage has been provided by the mobile phone manufacturer. It's pretty rare for any phone to have font coverage for the whole of the Basic Multilingual Plane. Manufacturers tend to have firmware variants for different marketing regions, to keep their stock levels manageable.

For some phone models, one might be able to rebrand the firmware so as to convert it for use in a different region, but in most cases, this would invalidate the warranty, and would always be at the user's own risk. Such services are also not free.

Plus it's not just a text display issue. There is also the requirement to be able to write in any given language, in order to use the Go Bible search feature. Even if a particular [Nokia] phone can display [say] Amharic, that doesn't mean you can edit SMS messages in this language. Search item editing uses the same JSR as for SMS.

As for fonts in Android devices, Martin Denham will know more about this, but from my own personal contact with the IT support guy for the Pashto Zeray translation, I have seen that it's feasible to customize Android font coverage to deal with the extended characters and their presentation forms required for Pashto, which are beyond those in either Arabic or Farsi.

That being the case, even for scripts (such as for Myanmar and other languages) not yet supported by Google, there must be potential solutions, albeit requiring a lot of detailed knowledge as well as involving a lot of hard work.

In one sense, Android (being open) is more amenable to such inventiveness than iOS. You can only display Bibles in PocketSword for those languages and scripts that have been built in or approved by Apple. You can ask Nic Carter for further details.

David
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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
In reply to this post by David Haslam
On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 10:46 AM, David Haslam <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Maybe you didn't delve deep enough into the detail of the Distant Shores
> Media blog post?

You've caught me red handed! I simply read the title you assigned it
and assumed I understood what it was talking about. That might prove
slightly more interesting, but it's tough to say for sure. It would
still be limited in the same way epub, PDF and Libre/OpenOffice export
would be (not understanding scripture references natively). I'm not
sure how much it would gain their objectives.

>
> The *USFMtag* extension to Wikimedia server is /not/ to facilitate further
> editing.
>
> It's to allow USFM content to be pasted "as is" into a wiki page.
> Once saved, the server extension will display the content as /properly
> formated/ Scripture content.
>
> This provides a rapid way to "publish" a USFM Bible (or Bible portion) such
> that even a mobile user (without edit privileges) can view the wiki page for
> that passage with the minimum of preprocessing having been required by the
> translation team.
>
> Once you grasp the concept, it makes a lot of sense.  In fact, it's a
> brilliant concept.

Definitely an excellent concept. I have trouble imagining how I would
use it, but I feel that way about wikis in general. :)

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Greg Hellings
In reply to this post by David Haslam
On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM, David Haslam <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Greg wrote, "GoBible overcomes this by using Graphite somehow."
>
> Well, I suppose some phone manufacturers may have designed in Graphite into
> their firmware, but the fact of the matter is that Go Bible relies entirely
> upon what Unicode font coverage has been provided by the mobile phone
> manufacturer. It's pretty rare for any phone to have font coverage for the
> whole of the Basic Multilingual Plane. Manufacturers tend to have firmware
> variants for different marketing regions, to keep their stock levels
> manageable.

It sounded, from Greg's talk, like they have modified the GoBible JAR
file to leverage their Graphite library.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite_(SIL). Somehow this allowed them
to use GoBible with minority and unsupported scripts on phones which
did not natively support the full range of Unicode coverage. The
technology and library are very powerful.  It could possibly be used
by AndBible as well, since Android has relatively poor coverage of
some Unicode ranges. I have just pulled out my phone, which is running
a custom FroYo (2.2) ROM and it displayed basic Roman script and
Arabic relatively well but fell flat on its face with extended Roman
and didn't even attempt Burmese. iOS, on the other hand, has very
excellent and extensive support for Unicode since it comes out of the
OS X tradition and its very-well regarded support of non Western
scripts.

Across all the solutions (except for PDF, which embeds its own fonts
in the file) they said they consistently found Android to be very
lacking and weak in support of non-Roman scripts but iOS to be
excellent. This fits with my experience as well.

--Greg

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

David Haslam
Greg,

That's very interesting.

Even before Go Bible was adopted by CrossWire, we knew that Jolon Faichney had toyed with the concept of better font support for phones with inadequate firmware coverage. He never made enough progress as to complete such a task, though what he did attempt is probably still there, albeit commented out of the source code.

If SIL have modified GoBibleCore to make use of Graphite, then in the spirit of open source software, we should be able to learn from them how to take advantage of this in general, not just for SIL's own use.

One of the SIL programmers is active in the Go Bible project.
Erik Brommers in Dallas has continuing responsibility to develop Go Bible Creator support for XHTML_TE.
This is already included in the source code for the SymScroll branch that Daniel has been developing.

I should therefore quiz Erik on this topic, and see if we can make some progress.

Thanks for the heads up.  Thanks too for the further gen about Android OS and iOS.

David

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Nic Carter
In reply to this post by Greg Hellings

Hi Greg,

> Greg's final comment was along the lines of, "There is desire and need
> for SWORD support in Pathway, but no one is asking for it because they
> don't realize they need and desire it." That sentiment is in line with
> the (extensive) questions I heard after the presentation. I have
> passed on to him information about PocketSword, because they do also
> want to support the iOS platform and he was not aware of PocketSword's
> presence there. I would encourage anyone with fingers in these areas
> or a desire to help on any of these action points to take them up
> (including putting them on a list of available projects on the wiki,
> David, if there is such a page?). SIL did not overlook us because they
> don't want to support us or because they are unaware of us - there
> were just some technical challenges.

Was there something that I could do to encourage things, from a PocketSword point of view?
It would be cool if we could use PS as a carrot in getting them to support the SWORD module format...  ;)


Thanks, ybic
        nic...  :)

ps:  Sorry for taking so long to reply to this thread!  I'm looking forward to cutting some code next week, as I will have more free time, although I'm wondering if I remember what Obj-C looks like!  ;)

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Re: Pathway, SIL, GoBible and CrossWire

Nic Carter
In reply to this post by David Haslam

An FYI for those who care about the current state of fonts under iOS.

Quick answer is that there are currently 58 different font families available under iOS 5.0

Long comment:

> In one sense, Android (being open) is more amenable to such inventiveness
> than iOS. You can only display Bibles in PocketSword for those languages and
> scripts that have been built in or approved by Apple. You can ask Nic Carter
> for further details.

You can look at http://iosfonts.com/ to see what fonts are currently available under iOS.  I have only allowed a subset of those to be used in PocketSword (if anyone makes a request for the MarkerFelt font to be available, I will track them down and hit them with a tomato!) and have also manually included Code2000 for use within the app for those modules that use the more "interesting" scripts...  ;)  Apple require developers to manually include and hard-code any additional fonts they wish to use, so unfortunately we can't use a system for users to manually install a font like they can manually install a SWORD module.
However, while this allows us to display the Bible text (in an HTML view, UIWebView for those familiar with them) for free in whatever font, it would require more work to use a certain font throughout the app for the UI, which I have yet to have time doing...

Hope that helps, for those who are interested?


Thanks, ybic
        nic...  :)

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