A few years back, I ran into a family friend who was all excited about a law a politician he personally knew was trying to pass. The law would require all cell phone makers to use a standardized plug so that no matter where you were, you could plug into someone else’s cable and charge your phone. I told him it was a horrible idea. He asked why. I told him that besides stifling innovation by requiring electronics to use one specific technology that would one day be obsolete, more importantly, those cables were not the same. And I went on to explain the differences (this link is an equivalent summary of what I told him).
The titles produced for Accordance are not ebooks. They’re not simple electronic versions of print books. Converting an Accordance title to Logos, BibleWorks, Wordsearch and back is not like converting a word processing document back and forth between Word, Pages, NotaBene, Mellel, etc. where the most important factor is to make certain that the same content can be viewed in any of those word processors. I would suggest that Accordance developers are more detailed-oriented than any other platform when it comes to identifying different kinds of text as well as hyperlinking to other resources. Simple comparisons with our competition speak for themselves. But this kind of detail that our developers add to a title means that it can’t simply be swapped back and forth, even if we did all agree on an interchangeable format. It’s just not going to work. And we continue to improve to our format, such as with the embedded charts in our genealogy module. Having a standard format that’s interchangeable would stifle improving upon formats that already exist. I realize that this kind of innovation is not important to everyone. Some folks just want to read the content. If that’s the case, Kindle versions, which are often cheaper, are adequate. Accordance allows you to do so much more, though.
They did in fact pass such legislation I believe in Europe. There is always an issue with vendors producing something new merely as a lock-in vs actual innovation and I suspect concerns of that type on the part of customers drove some of it. Mind standardize power plugs for electrical supply in houses are very useful, so such standards do have their applications.
Back to the etext issue, I wouldn't suggest legislation either. And its not an ebook vs non-ebook issue really - the ebook formats do this also though they are simpler and many readers support many formats because the formats are known. It's possible to design interoperability in multiple ways. What I suggested when I wrote a lengthier paper on this problem is that open formats is the best way to go - document everything. It makes it possible to write translators or drivers. While standard formats are nice, usually they get bogged down in standards committees for a while, and then come out very bloated as every contributor wants their special piece - just look at XML based standards like this. But extensible customizable base formats are possible. The extensions can be ignored in translation. So yes the translation is lossy but it's possible. But I agree tool specific metadata does mean that they cannot just be moved over. My main concern with things like this though is that when a company does fold can I keep the data ? How easy is it ? How much of the metadata can I keep and so on ? Of course secret sauce is persisted in file formats and so there is a business impact.
Another thought extending the above I have had on this is that publishers could produce a base text with a good deal of internal mark up already in place in an open format. Then layers could be laid on top using extensions and these allow vendor specific customizations to be provided on top of the base portable text. My model was of a text with more and more layers on it with metadata of varying kinds. When I think about the text of the GNT for example I think of the text - the actual Greek characters as layer 0. Then the versification is layer 1, tagging of one kind or another layer x,y,z and so on up. It can in fact be done that way too.
Ultimately this is a way bigger change that any of us are in a place to force, nor in fairness is it a thing to be forced. And as I said if it were to happen it would impact business and licensing models. But it also means that a large portion of the basic investment in a text can be preserved and ported to a new tool when needed. It also means that data sets can be shared for collaborative study and scholarly critique and cross-checking of experiments.
Anyhow, that's just how I think about it when wearing my open source developer hat.
Sola lingua bona est lingua mortua
ἡ μόνη ἀγαθὴ γλῶσσα γλῶσσα νεκρὰ ἐστιν
lišanu ēdēnitu damqitu lišanu mītu
"Du stammst vom Herrn Adam und der Herrin Eva ab", sagte Aslan. "Und das ist zugleich Ehre genug, um das Häupt des ärmsten Bettlers zu erheben, und genug, um die Schultern des größten Kaisers auf Erden zu beugen. Sei zufrieden." Aslan, Die Chroniken von Narnia, Prinz Kaspian von Narnia. CS Lewis. Übersetzt von Wolfgang Holbein und Christian Rendel.
Accordance Syntax Search For Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics : https://github.com/4...WallaceInSyntax
Accordance Crib Sheets: http://47rooks.com/l...ch-crib-sheets/
Accordance Configurations :
Mac : 2009 27" iMac
Windows : MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro laptop
Intel Core Duo Intel i7 Kabylake
Android : Samsung Note III 5.0, Samsung Tab S3 7.0 and Lenovo TAB4 8" 7.1