Carl Jokl wrote:I was wondering if there was interest in providing a service portal to the LDS online scriptures as some kind of web service? This would involve accessing the online scriptures in a machine friendly manner such as in the form of XML. Along with this a form of scripture query language such that you could submit a query like Moroni 10:3 - 5 and have the portal return the content of those verses in a machine parsable format.
Carl Jokl wrote:This would be just one use of this service but I am sure a machine to machine "Scriptures as a Service" mechanism could help many projects which want to link into the scriptures but without having to store the whole scriptures themselves.
Carl Jokl wrote:Does a scripture API of any kind currently exist?
Carl Jokl wrote:I was looking at one point to try and just parse the content of the LDS Online Scriptures. If the pages conform to valid xhtml then an XML parser could pull content out of them. This is however not the prefered way of doing things as it would be much preferred if the scriptures could be accessed directly from LDS.org. I don't know whether this would infringe on copywright as in essence the reason for trying to get the content from lds.org in the first place is that then we are only relaying already openly accesible content from the internet. I think a parser for the original pages would work but could break if the Church made any fundamental changes to the page structure. It is also possible to create some kind of mapping of the URL locations within LDS.org online scriptures so that a Scripture Query Language knows where to look to find the content.
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Carl Jokl wrote:You mention "More than just the text"
Does a scripture API of any kind currently exist?
jbh001 wrote:I've noticed that the site scriptures.lds.org, plays nicely with the iPhone (so far). It would be nice to have it be a bit more user-friendly for mobile devices, but I don't have any suggestions at the moment.
Carl Jokl wrote:In terms of the scriptures as an API I suppose if a level of abstraction were introduced in a system which has to retrieve the scriptures from lds.org whereby it could parse the existing xhtml content as it currently stands but the details of how the parsing is being done being encapsulated from the rest of the application. This would allow for a parsing solution in the interim. When a machine parsable portal is available it would be a matter of swapping out the parser with a different parser but as far as the rest of the application the encapsulation would insulate the rest of the application from the change. As long as both parsers expose the same interface to the rest of the application and behave in the same way when using them it would just be "old parser drops out and new parser drops in".
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