[sword-devel] Bible Software Review

Ben Morgan benpmorgan at gmail.com
Wed Apr 30 23:51:26 MST 2008


In BPBible, regular expressions in the search are more provided for advanced
users. A regular expression builder would, I think, be very complicated.
BPBible allows wildcards, which are much simpler to use. A more detailed
description of how to search is at:
This should probably be integrated into BPBible so that users can easily get
at it

I could relatively easily add the font changing options. However, at the
moment BPBible supports English Bibles only. I need to have a look at
unicode support sometime soon (after InstallMgr, probably)

Parallel display is also something that could be done relatively easily. I
would probably integrate this into the verse compare pane, rather than into
the main pane.
(Doing items in parallel will presumably lead to a verse per line style,
unless something clever is done)

I appreciate the Linux installation can be a bit more difficult. I think
this is more a lack of documentation, than anything else. It should boil
down to approximately the following:

Download BPBible and SWIG bindings
Extract SWIG bindings and bpbible
Go to package directory in the SWIG bindings and run:
make pythonswig
make python_make
cd python
python setup.py install

Go to the BPBible directory and run
python bpbible.py

You may need to add additional options at various stages (for example, you
may need to sudo before doing the bindings installation)

BPBible is missing the following features from SWORD for windows (there may
be others as well):

   - Unicode support
   - Note taking
   - Search in non-bible books
   - Searching on strong's numbers and other lemmas
   - It doesn't specially treat daily devotionals done properly
   - Remote installation of modules

When I have time, I will try to add these features. Some are much easier
than others.

God Bless,
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (ESV)
On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 4:03 PM, Daniel Owens <dhowens at pmbx.net> wrote:

>  I took a look at BPBible, and it is indeed fairly feature rich and
> pleasing to the eye. I especially like the way it handles looking up
> dictionary entries. I would use it regularly if:
>    - Fonts could be set by language or module,
>    - Bibles could be viewed in parallel, either BibleTime or
>    BibleDesktop fashion, and
>     - and the Linux installation were a bit easier (I got stuck when
>    trying to install the swig bindings).
> The project has made a strong start. The search dialog is pretty sharp,
> though average users aren't familiar with regular expressions. A regular
> expression builder dialog would be fantastic. The method that commentaries
> are linked to the Bible text is great.
> Daniel
> Jonathan Morgan wrote:
> On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM, Chris Little <chrislit at crosswire.org> <chrislit at crosswire.org> wrote:
>   Jonathan Morgan wrote:
>  > On a different point, if we genuinely believe that Sword for Windows
>  > is not or should not be undergoing active maintenance then we should
>  > probably remove it or de-emphasise it.  It is quite understandable
>  > that an average user like him will look at the website, find a product
>  > entitled "The Sword Project for Windows", assume that it is the best
>  > software offered by CrossWire for Windows, try it, dislike it, and
>  > then avoid CrossWire software in future.
>  The SWORD Project for Windows is the only full-featured frontend for
>  Windows. Indeed, it is probably the most full-featured frontend for
>  Sword, period. You can complain about the interface. I think there are
>  definitely easier to use and more polished programs (at least in some
>  respects), but they are all lacking features.
>  I don't want to get into a lengthy debate, but a full featured system
> that is not used will not help anything.  I, for one, will not use
> Sword for Windows in its current state, and I think you can see in his
> response to it how the average user will respond.  [note that I have
> considerable exposure to usability ideas, so I tend to view
> goal-directed design and usability as more important than feature
> lists.]
>   Bible Desktop suffers the inherent lag of JSword behind Sword (so
>  drivers for GenBooks, for example, are still lacking I believe).
>  GnomeSword may once have been buildable on Cygwin, but it isn't
>  presently. And SwordBible certainly shows some definite promise, but I
>  think it's still a bit basic at present.
>  How about BPBible?  I'll willingly admit to bias here, but I claim
> that it supports most features that ordinary users will actually use
> (Install Manager style support is an exception, but that is currently
> a work in progress), and does so in a way that I hope means users will
> like it and use it.
>   Regarding the review in general, I can't help thinking we were a bit
>  cheated. We got low marks on support, though we've actually got very
>  good, prompt support at present (between email & the forums). I find no
>  record of the unanswered email he claims to have sent, so I'm willing to
>  place the fault on him (such as he didn't actually send the email, he
>  managed to make it look very spammy to the filters, or he acted like a
>  jerk (since I just delete rude messages)). His discussion of the forums
>  is just plain inaccurate.
>  I'm still pretty well certain that we have the widest selection of
>  modules among free programs, too, so it's a bit annoying that programs
>  who've copied our library got higher marks. It seems like we ought to
>  get a little credit for the fact that The Word, e-Sword, Online Bible,
>  and Zefania are all enjoying content that came from us.
>  I would have thought that e-Sword has more modules than we do.
> Anyway, you can't really expect a person investigating the usefulness
> of available software to determine whether it has been helped by the
> work of others.
>   Only a 3 of 5 for extensibility? Based on his own criteria, he's wrong.
>  His assessments of the UI & searching are partly legitimate and partly
>  due to inadequate documentation (which is to say that he doesn't know
>  about the search functionality) or his not reading the documentation.
>  Again from the usability point of view, I claim that if a person
> cannot use a feature, the fact that it is there does not help them.
> However, I have certainly had no trouble searching with Sword for
> Windows.
> Jon
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