UPDATE: I got a response from Bibleworks which you’ll find at the end.
UPDATE 2: This installation process requires an optical disk so if your Mac doesn’t come with one, get one or your left out. I’ve requested information about whether there’s a way to overcome this without buying one, but haven’t heard.
I was excited to learn that one of the best programs for original language study might come to the Mac, my new chosen platform. Bibleworks 9 told us they would offer a Mac version soon. However, an announcement of their “native Mac” version of the software is not at all native. Instead the version they are developing runs using X11 with Codeweavers virtualization tools that let Mac and Linux users run Windows software.
Don’t get me wrong. The video below looks pretty good. I haven’t installed the public preview yet, but I like what I see so far. However, it’s not “native”.
A version using Codewearvers is better than nothing, if a Bibleworks user wants to switch over to Mac. I’m hoping they’re just a little confused as to what constitutes a “native Mac app” and not being deceptive. WORDsearch made the same mistake advertising a Mac version of their software when it ran using the same strategy.
One of the biggest problems Bibleworks and WORDsearch face is that the underpinnings of their tools have been removed from the most recent versions of Mac OS X 10.8. For that reason, I recommend that users avoid these “Mac versions” and stick with the excellent Windows versions running on Windows installed via something like Parallels, a great tool for installing Windows in a virtual environment on a Mac. Run using their Coherence tool that makes apps run in Windows seem like they are running on Mac without Windows in a much more successful way than using Codeweavers. I use Parallels to run Bibleworks 9 when I use it.
Learn more about the Bibleworks Mac project at their site.
RESPONSE FROM BIBLEWORKS
We’ve tried to be very clear about what the new Mac version is and is not. The BibleWorks 9 executable is running natively. It runs on compatibility libraries. These libraries do not involve virtualization and do not involve bytecode emulation. They truly are running native. The X11 libraries which they use are native code libraries and even shipped with OS X (from Leopard through Lion, I believe). I think in Mountain Lion, Apple chose not to include the X11 libraries, but they should automatically install with the Mac Public Preview installer and were shipped with OS X in Lion. If they are not automatically installed in Mountain Lion, that is an error and we will address it.
I’ve also added this sentence to the Mac page: “The underlying technology uses WINE and xQuartz libraries.”
From our perspective the compatibility libraries could use some optimization to make them faster, and we plan to address that in future updates.
I hope that makes sense. We’re certainly not trying to mislead anyone (that wouldn’t help us or our users). The Mac Public Preview is released at no additional cost as another option for our Mac users to try.