Tag Archives: Bibleworks

ccmag article 09-2013

CCMag Article on Bibleworks 9 Tips Released

My article in Christian Computing Magazine for the month of September 2013 hit the web yesterday. People interested in reading it can download a free digital copy. I recommend signing up for a free monthly subscription at Christian Computing Magazine.

ccmag article 09-2013In this month’s article I share “9 Tips for Using Bibleworks 9″ as part of a “tips” series. I’ve covered Logos and WORDsearch. Next month I’ll take a break to share about a new version of Accordance Bible Software that I’m really excited to see.

 

october 2012 christian computing magazine

October 2012 Christian Computing Magazine Article

My October 2012 Christian Computing Magazine Article got published today going to all who receive a free subscription of the magazine. In this month’s article I covered the new Mac OS X version of Bibleworks 9 and the new iPad app from e-Sword.

october 2012 christian computing magazine

Readers can download the PDF versin of my article here. If you want to get a monthly subscription for free, please sign up at CCMag’s website.

Bibleworks on Mac

Bibleworks 9 Not Really Going Native Mac (Updated)

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.

Bibleworks on Mac

Bibleworks on a Mac using Codeweavers

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.

Michael

BW9Win8TabletPC-02.jpeg

BibleWorks 9 Running on a Windows 8 Tablet

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of Windows 8 on a computer, but it looks like it will run beautifully on a tablet, so I hope that the Bible software companies will embrace the platform to make it an awesome tool for Digital Bible Study. Bibleworks already has. They sent me a link to a video of their app running on a Windows 8 tablet.

BW9Win8TabletPC 02

You can see how well it works for yourself below. If you want info about the tablet itself, a Samsung Series 9, then back it up to the beginning. There’s also a ridiculous “intermission” just before the start point below and ending.

It looks like its running nicely. I look forward to getting my hands on a Windows 8 tablet once they ship this fall.

Here’s the gauntlet being thrown down. I want to see the other Bible software makers run their app on Windows 8 tablets. You can do it and I’ll happily show it off for you.

bibleworks-on-mac.jpg

BibleWorks for Mac? Could Be Coming

Would you like to run BibleWorks on your Mac? I would!

Few Bible software companies produce Mac versions of their Bible software, BibleWorks included. Before my switch to the Mac a little more than a year ago, I was a frequent user of BibleWorks and recommended it to my friends and colleagues as well as readers. Not having native Mac access is my biggest disappointment. That could be changing.

In a BibleWorks forum pust, Mike Bushell of BibleWorks noted that a version running under emulation could come soon. Here’s what he said:

Just FYI we are now formally investigating the possibility of officially spporting BibleWorks running on third party emulators on Mac and Linux. So far what we find looks promising. Re the question of this thread, BibleWorks does run under CrossOver, whch does not rquire a Windows license. Crossover is not free but it is not expensive either. It does have some problems, specifically with CHM files, but we are hopeful that we will eventually have a good, supported solution for our Mac and Linux users. I can’t give any dates. The best I can do is tell you that this is something that we are now taking seriously.

This is both good and terrible news at the same time. I reached out to the folks at BibleWorks recently and they gave me the same canned response that most report receiving – “no plans right now” yada yada yada …

Bibleworks on mac

Run BibleWorks on Mac?

The above forum post by Bushell marks a change in philosophy. Because Macs are becoming more popular and grabbing a greater share of the computer market, Bible study software makers really have to at least consider this move.

Here’s the problem: running on emulation results in a slow and sometimes horrible experience. My first such experience with WORDsearch 9 on an emulator proved that I didn’t want to have to do that and pushed me to look at other options. Since that time WORDsearch improved the experience greatly and now, it’s usable even if not enjoyable.

I hope and pray that BibleWorks comes up with a workable solution. I also hope and pray they don’t make the same mistake WORDsearch made and release a kludgy and horribly painful version of their Windows software on an emulator. I really hope they don’t waist a lot of money on it and just port the app to OS X natively. This would require a big investment, but will also result in a large payoff, since the Mac Bible software market isn’t that crowded compared to Windows. Just ask the folks at Logos, Olive Tree and Accordance if Mac versions are profitable.

Until this happens, you can install it via something like Boot Camp, Parallels or other emulator software. It’s not ideal, but works. I think it is better than running Windows software inside a sandboxed emulator like WORDsearch did with their “mac” version.

BibleWorks 9 Analysis Windows Can Be Split in Two

An exciting new feature in BibleWorks 9 is the ability to split the Analysis Window, usually on the right in default setup, into two panes. The red arrow button in the upper right adds a second pane automatically putting the tabs from one row into one window and the tabs from another row into the other window. Each tab can be dragged between the windows for your own preferred setup.

BibleWorks Analysis Window Splits

This allows us to have our own notes window open all the time but still use the various analysis windows while studying. As a heavy notes user in Bible applications, I love this feature.

Analysis Window Popup Help

The first time you click anywhere in the Analysis window, this helpful tooltip will explain how to use it. BibleWorks adds little touches like that to handhold new users as they learn the system. Software companies can learn a lesson from the great BibleWorks team.

 

BibleWorks 9 In My Hands And On My Mac

I just installed BibleWorks 9 on my MacBook Pro. Yes I used Parallels Desktop, which is a virtualizations application that runs a copy of Windows on a Mac.

BibleWorks 9

BibleWorks 9′s interface looks almost exactly like the previous version with some updated toolbarb buttons but the same three pain layout. Menus and toolbar are on top and the status bar on the bottom clues the user in to what they are seeing.

I’m looking forward to playing with this new setup and will share what I learn here and at Christian Computing Mag.

WORDSearch Bible Software Books for BibleWorks

WORDSearch has announced that they will begin shipping some of their modules in BibleWorks format. There are not a lot of titles currently available, but they promise to be making more soon and even ask for input as to which modules to make available next.

2011-01-17_1426

The way to get them into BibleWorks is to download the WORDsearch Book Installer for BibleWorks application (direct link to executable file). When you run it, it will ask for your customer ID and a password. You find this by logging into your account at WORDsearch and go to the Unlock and Download eBooks page. You will find the account number and a PIN there.

2011-01-17_1425

The books currently available are as follows:

  • Dictionary of Biblical Imagery – $44.95
  • Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels – $49.95
  • Dictionary of New Testament Background – $49.95
  • Dictionary of Paul and His Letters – $49.95
  • Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments – $49.95
  • New Bible Commentary – $34.95

“Bible Software Should Be Free”

Reading this blog will prove to you that I love Bible software. Part of the reason is I use it in my day job as a pastor. But I’m also a tech junkie!

The only problem with good Bible software is that it often is expensive. Before holy-bible_1 you free software producers or fans comment, I am not saying all good Bible software is expensive. Some great programs are free or very inexpensive, especially in the mobile sphere.

As someone who has been using Bible software for nearly two decades and been covering it for many years, I have heard all the arguments for and against charging for Bible software.

Free Software Proponents

The Bible is not owned by any one person. If a Christian truly loves God and his church he should give away his services. After all you cannot out give God. Software is only bits/bytes and not a real tangible product, so it should be free since the recipient isn’t really getting a thing. Also the cost to produce one copy is the same as it is to produce a thousand copies of the software itself. Only the delivery mechanism costs money and in the case of downloads, that cost is negligible.

Pay Software Proponents

A servant is worthy of his hire. How can a person produce good quality software without receiving something to cover his living expenses or her costs of development (computers, software to code with, advertising, paying publishers for content, electricity, food, clothing, shelter, etc)? And if one charges for software he or she can also offer quality support or training for the software to people who are not skilled enough to figure out how to use it on their own.

What’s the Answer?

There may be other arguments in both camps, but those are most of the common ones. So who is right? Put another way, “Should Bible software be free or should it be pay?” The answer is a resounding YES!

It is true that some people have a calling to help the church and Christians by producing tools to help study the Word, learn about discipleship via eBooks, and organize their personal Bible related content like sermons and Bible studies, notes, highlighting and bookmarks and Christian writings in computer software tools. Just like a pastor is called to a full-time vocation of preaching and teaching and caring for the flock, a software developer is called to write software. In order to do that the person will have to be paid or have a way of providing for him or herself. In some cases, people have made enough money in another career that they can take care of those provisions themselves. In the case of e-Sword developer Rick Myers, he used to say on his web site that God had blessed him in the computer industry so now he is donating his time and talents to producing his great and free Bible software. For him and people like him, Bible software should be free and only the resources that cost too much for him to provide are pay software.

In the case of Logos Bible Software, the engine to read their content is actually free. To get all the use of their tools you will have to pay for one of their packages. For them, and companies or individual programmers like them, they have chosen to offer some free content and some pay content. It works making them one of the largest Bible software companies around.

Finally, there is the model of great products like BibleWorks, PC Study Bible, QuickVerse, Laridian PocketBible and more. They charge for their software and for much of their content. Sometimes you can find free books to add onto their packages. The result is a base of users who love their products and keep them in business.

The point is that no one model fits everyone. If you believe that anyone producing anything for the benefit of the church, including Bible software, should give away their services, then you have a number of options to choose from. You can use those products never needing to pay once for any Bible software. But if you don’t mind paying, then you can also get some great content for a small fee sometimes or for many thousands of dollars if you are so inclined and financially blessed.

Conclusion

I can find no Biblical mandate that says all Bible software (or another other service to the Christian church) should always be free. However, there is some support for paying and providing for those who serve the church. Thank God for great people who devote their time to creating the incredible tools available to us today, sometimes for free but often for very reasonable costs. Keep it up! We need you and appreciate you greatly!!

Bible Software Updates

Ruben Gomez at Bible Software Review has aggragated a list of recently updated Bible software. Check it out and get some updates if you own any of the following:

Accordance 8.4.5

Bible Analyzer 3.9.2

Glo 1.4.0

Logos 4.0b

The Word 3.1.2