Rick Meyers on e-Sword HD

Rick Meyers, author of e-Sword, has kindly agreed to answer a few questions in the wake of the release of e-Sword HD for iPad. He’s extremely busy at the moment, so I doubly appreciate his willingness to make himself available to us. What follows is an unedited version of our “conversation.”

Bible Software Review: What led you to create an iOS version of e-Sword and why is it only available for iPads?

Rick Meyers:

Mobile/Tablet                          O/S Share
Market Share of iOS                  63.5%
Market Share of Android         21.0%
Market Share of Java ME            9.3%
Market Share of BlackBerry       1.8%

BSR: I can hear the voice of many Android users asking themselves, We’ll we ever see an Android version of e-Sword?

RM: MySword is pretty good and has access to all of the many user group modules.

BSR: I know quite a few people who get confused with names like e-Sword, MySword and The Sword Project. Is there any relationship between e-Sword and the other two?

RM: You forgot SwordSearcher :-) Only our relationship we share in Christ!

BSR: e-Sword has a very large and active user base. In fact, one of its great strengths is the impressive amount of user modules available in every conceivable language. How is all this going to fit with the current “official-modules-only” approach of e-Sword HD?

RM: Version 1.0 cannot have everything!  I am currently working with Josh Bond and others to integrate the massive user group module library.

BSR: Given the fact that e-Sword has traditionally been considered freeware, how did you come to the conclusion that you were going to charge $4.99 for the iPad app? Is this a change in your philosophy as a Bible software developer?

RM: e-Sword is still free, so no change there.  Everyone who begged me to create an iPad app said they would pay for it.  So I made the large investment in development costs to create the app, thus I am holding them to their word :-)

BSR: Since Bible Software Review has a certain academic edge to it, could we expect to see any Greek and Hebrew resources soon? What about the ability to search Greek and Hebrew?

RM: I already have Greek texts working quite nicely, but there is even more that I wanted to do with the texts so I chose to hold off until the next update.

Thank you very much!

 

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e-Sword HD for iPad

The popular e-Sword program is now available for iPads. This first release includes a good number of the features available in the desktop edition, but only official modules can be added to the app at this time –although no Greek, Hebrew or foreign language Bibles are yet available–, and costs $4.99. The interface will look quite familiar to long-time e-Sword users.

The following video is a quick and dirty presentation of the program (make sure to watch it in HD!).

 

 

Note that the video does not show off all the features available, just a few of them.

 

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BibleWorks Running on Mac OS X

I’ve been holding off writing this post. Others have already announced earlier today the availability of a Public Preview Mac Installer that allows BibleWorks version 9 to run on Macs. Bootcamp and virtualization software were already viable alternatives to run the program until now. Today, however, there is a third possibility: using Wine’s compatibility libraries.

I know from experience that BW 8 (I don’t have version 9) works very well under Parallels or VirtualBox. If you own a reasonably powerful Intel Mac and are running Lion or Mountain Lion, that’s your best bet. It remains to be seen how well version 9 will perform under Wine.

The reason I wanted to wait before letting the cat out of the bag is that I needed to be sure how “Mac native” this option was. I can’t deal with the technical side of things here (I leave that to programmers and others more knowledgeable than me), but I do have to agree here with Kevin Purcell’s assessment that using Wine (like WORDsearch or Bible Explorer) is not exactly taking the Mac native route.

I have enquired about this and BW’s staff have been kind enough to explain some of the specific details. The good thing is that most of BW’s excellent features will work, at no additional cost, on a Mac. However, from a user experience point of view, this is certainly not a native Mac app, as can be surmised by watching this video. So, if you own an Intel Mac and use BibleWorks 9, you can now test the public preview and tell us all about it. BW is committed to fixing any compatibility issues that might appear and improve the overall performance of the program in due course.

 

EDIT (October 4, 2012): The web page http://www.bibleworks.com/content/mac.html has been edited slightly in order to reflect the exact nature of the Mac native version, which now reads “Native (a Mac port running on custom WINE libraries)”. Further down, under Details, the following explanation is given: “The native Mac version of BibleWorks runs on OS X using customized compatibility libraries (WINE) by CodeWeavers. It runs directly on OS X without a virtual machine or machine instruction emulation. The underlying technology uses WINE and xQuartz libraries”.

As usual, BW has been very responsive to user feedback and quick to clear up any misunderstandings. Now everybody should be able to know what to expect.

 

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Accordance 10 is Here!

Today is launch day for Accordance 10, sporting a brand new user interface that offers the same power and flexibility we have come to expect from Accordance Bible Software. There are lots of visual changes at first sight, but also major enhancements in the handling of the Library, as well as improvements in the area of searching and many others. Some of the UI changes will need some getting used to, but the workflow should be easier and faster.

 

Also, great news for Windows-only users: Accordance 10 will be available as a native Windows application in 2013!

This is taken from the official Press Release:

New features of Accordance 10 include:

• Single-window interface with a professionally designed aesthetic

• Fully customizable toolbar offers instant access to features and resources

• Integrated Library panel lets you browse, explore, and search your Bibles and books

• Flex Search finds variations of the words and phrases you search for

• Automated search modes anticipate the kind of search you’re doing and how you want the results displayed

• Themes offer attractive out-of-the box solutions for customizing the look of text

• Search analytics have been redesigned and made easier to customize

• Reading Mode offers a full-screen reading view of any open Bible or book

Accordance 10 can be purchased with a Starter Collection of Bibles and books for just $49.99. Larger library packages and upgrade discounts are also available.

 

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Happy Birthday, BibleWorks!

BibleWorks is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, which makes me feel a bit old (I’ve been using the software since the early 90’s). Anyway, it’s not about me, it’s about them. As part of the celebration, the company is running a special contest and will give away a copy of their latest version to two lucky winners (one copy for each decade). Here’s what you need to do:

To win, send us exactly 20 words telling us why you need a copy of BibleWorks. Entries will be selected based on humor, wit, and verve.

Enter at our website or here on our FaceBook page. We’ll pick the two best entries by June 15, 2012 and post the winners shortly afterwards.

Best wishes!

The BibleWorks Team

 

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