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.