Development of Bible reading applications

Development of Bible reading applications

Postby skreutzer » 2013-07-12T10:43:42+00:00

Under the impression that there seem to be no freely licensed Bible reading applications available, which primarily take XML as input and are also actively developed and maintained, we might want or need our own Bible viewer in order to provide a more dynamic presentation of the actual modifiable underlying XML file than for instance our pre-generated HTML files could provide. Any ideas or suggestions?
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Re: Development of Bible reading applications

Postby woschultz » 2013-07-13T19:31:24+00:00

Ich bin dafür aber wer machts? Leider reichen meine Resourcen nicht dazu aus ein eigenes Bibelprogramm zu programmieren ab einer bestimmten Komplexität ist Schluss mit Lustig.:-( Es gibt aber Bibelprogramme, die Zefania XML importieren können. z.B. http://www.theword.net/index.php?article.tools&l=english theWord selbst kann komplett auf deutsch umgestellt werden und ist kostenlos.

gruß
wolfgang

Translation by skreutzer:
I agree, but who implements such an application? I don't have the time to invest into a Bible reading application, and after reaching some level of complexity, such a task isn't fun any more :-( However, there are some Bible programs already existing which are able to import Zefania XML, for instance http://www.theword.net/index.php?article.tools&l=english. theWord has German language support and is gratis.
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Re: Development of Bible reading applications

Postby skreutzer » 2013-07-15T10:08:25+00:00

My time is limited as well, but I could at least work on it from time to time. I could start by myself if necessary, so the viewer would develop in small steps. The main question is however, what strategic priority it has in comparison to the other efforts of our project.


TheWord is gratis, but it isn't free software, and therefore completely useless for our purposes as well as for any other user. The restrictive licensing violates the following essential digital freedoms each and every computer user deserves, and which would be guaranteed by a free license (in red the violating terms of the theWord license agreement):

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. This license is designed to ensure that theWord remains free for everyone and is not used in any way to promote any profit generating activities that are outside the scope of the Software. Exceptions to this rule apply only if there is a written agreement with the Author of the Software.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The source code is not free or available to download or view. You may not reverse-engineer the program binary file (theword.exe) or any encrypted module. Some modules are encrypted to protect their copyrighted content from unauthorized duplication. You must respect this protection and not attempt to copy, extract, modify, and/or reuse such content.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor. You can copy theWord freely for personal use and give it away to friends, relatives, etc., as long as you do not charge for it in any way. You may not charge for duplication costs, media costs, or even postage costs. If you undertake the task of giving copies of theWord to others, you must do it for free. You may not sell or resell this program or distribute it as a part of a commercial package or any other profit generating activity, even if the distribution is free. You may not bundle the Software (even if the media is free) with any other product (e.g. enclose in a book, distribute with tracts) or make it appear that the Software is an add-on, bonus pack, extra-service, etc., that the end-user gets as a bonus for any service, product, activity of yours. You may not host theWord software executable files, installation files, or any other official files that can be found at the official website (http://www.theword.net) on your website. You may not post any files or archives containing the Software itself or any other files related to the Software in any software repository, peer-to-peer network, or other file-sharing website or program. You may not charge for add-on modules or auxiliary utilities without written permission from the Author. Some modules are encrypted to protect their copyrighted content from unauthorized duplication. You must respect this protection and not attempt to copy, extract, modify, and/or reuse such content. If you choose to redistribute the Software as part of an "official" package (e.g. your own CD compilation with a custom CD cover or label) you must contact the Author [...] to obtain written permission.
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The source code is not free or available to download or view. Some modules are encrypted to protect their copyrighted content from unauthorized duplication. You must respect this protection and not attempt to copy, extract, modify, and/or reuse such content.

Therefore theWord is non-free, restrictive, proprietary software, which is both useless and harmful to its users. The main deficits are the legal and technical restriction of access to the source code (to read it, to modify it), so no improvements, enhancements or error corrections can be made, also the discovery and removal of malicious code is made impossible. The prohibition of even running the program in a commercial context or commercial distribution prevents access to important distribution channels, just because of ignorance regarding the fact that the problem isn't commercial usage at all, but instead the artificial legal and technical restrictions as imposed onto the user by the theWord license agreement. Further, theWord isn't sharable, so it's clearly non-free software. theWord is exclusively provided for the proprietary Microsoft Windows operating system, so it is also depending on proprietary software which isn't freely available to any user. TheWord can't be considered at all regarding the topic of this thread for legal and technical reasons.


However, other applications might be suggested here. I just quickly looked into the few more famous Bible reading applications I know of, which are all restrictive, non-free, proprietary. Only the applications developed by the SWORD project might be an option. However, SWORD applications read binary compiled Bible texts which are neither directly readable nor modifiable, which isn't favorable for the end user who wants to retain the control over the text he's using. It could be considered to develop Haggai XML support for the SWORD API or a converter from Haggai XML to OSIS, but this wouldn't solve the original problem of bible texts in a format which can't be directly and independently manipulated. Would it be an option to change to OSIS, after Zefania XML is quite inactive and Haggai XML isn't supported by any third parties? Because the main goal of a bible viewer would be to support the creation of a centralized place for bible texts as well as for all kinds of tools to process them, all as and with free software.
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Re: Development of Bible reading applications

Postby skreutzer » 2014-02-26T19:22:43+00:00

An already existing bible reading app was suggested, which is free software (GNU GPL3). We might investigate if this software can be used for the task described in this thread.
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