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Thread: Open Source BibleWorks

  1. #1

    Exclamation Open Source BibleWorks

    A lot of care and attention over the years has been put into BibleWorks. It has amazing features for those who are interested in using it. Is it possible that the source code for the program for BibleWorks could be released as an Open Source project and placed on GitHub for those interested in continuing the development? Is there any way that the original developers could please release the source code so that this project can live on in a new form?

    It could then live on, updating via pull requests from the community of Christian scholars who have development skills. Fixes and adjustments could be made based on demand, and the project would take a new form that would likely be greater than any of the presently available Bible software. Security patches and new features could then continue to be added. BibleWorks as the name could be kept since it's a recognizable brand, or if it's under trademark it could be slightly modified such that everyone knows that it would be the new BibleWorks. BibleWorks in a free and open source form would become more powerful and rewarding than anything available. And it would likely outlive us so far as there's even just a small demand. De-monetization would significantly lower the barrier to entry, dramatically increasing demand from both scholars and the common person, and the common person using BibleHub or BibleGateway or whathaveyou would have an exceedingly powerful, overkill tool to use.

    The proprietary content could still be monetized potentially, as add-ons or packages, or if the publishers are willing, released for free.

    I'm willing to lend the wisdom / advice to get the project started on sure footing if so.

  2. #2
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    This suggestion has been made a number of times. For details, search the forum. But I think the basic issue is that copyrighted materials, which of course cannot be included in an open-source project, are too closely tied in to BibleWorks to make this feasible. I agree it would be an enormous blessing if it could be done!
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  3. #3
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    Hear Hear - no reason to drown the ship when there is a possibility of a community picking it up.
    There are already a huge amount of Free Material that could be used.

    I'm not sure if possible but http://www.crosswire.org/ seems to be an open project thing with a lot of free stuff for other programs to use.

    Anyway... I don't own the program so... But I think it would be a pretty powerful Bible tool for sure and having it open for all to work on seems to be able to make a program grow and give life to it.

    Anyway... Time will tell what they will do, I'm sure they have some kind of an idea. I'm still down on the fact that they closed down so... And not having payed or owned the program - I may not really be in the position to say anything.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    But I think the basic issue is that copyrighted materials, which of course cannot be included in an open-source project, are too closely tied in to BibleWorks to make this feasible. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkiYahu View Post
    ...
    There are already a huge amount of Free Material that could be used.
    I'm not sure if possible but http://www.crosswire.org/ seems to be an open project thing with a lot of free stuff for other programs to use.
    ...
    So the Crosswire partnerships allow for encapsulated versions of the copyright material to be used within open source/free projects that has bindings for other languages. It's one way to replace at least a large percentage of the copywritten material and it's already open source. It just means that it's already feasible to make BibleWorks an open source project! I've contacted the person behind e-Sword in the past, for example, and Crosswire simply provides the content in a SQLite database that can be queried by the program to return the content. It wouldn't be too difficult to code something in BibleWorks that makes use of these databases.

    But it doesn't have to be a Crosswire SWORD project, however, to form new partnerships with publishers who are willing to release even a small sample of their work -- copyright materials whose publishers aren't willing to allow open source access could release their content as an add-on available for a small fee to those that want to purchase it separately.

    We can do this!

  5. #5

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    Also, all of those previous posts found via search prove (1) there's a demand for an open source BibleWorks and (2) there are enough software developers to carry the project forward, actually, from the number of developers there who were willing to contribute!

  6. #6
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    Not meaning to be argumentative about this, but wanting to make sure we're all talking about the same thing. I agree that there are lots of people interested in an open-source BW, and willing to contribute to such a project. I certainly applaud that spirit. But, as DarkiYahu says, the content would have to focus on free (i.e., public-domain, non-copyrighted) material, which is liable to be old and out of date. To have the United Bible Societies original language texts and recent versions such as NIV and NRSV, for example, all of which are copyrighted and must be licensed (I assume), in an open-source environment would be the problem. Not to have such texts would be something other than BibleWorks as we know it.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    Not meaning to be argumentative about this, but wanting to make sure we're all talking about the same thing. I agree that there are lots of people interested in an open-source BW, and willing to contribute to such a project. I certainly applaud that spirit. But, as DarkiYahu says, the content would have to focus on free (i.e., public-domain, non-copyrighted) material, which is liable to be old and out of date. To have the United Bible Societies original language texts and recent versions such as NIV and NRSV, for example, all of which are copyrighted and must be licensed (I assume), in an open-source environment would be the problem. Not to have such texts would be something other than BibleWorks as we know it.
    It seems your very negative about it - there are a lot of material these days in the free public world, it's not all bad you know - actually being free, it is open for the people and can be used by the people not having much of mammon in this world.

    Yet I still don't understand why Bibleworks would quit it at this very point - and only give 2 weeks? for people to get on the wagon of buying a copy for Bibleworks 10. In any case - if a community could pick up on it might become a very powerful gem for the People that don't have much money but want to do Biblical studies. I would imaging that the search function is above anything out there free at this point. Free resources could be put together to make a powerful start tool for people.

    Maybe Bibleworks did not do enough to promote there Bible program - or the users using it not promoting it to others - I don't know. It seems the forum is not that active as I would expect.

    But that could change by a Gnu2 license like Linux and see if a community would form around it. At least it seems waste if it is just thrown in the Bin when there might be a possibility of growth.

    Bibleworks can do multiple searches in Bibles right? And it has a powerful Biblesearch function as well that works? This would be very interesting for people for sure to have. Beside someone could maybe make it portable and port it to linux as well.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    Not meaning to be argumentative about this, but wanting to make sure we're all talking about the same thing. I agree that there are lots of people interested in an open-source BW, and willing to contribute to such a project. I certainly applaud that spirit. But, as DarkiYahu says, the content would have to focus on free (i.e., public-domain, non-copyrighted) material, which is liable to be old and out of date. To have the United Bible Societies original language texts and recent versions such as NIV and NRSV, for example, all of which are copyrighted and must be licensed (I assume), in an open-source environment would be the problem. Not to have such texts would be something other than BibleWorks as we know it.
    I understand your concerns. You don't want for there to be downgrade of the quality of content familiar to most. It can still be monetized in the sense that proprietary work can be modularized so that people only pay for the work that they use. Then, modules can be bundled so that the paid content is available at an affordable deal. It's done in the software development world all the time really. Also, if you look at the SWORD Project's materials, by Crosswire, they have a good assortment to start out with, including the ESV:
    https://crosswire.org/sword/modules/...modType=Bibles
    You have to start from somewhere, and the project could expand from there. Partnerships are possible - Bible Gateway and others do it.


    Quote Originally Posted by DarkiYahu View Post
    It seems your very negative about it - there are a lot of material these days in the free public world, it's not all bad you know - actually being free, it is open for the people and can be used by the people not having much of mammon in this world.

    Yet I still don't understand why Bibleworks would quit it at this very point - and only give 2 weeks? for people to get on the wagon of buying a copy for Bibleworks 10. In any case - if a community could pick up on it might become a very powerful gem for the People that don't have much money but want to do Biblical studies. I would imaging that the search function is above anything out there free at this point. Free resources could be put together to make a powerful start tool for people.

    Maybe Bibleworks did not do enough to promote there Bible program - or the users using it not promoting it to others - I don't know. It seems the forum is not that active as I would expect.

    But that could change by a Gnu2 license like Linux and see if a community would form around it. At least it seems waste if it is just thrown in the Bin when there might be a possibility of growth.

    Bibleworks can do multiple searches in Bibles right? And it has a powerful Biblesearch function as well that works? This would be very interesting for people for sure to have. Beside someone could maybe make it portable and port it to linux as well.
    I definitely agree. I think the possibility of making BibleWorks a web application may help a lot to make BibleWorks more modern and accessible to all. Then there could be different tiers: Free, $20/year, $40/year, etc., based on the amount of content needed. Then, the content would be under wraps and under the developers' control; the software would be easier to maintain for the developers and faster to update for everyone; it would have cross-compatibility to any operating system including the same content via a mobile app; and it could still be made open source and maintained by the community. A public repository on GitHub could be used, with a private repository for the content files accessed by the web application when someone logs in.

    It may involve some re-writing of the code but the code exists already and can just be reinterpreted into a web-friendly, modern language like Node.js or Python.
    So many advances have been made in web application development since BibleWorks debuted 26 years ago that make it a more sophisticated solution: Node.js for the backend, Express and Angular.js for the front-end, and MongoDB may be the best ways to implement the smooth search function on the client side in a web format needed.

  9. #9
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    Obviously it's really up to Mike Bushell and his colleagues to investigate and consider any and all of these proposals. I'd just suggest that Web-based software has its limitations too--mainly, I'd think, you have to be online to use it. If you're in a remote area with poor or no Internet connectivity, you can't access it. Or am I missing something?
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR View Post
    Obviously it's really up to Mike Bushell and his colleagues to investigate and consider any and all of these proposals. I'd just suggest that Web-based software has its limitations too--mainly, I'd think, you have to be online to use it. If you're in a remote area with poor or no Internet connectivity, you can't access it. Or am I missing something?
    Thanks for your response. Yes, but an overall limitation is that you need a computer at all to use BibleWorks :^) . Also, for the trade-off of using an internet connection you get synchronization of your notes and data between all devices, including mobile devices. Also, when 5G is out in a few years the internet connection limitation would be eliminated.

    That's true, I hope Mike Bushell and the others read this sinceeee they could do a lot of good by using the rights and reputation to the BibleWorks name to kick off/start off this new project.

    Edit: It's true that for those ministering in resource-limited countries there would be difficulty with web application-based software, and the infrastructure of 5G may take over a decade for some countries with corrupt governments, but there are intelligent software-based solutions over this limitation. It's definitely something to consider: A web-enabled UI with a synchronized feature could be the solution. Many mobile apps have this. The Windows store has UWP technology for this I believe also. I think also for macOS. It could definitely work via desktop and mobile.
    One application that does it is Anki: the decks are synchronized via their server using an internal SQLite database.
    Last edited by ContraMundum; 08-02-2018 at 01:01 PM.

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