15 October 2012


On the 10 October 2012, Rick announced, via a popup in e-Sword, that
e-Sword4iPad would be released on 15 October.

It was released today. Unfortunately, I don't have an iPad. I did search in the app store using my iPhone 4S, to no avail. :(

This is not a review, per se, but rather impressions I've gained from reading various comments, reviews about the program, and other things.

The most comprehensive review I've seen thus far has been ' on BSR. http://www.bsreview.org/blog/2012/10/e-sword-hd-for-ipad.html .

The YouTube video can be directly viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqxDJv2akME 

The app costs US$4.99.
Statistics from http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/?mpage=appprice
2.7% of the apps on The iTunes App Store sell for US$4.99;
94.55% of the apps on The iTunes App Store sell for US4.99, or less.
51.72% of the apps on The iTunes App Store are gratis;

As such, it is within the norms of iOS pricing.

Potential Issue:
Logos For iPad, Accordance, and Laridian's PocketBible are all gratis.  You do have to pay for the resources, but they can be used on other devices/platforms.

My iPhone offers 10 categories, when typing "Bibl".  Selecting "Bible", 4.042 apps are offered. My iPhone more or less gave up, when I tried to scroll past the 70th app in the "Bible" search.

e-Sword4iPad could easily get lost in those numbers.

Can current e-Sword users generate enough buzz for it to break out of the 788 applications per day that are added to The iTunes App Store each day?

Supported Canon:

None of the reviews or comments I've come across, have specifically discussed the supported canon. In two different video reviews, I noticed that the Douay-Rheims Bible is available.  That implies that at least the 73 book Catholic Canon is supported.  This canon was also supported in Pocket e-Sword.

Available Resources:

  • Only official resources can be installed.  This is due to limitations imposed by security model used by iOS
  • Resources use HTML, rather than RTF for presentation markup; 
  • Currently, only English Language resources are available;
I expect a utility that enables users to create their own resources, will be available within three months.  Installing those resources probably will require the user to jailbreak the device.


    Basic search functionality is available.  I haven't seen anything about Boolean or Regex search.

    2009 SBL Bible Software Shootout:

    Inasmuch as only English language resources are available, it fails all five criteria. This should change, when resources in Biblical languages are released.


    If I had an iPad, I'd install and use it.  However, it is not yet compelling enough for me to specifically purchase an iPad.

    24 August 2012

    1 & 1/8 M

    As of 20120822:23:56:00 UT, BibleSupport.com users had downloaded 1 145 146 resources.  At the current rate, it should have 2 000 000 downloads by 1 March 2013.

    In terms of users, that figure implies that the average user has downloaded 38.9161 resources.

    To get on the list of top 20 down-loaders, one has to have downloaded 4 366 resources. To be in the top five, one needs to have downloaded 11 631 resources.

    I don't know how that works, since the site currently offers 6 466 different files.

    In terms of uploading resources:
    • 14 resources will squeak one into twentieth place;
    • 52 resources will drop one into tenth place;
    • 143 resources will edge one into fifth place;
    • 3 681 resources  will get one into first place;
    Create a resource.  Provide it for e-Sword 8.x, e-Sword 9.x, Pocket e-Sword, and MySword, and an instant four resources.

    Meanwhile, WordModules.com continues to grow:
    • 1714 members;
    • 294 resources;
    • 42 682 downloads;
    That is an average of 24.901 downloads per user.

    I noticed in passing that the top seventeen downloaders had retrieved at least 309 resources each.

    For those wishing to submit resources:
    • Two will put one in the top forteen;
    • Five resources will place one in the top ten;
    • Eighteen will place one in the top five;
    • One hundred and twenty-eight will place one in top place;

    For both sites, (BibleSupport.com & WordModules.com) the emphasis is on resource quality, over resource quantity.  

    The criteria for what constitutes "high quality" resources is the same for both sites:
    • The text is faithful to the original;
    • Font parameters can be adjusted by the user;
    • If there are images in the original, they are to be included within the resources;
    • All scripture citations are correctly tooltipped;
    • Presentation markup is consistent with other resources for the same software;
    • Text flow must be consistent, regardless of screen size;
    • Content is consistent for the type of resource that is constructed;

    28 June 2012

    Cyclical Resources

    Resources for e-Sword appear, and occasionally disappear. The NA-26, and its relatives (NA-27, USB3, USB4, BHS) are probably the best known resources that make a reappearance, only to disappear again.

    None of those e-Sword resources contains a fraction of the information that is available in the hard copy.  AFAIK, there is no group of resources in the e-Sword world, that comes close to containing the data in the hardcopy of those books.  Nonetheless, some users find those resources useful.

    About a week ago, a question about the copyright status of NA-26 was raised on BibleSupport.com.  (That thread has since been deleted.) 

    The specific question was
    (2) To observe any special restrictions that may govern the use of particular texts or bodies of material as stipulated in the aforementioned documentation;
    Doesn't this mean that even if you are not distributing it for commercial purposes (which is discussed in point one of the CCAT user agreement), this text might still be restricted?
     Copyright and licensing issues can be extremely thorny. The individual simply wants assurance that their use of NA-26 is legal.

    In the United States, copyright law, at least in theory, covers distribution.  It does not cover usage.  How the content was originally obtained is basically irrelevant--- a point that a number of former habituates of Cellophane Square greatly appreciated, especially when the police tried to confiscate their newly purchased albums.

    In other countries, copyright law can extend into how the content was obtained.

    For all five resources (NA-26, NA-27, USB3, USB4, BHS), CCAT is the acknowledged source of the etext. This is where things start to get legally confusing, and tricky.

    • The University of Pennsylvania had a license from The German Bible Society to use those texts in their CCAT project;
    • CCAT distributed a number of texts under a license that restricted usage to academic research;
    • CCAT put some texts online, with their own license, which prohibited commercial usage, and restricted non-academic research usage;
    • CCAT removed the texts licensed from The German Bible Society from their online site, citing a license misunderstanding, demuring from clarifying what is meant, or being referred to;
    • The German Bible Society announces that they will not grant permission to distribute their content to any free Bible software.  A clarification from them implies that both gratis and libre software are included the prohibition;
    • e-Sword-users.org put the e-Sword resources online, removed them, and puts them back up.  The specific resources imply that users have to sign, and adhere to the CCAT license.
    • The German Bible Society has never granted anybody associated with e-Sword permission to distribute their content;
    • The intent of the CCAT License is to prohibit mass re-distribution;
    Consequently, the odds are that the e-Sword resources were never legally distributed.

    One of the first response to the question was that the Bible should not be subject to copyright, because God wrote it.  Most courts in the United States would dismiss it out of hand, citing Urantia Foundation v. Maaherra, 895 F. Supp. 1329 - Dist. Court, D. Arizona 1995.  In the South, the court might declare that since this involves God, then it is a matter of religion.  Something that the court frequently tried to do in 
    McMurtry v. Society Ordo Templi Orientis Case # 85-2897 US Court of Appeals, Ninth District. 819 F 2d 1146, and the rest of the lawsuits involving those two organizations.

    A more pertinent question is what does The German Bible Society hold a copyright of? Their content comprises of a synthetic text. A text that they believe accurately represents what was originally written. A text that does not reflect any specific extent manuscript.

    As far as current scholarship is concerned, we do not have holographic texts written by the authors of either the Tanakh, or the New Testament. What we do have, is texts that are copies, with errors, of what was originally written.  The original text is in the public domain.  A specific edition might be under copyright, depending upon the degree of "creativity" that is involved in deciphering the specific manuscript that the edition represents. 

    One of the respondents on that thread pointed out that The German Bible Society had neither submitted a DMCA take down notice, nor filed a lawsuit, and hence the distribution must be legal. After all, they reasoned, a year is long enough to take such action.  

    DMCA take down notices are fairly easy to file. (Disclaimer: I've probably filed half a dozen since 2000.  I've also been the recipient of about the same number.  Only one went to court, and that case was dismissed with prejudice, because it involved deep links, which the court ruled did not violate copyright.)

    From both a financial and public relations point of view, filing lawsuits is a bad practice. 
    • Juries can be finicky.; 
    • Judges can rule against a party, simply because the lawyer angers the judge;
    • Expert witnesses can be challenged, with the court ruling that they are not qualified to give testimony in their alleged area of expertise;
    • Other things can go wrong;
    In a theoretical copyright infringement lawsuit in the United States, involving NA-26, there would be reams of technical testimony, showing how and why each word was used in that work, and how it is, or is not a deviation from other texts. The main point being how it conforms to the criteria laid out under US Copyright law, that makes it a copyrightable work.
    In the United States, "sweat of the brow" does not automatically mean "copyrightable".  In Europe, "sweat of the brow" implies "copyrightable".  

    If the theoretical lawsuit were in Europe, an alleged infringer in the United States would ignore it, due to lack of jurisdiction.  Likewise, a European court would ignore any rulings made in the United States, due to lack of jurisdiction.

    I am not a lawyer.  This is not legal advice.

    26 June 2012

    One year and fifteen days later

    Back on 13 June 2011, BibleSupport.com opened to the general public.

    Current statistics are:
    • 22,895 subscribers;
    • 96 Pocket e-Sword Resources;
    • 404 MySword Resources;
    • 1,979 e-Sword 8.x resources;
    • 33 Utility Programs;
    • 1,024 items to be converted into e-Sword resources;
    • 2,880 resources for e-Sword 9.x and e-Sword 9.x.
    All of these figures are significantly higher that e-Sword-users.org had, after its first year.

    It has also spawned an offspring site: WordModules.com, for resources for TheWord. This is a Bible Study program for Windows, to which many  e-Sword users have migrated. (I'll post my review of TheWord later this quarter.)

    One virtue of BibleSupport, is that it imposes a degree of quality control that e-Sword-users never had. On the flipside, e-Sword-users did not impose any theological constraints on resources, which BibleSupport does do.


    Earlier today, a request to remove Ichthux from the Ubuntu Launchpad was filed.


    Ichthux was the first Christian orientated Linux distro to be publicly released. 

    In 2000, a set of utilities to be installed on Windows 2000, to create a desktop suitable for Christians, was released.  I do not remember the name of the publisher.  Their offerings included:
    • Wallpaper;
    • Clipart;
    • Fonts;
    • Templates;
    • Desktop theme;
    I don't remember what else it contained.

    By way of comparison, when Ichthux  was originally released in 2003, it contained:
    • Desktop Themes;
    • Bookmarks for Christian websites;
    • Fonts;
    • Templates;
    • Biblical Software. (Bibletime);
    The big difference between the product for Win2K and Ichthux was the Bible software.

    In 2006.Ichthux switched from being an independent distro, to a metapackage for Kubuntu.  

    21 May 2012

    Has damaged my trust in e sword

    Responding here, because it pertains to all software.

    I simply cannot understand why any Christian would wish to make available this or any other book from other religions or faiths or ways?

    Despite the best efforts of Christians, there are people who do not consider Christianity to be the only way to salvation.  For those who wish to work with, and convert adherants of other religions and faiths, it can be extremely helpful to know the basic Sacred Texts, beliefs, teachings, and practices of those religions and faiths.

    There are three basic approaches to witnessing, and converting people:
    • Bribery;
    • Argument;
    • Respectful Discourse;
    Bribery works for as long as the person paying the bribe, keeps it up.  Something that Christian missionaries first discovered more than two hundred years ago, but some persist in doing.

    Arguments do not convince anybody, of anything.  All they prove is who can shout the loudest, for the longest period of time, and impress the most people.

    Respectful Discourse includes discussing the sacred texts, religious beliefs, teachings,  and practices with the potentical convert. Not trash-talk, a la Jerry Springer. It means squarely addressing issues which the potential convert percieves to be Christian teachings, beliefs, and practices, and also conflict with their sense of religious belief, practice, and teachings. 

    By way of example:
    • A Hindu will never take their Japa Mala into a laundry room, kitchen, or bathroom, because those places are "unclean", and as such, it is disrespectful to Krishna, to do so;
    • A Muslim will never place the Q'ran on the ground, because doing so shows disrespect to Allah;
    • A Muslim will take two or so minutes, five times a day, to say a prayer to Allah, regardless of how easy it is to do so;
    In Acts 17, Paul demonstrates how a knowledge of the religious beliefs and practices of the target group, can be used to convert them to Christianity.
    has damaged my trust in e sword,

    A resource made by a third party, distributed on a third party web site, damages your trust in e-Sword?

    One of the issues in giving users the ability to create, and distribute content for their Biblical software, or any other software, is that users will create content and extensions that offends the sensibilities of the software developers.

    This implicitly recognized by licenses which prohibit the use of the program "to criticize, undermine, subvert, or in any way question the accuracy and integrity of biblical Christianity".  and "may not be used anywhere but in a House of Christian worship".

    Is faith in God so weak, that it can be damaged by reading that the "wrong" work is available?

    16 May 2012

    Advertising on this site

    As of 20120515, my AdSense account is awaiting approval.
    I don't know how long it will take, or even if it will be approved.

    I have no idea how much revenue, if any, it will generate.

    The majority of the revenue I receive will go towards paying medical bills.   

    The current estimate is that diagnosis will cost US$10,000. If the doctors find what they expect to find, then treatment should be in the US$25K - US$30K range. If something else is found, the treatment costs could be much higher. It is possible, but not probable, that the treatment costs will be lower.

    I do not qualify for any medical programs --- public or private. This includes all programs offered, or run by the Social Security Administration, and the State Department of Social Services. (AFAIK, I did not opt out of Social Security.)

    If you don't want to see the adds, then install AdBlock Plus, or a similar extension in your browser, and configure it to reject all advertising.

    22 April 2012

    Employment at e-Sword

     I don't know who Rick and Phil have previously hired as independent contracts. 

    In browsing through some social networking, and business networking sites, I was a little surprised to see several people with e-Sword as either their current, or former employer.  What surprised me even more was that I did not recognize their names.

    These are individuals that are not:
    • found within the user groups;
    • BibleTech attendees;
    • listed as contributors on the various programs/tools issued by e-Sword.net;
    (This post was originally written in October 2011.)

    A Linux based Christian Distro

    Development of Ubuntu Christian Edition is stalled.
    Development of Ichthux is stalled.
    The Christian oriented puplets of Puppy Linux have tended to be one version wonders.

    Who are these distros aimed at?
    Why should any end user consider a Christian respin, over stock whatever:
    • Arch;
    • CentOS;
    • Debian;
    • Fedora;
    • Red Hat,
    • SuSe;
    • Ubuntu;
    The programs included in the respin are usually found in the upstream repository. The major exceptions being Windows programs that require WINE, or CrossOver:
    • e-Sword;
    • In the Beginning was The Word;
    • Interlinear Scripture Analyzer;
    • Theophilos;
    • Virtual Rosary;
    • Sunday School Planner;
    The minor exceptions are the wallpaper, and the other accouterments of the themes that are included within the distro. Typically, these are not distributed under a Libre license.

    The Sword Project offers native (Linux) biblical software. In theory, all of the features and functionality of the biblical software found in the Windows world can be included. It would be much simpler for Christian Linux distros to drop the Windows software, if the front ends of The Sword Project could successfully complete the 2009 SBL Biblical Software Shootout challenge.

    (This post was originally written on 12 January 2011.)

    18 April 2012

    MySword: A Review

    1: MySword
    This program was originally written for the Windows Mobile operating system. In November 2010, the developers decided to port their program to the Android operating system.

    Program Milestones

    19 March 2011
    Version 1.0
    26 March 2011
    Version 1.1
    7 April 2011
    Version 1.2
    21 April 2011
    Version 1.3
    13 May 2011
    Version 1.4
    27 May 2011
    Version 1.5
    3 June 2011
    Version 1.6
    4 June 2011
    Version 1.6.1
    26 July 2011
    Version 2.0
    3 September 2011
    Version 2.1
    3 October 2011
    Version 2.2
    22 October 2011
    Version 2.3
    25 October 2011
    Version 2.3.1
    6 December 2011
    Version 2.4
    18 March 2012
    Version 3.0
    I used the gratis version of MySword. The Pro Version and the Deluxe Version offer slightly different functionality. These differences may provide for a better user experience.


    This program should run on all versions of Android 2.1 (Éclair) through Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

    There are three editions of this program:
    • The Gratis version;
    • The Pro version;
    • The Deluxe Version;

    The standard version has the following minimum hardware requirements:
    • 600 MHz chip;
    • 1 GB SD card;
    • 256 MB Ram;
    The Pro version is designed for a cell phone. It does not appear to have any additional hardware requirements.

    The Deluxe Version is designed for tablets. Its hardware requirements are:
    • 1024X768 pixel screen resolution1;
    • Seven inch screen, or larger;

      Operating System

      MySword 3.0: Gratis Edition: Android 2.0, and higher; 
      MySword 3.0: Pro Edition:  Android 3.0, and higher;
      MySword 3.0: Deluxe Edition: Android 3.0, and higher;  


    The license can be found at “>Settings >About >About >License”.

    The program is free to use. Source code is not available.

    Paragraph five:
    You can copy MySword freely for personal use and give it away to friends, relatives, etc. as long as you do not charge for it in any way.
    Paragraph nine:
    If you choose to redistribute the software as part of an “official” package (E.G.: your own custom CD compilation with a custom CD cover or label you must:
    Contact the authors to obtain written permission. All valid electronic distributions of the software … on a noticeable area of the official website so users will known whether or not distribution is legal.
    These clauses aren't mutually exclusive. However, for all practical purposes they might as well be.

    Scenario # 1: Landmark Baptist Church2 decides to give a CD containing MySword to everybody who visits their booth at the local summer fair. Does the church need written permission every time they change the contents of the CD? More pointedly, does that listing obligate the church to provide a CD to all who request one?

    Scenario # 2: 10-40 Missions3 notices that Android is very popular in the geographic area it serves. MySword is fairly easy to use. Oops, that listing at MySword.info just signed the death warrant4 for the entire staff and volunteers of the organisation.

    Scenario # 3: The Abbotsford Home Church5, a duly registered unincorporated non-profit organisation decides on MySword as the Biblical software program it uses. Does any resulting distribution require written permission?

    Considering the legal restrictions and prohibitions on Bible ownership and usage around the world, there is no rational for expecting Biblical software will always be obtainable from an app store. More pointedly, Biblical software in the 10-40 Belt has historically been from person to person, using floppy disks, then CDs, and then DVDs. I can't see any of those colporteurs voluntarily exposing themselves to any more risks than needed, to smuggle software into those countries. Indeed, at least one Biblical program in the Android marketplace recommends that users in those countries obtain resources through a source other than the Internet6.

    One other clause that might be problematic is:
    This license is designed  to ensure that MySword  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.
    I'm not sure what that is supposed to prohibit. It could mean:
    • It can't be used as a premium to be used in premium-incentive marketing;
    • One can not distribute non-gratis resources for it;
    • One can not sell documentation related to it;
    • One can not conduct training sessions that have a fee attached to them; 


    The gratis edition is free.

    The Pro Version and Deluxe Version are available as gift for “generous” donors. For reasons best known to the developers, they do not want what they consider to be a “generous” donation publicised.

    On 31 March 2012 iTunes store data indicated7:
    • 82.71% of the applications cost US$1.99, or less.
    • 97.69% of the applications cost US$9.99, or less.
    • 97.77% of the applications cost US$10.99, or less.
    • TThe average price of an application is US$2.03.
    • 631 applications (0.001054329%) are priced between US$48.99 and US$54.99, inclusive.
    • 69 applications (0.000115291%) are priced at US$449.99, or more.
    In July 20108,
    • The average price of all paid applications for the iPhone was US$4.31;
    • The average price of the top 100 paid applications for the iPhone was US$2.31;
    • The average price of the top 100 grossing applications is US$8.93;
    • The average price of all paid applications for Android was US$3.23;
    • The average price of the top 100 paid applications for Android was US$4.57;
    Average mobile device application price9:
    • Android US$3.27
    • Apple: US$3.62
    • Ovi: US$3.47
    • Palm: US$2.53
    • RIM: US$8.26
    • WinMo: US$6.99
    Average Price of top 100 applications in different Android Application Stores10:
    • Handango: US$9.10;
    • MobiHand: US$8.87;
    • Handster: US$7.98;
    • PocketGear: US$7.67;
    • Android Market: US$6.47;
    • AndroidPit: US$3.30;
    • SlideME: US$3.17;
    • Appoke: US$2.68;
    • Amazon: US$2.52
    On 16 May 2010, TechCrunch reported that the average total development cost of an iPhone app was US$6,543.  (http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/16/iphone-app-sales-exposed/).  I don't have comparible data for Android. 

    By way of comparison, from 2002 (http://forum.beyond3d.com/archive/index.php/t-2832.html) we have the following figures for developing software for game consoles:
    • PlayStation €2,100.000
    • Nintendo 64 €510.000
    • Dreamcast €400.000
    • Wonder Swan €400.000
    • Game Boy Advance €350.000
    • PSone €170.000
    • Game Boy €34.000
     Fast forward to January 2010, (http://www.develop-online.net/news/33625/Study-Average-dev-cost-as-high-as-28m) and  we have the following quotes:
    The average development budget for a multi-platform next-gen game is US$18,000,000 to US$28,000,000.
    Development costs for a single platform project average US$10,000,000.
     I haven't found any reliable data on development costs for Android apps. Given the diversity of hardware for Android, I suspect that development are at least double that iOS development.

    Points to ponder:
    Given all that, one would be forgiven for assuming that a donation in the US$5.00 range would suffice for obtaining the Pro version. One would also be wrong.

    In reading the reviews on the various Android Application stores, there is no correlation between the number of stars that are given, and criticism of this pricing policy.

    As best as I can determine, a donation of US$10.00 should enable one to upgrade to the Pro version.(I've seen reports that as little as three dollars works.  I've also seen reports where twenty five dollars has not worked.)

    Depending upon the informant, the minimum donation for the Deluxe version appears to be either US$50.00 or US$25.00. In researching this specific issue, I ran across some indicators that suggested that US$40.00 would be acceptable.

    Quaker theology teaches that bartering is bad for both parties, because it belittles both parties11. The same principle applies here.

    Intended Audience

    As an e-Sword clone, the theoretical audience of the software is “new Christians who don't know how to use computers”. As a practical matter, the focus is upon those who wish to have a basic, portable set of Bible resources.

    The components, for the most part, support its use for Bible Study groups, or Sunday School lessons.

    Usable Features

    Textual apparatus is not available with the gratis edition.
    Module management is not available with the gratis edition.

    Six note/journal resources are predefined.  If you want more, you'll have to migrate to the Pro version.

    For some bizarre reason, maps are hidden in the journal section. 

    For the initial setup, the device must have a working WiFi connection.

    A premium function "Sharing" requires WiFi access, so that the content to be shared can be posted on Twitter, FaceBook, etc. 

    User extensibility

    Tools for users to create their own MySword resources are available.

    No built in macro language is available. There does not appear to be anyway for users to write their own extensions, that hook into the program. 


    Tablets, PDAs, and cell phones are not inherently accessible. Specific modifications depend upon the accessibility issue that needs to be met. For example, for blind individuals, a Braille display monitor needs to be included. For individuals with neuromuscular issues, a joystick needs to be included. For individuals with hearing loss, data needs to be displayed on a monitor.

    Nonetheless, there are things that software developers can do, to make their program more accessible. I look at the six most common issues that are easy to fix, if one designs the software from scratch, with accessibility as a core concept. Retro-fixing software for A11Y usually results in something failing for everybody.

    >Settings >Preferences >Colour Theme” offers four basic options:
    • White with black text;
    • Light Gray with black text;
    • Black with white text;
    • Black with light grey text;

    Whilst these aren't the ideal options, they are adequate for most forms of colour blindness.

    The Pro version offers an additional six options. None of these options enhance usability for colour blind individuals.

    Low Vision:
    >Setting >Preferences >Text Size” offers six options:
    • Largest;
    • Larger;
    • Normal;
    • Smaller;
    • Smallest;
    • Custom;
    Custom” allows one to select a text size that ranges from 20% of “normal” to 300% of “normal”. This range should be adequate for low vision users.
    No Vision:
    None of the screen readers from the Android marketplace, or other sources, functioned with this program.

    Audio feedback provides no identifying data for icons, and other forms of navigation.

    Hearing loss:
    This program has neither a built in text to speech nor audio player. Basic accessibility functionality for hearing issues depends upon the hardware, and the installed audio software.

    Muscular impairments:
    This program does not appear to be able to accept voice input.

    Several times, in selecting resources, or adjusting settings, I noticed that the program “jumped”, and what was displayed was not what I intended to select. I could not determine if that mis-selection was due to my neuromuscular issues, or due to the hardware on my device, or due to something in the program. When I've encountered unexpected actions in other programs, the usual result has been an adjustment of the screen magnification.

    Inasmuch as I have neither an external joystick, nor external keyboard, I did not try using this program with that type of hardware.

    Supported Canons

    This software supports the 66 Book Protestant Canon. As such, it is not suitable12 for Anglican13, Catholic, Lutheran14, or Orthodox Christians.


    This software recognizes the KJV versification scheme only. This eliminates the standard Hebrew versification, the standard versification of the Vulgate, and some of the Greek versification schemes.  A further side effect is that recent translations, such as the NIV won't be correctly rendered, because they have a number of small, but significant departures from KJV V11N.

     Supported Languages

    The User Interface (UI) is in English. A request for help in translating the UI was made on the BibleSupport MySword forum, on 11 April 2012.

    Biblical Language support

    The official website offers resources in Greek and Hebrew. Breathing marks, diacritic marks, and nikkud appear to be correctly placed.

    Resources in other Biblical languages are not currently available.

    Arabic Support

    There do not appear to be any Arabic resources for MySword.

    I don't know Farsi well enough to say how well it displays. In comparing the text to what was displayed in e-Sword, it looked the same, and thus presumably is correct.

    Hebrew resources are correctly displayed in Android 3.0 and higher. (Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich.)

    Search in Hebrew resources requires a virtual keyboard that supports that writing system.

    CJVK Support

    Both Traditional Chinese and Simple Chinese display correctly.

    I did not locate any Japanese resources for MySword.

    The only Korean resource I looked at displays correctly.

    CJKV search requires the use of an external IME. (The IME I tested search with uses a method I'm unfamiliar with.)

    Offline/Online Usage

    The program can be used offline.

    Installation of new resources requires a connection to either the Internet, or a computer that can read/write the Android file system.

    Resource Creation Tools

    The official tool for creating user resources simply converts TheWord resources to MySword.

    Rob Wolfram wrote set of PERL scripts for converting e-Sword resources to MySword. These scripts are available at http://www.biblesupport.com/topic/919-perl-scripts-to-convert-e-sword-9-bblx-and-cmtx-modules-to-mysword/. They run on both Linux and Windows platforms15.

    Whilst both of these tools make migration to MySword relatively simple, they both an add an extra step to the process --- creating a resource for a different platform.

    Users would also be helped if documentation describing the database requirements was publicly available. Whilst reverse engineering existing resources provides most of that data, not everything that is needed is available. (One example being the version of HTML that is supported.)

    Official Resources

    There are 139 official resources, of which 37 are English translations of the Bible.

    Resources on the official home site:
    • 97 Bibles.
    • 12 Commentaries
    • 19 Dictionaries
    • 7 Books
    • 1 Devotional
    • 1 Sample Journal
    • 2 Maps 
    For a total of 139 resources.

    User Created Resources

    MySwordModules.com consists exclusively of Baptist oriented resources converted  by Pastor David Cox.  This site is essentially a blog, so finding specific resources can be awkward.  He is porting resources he previously constructed for e-Sword and TheWord, to MySword.  What he hasn't yet ported, is his original content, which is the msot useful content on his site.

    BibleSupport.com offers 366 (¿370?)16 resources. Of those, 137 are Bible resources17, and 128 are book resources. 
    Currently (20120331-00:00) the site offers:
    • 137 Bibles;
    • 76 Commentaries;
    • 19 Dictionaries;
    • 127 Books;
    • 3 Maps;
    • 4 Devotionals;
    By my count, that is 366 files. The webpage claims 370 files.
    Either way, these files have been downloaded a total of 31,840 times.

    One reviewer wrote “you can now have all of your e-Sword resources with you”. Whilst theoretically true, there are three practical limitations:
    • Amount of space to put the resources on18;
    • The lack of support for the Anagignoskomena;
    • Components and functions in e-Sword, that are not in MySword;


    The usual driving force behind DRM is copyright owners trying19 to prevent piracy of content that is commercially distributed. Inasmuch as the MySword developers current policy is to not commercially distribute resources, DRM is not present.


    The gratis version limits search to the first 100 hits.
    The Pro version does not restrict the number of hits.

    FT Search is the default search method. This looks only at the root of the word being searched. Thus, a search for “burn” will return “burn”, “burnt”, and “burning”.

    Boolean Search is implemented in the Pro Version.
    • "OR" is Boolean OR;
    • "NEAR" is the proximity indicator;
    • "NEAR/#", where # is a number between 1 and 10, is the distance, in words, between the two words that are being searched for;
    • "-" is Boolean NOT;
    These keywords are not always acted upon. One pitfall is that due to root stemming, inexact matches may be returned.

    Proximity Search is implemented in the Pro Version. The words have to be within ten words of each other. By using “NEAR/#”, where “#” is a number 1 and 10, words an exact distance apart can be found. Book boundaries are not crossed.   Chapter and verse boundaries are crossed at whim.

    Regex Search is not implemented.

    Official Support

    The official support forum is at http://www.flickr.com/groups/mysword/. Official support is also provided by email.

    Official documentation is limited to what is found in the program. This information is also found on the official website.

    User Support

    An unofficial user web forum can be found on BibleSupport.com.

    Video documentation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7BH_epiS4M&feature=related is a 24 minute video on installing and using MySword. The text is in Spanish. There is no audio description.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fdyfjB2wjI&feature=related is the only other video about MySword that I could find. This video is 3 minutes and thirty one seconds long, and is in Tagalog.

    Written documentation:
    There does not appear to be any third party documentation. Considering that the program is barely a year old, that lack is not especially troubling. However, it does leave those unfamiliar with Biblical software in the lurch20.

    Theological Orientation

    The program is designed for Protestant Christianity. Considering the demographics of who purchases Biblical software, this is not unsurprising. However, the major Biblical software vendors do pay lip service to Catholic and Orthodox Christianity. e-Sword, upon which MySword is based, also provides for Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.

    User created resources are dominated by Baptist theology. This won't change, until one can create resources for MySword, without first creating a resource for e-Sword or TheWord.

    SBL Bible Software Shootout

    For these criteria to be successfully completed, three things are needed:
    • Resources that have the required data;
    • REGEX Search functionality;
    • Built in morphological analysis;

    Whilst it is theoretically possible to write auxiliary programs to work around those issues, you bump into hardware limitations:
    • Available space for resources;
    • Available RAM to run the program;
    • Chip speed --- can the search/whatever be completed before the user thinks the program has crashed?

      If one is going to go to the effort of writing the requisite resources and auxiliary software, then both Laridian's  PocketBible  and Olive Tree's BibleReader are more suitable option. (One can easilly create the required resources for the former.  The functionality is iffy, but appears to be doable. The latter has both the required resources, and functionality.)

    Other things

    Currently missing features are:
    • Bible Reading Plans;
    • Verse Lists;

    Whilst those can be worked around, the inability to create resources on the Android platform hinders its usability in the field.

    In the begining of April, I nearly suggested that the church I attend adopt this as their preferred Bible Study program for Android.  Within a week, I was extremely glad that I did not make that recommendation.  Between clause ten and the "pricing structure", the program is too risky for a church to distribute.


    I haven't yet deleted this program from my tablet. I probably will do so once I complete a program that migrates data from MySword to e Sword resources. I'm writing that program purely as a means of preserving the notes I made, when testing this software.
    2: In Conclusion
    The gratis version is tolerable for basic Bible study. For most purposes, it is too crippled to be useful.

    Until the developers come out with an explicit pricing policy, I can not recommend this program.

    At US$10.00, the Pro Version is adequate for Bible study by those who utilise the 66 Book Protestant Canon, and Bible translations that utilize the KJV versfication scheme.

    The Deluxe version, at US$50.00 is overpriced for what it offers. The Pocket Bible Bronze Edition, from Laridian, at US$49.99, offers much better value for money.

    This document contains twenty two footnotes22.
    This document contains no end notes.

    1 Scattered reports imply that a larger screen resolution results in a decrease in the usability of the program.
    2 I am using this name as an example. It does not reflect any specific organisation whose activities I am aware of.
    3 I made up the name of this organisation. Any resemblance to an existing organisation is completely unintentional.
    4 Whilst the number of countries where mere possession of the Bible is a criminal offence, punishable by death, the number of countries that have made proselytizing by Christians a criminal offence, has increased in the last decade. The usual penalty in those countries is death.
    5 I am using this name as an example. Any resemblance to an existing organisation is unintentional.
    6 Given recent court decisions in Europe and North America, this advice probably should also be taken by residents of those geographical areas.
    7 This data was retrieved on 31 March 2012 at 01:54 UT from http://148apps.biz/app-store-metrics/?mpage=appprice.
    8 This data is from http://zapp2.staticworld.net/news/graphics/217805-appsprices_slide.jpg, which is part of a slide show published 27 January 2011 at 2:00 AM (TZ not provided) at http://www.pcworld.com/article/217788/smackdown_android_market_vs_iphone_app_store.html.
    9 This data was published by Sarah Perez on 22 February 2010 at 8:19 AM. (TZ not provided) from http://m.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_truth_about_mobile_application_stores.php. Their source was Distimo. I could not locate the report on the Distimo website.
    10 This data is from http://www.research2guidance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/android-prices.jpg, which is part of an article posted 20 July 2011 by Egle Mikalajunaite at http://www.research2guidance.com/developing-effective-multi-store-app-pricing-strategy/.
    11 In this respect, what vendors in those countries where bartering is the norm, have to say when the purchaser does not barter, is a useful reminder of why it hurts both parties: “The profit might be higher, but the sale leaves a bad taste in the mouth”.
    12 The criteria I use is simple --- the ability to read both the Daily Office, and the Lectionary.
    13 The Book of Common Prayer includes readings from deuterocanonical material for both the Lectionary and Daily Office. Alternate non-deuterocanonical readings are also listed for those days and times.
    14 High Church Confessional Lutherans include deuterocanonical material in the lectionary. Other Lutherans do not use the deuterocanonical books in their lectionary.
    15 Thus far, PERL has not been ported to Android.
    16 The statistics page claims 370 resources are available. Adding up the number of resources listed for each type of resources gets the 366 figure.
    17 This site splits Bibles into two groups: “Bibles” and “Foreign Language Bibles”. Hebrew, Greek, and English Bibles can be found in both sections.
    18 I'm not aware of any Android devices that have 128 GB of space for user data. This is the amount of space required for e-Sword resources.
    19 “Trying”, because DRM is a futile attempt to defy the laws of nature. It attempts to that which is physically impossible.
    20 Whilst the Android Platform is not per se a non-Bible reading community, I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction with Biblical software as Xbox navigator found in the gaming community.
    21 Whilst Olive Tree couldn't successfully complete the 2009 Bible Software Shootout at that conference, those issues have since been resolved.
    22 This footnote is for tracking purposes only.