31 December 2015

The Bible of Many Colors


William McDermot

Two versions in the Google Play Store:
* Gratis, with advertising.
* US$1.99, no advertising.

Rating: 1/10 (Unmodified score: 1.525/100)

In a blog post that has long since migrated to /dev/null, Kevin Purcell divided biblical software into three groups:
* Bible Reading programs;
* Public Domain programs;
* Bible Study programs;

This program falls solidly in the Bible Reading program class.

The app does two things:
* Download PDF files, which are then read by the PDF reader on one’s device;
* Deliver advertisements to the user;

In 2014, the mobile apps industry generated US$35,000,000 in revenue,(^1) of which US$3,500,000 was from in-app advertising. The median developer receives US$400 per year, from all revenue sources in the mobile app industry(^2).

The developer frankly states that the point of in-app advertising, is to generate revenue, to cover the cost of developing this Bible version. I suspect more revenue would be generated by offering it on Kindle Select, for US$2.99. Or, if one wants to stay in the realm of Biblical software, peddle it to FaithLife, Laridian, Olive Tree, and the other organizations that sell resources for their Biblical software.

Back around 2004, in The e-Sword Utility Program FAQ, I mused about a Bible translation that colourized every word in the Bible that was spoken by somebody, or something. Jim Albright wrote the first version of Dramatizer in 2001, and last updated it in 2010. (Source code is at http://code.google.com/p/dramatizer/ until Google shuts down Google Code, which is scheduled for sometime in 2016.) Dramatizer doesn’t colourize words for one, but it does generate a worksheet that can be fed into a python script, that will colourize the Biblical text. (Dramatizer is Windows only. Dramatizer won’t run under WINE. After spending about ten minutes looking at the code, I concluded that it would be easier to rewrite the program in Python, than try to figure out what to change, so it would run under WINE.)

In the explanation of how the Bible of Many Colors came about, William McDermott claims it took him nine years to generate this Bible. In essence, the text is underlined in the colour of the individual that is speaking, and highlighted in the colour of the individual being referred to.
As such, this version would be a useful item, if it was a resource in one’s Biblical software.

As a stand alone app, all it does, is make it easier for malware to infect one’s device, through the advertising that it displays. (The only delivery mode of malware that has higher ROI than Internet advertising, is targeted phishing.)

^1: The Comprehensive App Economic Blog 2014. http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/

^2: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/.a/6a00e0097e337c883301b7c7ffda55970b-pi.

25 May 2015

Who Done It?

This method of Bible study ignores what is said. Instead, one asks a series of questions about the circumstances of the communication.
  • Who is speaking?
  • Who are they speaking to?
  • Who are they speaking about?

  • Who is present?
  • Who is not present, but whose presence would be expected?
  • Who is present, whose presence is unexpected?

  • What type of building are they speaking in?
  • What hamlet, village, city are they speaking in?
  • What country are they speaking in?

  • What time of day are they speaking?
  • What time of the week are they speaking?
  • What time of the month are they speaking?
  • What time of the year are they speaking?

  • When are they speaking?
  • Who is the primary audience of this passage?
  • Who is the secondary audience of this passage?

The Examination

Somebody sent me an email, asking for a copy of the sequence of questions I term The Examination. This is something that might be useful for other people.

This was constructed over the course of around thirty years. As I encountered questions that I thought would be useful additions, I added them, but not their source. Some of them are from reading material such as Tim LaHayes' How To Study The Bible For Yourself.  Other questions are from studying the Bible with active non-Christians.

The Examination

This covers the following questions, and points:

What is the Context

  • Immediate Context:
    • What precedes the word(s)? 
    • What follows the word(s)?
  • Remote Context: 
    • What is the main theme of the chapter?
    • What is the main theme of the book?
  • Total Context:
    • What does the Bible as a whole, say? 
    • What does the rest of the Testament say?

What is the outline of the Passage?
  • What is the outline of the chapter?
  • Pay attention to the connectives
Study parallel passages
  • Passages in canonical works;
  • Passages in non-canonical works;
What is the background of the passage?
  • Internal sources:
    • Study all of the Books in the entire Canon;
    • Take copious notes;
  • External sources:
    • Study the commentaries;
    • Study Greek, Hebrew, English, and Aramaic Dictionaries;
Understand the words
  • Recognize the literary style book:
    • Prose narrative; 
    • Poetry; 
    • Parabolic literature; 
    • Apocalyptic literature;
    • Discourses;
  • Observe the context:
    • The same word usually means the same thing in the same passage, but in a different passage may have a different meaning;
  • Study the specific words:
    • Get all the meanings of the word; 
    • Look at the root of the word; 
    • Look at other words with the same gematria value; 
    • Look at how it is used in other passages.;
  • Study the figures of speech:
  • Pay attention to the underlying language: 
    • Aramaic;
    • Hebrew;
    • Greek; 
    • Latin;
Make Observations about The Actions in the Passage:
  • Who is being discussed:
    • Who was present when it was written; 
    • Who else was around at the time;
    • Who wrote the passage; 
  • Who is involved in the passage:

  • What is the passage about: 
    • What else is the passage about
  • When was it written:
    • What was the time; 
    • What was the date; 
    • What was the season; 
    • What was the astronomical configuration;
  • When do the events in the passage take place:
    • What stage in life; 
    • What time in physical terms; 
    • What astronomical configuration;
  • Where do the events in the passage take place:

  • Where was the author when the passage was written:

  • Why was it written:

  • How was it written:
Make observations about thoughts
  • Literary form: 
    • Prose; 
    • Poetry; 
    • Dialogue;
    • Monologue;
  • Words and phrases:
    • Key words; 
    • Key phrases; 
    • Recurring phrases; 
    • Unfamiliar words; 
    • Gematria connections;
  • Expression:
    • Idiomatic expression; 
    • Figures of Speech;
  • Grammar: 
    • Verb; 
    • Noun; 
    • Pronoun; 
    • Conjunction; 
    • Command; 
    • Question; 
    • Gerund;
  • Structure of paragraphs:
    • How do they relate to the others in the same verse; 
    • How do they relate to others in the same chapter; 
    • How do they relate to others in the same book;
  • Composition:
    • Repetition; 
    • Comparison; 
    • Contrast; 
    • Progression; 
    • Digression; 
    • Cause and Effect; 
    • Questions and Answers;
  • Literary Style:
    • Mood of the passage; 
    • Mood of the word; 
    • Tense of the passage; 
    • Tense of the word; 
    • Atmosphere; 
    • Illustrations; 
    • Idiomatic Expression; 
    • Puns; 
    • Figures of Speech; 
    • Quotes; 
    • Anagrams; 
    • Palindromes;
Answer the following:
  • What principles are explicitly stated?
  • What principles are implicitly stated?
  • How does it apply to me?
  • How do I apply in my life?
  • What do I need to change to live by those principles?
Make up your own questions about the passage:
  • Definitive --- pertaining to meaning;
  • Rational --- pertaining to reason;
  • Structural --- pertaining to relationship;
  • Implicational --- pertaining to things implied;
  • Theological --- pertaining to doctrine;
  • Historical --- background information;
  • Cultural --- background information;
  • Speculative --what else could be meant;
  • Application --- what is the personal application;
  • What is the personal challenge;
  • Interpretation --- the meaning of the author;
  • Open doors to new insight;
  • Information --- observe significant facts;
Formulating good questions:
  • Is the question clear and easy to understand
  • Does it give enough information to guide the thinking
  • Does it have a definite answer
  • Will it lead to speculation
  • Does it stimulate the thought process
  • Does it make a point worth discussing at this tome by this group
  • Does the question reveal the answer
What is the meaning:
  • Figurative meaning;
  • Literal meaning;
  • Qua Postmodernism;
  • Qua Objectivism;
  • Qua Marxism;
  • Qua Maoism;
  • Qua Existentialism;
  • Qua Reform Jewish theology;
  • Qua Conservative Jewish theology;
  • Qua Karaite theology;
  • Qua Orthodox Jewish theology;
  • Qua Sh’ite theology;
  • Qua Suni theology;
  • Qua Daoist theology;
  • Qua Tibetan Buddhist theology;
  • Qua Zen Buddhist theology;
  • As transpersonal psychology;
  • As metaphor;
    • As annihilation metaphor;
    • As sexual metaphor;
  • As Pentecostal theology;
  • As Baptist theology;
  • As Orthodox Christian theology;
  • As Catholic Christian theology;
  • As Calvinist theology;
  • As Lutheran theology;
  • As a tool of social control;
  • As a tool of political control;
Some Guiding principles:
  • What is the relevancy of the passage?
  • What is the universal practice?
  • What is the local practice?
  • Change your life to accord with the principle;
  • Keep a record of how you apply the principle;
Study preparation
  • Look for the relation of the passage to the context;
  • Seek to understand the passage in its original setting;
  • Try to visualize the scene and the event;
  • Find the structure of the passage;
  • Observe the significant facts of the passage;
  • Study the meanings of the words or phrases;
  • Look up the references or parallel passages;
  • Interpret the thoughts of the passage;
  • Make comparisons with corresponding views or customs of the present days;
  • Find illustrations from one's own experiences;
  • Paraphrase the passage in contemporary language;
  • Summarize the central teaching of the passage;
  • Make an outline;
  • Draw principles or implications suggested in the text;
  • Consider personal applications;

23 May 2015

MinistryUSE OS2 Xfce "Covenant"

Towards the end of April, I tried installing MinistryUSE, and then ChristOS on my laptop.  Neither of them would install. One of them decided that despite having both an open, active ethernet connection, and open, active, wireless connection to the Internet, my laptop was not connected to the Internet. The other one didn't just plain didn't like my hardware.

I hate updates to GRUB. I despise them.  Anything else in a distro can be updated, but GRUB.  I have never seen a GRUB update, that has not required me to do a clean install of the OS.  Within ten days of installing Xubuntu 14.4, there was an update to GRUB.  And, as expected, it trashed my setup.

That is when I started the test of the 8 May 2015 release of MinistryUSE OS2 Xfce (http://ministryuseos.weebly.com/).

If it didn't take me 40+ hours to configure Thunderbird, I'd update to the final version, which was released on 17 May 2015.

Unlike previous versions, this re-spin is based upon Makulu Linux, rather than OpenSuse.  You can explore the Makulu Linux home site at http://makululinux.com/home/ , or read a more objective description at http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=makulu.

This is the default MinistryUSE wallpaper. 

Other than shipping with e-Sword installed, and Christian orientated wallpaper, there isn't much difference between MinistryOS, and Makulu, and stock Xubuntu.

Changing wallpaper is as simple as a right click anywhere on the desktop, then sliding the mouse to "Desktop Settings", and selecting the new wallpaper.

I changed the wallpaper on my desktop to this:

Biblical Software

The first time I successfully installed MinistryOS, e-Sword was not properly installed, and my attempts to re-install it failed.  The second time I installed MinistryOS, e-Sword installed correctly, as part of the distro.

I successfully installed a couple of programs for Windows, without having to configure WINE, WineTricks, or PlayOnLinux. Not having to change anything in WINE, for things to install successfully, is a real pleasure.
(This means that there is at least one Bible Study Program that meets the criteria of The 2009 SBL Bible Software Shootout, that successfully runs on this distro.)

For licensing reasons, TheWord is no longer included in MinistryOS.

The first two or three releases of Ubuntu Christian Edition (UCE) included e-Sword. It had to be removed, for licensing reasons. The solution UCE came up with, was script that downloads, and automatically installs e-Sword. Maybe MinistryOS uses the same thing. Worst case scenario is that MinistryOS includes a script that installs TheWord.

I ended up installing Wide Margin, KJV Bible, and Bible Edit GTK. I'm working on translating the Bible, and use Bible Edit for that.  (I'd rather use BibleStudy 2009, but it doesn't run under WINE.)

Wide Margin and KJV Bible are basic Bible programs. Their only virtue is that opening them, displays the KJV. Something that is useful, when following the reasoning in essays such as that describing Simon Magus in the Petrine and Pauline Epistles.

One caveat. Under no circumstances remove the e-Sword icon, on the vertical toolbar.  e-Sword will not start from the command line, nor from clicking open with WINE, when in your file manager.

Office Suite

The default office suite for Makulu Linux is WPS Office. This office suite does not support ISO/IEC 26300:2006/AMD 1:2012 file formats.  It claims to support MSO File Formats. Whilst it could open both Excel spreadsheets I have, (^1) it could not perform any of the calculations on those spreadsheets.  I don't have any MS Word documents, so I don't know how well it handles that file format.

Fortunately, installing Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and EuroOffice is a breeze.  I grabbed the DEBs from the developers' website, threw them all in the same directory, including moving the files in desktop_integration into that directory, and then ran sudo dpkg -i *.deb. It took me around forty minutes to download, and install all three office suites. 


To install Makulu Linux, one needs to know the correct password.
Then, during the installation process, it asks for the password of MinistryOS.  This is a different password. 

Secondly, MinistryOS creates an administrator account called MinistryOS.  I deleted the account. Had "Guest" status been available, I would have switched it to that, and changed the password.  (I wonder how many people do not realize that there is a MinistryOS administrator account, and proceed to neither delete it, nor change the password.  To me, this is a huge security flaw. Almost as big as the one at a company I worked at, where the password for root, was "root".  (I wish I could say I was joking, but in all the time I worked at that company, the password was not changed.)

Thirdly, SystemD is used. Inasmuch as all flavours of Ubuntu have switched to that, it can be expected. My issue with SystemD is that it gets into too many things, so that when the Zero Day Exploits are widely distributed in the wild, fixing the flaws means switching to one of the BSD variants.

Fourthly, software designed for the Windows operating system, will not, when installed under WINE, create icons on either the desktop, or menu bar. 

  • e-Sword will only start from the icon on the toolbar;
  • Other programs that require WINE, will only start by clicking on "Open With WINE Program" when opened in your file manager;
  • Still other programs that require WINE, will only open from the command line "wine -some -commands program.exe -some -commands";

I've never seen, or even heard of this behavior before.

Replacing Ubuntu Christian Edition

For those whose checklist for an acceptable distro, includes built-in filtering,  MinistryOS won't make the grade. For everybody else looking to replace Ubuntu Christian Edition, it will make the grade.

For filtering, the only viable option, is to run your own DNS server, which returns either or for "undesirable" web hosts, as part of your physically independent hardware firewall and router, which plugs into the third-party pwned equipment that is provided by your ISP.

^1: Both of these spreadsheets are commercially distributed, with an MSRP in the low three digits.

22 March 2015

Long time a'coming

Been a long time a'coming, but now it has arrived.

e-Sword For Mac on the iTunes Store. 
Released on 20 March 2015.

Cost is US$9.99. 

http://www.e-sword.net/mac/ is the URL, if you want to read about it on the official webpage.

I don't have a Mac, so all I can say about it is what I've gleaned from reading descriptions written by other people.

User Interface is Spanish or English.  (That seems strange to me.  Wonder why Rick couldn't use the same strings as e-Sword for Windows?)

From Rick's description, I think it has slightly more functionality/capability than e-Sword.

It uses the same file format as e-Sword for the iPhone & iPad.
(SQLite database engine & HTML markup language.)  I'm going to call this e-Sword4iOS format.

My guess is that somebody over at BibleSupport.com is going to be working long hours, converting the existing e-Sword modules to e-Sword4iOS format.

Two more platforms to go:
  • Linux;
  • Android;
Which leads to interesting question. Which works better on Linux:
  • e-Sword X;
  • e-Sword;
Unfortunately, I do not know of a way to purchase and install Mac software from the iTunes store, on my Linux box. I can install Mac software from sources other than the iTunes store, on my Linux box.

15 March 2015

Migrating to New Software

Copying an email in my inbox that I recently read for what appears to be the first time.^1

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Marcello Romani
Date: Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 23:20
I think the lesson here is twofold:

1) before showing a new program to someone, be sure to know it well, or at least to know well the functions you want to show in that particular situation;

2) persuading someone to change habits is very hard; when "habit" means "I'm used to click there, there, and there and I've got my work done" the job becomes virtually impossible; so you have to be _very_ prepared to answer the typical question: that task in my usual software is done so and so, how do I do it in the new one ? If the motivation to try a new software is not coming from the user herself, she won't be very patient when encountering difficulties, so you have to ease the learning curve yourself;

Thanks for ranting publicly :-) I think your feelings are shared by many (I event felt quite the same sometimes when I first tried FOSS software years ago), so discussing them here might be helpful.


^1:  On the email account in question, I am several years behind in looking at what is in my inbox.  For my other email accounts, the inbox is purged at least once a fortnight.

MinistryUse OS

I received a reply from Darion Cantron, the developer of MinistryUse OpenSUSE and Christ OS. He is working on a successor to both of those distros, namely
MinistryUse OS, available from http://ministryuseos.weebly.com/.

The ISO file is 3GB in size, and is hosted on mega.co.nz. Links are at

The web page description is:

MinistryUSE OS is a Linux Remaster of Linux Mint.  It's purpose is to provide a desktop experience with all the tools commonly needed for work in ministry.  As a pastor of a small church I use my laptop every day researching, writing, reading, reaching out using social networks, creating, planning, and publishing.  It is vital tool for the work I do.  And I got to thinking, what if I could create an operating system with all the tools I find helpful in my ministry so that other ministers could use it right out of the box.

That is what I am attempting to do here.  

A Linux Desktop Experience geared for Christians who want to use their computers as tools for ministry.  

Being as how this project is very new, improvement will be made based upon your feedback.  So contact me through Facebook and let me know what you think.  But be kind, I do this on my free time.
The current features are:
  • Libreoffice for Office Suite
  • Bibletime, Xiphos, E-Sword, and TheWord for Bible Study and Research
  • OpenLP for Projection Software
  • Chromium Browser and Firefox Browser for Internet Browsing
  • Rhythmbox, VLC, and Amorak for Media Players
  • Cheese and Kdenlive for Video Editing
  • Audacity for Audio Editing
  • Evolution (Pardon the name) for Email and Calendar/Planner
  • Scribus, Gimp, and Libredraw for Desktop Publishing
  • And many Christian Wallpapers already uploading plus lots of neat features and customizations
 Off the bat, on purely technical grounds, I would replace Evolution with Thunderbird.  If you need to archive email, I'd suggest Enkive. It isn't that hard to configure.  Time consuming, but not difficult.

I have not downloaded this distro.
I have not tested this distro out.

Instead of testing out either of the other two distros I discovered today, I will test this one out.

14 March 2015

MinistryUse OpenSUSE

Wandering further into SourceForge today, I discovered a second Linux distro for Christians:  MinistryUse OpenSUSE.

Version 0.0.1 was released on Sourceforge on 15 January 2015.

It can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/ministryuseopensuse/.

The SourceForge description simply says:

Finally an operating system specifically set up for Christians in ministry with one of the best desktop environments available - KDE. Xiphos for Bible Study. Chromium for web-browsing. Openlp for worship projection software. And much more to aid in your ministry needs. As a young minister, I use my laptop for a lot in ministry. I hope this helps you too.
God Bless and if you have any problems, please let me know. I'd be happy to work on it.
Under Features, we have listed:
  • K Desktop environment
  • Chromium Browser for Web
  • Xiphos for Bible Study
  • Openlp for Worship projection software
  • Libreoffice for all your word processing needs
  • Customized desktop appearance with Christian themed backgrounds
  • Open SUSE repositories and base

I have not downloaded this distro.
I have not tested this distro. 

The same person develops both MinistryUse OpenSUSE and  Christ OS.
I've sent an email to the developer, asking if Christ OS. , the successor to MinistryUse OpenSUSE.

Christ OS 0.0.4

In wandering through SourceForge today, I stumbled across Christ OS. A Christian orientated Linux Distro.

The 964 MB ISO image can be downloaded from
http://sourceforge.net/projects/christos/?source=directory .

Version 0.0.4 was released 11 February 2015.
This distro is based on OpenSuse 13.2 KDE, which was released on 4 November 2014.

The Sourceforge summary simply says:
A new Christian OS based on OpenSUSE 13.2 with K Desktop Environment, xiphos and Bibletime for Bible Study, Openlp for projection software, libreoffice for office suite, and compiz for windows manager, plus much more. Enjoy!
I have not yet looked at this distro.
The major purpose of this post, is to remind me to test it out.

24 February 2015

The E-Bible

This patent, applied for in 2004, and published in 2006, is so glaringly obvious, that I don't see how it could possibly have flied in 2006, let alone 2004.

The INVENTION: The E-BIBLE™ offers consumers a rechargeable, battery powered, hand held, electronic personal assistant with interactive software enabling a user to electronically access bible verses.»

In 1999, an acquaintance of mine had a Palm Pilot. I don't remember if the Bible was a text file, or an application for it. Either way, it was a rechargeable, battery powered, hand held, electronic personal assistant with interactive software enabling a user to electronically access bible verses.

Furthermore, contrary to the claims within this non-patent, this non-inventor did not invent E-Bibles. 

Franklin has been selling electronic Bibles since at least 2000. Going by the randomly downloaded manual, I'd suggest that they were doing so by 1993, and possibly as early as 1989. (NIV copyright dates are 1973, 1978, 1984.)

Thankfully, the the inventor of US6887081 B1 let his patent application lapse.  Otherwise we'd all be in trouble.

Patent # US 20060123352 A1

23 February 2015

Didn't Logos have this functionality back in 2007?

In this post, I'm railing against yet another non-patent that should have been rejected on sight, and not only because it is blindingly obvious to all.

I'm using Logos as the example, because I think it had most of the features described herein, back in 2007.  Regardless, I am fairly confident that a search of the Logos archives back then, will show that users were asking for them.  Some, perhaps most of the listed features were discussed/requested on the mailing lists, and web forums, of other Biblical software, at least as early as 2003.

In most scenarios, neither "on a network", nor "on a computer", nor "using a mobile device", which phrase this non-patent does not use, are novel enough, to warrant granting a patent. Pretty much everything in this non-patent is a straight forward application of what people do, when they have books, file folders, pens, pencils, and blank sheets of paper, littering their desk, when they engage in an in-depth study of the Bible.

The hard copy books would include, but not be limited to:
  • Crudon's Concordance;
  • Nave's Topical Bible;
  • Treasury of Scripture;
  • Strong's Concordance;
  • Textus Receptus;
  • Masoretic Text;
  • Glossa Ordinaria;
  • Matthew Henry's Commentary;
  • The Poor Man's Commentary;
  • The Poor Man's Dictionary of the Bible;
  • Vulgate;
  • Books of Sermons;
  • The rest of the 1,000 books that a pastor circa 1900 would be expected to have

«A graphical user interface on a computer comprising: a search field configured to enable a user to enter a search term, the search term being recognized as a subject focus element; a bloom diagram window configured to display an initial bloom diagram having the subject focus element at a center location and resource elements related to the subject focus element at locations surrounding the center location; a passage window configured to display one or more passages of a classic literary work, the passages related to the subject focus element; and a resource window configured to display a description of the resource elements, wherein the resource window comprises a cross-reference pane configured to display passages of the classic literary work and topics related to the search term, a definition pane configured to display definitions of the subject focus element and definitions of words related to the subject focus element, and a thoughts pane configured to display commentaries and notes from respected scholars, and wherein one or more of the resource elements are represented as dots, wherein dots are visually coded to correspond to one of the cross-reference pane, the definition pane, and the thoughts pane.»

Translating that into plain English.
  • Search for a word in the Bible. (Hebrew or Greek in the passage above, but IIRC, Latin, Coptic, Aramaic, and Old Church Slavonic also worked in Logos 3.);
  • Display the results as a three dimensional window that expands, contracts, or moves, as one uses a mouse to glide over the individual results;
  • As one slides over the individual result, a new window is created, that includes definitions, grammatical information, cross-references, translations into other languages, notes from other resources, such as commentaries, handbooks, critical editions, study guides, treatises, missals, etc, used by Biblical software, and other points of actual, or alleged interest that are, in theory at least, related to to the term being displayed;
  • Sliding the mouse enables one to select items from a specific point in time, theological point of view, or a geographical point, or a specific person;
Maybe I'm just mis-remembering things, and conflating them with talks at BibleTech 2009.

Aargh! I probably can't  fly by adding Coptic, or Japanese^1.  This non-patent specifically mentions Latin, French, and Spanish, and "Ancient Languages".

Oh wait, this requires a network. Logos 3 didn't require a networked connection, so that is new. But then "over a network" should not be enough of a novelty, to make something patentable.

That network is to be used for:
  • Trial memberships;
  • Buying a subscription;
  • Interacting with other community members;
  • Share studies with other community members;
  • Ask questions of other community members;
  • Tutorials;
  • A database to manage those activities;
There was:
  • The Logos Newsgroups;
  • The Logos IRC channel;
  • The Logos web forums;
  • The Logos web store;
  • Third party sites for additional Logos resources --- both gratis, and non-gratis;
  • Both official, and third party web based tutorials;
  • Camp Logos probably doesn't matter in this instance, but I'll mention it anyway;
So even there, Logos in 2007 might have scraped past those requirements.

Faithlife is gratis ^2, and it enables users to do everything described as part of the network functionality/capability, except pay for a subscription. (In as much as in-app purchases can currently be done, a non-gratis subscription would be trivial to include.)

«It should be understood that the routines, steps, processes, or operations described herein may represent any module or code sequence that can be implemented in software or firmware. In this regard, these modules and code sequences can include commands or instructions for executing the specific logical routines, steps, processes, or operations within physical components. It should further be understood that two or more of the routines, steps, processes, and/or operations described herein may be executed substantially simultaneously or in a different order than explicitly described, as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. 


It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the present disclosure. Any process descriptions or blocks in flow diagrams should be understood as representing modules, segments, or portions of code which include one or more executable instructions for implementing specific logical functions or steps in the process, and alternate implementations are included in which functions may not be included or executed at all, may be executed out of order from that shown or discussed, including substantially concurrently or in reverse order, depending on the functionality involved, as would be understood by those reasonably skilled in the art of the present disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the present disclosure. Further, the scope of the present disclosure is intended to cover any and all combinations and sub-combinations of all elements, features, and aspects discussed above. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of the present disclosure, and all possible claims to individual aspects or combinations of elements or steps are intended to be supported by the present disclosure. »

That is clearly an overarching reach. Unlike the usual patent, whereby substituting "Drink an Espresso" for "Eat a Smartie", usually enables one to avoid patent infringement, this implicitly denies that legal defence.

But perhaps the worst thing about this patent, is that any Biblical software that provides features similar to those described here, can either pay the Danegeld, or pay US$10,000,000 to have a court rule that the patent is null and void.

At least Tom Philpot's and Rick Brannan's respective talks at BibleTech 2015, won't be a patent violation. Merely implementing the features discussed in their respective presentations will be.

FWIW, I stumbled over this patent, when looking for the one that James Convington's talk at BibleTech 2015 is most likely to infringe upon.

Going by the drawings, Biblical software on smart-phones, feature-phones, tablets, or ebook readers will violate US 20030006969 A1. 
A Bible reader made using an Arduino board might.

OTOH, Biblical Software that conforms to Palm requirements for software, will violate US5987451 A. Fortunately, that patent has expired.

Equally fortunate for Biblical software developers, is that US 5871238 A & US 4445196 A have expired. 

^1:  Shinto priests have preserved at least two ninth century Japanese manuscripts of the Bible.

^2: Whilst purchasing one of the various packages enhances the functionality, and usability of Logos, Verbum, Biblia, or other apps tailored for specific groups, doing so is not mandatory. (A forum post implied that not all Logos packages delivered content to all of their apps. So choose your Faithlife app ^4 with care.)

^3: # 8,407,617. US 20100293498 A1 is another junk-patent related to Biblical software. 

^4:  Since the company name is Faithlife, I'm using that term for all of their software, including their desktop programs.

11 February 2015

BibleTech 2015

About a fortnight ago I received an email from Logos, announcing BibleTech 2015.


30 April - 2 May.

Talks that look useful to me:
  • LaRosa Johnson: Battling Bible Illiteracy: Solving the Problem of Biblical Illiteracy;
  • Jeff Jackson: Cross Interlinear: A New Way To Compare Texts;