Well, here I am playing around with my new Ubuntu machine again, and being a Bible teacher and writer, I obviously want Bible software on any machine I’m running. A little effort found me the Sword Project, and it’s related materials.
I intend to try out GnomeSword, and I’ll write about it when I do, but for right now what satisfied my need for something simple that would give me the basic texts I want to use, I installed Bible Desktop which starts from the web and installs itself. If you haven’t done so already, you will need to install Java (Add/Remove on the Applications Menu will do it for you), but otherwise the process is automated.
It is based on the JSword project. One thing that attracts me to this one is the ability to have the same software on any number of computers and/or operating systems since it is based on Java. That also leaves me the option of possibly getting involved in development, should I get comfortable enough with the software to contribute.
The resulting software isn’t Logos, which I use on my main Windows desktop, and it isn’t yet e-Sword which I use on one of my Windows laptops, but it does have all the functionality I need when away from my main desk.
What is lacking is what will generally be lacking in open source or free applications–certain resources. For the most part I can work with the Westcott-Hort text for my Greek, and the available Hebrew texts, but I miss having such standards as the NRSV, NIV, and CEV. That’s not the fault of the developers–the resources just aren’t available normally without cost.
The one thing that seems to be a bit difficult is to compare a large number of versions. Thus far I see that I can compare my default Bible with one other. (You can change both the default Bible and this behavior in the Options, which will allow you to show only the current Bible.) In order to compare a large number of versions you need to create Tabs which isn’t a bad idea, but is marginally less convenient.
I will continue to learn to use this software and perhaps correct myself on that limitation if I find a better way to do it.
I cannot compare Bible Desktop to the other options available yet, but I do intend to install them and compare later.
(My previous comments on e-Sword are here. Read through to the comments as someone from e-Sword corrected some of my initial perceptions there.)