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Tag Archive: Bible Software Reviews

Rumblings From a Deep Slumber

Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2015 (3:23 pm), by John W Gillis


Rumblings from out of a deep slumber at MaybeToday.org, as I turn the lights back on to note some activity…

WORDsearch

LifeWay this week released WORDsearch 11, which is the first major version release in almost four years. I haven’t run the new version yet, and very well may not, at least for the foreseeable future, as the marketing approach being taken ($50 for an engine-only upgrade, discounted to $40 through September) seems hard to reconcile against new product descriptions that identify a few nice-sounding but hardly game-changing improvements to what appears to be basically the same program as version 10.6. It’s not unusual for Bible Study software vendors to provide their engines for free, making their money on either ad-hoc or bundled sales of licenses for ebooks and other resources. It is a complicated situation, and there’s really no way to make apples-to-apples comparisons, but LifeWay’s still seems like an odd approach, at best. I would have expected at least WS11-based packages to be available alongside the engine-only offering.

QuickVerse

With the release of the WS11 upgrade, QuickVerse appears to have disappeared from the wordsearchbible.com store website. In fact, a search for “quickverse” on the website comes back with no results! I’m assuming this spells the end of the line for QuickVerse as a brand. Subsequently, I’ve decided to archive the software evaluation page I had published on the legacy QuickVerse product back in 2009.

Olive Tree

On the other hand, I have begun using Olive Tree’s Bible Study tools, and published a product assessment last night. the app is limited, but a terrific solution for mobile needs.

Publishing assessments of various electronic Bible Study programs was one of my original goals for this site, but that effort got derailed pretty quickly, getting no further than entries for QuickVerse and WORDsearch. I’m telling myself it is a good time to pick up that torch again, but I’ve told myself that before – we’ll see how it goes. It would be a lot of work both to create and to maintain any even remotely comprehensive set of assessments.

Taking Stock

Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 (11:32 pm), by John W Gillis


I went out to fetch some Chinese take-out this evening, and found myself driving past Saint Patrick’s just a few minutes before classes were to start for the beginning of the new CCD year. I sped up just a little. This is the first year in almost a decade that I will not be teaching a class of teenagers. It is a strange feeling, and I already miss the camaraderie of the classroom. I’ve really loved my charges over the years, and they’ve been a great source of joy and satisfaction for me.

There’s no good reason to expound upon why I wouldn’t go back this year: it is sufficient to say it’s not because I was tired of teaching. Nonetheless, I will be living a rather different kind of life this year; I am in a new mode, at least for now. I have time for other things, but I will need to choose wisely. I have time to correct deficiencies and address needs. I do not have time to read the “news”.

For some reason, I’m not quite prepared to abandon this blog/website, so I need to do something to correct its dysfunction, for a moribund, unused web site is dysfunctional. I will be re-thinking its purpose.

When I launched the site, in March 2008, I anticipated having a heavy focus on Bible Study tools, resources, and methods – which represented a significant aspect of my intellectual efforts at the time. But I was also just beginning my studies at Franciscan University, and my early plans would prove not only overly ambitious, but also of receding interest to me. I’ve moved on.

In light of that, I do not expect to produce pages analyzing software products beyond the two I managed to get published last decade: WORDsearch and QuickVerse. Ironically, they have been merged into essentially a single product since the purchase of QuickVerse by WORDsearch in mid-2011. I suppose I should simply suppress my existing QuickVerse analysis page, since it has no more independent interest. That would leave only my WORDsearch eval page in that section of the site, and I’m not sure why it should have any permanency. I’ve already (tonight) suppressed the “WORDsearch Versions Comparison” sub-page. I published (again, tonight) a revision to the WORDsearch page, updating it to account for all that has happened in the busy two and a half years since I’d last revised the page: the QuickVerse purchase, the sale to Lifeway, and the releases of WORDsearch versions 10, 10.5 and 10.6. My attention, however, has turned elsewhere, and the website needs to reflect that change in focus – assuming I can get around to it!

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 (11:59 pm), by John W Gillis


Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the CatechismCatechism of the Catholic Church. Logos version 5, released a couple months ago, adds some nice capabilities to an already terrific product, and has also been published in a separately-branded Catholic product line called Verbum.

Like the standard Logos 5 offerings, the base packages seem disproportionally weighted toward the upper end of the price range, but the entry-level Catholic package, The Catechism of the Catholic Church Collection (in the $50 range), is simply the best set of resources available at anywhere near that price for Catholics looking for a digital study platform. Check it out. It lacks an NAB, but that can be surmounted – and the versions it contains, the RSVCE and Douay, are better versions, anyway. Besides the CCC, it includes the Roman Catechism, the conciliar documents from both Vatican Councils as well as Trent, the essential dogmatic reference works of Denzinger and Ott, and the (daily) Catholic Lectionary. It is an outstanding value, and the resources work together brilliantly. I’m really impressed.

WORDsearch: Continuing the Bible Study Software theme… After rushing WS10 out the door last Christmas week, Lifeway finally got the product to the right spot with a series of version 10.5-enumerated updates released to WS10 owners beginning in June of this year. With a (Greek only) morphological search tool, user-created book types, a History window, and a sermon management tool, WS finally filled some long-standing functionality gaps. But for me, it’s too little, too late. I’ve been a loyal WS user since 1992 – my first (DOS) version of WS came with the NAB, NJB, NRSV, and a Strong’s-tagged KJV, plus TSK; it was Bible Study bliss. No application has served me better over the past 20 years, but it’s time to move on. This program simply cannot compete with the heavyweights. New owner Lifeway (i.e. the Southern Baptist Convention) has had a year and a half to demonstrate a commitment to improved professionalism with the product, and it has not materialized. The only changes I’ve sensed are an increased interest in chasing the latest cultural fads (you can now tweet your Bible Study results from within the program, if that’s your thing), and a decreased likelihood that the platform will be seeing anything like the excellent Catholic resources that are showing up steadily from Logos. On the increasingly rare occasions that I’ve opened the app to work with it recently, it has usually been crashing. Forget it. Thanks for everything; it was great while it lasted.

New English Translation of the Roman Missal: It’s been just over a year now since the introduction of the new translations of many of the prayers in the Liturgy of the Mass. Although they can be awkward and clumsy at times, and although I still haven’t memorized the new versions of the Gloria or the Creed, I think they are overall a big improvement, and are working quite well, with the exception of the Sanctus. I get the Isaiah basis for the change, and consider it an important corrective, but of the half-dozen or so churches where I worship with some regularity, there is not a single congregation that proclaims it smoothly. There’s even one where the priest himself still says “God of power and might” – probably because of the difficulty of getting his people to use a common cadence in proclaiming the new version. It needs attention.

On Obama’s Reelection: I have to admit, I was stunned by the election results. I was quite confident the country would reject Obama, after having four years to see for themselves what you get when you vote for someone based on the color of his skin – as so many people have openly (even gleefully) admitted to doing during the messianic frenzy of 2008. Mitt Romney was admittedly not the easiest guy to get behind, but he offered a genuine chance to correct some of mistakes that have been made, get the economy growing again, and bridge some of the rancor that has afflicted US politics since the Nixon years, but which has reached utterly dysfunctional levels now under this most divisive and partisan of chief executives.

Romney’s loss was disheartening. Partly, that’s because the “kill Romney” character assassination campaign strategy worked for the Democrats, despite the fact that Mitt Romney might just be the most decent guy to have ever run for that office – he’d certainly have to be a serious candidate in any such ranking. That is not a good omen for the future state of presidential politics in this country. But it’s disheartening also partly because of the sheer political force displayed in it by the progressive movement. The Democrats didn’t just convince too many potential Romney supporters to stay home, they wielded a large voting bloc that was willing to support the progressive agenda in plain daylight, not just as a kneejerk reaction to Bush burnout.

It could very well be that we’ve reached – or at least come close to – a tipping point as a culture, where a majority of citizens are willing to vote themselves “other people’s money” from the public till, and to delegate to the state the responsibilities of human freedom, from citizenship to family to personal health and well-being. If this is so, then we have reached the end of the usefulness of the great democratic experiment, and are descending into tyranny – one that will surely tout the infamous conceit of manifesting the will of “the people”. I wouldn’t expect it to end any better than its leftist forerunners have.

On perhaps a bright note, this debacle has produced in me a certain loss of faith in both the American people and in the political process – faith that was in reality misplaced to begin with. It has caused me to lose a good deal of interest in politics – or more accurately, in current events – which should serve both to free up time for less ephemeral concerns, and to orient my priorities more meaningfully.

On the Vapidity of the American “Opinion” Bureaucracies: Related to the collapsing opposition to leftist thinking in America is the success on the part of the progressive movement to establish a fifth column focused on the formation of opinion and the control of knowledge for political ends. I refer, of course, to the thorough progressive domination of the agenda-setting and opinion-defining institutions of education (both mandatory K-12and university-level) and mass media. As it is abundantly clear to me that the greatest threat to America as a place of “liberty and justice for all” comes from a combination of the “news” media and the educational institutions, I’m all in here with Pat Caddell, in his rant from this past autumn:

On Gun Control Hysteria: On this, the Feast of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, it seems appropriate to complain that I was deeply distressed by the (media-driven) national meltdown of propriety and circumspection following the dreadful grade-school massacre in Newtown CT a few weeks ago. The notion that so many people were ready and willing to exploit the situation for dubious political purposes before the bodies of the dead children were even cold is chilling. Perhaps especially galling is the site of notoriously pro-abortion politicians crying crocodile tears over the carnage while intoning that “we must get serious” and “something must be done” to “protect the children”. Would it be impolitic to point out that during that very day, well in excess of 3,000 children were murdered in this country using devices – and furthermore, in the performance of acts! – that were not only perfectly legal, but which boast the unbending political protection of the very hypocrites who wailed the most loudly into the megaphones of self-righteous convenience on that sorry day? I hope those of us who retain some semblance of intelligence will be permitted a healthy degree of skepticism at the proposal that the repetition of such senseless bloodshed might be avoided by limiting the capacities of ammunition clips available to law-abiding citizens, causing mass murderers (of the gun-toting type, not the forceps wielding sort) to have to either buy their clips on the black market, or stop to reload a few times in the middle of mowing down a screaming group of defenseless women and children.

On Christmas: I’ve disliked the holiday we call Christmas at least since I was a young father without two spare nickels to rub together. As I’ve gotten older, my financial wherewithal has (predictably) improved significantly, and my Catholic faith has taken root and flourished into a principal self-understanding, but I don’t like the holiday any more. I refer to the holiday celebrated a few days ago that marked the close of the “Christmas Season”, a largely secular and irreligious period of consumer indulgence that began some time around Thanksgiving.

There is another day, a Christian Holy Day, also celebrated a few days ago, at the conclusion of the Advent season, and which marks the beginning of a Christian Christmas season, which has several permutations, being in the first place an Octave that concludes on January 1st, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God; in the second place a traditional period of gaiety extending twelve days, until the eve of the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th, though this can get moved to a Sunday), and thirdly as a liturgical season extending through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, on the Sunday following Epiphany. This Holy Day and season celebrates the most remarkable thing that ever happened: the Incarnation of God in human flesh – in the flesh of a baby borne of a woman.

I’ve never been able to figure out how to celebrate the Holy Day amidst all the silly hoopla of the holiday, and I need to figure it out before I find myself thrown in to deep depression some one of these years.

WORDsearch, LifeWay, and the Future of Bible Study Software

Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011 (10:22 pm), by John W Gillis


It’s been a couple of months now since the Southern Baptist Convention’s publishing arm, LifeWay, announced that they had gotten into the Bible Study Software publishing market by buying WORDsearch – a sale that included QuickVerse, which had just been bought by WORDsearch a couple months earlier. I wasn’t thrilled by either of these announcements (especially the second one), and the passing of time has not made me feel much better.

As I mention in the summary of my analysis of QuickVerse, I think the sale to WORDsearch was a good thing overall for QuickVerse users: QuickVerse didn’t appear to have a future as an independent platform, WORDsearch has a better overall tool set, had a good portion of QV’s STEP resources already available in their own CROSS format, and had in place some  established processes to convert from the STEP platform to CROSS. It would also mean a significantly enlarged base of potential customers for CROSS resources, which should have increased revenue for WS without increasing their costs, while providing a much wider selection of resources for legacy QuickVerse users. Sounds like a win-win, and it is, but my chief complaint about WORDsearch over the past few years has been what I’ve perceived as an over-emphasis on expanding markets, at the expense of putting some finishing, professional touches on a toolset that is very interesting, but under-developed. This move seemed to all about libraries, not toolsets.

The LifeWay purchase opens up an entirely different can of worms, as WORDsearch now effectively becomes a denominational Bible study platform – and at that, a denomination not known for their pluralism (pretty ironic, actually, given the role of Baptists in the codification of religious pluralism in the United States). There’s no way to tell at this point how things will play out, in terms of which resources will and will not be made available by LifeWay for the WORDsearch platform going forward.

I wish I were more optimistic than I am that the Bible study platform will not be used as a football for denominational politics and bigfooting. I can’t help but be reminded of the waste that was Zondervan’s development of Pradis as a tool for their own works. The circumstances are quite different in several ways, but I think there may be some real analogy in terms of the danger (from a user/student/consumer perspective) of combining the toolset and the e-book publishing platform under a single, proprietary copyright.

I’m glad LifeWay wants to get into the e-book publishing business for Bible Study software, I just wish people who have invested in the software tools required to utilize those resources weren’t financially locked into LifeWay as a publisher now. LifeWay should be able to publish what they want – and only what they want – and users should be able to use the tools they have invested in to work with resources published by various publishing houses, as they see fit. Likewise, I wish LifeWay were able to produce e-books that were capable of being used on the broadest set of software tools (readers, search tools, content aggregators, indexers, virtual annotation tools, etc.).

The software/publishing houses don’t want to hear this, but I am more and more convinced that publishers, content owners, developers, and users of Bible Study tools & resources would all be much better served if an e-book standard could be developed – open source, I say, and using a plug-in framework similar to Logos’ data type components. In simple terms, here is how I see everyone benefiting from an industry-wide agreement:

  1. Users would only have to license an e-book once, and could then use it with anybody’s toolset – and it’s viability over an extended period of time would be guaranteed.
  2. Publishers would have the broadest possible potential customer base to sell to.
  3. Copyright owners would be free to license to a single publisher if they prefer (or not!), without compromising potential market share.
  4. Developers would be free to focus on quality tool development, differentiating themselves by functionality, usability, and ability to keep up with “data types” established by publishers, which would be available on a level playing field.

I’m convinced that an e-book standard is coming – whether from Amazon, Google, or somewhere else, and that users are going to get fed up with having to “buy” books several times just to keep using them in a changing software landscape. The question is whether the Bible Study software community can get out in front of the emerging standard to ensure it is rich enough to support the rather elaborate requirements of modern, computerized Bible study, or if they will squabble to the end, leaving us with standards developed by and for the entertainment establishment.

Bible Study Software English Bibles Comparison Published

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 (9:36 am), by John W Gillis


Last night, I was finally able to publish on the site a comparison table I put together in January, showing which English language Bibles are available in which Bible Study program, and what the cost is for each. I had struggled with this for technical reasons, because the table doesn’t come close to fitting within the standard content column of the site, and I didn’t want to orphan it.

This is more interesting than one might suspect. Yes, the bigger name translations are generally available in most programs (only KJV, ASV, YLT, and Darby’s are available in all the ones I reviewed, however), but it’s good to know where to find some of the more obscure versions, and some curious traits did emerge from the data. See for yourself.

The chart is intended as a companion to a page I’m working on that will provide an overview of the history of English language translations of the Bible which, given my school schedule in April, will probably not be ready until May. At five or six months per page, I should have this site built out to where I envision it in about another 20-25 years.

QuickVerse Bible Software Review: Searching

Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2009 (12:53 am), by John W Gillis


This is the first installment in a series I plan to write, performing a side-by-side assessment of WORDsearch, Logos, QuickVerse, and Pradis.

QuickVerse has two tools for searching Biblical text: an Analytical Greek search tool designed to work with a morphologically tagged Greek NT module, and a general search tool used for searching English language Bible, as well as all other books – including user-created books. The most recent versions of QV introduce a couple other specialized searching tools I’ll discuss below.

The Search Dialog:

The general search tool has three modes (selectable from a drop-down): Text, Phrase, and Verse Reference. Newer versions of QuickVerse have a fourth mode, Text in Titles, which was an optional parameter to Text mode searches in version 11, and which I never found any use for.

The dialog box includes a pop-up keyboard for “typing” with mouse clicks in various languages. Recent search terms can be recalled in the search box, but associated parameters (even including search mode) are not likewise recalled, limiting the usefulness of this time-saving feature.

There is no facility to search for Strong’s codes as such, but you can search Strong’s-tagged books with a text search for a code, such as for G2588.

Search Logic:

Text searches allow for combining words using the Boolean operators AND, OR, XOR, and NOT. An implicit OR is supplied if there is no operator between two terms (personally, I think programs should instead AND terms by default, so that using more search terms narrows results rather than expanding them, but that is just a preference). Operators must be entered in ALL CAPS, or by using logical symbols (&, |, X, !). There’s a pick button for those who want to stop typing and use the mouse to input the operators between words.

There is no NEAR operator, but the Search dialog includes a drop-down box where the user selects whether the Boolean logic is applied against terms within the same verse, the same chapter, or the same book. This is a poor substitute for a NEAR operator, and I can’t imagine wanting to search for two words, but only if they exist in the same book!

Terms can be grouped in parentheses for greater control, and both * and ? wildcards are accepted. Regular expressions are not supported.

Setting Scope:

Selecting the target books to search is done via an expandable tree control which shows the entire library – including User Books. Multiple books – including multiple Bibles – can be searched simultaneously.

Setting a filter for Bible ranges is done via a drop-down text box. The only default range options are All, Old Testament, and New Testament, but you can type your own search ranges into the box, and recently defined custom ranges are added to the selectable options in the drop-down. Creating a search range for non-contiguous books is no problem (e.g. manually enter {Luke, Acts} to search only within Luke and Acts while ignoring John).

Extra-biblical text within Bibles (e.g. marginal notes and comments) cannot be searched, although – as noted below – book introductions cannot be excluded.

One peculiar search scope feature is an optional check box to limit the search to “Jesus words only” – a red-letter search, so to speak. I know for a fact that some people find this an important feature, though it strikes me as lending itself too easily to problematic views of Biblical inspiration and/or Christology.

Phrase Search:

Phrase Search mode takes all the text entered in the search box, and attempts to find the exact phrase within the selected books. This is “phrase searching for dummies,” an unfortunate approach that seriously limits phrase search functionality. Allowing the use of enclosing double-quotes in a Text search would be a much more robust solution.

Verse Reference:

In Verse Reference mode, the tool is actually a cross-reference lookup tool. In theory (and according to the Help file), this tool will not “search” Bibles for the verse arguments you give it, but is rather designed to search other types of books for occasions where the verse is mentioned in the text. In practice, I find that the tool can be used to retrieve the requested verses from every Bible in my library except the NAB. Not sure whether to file this under bug or feature.

This tool will accept multiple verses and/or ranges as arguments. References must be entered in a very specific format, using a colon (:) between the chapter and verse numbers. Also, a space must be placed between the leading number and the book name for books like 1 Jn (1Jn will not be understood). It can be tedious to have to abide by this nomenclature, but I’m sure you adapt to it if you use QV all the time.

Nice Special Features:

Search terms can be chosen from a word list that is available from the Search dialog, showing all words in each book selected as a search target.

Text searches include an option to search for related word forms, meaning that a search for {love} would return results for love, loves, loved, lover, loving, lovely, beloved, unloved, etc.

Another very neat option is the thesaurus search, which will include in results words with like or related meaning, even if they are not related lexically.

Analytical Greek Search:

The Analytical Greek search tool works with an available UBS4 text tagged with the Friberg morphology. Like the general tool, it supports Boolean operators, Bible ranges, and has word lists and a pop-up keyboard. It also has a morphology chart where you can select the grammatical parameters you want to search for or filter on. There are options to search lemma, and to exactly match diacritical marks, as well as to take everything entered as a single phrase term. This tool is quite serviceable. Unfortunately, there is no corresponding tool (or text) with which to perform analytical searching of the Hebrew.

New Searching Widgets:

Version 12 (2008) introduced a nice annotation search widget that will search all your annotations. Version 13 (2009) introduces a “Subject Search” feature which I haven’t seen yet, but will presumably function much like Topics searches in other programs.

Accuracy:

In the absence of wildcards, search will find only exact word matches (i.e. a search for {eat} will not return any hits on meat or heat, etc.). I think this is the right approach.

Text mode does not recognize strings entered within double-quotes as phrases, but instead treats each of the words as distinct search terms (placing an implicit OR between them). Because only Text mode supports multiple search terms, it is therefore not possible to perform a search such as {“Christ Jesus” AND became}, although you can always break the phrase apart into single words joined with AND logic: {Christ AND Jesus AND became}, which will produce close to the same results.

Searches against Biblical texts will return hits found in book introductions and prefaces, with, unfortunately, no way to limit the search to only the actual Bible text. You’d think an outfit that provided an option to search “red words only” might provide an option to search “inspired words only!”

Searches on words chosen from a word list sometimes return no results, even when searching against the entire library – which is a bit odd.

Performance:

Search performance is good on normal Text mode searches against a small number of books – often returning more or less immediately. Introducing some of the advanced options slowed things down somewhat – as expected. A search for {beauty} against 10 Bibles took about 3 seconds, but took about 7 seconds when doing a thesaurus search, and about 6 seconds when doing a related word forms search (and about 10 seconds when combining both features).

Introducing wildcards or multiple Boolean operators also began to drag down QuickVerse a bit, and it struggled somewhat searching a large number of books. Searching 10 Bibles for {gentile} took about 3 seconds – as expected. But this should be compared to my benchmark, WORDsearch, which performed the identical search in under 1 second.

Against the same Bibles, QuickVerse took six seconds to search for {gentile AND (God OR Lord)}, whereas WORDsearch took about 1 second.

Searching those same Bibles for {war* AND Lord AND House} took QuickVerse about 15 seconds, while WORDsearch again took about 1 second.

Searching a collection of about 125 books for the expression {war AND Lord} took QuickVerse 30 seconds, whereas WORDsearch performed the search against a similar number of books in about 4 seconds.

Verse Reference searches can be excruciatingly slow. The program seems to take forever to scan the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (TSK) in particular, but struggles with many commentaries. The verse ref search is the kind of function that a user would be inclined to execute against the entire library. But if you did that, you could probably take the dog for a walk while waiting for it to return.

I removed TSK and a couple other books that seemed particularly problematic, and then ran the Verse Reference search for {Matt 24:22} against a collection of 15 books. The search took 1 minute and 40 seconds. Again for comparison, the same search against the exact same set of books in WORDsearch took less than 1 second.

In spite of these criticisms of search performance, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of users will make the majority of their searches against one or perhaps a few Bibles, using simple search parameters – and QuickVerse will handle that fine.

Strengths in this area:

Word lists; fuzzy search features (thesaurus and word forms); XOR and NOT Boolean operators.

Weaknesses in this area:

Lack of Hebrew analytical search capability; lack of phrase support in multi-term text expression searches; lack of ability to search only Biblical text; overall searching performance.

Reviewing Bible Study Software

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2009 (10:55 pm), by John W Gillis


One of my main goals for this site when I launched it last year was to provide assessments and comparisons of some of the Bible Study programs on the market – assessments based on what the various programs allow users to do, and how well they support those things, rather than focusing on the books available in different libraries.

I haven’t gotten very far to date, having started and stopped several times, and with course work looming on the horizon for me, my schedule is not going to be getting any looser. Given that, it seems like it’s now or never to get it going. I’ve decided to take an approach of publishing my results incrementally on the blog as I go through the process. I’m hoping this approach will provide me a little extra incentive to get through the job.

I’ll begin by focusing on the four commercial programs I currently have installed: WORDsearch, Logos, QuickVerse, and Pradis. Later on, I may add some or all of the other commercial, library-oriented programs to the mix (Accordance, PC Study Bible, PocketBible for Windows), but only if I can get evaluation copies – as I’m satisfied with the programs I’ve already made investments in, and don’t see the value in spending more money just to provide a public review of the other products.

I also hope to be able to provide evaluations of the programs I call text-oriented (BibleWorks, Bibloi, GRAMCORD), but this is also unlikely unless I can manage to get eval copies. I’m probably more likely to invest in one of these as a licensed study platform after evaluation, but that’s neither here nor there at this juncture.

As for the cohort of free programs out there, I may provide some comparative analysis later on, but it is not a priority – seeing that people can easily download and evaluate each one themselves. It would be nice if someone did the work of comparing them, and publishing the results, I’m just not sure that person will be me.

At least for starters, my plan is to evaluate each of the four programs more or less side-by-side, following the outline of evaluation criteria I published here. I’ll publish posts for each application’s evaluation at each stage of the eval process, beginning with the Core program functions – specifically: searching.