Apps Roundup #2: Focus on Bibletime 1.0

The weekly Apps Roundup column has turned out to be not-so-weekly this far, but in the second installment I go much further in-depth and take a closer look at Bibletime, a scripture-study program for those of the Judaeo-Christian faiths. Because I went crazy with the screenshots, the review is
available here. Enjoy!

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Incredible !

Someone who knows about "monsieur Vieux-Bois" and another one which name I presently can't remember !

I know about those because I found original versions at my grandmothers house -- And that is the kind of discoveries that make your day.

Anyway, way OT here.

Aside from that it would be great if Bibletime could be made into a generic text study program.


Give me a break. Its an app review up please lets keep anti-religious prejudice out of it.

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

Good one, Per Wigren. I am an agnostic myself (ie I do not have any particular beliefs or non-beliefs) and yet I was originally very eager to have Bibletime reviewed and featured on the dot.

Nobody ever said anything about including Bibletime in the distribution, it is only a REVIEW, so I think you should cool it and let people who ARE interested in this app check it out. Like, live and let live.

And really, even if, and that's a big if, Bibletime ever gets included in KDE, so what? It'll probably go into the kde-religion package with a dozen other contributions. So just feel free to ignore it and let other people enjoy the app. Heck, I might check it out myself. I'm sure there's something there that could be learned.

It's all a matter of respect and tolerance.

by Per Wigren (not verified)

There is a kde-religion package? I didn't know about that! If you include it in such a package it's all fine with me!

I just didn't want it included in kde-utils or something like that...

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> Please don't include this one in the distribution!

I don't recall any mention of this being suggested to be in the distribution. There are a number of KDE apps not in the distribution. In theory the distributed apps should be the most widely useful and practical and should not be swollen in size unless it can pass the tests. Bibletime would add a lot of size if you included every optional text and lexican. Where exactly would it be put? In libs, base, utils? I doubt it. I can see it going into a general apps module should one materialize, but not the main distribution.

> If v2.0 will include support for at least 10 different religions, ok, go for it, otherwise don't!

I expected to read things here that took different tones amounting to some form of opposition to this software. Excuse me for a second... in ancient Rome Christians were fed to the lions for entertainment... I assume people are also familiar with the holocaust and the suffering of the Jews there in. I think those of these faiths have paid their dues to stand on their own.

Now, just like I get really tired of people suggesting that such and such open source project ought not to have been done, or that programmers on one project ought to go to another... this is a terrible idea. If someone feels strongly about their convictions and wants to produce an electronic means of studying the bible it is quite ludicrous to suggest they ought to now assume the mantle of setting up documentation for the other world religions. Isn't it?

First they used another open source project for the texts called SWORD. Second, with all due respect to those of other faiths and good intents, there are a number of extremist sects of other faiths that could be termed, in the most benevolent terms, hostile towards Christians. There are also places in the world that do not allow foreign Christian missionaries to come and provide food, clothing and assistance to their populations while children suffer and die due to religious belief systems so diametricly opposed that they view the Christian's help as interfering with divine judgement. I say this not to point fingers or start a war of beliefs... only to point out that it is absurd to suggest that someone should add such diametricly opposed views to their work.

Someone who signs off as an agnostic suggesting that people of one belief ought to do the work of others with other belief systems is truly absurd.

> // Per Wigren, agnostic

And being an American I recognize your right to Agnosticism. I would hope however that "good news for modern man" can now be seen as a good thing for those hoping such a project would reach this stage on KDE. I can only hope that those who likely otherwise preach tolerance for other religions and beliefs can demonstrate that now (not that this post was particularly intolerant but I would bet some will be).

If you are not a Christian fine. If you are not curious about the historical nature of the bible, fine. It would be really nice to see someone say they're not a Christian but they're happy to see this for those who are though instead of many of the talkbacks I've read that seem to be searching for some reason to be unhappy about this software.

Just like any other piece of software, if you don't like it... don't use it. But from the standpoint of an application for KDE Bibletime is impressive in scale and function compared to the usual KDE app. I think all people who support KDE ought to be proud that such a tool now exists on KDE. As for other religious beliefs... hey, if you believe otherwise nobody is stopping you. Take Bibletime as an encouragement and go for it.

Congrats to the Bibletime team. This is another big win for KDE.

Well said Eric!!!

> If v2.0 will include support for at least 10
> different religions, ok, go for it, otherwise
> don't!

There is no one hindering other religious groups
to put their texts throught the sword engine and
provide the necessary database.

In fact, for the Onlinebible ( you can get a translated Koran (a contradiction in itself, by the way, muslim people tend to make sure that the Koran was never translated ... smile)

I understand that Sword took some texts from the Online Bible project.

by Simon Kenyon (not verified)

please do not include bibletime in the kde distribution. if you do i will move to gnome and
i've been using kde for a *long* time now.

by Chris Little (not verified)

GnomeSword ( will be waiting for you if you switch to GNOME. It serves the same function, uses the same underlying libraries & content, etc. only it uses GNOME instead of KDE for its app framework.


by KDE User (not verified)

Checkmate. Thanks for that Chris, maybe people can stop being ridiculous now.

by Simon Kenyon (not verified)

look chaps.

i live in a country that has been living with a
quasi-religious war for the last 600 years. people
die because of their religion.

now we can all argue (most far more eloquently
than i ever could) that the conflict in ireland
has absolutely nothing to do with religion, but
nobody can argue that it isn't being used as an
excuse. and that's good enough for me.

the computer world is a nice little haven far
removed from this gross stupidity. i only wish
that it would remain so.

i deeply respect (and indeed admire) people with
strongly held religious beliefs. just don't foist
them on me, thank you very much.

yours in peace and tolerance

by Bernd Gehrmann (not verified)

In fact, the conflict in Ireland has nothing
to do with it at all. It is about the conflict
between the native population and families of
settlers who have come from England several
hundred years ago. It's about the wish for in-
dependence vs. the wish for strong ties to England.

I find it quite ironic that you mention the word
'foist'. I have on various mailing lists found the
BibleTime developer to be one of the most reasonable
people. In contrast, what I find in
this forum is that that certain people try to
foist their anti-religious hatred on others,
and that in a very insulting way.

If you are going to use GNOME, just go ahead. I
am convinced that it is the right camp for people
who hate.

by Simon Kenyon (not verified)

did you read what i wrote?

by Mirko Kloppstech (not verified)

Why not? What gives you he right to judge that a web browser is useful but such a program is not? Konqueror does only display web relevant file types, not Microsoft office documents and such. Shall I conclude that Konqueror should be excluded until it conforms to Microsoft?

In other words: An application does not have to support everything. If somebody wants to write an app for reading the Koran, he is heartily invited. But as only few readers of the koran will ever read the Bible, a common app is not sensible!


I'm a Buddhist (I'm serious). Could I extract the Christian contents and replace them with extracts from the Sutras? Would that be easy to do?


by Chris Little (not verified)

At this juncture it would be a major undertaking. Everything in Sword (BibleTime's underlying backend library) is pretty well hardcoded to the Judeo-Christian Bible and a particular translation of it at that. (NB: I do mean JUDEO-Christian because we also support a number of strictly Judaistic texts like the Hebrew Bible (OT) and a translation thereof by the Jewish Publication Society. Also, keying everything to a single translation isn't that bad since 99.9% of the Bible's keys, aka verse numbers, are identical between translations.)

Sword is currently at version 1.5.2, in the dev branch leading up to our 1.6.0 stable release. After that is cleaned up, we'll begin extensive rewrites of many of our classes allowing other books to be added. You might not see us release works from other faiths, but it should be easily possible to add them once this rewrite is complete (i.e. once 2.0 is released). Our real motivation behind this is allowing ancillary texts like apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, the Josephus corpus, etc. to our library of texts, but the engine should be open enough to add anything.

What you could possibly do is create a dictionary module of the sutras, but you would have to retrieve the entirety of a sutra at once. It would be inelegant and something of a hack, but it would be searchable I suppose. See our SF page at for instructions on module creation.

--Chris (from the Sword Project

I must say that I was also surprised when I noticed that despite all of this discussion there's really only been one person to object to Bibletime (Well two, but the other was on grounds of it bloating things.).

Touchy issue, eh?

by Per Wigren (not verified)

Maybe the others aren't reading :)

(sorry, I'll quit this now, include it as much as you want as long it's kde-religion or something similar instead of the "normal" packages)

by BibleTime developer (not verified)

Our aim was never to get included in the standard KDE.
But we have nothing against it if BibleTime gets included in Debian or other Linux distibutions.

by Per Wigren (not verified)

I agree with you 100% on that one! :)

by Underground (not verified)

I like the screenshots I hoop the next apps roundup have more schreenshots

by Observer (not verified)

What? A comment having to do with the review? Oh my . . . maybe you should come Aboveground.

by Per Wigren (not verified)

Ok, so I decided to stop pissing everyone off and actually try the program.

It fails to compile though. I use SuSE 7.1RC-Axp (Alpha - the processor:) and KDE 2.2alpha2.

++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I../../.. -I/opt/kde2/include -I/usr/lib/qt2/include -I/usr/X11R6/include -D_REENTRANT -I/usr/src/tmp/sword/include -DQT_NO_ASCII_CAST -O2 -fno-exceptions -fno-check-new -Wall -pedantic -W -Wpointer-arith -Wmissing-prototypes -Wwrite-strings -Wno-long-long -fno-builtin -c cswordmoduleinfo.cpp
cswordmoduleinfo.cpp: In method `CSwordModuleInfo::CSwordModuleInfo
(CSwordBackend *, SWModule *)':
cswordmoduleinfo.cpp:49: no matching function for call to
`CSwordBackend::Version ()'
cswordmoduleinfo.cpp:50: no matching function for call to
`CSwordBackend::Version ()'
cswordmoduleinfo.cpp: In method `const QString
CSwordModuleInfo::getAboutInformation () const':
cswordmoduleinfo.cpp:132: warning: ISO C++ forbids variable-size array
/usr/src/tmp/sword/include/swfilter.h: In method `void
SWFilter::setOptionValue (const char *)':
/usr/src/tmp/sword/include/swfilter.h:79: warning: unused parameter `const char *ival'
/usr/src/tmp/sword/include/swfilter.h: In method `char
SWFilter::ProcessText (char *, int, const SWKey *)':
/usr/src/tmp/sword/include/swfilter.h:92: warning: unused parameter `const SWKey *key'
make[4]: *** [cswordmoduleinfo.o] Error 1
make[4]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/tmp/bibletime-1.0.1/bibletime/backend/sword_backend'
make[3]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[3]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/tmp/bibletime-1.0.1/bibletime/backend'
make[2]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/tmp/bibletime-1.0.1/bibletime'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/tmp/bibletime-1.0.1'
make: *** [all-recursive-am] Error 2
arkanoid:/usr/src/tmp/bibletime-1.0.1 #

by BibleTime developer (not verified)


BibleTime requires Sword 1.5.2. Get it at and remove the old version from your system.
This should work.

God bless you!

by Per Wigren (not verified)

I used the 1.5.2 CVS snapshot that you linked under "requirements".

> God bless you!
Ok, we'll see if that helps... :)


by BibleTime developer (not verified)

You're right - the link in the requirements section is wrong.

We'll correct this,

by Waldo Bastian (not verified)

Not that this is an issue, but after reading the above discussion I thought it might be usefull information.

For an application to be part of KDE the following criteria must be met:

* The application must be primarily developed in KDE CVS.
* The application must be actively maintained.
* The application must have an appropriate license

Not realy a criteria but more or less following from common sense, distribution of an application should not carry an unreasonable legal risk and, just as we expect everyone involved in KDE to respect others, an application should do that as well.


This app rocks!!! The professionalism rivals that of commercially available apps on _other_ OSs. Great job guys.

PS. It would be a shame to not see this app available in distros because some people would choose not to install it. I choose not to install MOST things included in the distros I use!

by Timothy R. Butler (not verified)

I agree! It shows that that the open source community can develop not only excellent compilers and desktop environments, but also GREAT Bible study tools...


by Timothy R. Butler (not verified)

does the fact that this is a Judaeo-Christian application automatically mean that it is necessary to argue against it's inclusion in KDE - even though no one mentioned including it?

Personally I think Bibletime is a marvelleous work, and would be nice in KDE just to demonstrate the versatility of KDE.


by craig (not verified)

Good point lets add it to KDE 2.3. It would make a great addition. Just because one bigot objects is no reson not to.


by Per Wigren (not verified)

I'm the most intolerant guy here, right? ;-p

Yes, let's include it in a package called kde-religion or something like that!

by Timothy R. Butler (not verified)

I think that sounds very good, and something every should be able to settle with (since it doesn't have any translation installed by default anyway).
Really, it would be impressive to see this, it would show that KDE may not be able to settle open source wars, but at least it can avoid religious wars! :-)


by Christian Rahn (not verified)

Hi there,

well, this proggy really looks nice, and it might be a good demonstration of what can be done with KDE.

But: Please do not put every app which just *looks* nice into the official KDE distrib.

There are already a lot of apps, which are just too specialized, I think, and which are only needed by few people. Wouldn't it be better to make them just optional packages, rather forcing everyone to download / install them? The KDE is already that huge.

And btw. is there a good uninstaller for those kde apps, I really never use? Doing this by hand might be dangerous to break the system...

greez, CDR

PS: Please no djihad here.

by Jesus H Christ (not verified)

Jesus H Christ. If you plagerize my bible writing one more time, I will call the RIAA upon you.

by B. Wagner (not verified)

Now who's pushing it? (Jesus H. [email protected]?) If you know scripture read: Matthew 24, 5.
So, What?

by Jesus H Christ (not verified)

Jesus... I'm just putting a little humor here. Sorry to offend you.

by bela (not verified)

Interesting naming of the lib though. *SWORD*. But only appropriate, after all.


by Eduardo Sanchez (not verified)

Yes, it is based on Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17.

by Per Wigren (not verified)

Ok. This is my LAST posting in this forum!

Check out this site: , read the essays and we can stop fighting!
And BibleTime webmaster, please include it in the links-section! It's a really great site, the best I've found! It has objective "reviews" of every religion and cult one can think of! They compare opinions and "rules" without saying that one is right or wrong. I read a lot of the essays there the last year to be able to debate with my girlfriend if she would try to preach for me... :)

Now, if you want to continue the "debate", do so by mail.

by [Bad-Knees] aka... (not verified)

(Im from the Faroe Island - so there might be some spelling errors - my C is better than my english)

Im am a christian who belives that jesus christ is the son of God - and i think its great to have application to help me in my studies - and including it in the distro is to me a good thing. Nobody has to install it, i will, and have - just an older version (a bit buggy - but usable). Excluding it from the distro grounded on the purpos of the program, which is bible study (which should be to any non-christian a book-study as any other), is a restriction. And why are people offended by a bible-study program??
If you dont like it, dont install it. If you are a buddist - than hack it to be buddatime:).
Think of it as freedom to install it or not.

...when the son sets you free, you are truely free.

Thank you!


by Billy Nopants (not verified)

> If you are a buddist - than hack it to be buddatime

So if your thing is hammers, should you hack it to be HammerTime ? ;)

by Per Wigren (not verified)

My thing is to party, so I guess I should make it PartyTime! :)