Linux version of Logos Bible Software

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Posts 12
sjm | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 1:22 PM

Well, after reading through much (not all) of the thread that won't die (I wonder what that says about the viability of a Linux version?), I guess I can comment on a couple of things:

1. I started out with Logos (even beta versions) back in the mid-90s.

2. I haven't used them in years -- using mostly eSword (in WINE) and/or Xiphos.

3. Someone raised the issue that many outside of the US are moving toward open source (some for moral/ethical reasons).  I would concur with this (having worked in Latin America the last 10-11 years).

As an explanation was asked for previously, to explain a little my reasons for moving to Linux it would be a combination of:

  • (More of a personal reason) Initially, I saw what I considered in my opinion that MS gained much of it's market share by unethical standards (my opinion) and I haven't seen that change much in them trying to keep their position there, either (once again, my opinion) though, admittedly I haven't kept up with a lot of the news on this front recently.
  • (More of a ministry reason) Working in Latin America where the income standards of most people (and especially people in ministry) are very different than in the US gives one a different perspective. 

While working in Latin America, some in our organization to most anybody (including the locals) let it be known that they didn't feel it was very moral/ethical to buy the pirated movies on the street corners.  While not getting into any specifics, one can also find most any software for any computer for $6 or less on the streets.

With the local income standards, "legal" copies of Windows and other software are for the most part out of reach for the local people but most anyone who has a computer is running Windows and the latest MS Office and whatever other software they care to use (and the black market is thriving).  As a side point, probably about 80% of the flash memory sticks and/or computers are full of viruses.

If we, as ones the locals are looking to learn from, show by word and/or deed that the tools and/or solutions needed are Windows or other similar software, what are we teaching them?  That in order to do their job/ministry that they need to go out and get pirated software.  If we also teach that using pirated software is wrong, what kind of quandary have we placed them in?

For this reason, I, personally, have chosen to show through word and deed that there are equally viable tools/solutions within their reach using open source tools.

4. I guess this comes down to this--that I would love to see a Linux version of Logos/Libronix, but would vastly prefer a native version over a WINE solution.

5. The question comes down to the folks at Logos.  Do they see their business as solely a business or also partly a ministry in providing these resources to the work of the church.  If the first, then we'll probably be waiting until they see a "sufficient" market share of Linux users in whatever statistics that they are looking at.  But, if it is the second, I would hope/pray that they could be creative and find a way to donate (even lawyers do "pro-bono" work) some work to further the kingdom of God even for those that chose to use Linux exclusively.

sjm

Posts 8
Michel Knisely | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 1:53 PM

Wow, well said.  Thanks for the input, and I couldn't agree more with your perspective on pirated software around the world.  What amuses me most is that Microsoft's answer in these markets is not to fight the piracy, but to continually lower their pricing on "legal" copies of their software to what that market will bear; even if it's pretty much giving it away.. but I digress.  

I did eventually purchase my copy of Logos and am running it in a Windows7 VM.  I am less than thrilled with the solution, but the software seems to be a great resource.  Training is scheduled for the 13th, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what all it can do.

Ironically, the church I help support just purchased 4 new Macbooks that we're loading with this software this week.  We chose the Macbooks because of the benefits inherent to not running Windows and because they were able to run Logos.  Sadly, we had to pay a hefty premium because of the brand.  We could have had the same benefits by purchasing commodity hardware and running a Linux distribution.  The net result is that we used more of our limited funds to pay for a brand when what we really needed was a solution.  So, this will count as a case for a Mac version of their software, when it should be counted as a continued cry for "Not a Microsoft only version."  

How may more of us are wasting money in choosing the solution we're being forced into instead of the solution we need?

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 3:27 PM

sjm:
If we, as ones the locals are looking to learn from, show by word and/or deed that the tools and/or solutions needed are Windows or other similar software, what are we teaching them?  That in order to do their job/ministry that they need to go out and get pirated software.  If we also teach that using pirated software is wrong, what kind of quandary have we placed them in?

 

I don't see the quandary....

 

Pirating is illegal. A Christian cannot do it; if he / she does...they are in the wrong and should repent....no quandary.

 

Am I missing something?

 

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 12
sjm | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 3:45 PM

Robert Pavich:

sjm:
If we, as ones the locals are looking to learn from, show by word and/or deed that the tools and/or solutions needed are Windows or other similar software, what are we teaching them?  That in order to do their job/ministry that they need to go out and get pirated software.  If we also teach that using pirated software is wrong, what kind of quandary have we placed them in?

I don't see the quandary....

Pirating is illegal. A Christian cannot do it; if he / she does...they are in the wrong and should repent....no quandary.

 

Am I missing something?

Yes, I think you are.

If we are teaching them that the solutions/tools for their work are "X" and "X" is either 1) out of their reach economically ("legal" copies) or 2) wrong to use (pirated copies), then what are they to do?

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 5:06 PM

sjm:

Yes, I think you are.

If we are teaching them that the solutions/tools for their work are "X" and "X" is either 1) out of their reach economically ("legal" copies) or 2) wrong to use (pirated copies), then what are they to do?

 

They are to not use pirated software....it's against God's law....

That would seem obvious....wouldn't it?

God's laws are  not situational are they? (Don't steal unless you really really want something...) that's not correct.

They use what they can afford....if that's nothing but a paper bible...so be it....if it's free software...so be it....

 

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 8
Michel Knisely | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 5:53 PM

The issue is that this tool does not play well with free (liberated) software... and for no good reason.  It then goes beyond that... in these environments, you are often only able to get computers second hand, and most often with less than well documented software sources.  In this type of an environment you have three choices:

1:  Run with pirated software (We agree that this is not an option.)

2:  Purchase properly licensed software (Not economically realistic.)

3:  Run Free and Open Source Software (This tool is not available.)

The point is simple... use well documented and widely accepted principles to make the software platform independent. Then it's a non-issue.

Posts 12
sjm | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 18 2010 6:36 PM

Robert Pavich:

sjm:

Yes, I think you are.

If we are teaching them that the solutions/tools for their work are "X" and "X" is either 1) out of their reach economically ("legal" copies) or 2) wrong to use (pirated copies), then what are they to do?

They are to not use pirated software....it's against God's law....

That would seem obvious....wouldn't it?

God's laws are  not situational are they? (Don't steal unless you really really want something...) that's not correct.

They use what they can afford....if that's nothing but a paper bible...so be it....if it's free software...so be it....

Actually, that is almost the point I was trying to make (though, I guess not very well).   My point was basically that, through modeling or otherwise, many "teach" that the people need "X" tool for their job/ministry without thinking of the implications I mentioned above:

1. Those tools are out of reach for many of them to get legally.

2. Number 1. makes the temptation to obtain by other means the tools they are "taught" they need that much greater.

That is the "quandary" that I was talking about.  As a "solution" to the above "quandary" I have chosen to model another way, which is open source software.  This is the solution I see to the above "quandary". 

I brought this up as another reason for Logos to provide a Linux version of their software.  I was a user of their software, but because of the situation I described above, to live with integrity I chose to lay aside their software in order to model the above philosophy.  Logos has lost me as a user/customer because of their not providing a Linux version of their software.

I, personally, am caught in another quandary.  I would like access to many of the resources provided by Logos, but the publishers of those resources have chosen not to provide those resources to the SWORD project and Logos has chosen to not provide a Linux version of their software.  I will live with that limitation for now in order to live with integrity before the community showing them that I don't expect them to do anything that I don't do myself.

Getting back to the point you raised, Robert, I agree, neither option 1 or 2 is a good choice, so I have chosen to change the other side of the "equation"-- the choice, if you will, by "teaching" something different--that the tools they can use for their job/ministry ARE within their reach legally.  This, though, limits me from using Logos and my point was to show this as another legitimate reason FOR a Linux version even if the "statistics" say there aren't "enough" Linux users to make a business case for a Linux version of the software.   Some would say my decision doesn't make sense to self limit my use of software.  I say that some decisions for Christians (or "Christian businesses") don't have to always "make sense" from the World's viewpoint.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 19 2010 3:37 AM

Ahh...!!

Now I get what you are saying...I'm a little dense sometimes.... sorry...

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 1
Suomy Nona | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 23 2010 2:45 PM

Well, I've read the entire thread and I accept that I will not be running Libronix on any of my boxen.  

I have not yet bought anything from Logos, but if I can access the resources without using Libronix I'd still consider it money well spent for some of the academic collections.  Does anyone know how easy it is to get at the data?

Posts 118
Nicholas van Oudtshoorn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 23 2010 5:17 PM

Well, a lot of it is available via biblia.com (only a few resources aren't, for which I personally use a VirtualBox running Win7 - ugggh!)

Posts 26527
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 23 2010 6:08 PM

sjm:
but the publishers of those resources have chosen not to provide those resources to the SWORD project

Luckily they are generally available on paper - an option that may die out during my life time

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 36
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 3 2010 2:05 PM

This is a very interesting thread. I admit I didn't read the whole thing. The problem with open source is that it doesn't fit very well into a free market model. The crown financed the English Bible. Now companies finance the printing of Bibles with protections through copyrights. In the same way, Logos needs protection to publish software and e-books we can all use. "Nothing is free", my dad always said, and that's much more than a cliche'.

It would seem that "well to do" Christians might consider buying machines loaded with Logos and lots of books. This would help our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world where the economics make it impossible for them to access these tools. Why should Logos be called upon to foot the bill? The software is already there in two operating systems. So call Logos and work out some kind of deal to buy in bulk and start putting these wonderful tools into the hands of Christians. (No, I don't work for Logos.)  Smile I used E-Sword for along time until I was finally blessed to own Logos.

Posts 84
Nigel Cunningham | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 3 2010 2:56 PM

Open source isn't necessarily about 'free as in beer'. It can be and generally is more about 'free as in if it doesn't work, I can fix it myself'. This doesn't necessarily conflict with paying for books. It just means that Logos would ideally have a blob of code that's free of OS dependencies, with a well defined and documented API for OS specific functions (file I/O, user interface and so on), and the code that handles those OS specific functions in a 'free as in I can fix it' repository.

Such a model would probably be of benefit to Logos, because it sounds like they've just about rewritten the whole thing from scratch for Mac support. If the frontend was just a frontend, development of a Mac - or Linux - version would be half the job and would even perhaps just be a matter of documenting the API and letting us open source developers go for it.

Posts 3
Steve Terek | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 4:55 AM

I kinda agree with a previous post, vis-a-vis Is Logos purely a money making venture, or is it partly a ministry?

My perception so far is that it is purely a money making venture.

Yes, I understand that everyone has a right to make a living and to protect one's source of income (intellectual property), but....  It's not so much the software that people want; it's access to the resources that Logos distributes.  I have installed Xiphos, with it's meager offerings.  I have just today installed e-Sword, with it's signifficantly better offerings which include "pay-for" resources.  I'm not wedded to any particular software package as such.  I would be happy to pay for Logos, if only I could run it on Linux, either natively or through Crossover Office.  Incidentally, I noticed that e-Sword points Linux users to Crossover Office on it's website.  Now there's a ministry.

And I don't know why people bang on about VMware and suchlike.  You still need to have a Windows licence to run the software.  That's not the solution.  If you have a Windows licence, why bother with Linux?  The idea is to ditch Windows, isn't it?

Now, e-Sword has an IE front end, same as Logos/Libronix, and it runs on Wine/Crossover.  Logos does not.  Because Logos won't collaborate with Linux developers.  Why?  Who would know?!  BP is not telling the whole story.  Someone already suggested getting some Linux developers on board under a non-disclosure agreement.  I'm sure there'd be some developers out there that would be willing to take on the challenge - for free - as in beer.  That's the way Linux developers operate!  They wrote Xiphos (formerly GnomeSword) for free.  Why wouldn't they tackle a Linux Logos project?

Scenario:  BP in front of the LORD on the day of judgement:

"So, Bob, tell me - Why, when that small, insignificant bunch of Linux users kept pestering you for Logos to run on Linux, did you not collaborate with them?"

Why?   Because there wasn't a buck in it.

 

Now, I know that this post is harsh - but so is truth in the cold light of the day.

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 5:15 AM

Steve Terek:

Why?   Because there wasn't a buck in it.

 

Now, I know that this post is harsh - but so is truth in the cold light of the day.

You're right, that is harsh.

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 54
Andrew | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 5:26 AM

Is the reader was free? You only pay for the books. Many (probably most) of the books do not belong to Logos and they are not allowed to simply give them away.

It is likely that Logos would lose money if they generated a Linux version of Logos. I cannot comment on why they do not simply publish all of their source code for the world to take and do with it as they please, but, I suspect that it has to do with things such as Intellectual property. If the code provides sufficient information to

generate a reader that can circumvent the unlock keys required for books, that would probably be a problem for many of the book suppliers.

Steve, Logos has posted a bounty (money) if the creators of wine can cause Logos to function with Wine. Unfortunately, Logos uses many of the advanced windows features that are simply not supported by Logos and the money is not sufficient to cover the costs of updating Wine to cover those specific features. If the Linux community followed this example and also posted a bounty, then the amount would perhaps be sufficient to update Wine.

It is unfortunate that Logos did not choose a cross platform framework such as QT when they decided to move to Mac, since that would have provided a single code base for all platforms.

Posts 3
Steve Terek | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 5:47 AM

Andrew Pitonyak:
Is the reader was free? You only pay for the books. Many (probably most) of the books do not belong to Logos and they are not allowed to simply give them away.

Agree.  I would be more than happy to pay for the resources.

Andrew Pitonyak:

If the code provides sufficient information to

generate a reader that can circumvent the unlock keys required for books, that would probably be a problem for many of the book suppliers.

Agree.  But my cynical side would argue that there are plenty of pirated copies of logos out there in the big wide world.  I don't by any stretch of the imagination condone that, but there are a lot of professing "Christians" out there who are not honest, law abiding citizens.

Andrew Pitonyak:
Steve, Logos has posted a bounty (money) if the creators of wine can cause Logos to function with Wine.

This I didn't know ( I didn't read through all of the posts).  My apologies for the harsh treatment of the subject, Logos, and most importantly, BP.

Andrew Pitonyak:
It is unfortunate that Logos did not choose a cross platform framework such as QT when they decided to move to Mac, since that would have provided a single code base for all platforms.

Yes, very unfortunate.  Instead of creating a cross-platform application and maintaining one software package for the next decade, they are tied to maintaining two of them.  Hardly economical, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, apologies for the harshness.

Incidentally, I visited all the various Logos websites, and I'm still at a loss.  even at biblia.com I couldn't find an area where I could access the "pay-for" resources.  I'd be willing to pay for them, if only I could get them!

Cheers, Steve

 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 9:20 AM

Steve Terek:
Anyway, apologies for the harshness.

Hi Steve,

I'm not sure if you are apologizing for the harsh scenario about BP or your stand on the platform Logos has been written for. No matter which it was, you do have a small window of opportunity to edit your post and delete the comments. (I can't remember if it is 5 hours or 10.)  If you would like to delete or change anything, you can accomplish that by clicking the "More" button at the top right of your post. If editing is still possible it will show as an option on the drop down menu.

Just thought you might like to know.   

Steve Terek:
Incidentally, I visited all the various Logos websites, and I'm still at a loss.  even at biblia.com I couldn't find an area where I could access the "pay-for" resources.  I'd be willing to pay for them, if only I could get them!

The resources will only do you good if you have the program to run them. You can go here to see begin your search of products:  http://www.logos.com/products. Be aware that Logos 4 syncs with the Logos license servers and will add or remove access to resources based on your registered licenses

I used to devote much time to Linux. But my interest then was in making things work in Linux "just because it could be done." I now find myself content to run Logos on Windows 7, not because I like Microsoft, but because it enables me to have the best Bible software available. If Logos only ran on BeOs, that is what I would be running. If Logos only ran on Macs, I'd fire them back up.  I still tinker with stuff but I don't want that to limit my access to Logos.

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Posts 118
Nicholas van Oudtshoorn | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 6:34 PM

Matthew/Steve:

Just a small correction - you don't need "the program to run" many of the resources, since a growing number are available via biblia.com . I personally have a VirtualBox Win7 machine for (and only for) Logos4, but it only rarely gets fired up - 99% of the time I can access all that I need via biblia.com .

To buy books, just go to www.logos.com - find the book you want, and click on the "Add to Cart button". As far as I can tell, if a book is available on the iPod app, it's available online via biblia. So just look for this icon Available online to be sure your book will be available online. All you then have to do is to login at biblia.com with the same login as at logos.com - voila! You're resources are available to you.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 7 2010 7:47 PM

Nicholas van Oudtshoorn:
To buy books, just go to www.logos.com - find the book you want, and click on the "Add to Cart button". As far as I can tell, if a book is available on the iPod app, it's available online via biblia. So just look for this icon Available online to be sure your book will be available online. All you then have to do is to login at biblia.com with the same login as at logos.com - voila! You're resources are available to you.

You are very kind to point this out. I personally have not gone mobile with iPhone or used Biblia.com yet. I have heard not all Logos resources are available on mobile devices and having the   Available online  icon really helps.   Thank you.

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