[jsword-devel] [sword-devel] Announcing FireBible 0.5.1 - GPLed Firefox font-end

Brian Fernandes infernalproteus at gmail.com
Sun Mar 30 07:05:01 MST 2008

> This may not be the first non-BD use of JSword, but it is the coolest.  
> Perhaps, I should start a "sightings" page in the wiki. Or feel free  
> to do so for yourself.

Thanks DM, if you can setup the page, perhaps I can add a blurb.
> I'm not able to get it to work on my Mac Mini. When I click on "Select  
> Bible" nothing happens. Sword modules are located at "~/Library/ 
> Application Support/Sword" for both BD and MacSword. (Note the space  
> in the path). Java is /usr/bin/java and is a link to Java 1.4.2. Apple  
> includes a way to change this link to point to the "current" Java. I  
> did not try Java 5.

"Space in the path" is infamous for causing issues, so I explicitly 
tested and fixed these issues before release, hopefully that isn't the 
problem. I don't have access to a Mac for testing though, so I couldn't 
test on it, it very likely is a core Java issue. I'll try and get access 
to see what's going on. Since JSword works with 1.4.2, FB shouldn't be 
different. What version of Firefox were you using?

Something to note is that the interface between Firefox and Java changed 
significantly enough between FF 2 an the recent FF 3 betas to break the 
extension completely. I have accounted for these changes but perhaps 
there are even more differences on the Mac.

> On Fedora 8, (a Linux distribution) I couldn't get it to work. On  
> clicking on Bibles, I get the spinning busy indicator. And it won't  
> come back. Clicking on it again pops up a dialog box letting me know  
> it is busy. And then the spinning goes away. However, it is still busy  
> and clicking again gets the same dialog box. At first, I thought it  
> was due to my having all the Bibles installed. But when I move .sword  
> out of the way, I still got the busy situation.

I did test FireBible on Ubuntu rather extensively; initially I had a 
problem with the Java plugin not being installed, once I fixed that 
everything worked fine. Since you saw the "busy" message, it seems to 
have progressed beyond a Java problem, perhaps a bug somewhere. What 
JSword/FF version did you try with? (I have only tried 1.0.7).

I'm not 100% sure with how Firefox decides what Java version to use so 
here are some questions.

1) Do Java applets work? Here is Sun's test page which should print out 
some info about the Java version being used by FF and display an 
animation: http://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml
If the applet isn't working, then there is no way FB will work.

Note: there are some reports that the animation does not work, but the 
info should still be displayed.

2) I had to do this to get FB working on Linux:

In the Firefox/plugins folder, I had to create a symbolic link (do not 
copy the file) to the Java plugin in my desired JRE, like so:

ln -s 

> I have installed gcj, Sun's Java 1.4, Sun's Java 5, Sun's Java 6 and  
> IcedTea Java 7. Both gcj and IcedTea were installed via yum from  
> Fedora. The various Sun's Java were installed as outlined in http://www.crosswire.org/jsword/linuxjava.html 
> .. I use /usr/sbin/alternatives to switch between them. I tried 1.4.2,  
> 5, 6 and IcedTea.

 From point #2 above, I don't think a /usr/sbin switch will get FF to 
use another Java version, again, I'm not sure. I know that FF on Linux 
can only use Sun's Java, nothing else, versions 1.5 and up recommended.

Here is the Mozilla page with the details: 

If you have the time, can you please do the following:

1) Type "about:config" into the address bar
2) Right click and create a new boolean key named "firefox.debug.active" 
and set it to true.
3) When you restart Firefox, use Tools > Error Console and the extension 
should print out debugging information, if you paste that here, I will 
know how far along it got before bombing out.

> But on WinXP, it looks great.

Whew, thanks!

> Feedback:
> The table used to show notes and text should be padded between the  
> columns.


> The URL showing search results is unreadable because of all the  
> escaping. If you used the osisRef form, it would be more readable.

FireBible is completely URL driven, when you use the combos, it creates 
a URL (through simple concatenation) and passes that on to JSword which 
returns the text.

When you use the search, it passes the search terms to JSword, which 
returns the URL (minus "bible://") and I go ahead and pass that verbatim 
into JSword again which will now oblige with the text.

I have not looked at the osisRef form but will shortly, will it still be 
usable given the above "inner workings"?

> When titling the window for a search result, it might be better to  
> show a variation of search text rather than the long reference. Or  
> truncate the reference.

This is definitely possible, the title could indicate *what* you 
searched for, not the search results.

> On Linux, with GnomeSword installed, there may be a bit of tug-of-war  
> for the bible:// protocol.

If you click a bible:// link *within* Firefox I believe it will now be 
handled by FireBible, even if GnomeSword is the default bible handler. 
If you click an external link, then it depends on gnome settings, if you 
choose Firefox to the bible hander or GnomeSword. So hopefully not a big 
deal deal, though it will be a problem if you want bible:// links in FF 
to be handled by GnomeSword too. Perhaps I shouldn't add support for 
sword:// too? Needs more thought and feedback if people have issues with 
  how it is now. I intended adding the "sword://" protocol too.
> I'm looking forward to see what you have next!

Tons planned, the first would be supporting more modules. But right now 
I'm a tad disappointed it didn't work for you on Linux (didn't expect it 
to work right off on the Mac), so would like to get it universally 
working first - and then add more features in.

Thanks for the detailed and prompt feedback, much appreciated.


P.S These discussions are relevant to both JSword-devel and Sword-devel, 
  so I'm replying to both groups (as you have done?). Is this the right way?

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