[sword-devel] Zondervan and NIV

Jeremy Erickson jerickson314 at users.sourceforge.net
Sun May 1 20:35:10 MST 2005

	I am considering sending Zondervan a slightly different request for an NIV 
module.  The fact is, I would find the NIV on Linux useful and would even pay 
a reasonable fee to use a proprietary program that supported it.  However, it 
would be much easier (and cheaper) for Zondervan to distribute a Sword module 
than to develop software for Linux.  I could point this out to them.  
Folllowing is a proposed message I could send.  Does this look like a good 
idea or a bad one?  Would the message need any edits?

-Jeremy Erickson

==Proposed Message (not actually sent at this point)==

Dear Zondervan,
	I use the NIV regularly and would find computer study tools useful.  However, 
I use neither Microsoft Windows nor Apple Mac OS.  I use Gentoo Linux, one of 
many (mostly compatible with each other) distributions of the Linux operating 
system.  The Linux operating system is growing but is still somewhat a niche 
offering.  Nonetheless, I would love to be able to use the NIV on Linux and 
would be willing to pay a reasonable price for such a capability.  More 
importantly,  God's work could be furthered through such an effort.
	My suggestion for the easiest (and perhaps most cost-effective) way to 
support Linux would be to sell a module for the pre-existing Sword project 
from CrossWire (not to be confused with e-Sword).  CrossWire may be contacted 
at info at crosswire.org.  The volunteers at  CrossWire would be more than 
willing to deal with the technical hurdles involved in creating the module 
and to help you with any problems you may encounter.  In fact, they could 
likely create the module unassisted given the source texts.  They also 
actively develop the Sword library and the various frontends available for 
it, so your developers would not need to deal with maintainence.  Sword 
frontends are already available for most major platforms (including Windows, 
Linux, Mac OS X, and various forms of Unix), and I can attest to the maturity 
and quality of the BibleTime frontend I currently use.
	However, CrossWire is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization which does not 
have the financial resources to act as an e-tailer for the modules.  
Therefore, it would probably be up to you to sell the modules and deal with 
the financial aspects.  Nonetheless, this approach would seem simpler for you 
than developing a full-fledged Linux suite of tools.  If you would rather 
deal solely with your own software, you may want to consider using a 
cross-platform tool such as Qt from Trolltech Inc. (http://www.trolltech.com) 
or the community-developed wxWidgets (http://www.wxwidgets.org) when 
developing your software, as programs using these tools can be compiled on 
all major platforms with few or no changes.
	From my understanding (though I am not a lawyer and this is not legal 
advice), the copyright risks involved in distributing a Sword module would 
seem minimal.  Though the GNU General Public License used for Sword is often 
considered "viral", its effects only cover software and not data modules used 
with covered software.  In addition, Sword has the capability to use modules 
which are actually encrypted and thus for all practical purposes impossible 
to use without the proper access codes.  It would thus be more difficult to 
illegally copy Sword modules than the .pdb files used for Laridian MyBible on 
	I hope that God's work may be furthered by the use of the NIV on Linux!  Your 
time is appreciated.

-Jeremy Erickson

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