[sword-devel] Engine personal cipher support / Nestle - Aland 28th ed. German Bible Society

Troy A. Griffitts scribe at crosswire.org
Tue Oct 29 14:42:44 MST 2019

Hello frontend developers,

As many of you know, we've been in talks since 1998 with the Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft (German Bible Society) (DBG) to distribute the
Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament.  In 1999 they gave us official notice
to stop distributing the text of the NA27.  As a consolation, they
suggested we direct our users to their website where they would soon
make the NA27 available for download for a small fee.  They have offered
the NA27 in various software and formats from their website, but none we
could easily and fully integrate with our engine.  Things have changed
over the past 10 years.  CrossWire has designed and written the software
for Aland's research institute (INTF) which produces the text of the
Editio Critica Maior (ECM)-- the research work which the Nestle-Aland
edition derives its text and apparatus.  Over the past couple years, we
have pitched the idea to integrate the scholarly research tools at the
institute with the "pocket edition" Nestle-Aland and the result of that
is what you see in Bishop under the "Witness Study", "Variant Study:
Variant Graph, Alignment Table, and Digital ECM (book of Acts only)"
features.  They have been happy with these results and have agree to
release a NA28 module for CrossWire tools, but required a few updates
for this to happen.

1) They wanted a way to produce unique unlock keys per user which they
would generate from their website-- which also wouldn't require
re-cipher of the module data.

2) They needed a way to easily direct users to their website to purchase
the unlock key when a user attempts to install the module.

#1 was included as an update to our engine with this commit:

commit f4ac4caeacd762c90c2b2cef5755bf745e3a6d58
Author: scribe <scribe at bcd7d363-81e1-0310-97ec-a550e20fc99c>
Date:   Sat Dec 29 21:23:25 2018 +0000

    Added personalization mechanism for cipher keys
    git-svn-id: https://crosswire.org/svn/sword/trunk@3614

#2 was added with the inclusion of the UnlockInfo property as an
accepted entry in the .conf file for a module.

All this to say that I have received word that "the code generator has
already been implemented in the online shop. The colleagues are recently
testing the feature."

I would hope this means immanent availability.

As this has been an ongoing negotiation and we've received a number of
positive replies with no final action over the years from the DBG, I've
waited until it actually looks like they are really planning to release
this, before getting anyone's hopes up.

Good news is that I have also pitched this to the DBG as a way for them
to keep 100% of the sale from their module, since we don't want any
royalties, which should allow them to offer their resource to starving
seminary students at a great discount in price.  They have taken this to
heart and the last word I have received is that they "are considering a
really modest price of probably as low as 10 €."  That's actually pretty
exciting as most other modules for the NA28 which include the apparatus
are priced around $25USD.  Plus, a seminary student will have the added
benefit of using their unlock code on any and all of our software
(mobile and desktop), instead of being locked into a single
application.  It should be a good promotion for us and I expect the DBG
website will highlight this.

So, in summary, I hope this will actually happen.  I am excited by this
and hope everyone else will be, as well.  Frontend developers: for you
to support this, you will need to build against an engine release later
than the commit above.  For those who insist on only building against
release branches (completely sympathize with this), our release manager,
Greg Hellings, offered to cherry-pick changes for a new release over the
past holiday season, which was relatively quiet and we never supported
him in his offer, but I am hopeful this means he might be willing to
pull at least this patch into our release branch.  Additionally, you
will need to support the new UnlockInfo .conf property in your
frontend.  To see how it is used in Bishop, you can try (both iOS and
Android are the same) to install the NA28 module from DBG publisher's
remote module installation repository which has been added to our list
of autodetected repositories.  The .conf file is here so you can see the
value of the property-- which will change with appropriate text and
link, once we receive the direct store link to the NA28 SWORD module in
the DBG store.


The cleanest way is up to you to popup a browser window in your frontend
which will allow the user to navigate the purchase option in the store
and receive the unlock key, and then to return the user back to your
application to enter the unlock key, but you should be able to trust the
UnlockInfo will include general text informing the user they can
purchase an unlock key from the DGB, and that a link will be provided as
part of that text (using our standard RTF + <a href> syntax we've used
in .conf files for ages).

Finally, if any frontend project manager wishes to test the actual NA28
module in your frontend, email me privately and I can generate a key for
you.  And if you'd like to add to your frontend the ECM integration to
the INTF which you see in Bishop, you will find those webservices easily
by having a look at the VerseStudy code here:

(NB: methods, witnessStudy, variantGraph, alignmentTable, dECMApp)

Praise God for this opportunity to make these valuable resources
available to our users at the absolute lowest price.

In Him,


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