Friday, February 08, 2008

Where are the Bible study tools?

One of the reasons that this blog has languished over the last few years is that relatively little has changed in the landscape of Bible study oriented software. To my knowledge, there is still no real Tablet PC software designed to aid someone who wishes to study scripture for him- or herself.

e-Sword has been updated a number of times since I first wrote about it. While many of the new features are very nice, none of them provide any support for the pen. The whole landscape of e-Sword Bible import tools has changed substantially in the intervening time, but frankly I haven't bothered to keep up with it. I've already got 30-40 Bibles in e-Sword and any more would just be padding the bookshelves. More commercial Bibles are available, which is a good thing if you want the latest translations and a bad thing if you want them free.

GoBinder, which I mentioned in "The Student, the Fish, Agassiz and the Tablet" back in March of 2005, seems to be at the end of its life. OneNote is up to version 2007, which is a major improvement over OneNote 2003 and highly recommended, but still a general purpose tool, albeit a great one.

But really, there is not a single program that is designed for the student of the Bible who uses a Tablet PC.

I find myself with some time on my hands now, something that hasn't been true for several years. Part of what I am doing with this time is re-honing my programming skills, specifically for the Tablet PC. I would love to tackle a program like this. But in order to do that, I need to know what it should do. If, after all this time, anyone is still "out there" reading this blog, I'm asking you what you would like to see for Bible study aids with a Tablet PC twist. Post your comments here and maybe we can get some discussion going.

Some of the things I have been mulling over include importing or making use of Bibles from e-Sword as the text source, multiple notes sets per passage, flexibility in formatting of the text on the page for inductive study, creation of your own links to other passages, notes pages that parallel the text in addition to ink directly on the text. What else would you like to see?