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More about BibleDatabase - The Software

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Software Design Criteria


As with any software, the design philosophy determines where the product has its major strengths. With BibleDatabase, this is in the following areas:

  • Quick and easy to use.

It is all very well to have an enormously powerful piece of software but "driving" it requires numerous button clicks to get even the simplest of tasks done. This is both time consuming as well as tedious. Excepting for functions such as Find and Find Again - things which mandate another pop-up form - everything you need to do or can do on a form is done right there on the form in front of you. Few things are more irritating than having a new form jump up at you each time you want to change some simple setting. The BibleDatabase interface is simple and uncluttered and has been designed around this concept of simplicity. At it's simplest level, from the main form just type in the word or phrase you are looking for and hit the go button!

  • Very fast multi-Bible compare

Because BibleDatabase was written with comparing texts on a verse by verse (or chapter by chapter) basis from different texts in mind, special attention was given to the speed at which it does this. We have tested BibleDatabase on a 1 GHz Pentium PC with 55 Bibles and it can fetch and display all the verses from any Chapter in any Book from all 55 Bibles in under 1 second. That's fast! It is further to be noted that no Bible is loaded to memory at any time during the process. This is important as performance is not dependant on the amount of RAM on any given machine.

  • Minimum memory requirement

Although we recommend 32 MB of RAM, BibleDatabase will run on a 486 class computer with as little as 4 MB RAM. Said differently, BibleDatabase uses system resources very sparingly allowing you to run it simultaneously with a number of other Applications without bringing your PC down to a crawl.

  • Instant Book search

Searching any one book of the Bible is almost instantaneous due to the Bible indexing method used. This is also important because it means searches will complete in a reasonable time even on very old machines while being lightning fast on modern PC's

  • Maximize viewable real estate

We have tried to keep the BibleDatabase screens as free as possible from unnecessary "clutter". We felt it important to make as much screen "real estate" available for the actual text without filling it up with buttons and menus. Besides the main menu and toolbar the only thing one should see on the screen is the thing you really want to see - The Bible.

  • The size of both the software as well as the modules must be as small as possible.

Most people - particularly in third world countries - connect to the Internet by way of Dial-up modems. Often at speeds of 56K or less. In many countries Internet connections are unstable to say the least, making the downloading of files larger than about 5 MB almost impossible.  The BibleDatabase software is presently around 4.5 MB (including the runtime files!) and the Bibles around 1.1 MB each. For a Bible one Megabyte is tiny by comparison to most other Bible software available on the Internet. Most are around the 2.5 MB mark with some as large as 4 MB! Further, In many countries people pay per minute whilst connected to their ISP so download time becomes a big issue. 

A Bible smaller than 1.44 M can fit on a floppy disk and therefore be distributed. This is particularly relevant in countries where Christianity is not welcome and Christians have to work underground. For example, those who don't have Internet access can easily download a Bible to a floppy disk at an Internet Cafe.

Probably the biggest difference in size is the size of the installed file on the end user PC. A complete BibleDatabase Bible only requires 4.3 MB of hard drive space once installed. The same Bible takes a whopping 10 MB of space if it is stored as a .MDB (Microsoft Jet Database) file - which is the way it is normally stored. Ten megs may not sound like much if you only have one or two Bibles installed. However, if you install 50 modules it fast exceeds the size of most other Applications including Windows itself!

  • The modules must be usable even if BibleDatabase is not installed.

Once installed, BibleDatabase modules are stored as plain text files on your local hard drive. This means a couple of things. First and foremost it means you can read and display the files without the BibleDatabase software if you have to. When you search for something the search results are also stored in plain text files (in fact, except for the BibleDatabase software itself all files are in plain text format) - text files are a universal format. You can display them in a DOS or Windows machine, a MAC or a PC, a UNIX or a SUN system; you can email them, copy from them, use them in other applications - whatever you like. You cannot do this if a file is a formatted binary file. A formatted binary file can only be used with the software it was designed to be used with. (Many people have used the BibleDatabase modules for purposes other than with the BibleDatabase software - if it furthers God's Kingdom we welcome it!)

  • It must have appeal to the novice user as well as expert user

Many potential users of BibleDatabase have very little in the way of Computer experience. We moved from the premise that a Minister or Pastor is generally more concerned with being a Pastor than he is with being a computer expert. Knowing how to defeat the anti piracy headers used in the latest MP3 format is not really the concern of the average Housewife or Bank Clerk. And so it should be! Consequently we have tried to make the user interface as straightforward as possible, without having all the "bells and whistles". Having said that however, BibleDatabase has many features which are both powerful and complex in order to satisfy even the seasoned PC user.

  • It must be free.

This goes almost without saying! Have you ever wondered how much money one can make from selling Bibles on a website like this? We did the following calculation. Lets say we were selling BibleDatabase at $29.00 (seems to be a popular price). Cheap you say? Now lets say we sell one thousand copies per day (by the way, we actually do more than that). Doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that equates to $27, 000 a day! 1TIM 5:18 says "...The worker deserves his wages." However, the Word also says in MT 10:8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give" - We believe the Word of God was freely given to us so we freely give it to you. 

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