New engine of the BibleGet service
When the BibleGet service (the engine that lets you interrogate a database using standard notation for biblical citations) was first launched it only supported one version of the Bible. In the meantime I’ve been working away, and I have update the engine of the BibleGet service so that it now can handle multiple versions of the Bible. There are already three versions available (the Italian CEI2008, the Italian LUZZI and the Latin NVBSE). To say that the engine supports multiple versions means two things, one that you can choose which version of those available you would like to make a quote from, or two that you can choose more than one version to quote from at once and make parallel quotes.
Not only does it now support multiple versions but it also can recognize and understand the names of the books of the Bible in more than 20 languages. The languages currently supported are 23, precisely: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, English, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Vietnamese. If anyone should any kind of irregular behaviour in the service when using one language or another, please send feedback with the errors so that we can check that our data is correct and that the engine is correctly functioning. Up until now it seems to be going quite well!
As a technical note, in order to use the new updated engine, you have to specifically target index2.php like this: http://query.bibleget.io/index2.php. I didn’t want to break the existing plugins that are using the main engine, the new engine can become default only when all existing plugins have been updated to use the new engine.
Google Docs add-on
And talking about updating the new plugins, after updating the main engine I went on to begin updating the various plugins and extensions that use the BibleGet service. I first started working on the Google Docs Add-on, and I took the opportunity to localize the interface of the add-on into 5 different western languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German. The language in which the interface is displayed will depend on the language that Google Docs is used in. The layout of the interface has also been updated, the preferences settings are now shown in a central popup window instead of as a secondary tab in the sidebar. This way there is a better view of the options, other than uncluttering the space in the sidebar which is now used solely for searching Bible quotes. It is now possible to indicate the desired Biblical version (of the 3 currently available) for each quote, you can even choose more than one version at a time for parallel quotes.
Plugin for WordPress
In the same way I went on to update the plugin for WordPress. I’ve dedicated the past three weeks or so to implementing the new engine of the BibleGet service in the WordPress plugin. I did a lot of work on the Preferences Settings area, which now gives much more control over the styling of the biblical quotes within the blog / WordPress website. And if anyone wishes to have full control over the styling, it is even possible to edit the CSS stylesheet from within the Settings area. Also, towards the bottom of the same Settings area, the information about the available versions and languages that the central BibleGet engine supports is displayed. This information is retrieved directly frmo the server bibleget.io and cached locally when the plugin is installed or updated. However, since new versions of the Bible may be added to the project between plugin updates, you can always click on the button at the bottom of the information display area to renew the current information so that the plugin will synchronize with the BibleGet engine.
(Let me also add that, as soon as I published the new release with all these updates, there were a couple of bugs that related only to older versions of PHP, so it is possible that, if anyone that has an outdated version of PHP on their sever proceeded to update the plugin, this may have resulted in an error message which would actually prevent the pages on the website from loading. Luckily I caught this error right away by testing on an older server that I use for testing purposes and I made new updates to correct these possible errors. If nobody noticed, well then that’s great, otherwise if anyone tried updating and got that error we are sorry for the service disruption this may have caused but we can assure that things have now been ironed out and it should all work splendidly even on outdated servers. However if anyone should notice any kind of malfunctioning or what seems to be such, please contact me and send your feedback so that I can look into it and take care of it, sending feedback is important because it will help everyone in using this plugin, since I won’t necessarily see or catch all errors, seeing that they depend on different environments with different setups.)
And I have also updated the interface of this plugin so that it can be localized and translated into different languages. I have already included three languages: English, Spanish and Italian. Anyone can translate the interface into another language using the “.pot” file in the “/languages/” folder (you can use a program such as PoEdit to translate the strings into another language, then you have to save the file in “.po” and “.mo” format adding a dash with the ISO code of the language to end of the filename (for example “bibleget-io-fr_FR.po”). If anyone does translate the interface into another language, please send me your translated “.po” file and I can add it to a next update for everyone to use, I can also add the translators name in a note in the plugin description about contributions received.
New versions of the Bible to be added
Someone could very well say, well it’s wonderful that this BibleGet project now has translated interfaces and that it understands the names of the books of the Bible in so many languages… But if it doesn’t have versions of the Bible in those languages what good is that? Well, such an observation is more than legitimate. This is in fact the idea of this project. I expect to add many versions of the Bible in many different languages to the project, and I am already working with the proper authorities to obtain the usage of certain versions covered by copyright. Soon more versions will be available. So far I have been concentrating on getting the base engine to work so as to be able to handle multiple versions, and on making the plugins work with this new engine. In fact, I still have to work on the extension for Open Office so that it too can utilize the new BibleGet engine, and I also need to localize the interface of the Open Office extension in various languages. Not to mention the plugin for Microsoft Word which is a whole other story. I have worked quite a bit on the interface for the settings in Microsoft Word and I have also worked out maintaining user preferences, I would however like to work on integrating the plugin better into the Microsoft Word ribbon interface, but this will be available only for the 2010 version or more recent versions. The older versions such as 2007 don’t support integrating into the ribbon interface. In conclusion, there is still a lot of work to be done, even though everything is proceeding splendidly, but wemust be patient before this service will be fully available and functioning 100% for many people in many different languages and nations, whether Catholic or protestant or just a man of good will who wants to snatch a Bible quote.
- 6000 queries! and some novelties
- Service restored after a few hours of disruption