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New App: OpenSpritz Bible

bible squarex512I have now pushed another app to the Google Play store. This app is probably the trickiest app I have made as it actually does something, ranter than just displays information.

A while back there was a bit of buzz about this Spritz reading technology that allowed you to read on a screen quickly. These guys were even going to let developers access their API, once you jumped through a few of their hoops and waited to be approved and when they were ready to let people have access. So I signed up for this. But, then I found that someone had read the concept and then coded up their own version and called it “OpenSpritz” (he said it took him 15mins to make) and then another guy ported it to android.

With this technology freely available right now I then thought I could make a Bible reading app. My original idea was that I would pull the verse text from the ESV API (which is what I do from the Australian Daily Prayer app), but I then found a bunch of Bibles in XML format. So I set out to use them.

In the process I also found a Bible passage parser, so that was worth using. It was in JavaScript and not Java, but I cheater and ran it through an internal webpage/WebView to use it. This may have been a bit over kill, but it seems to have worked.

I found that using the built-in XPath XML parser in android was really slow and so then found another Java module called VTD-XML which uses XPath requests, but is much faster. By way of comparison, I found with the standard XPath request for a single verse took about as much time as it did to pull all of Mark’s Gospel, so that was a big improvement. Still, if you request all of Psalms, it will take a little bit to process.

So as you can tell by now this app is a bunch of existing modules all strung together. Since those modules were opensource and free, I have also released the source code for this app for others to improve on.

It was only a bit later that I realised that I had read this blog post by Doug Wilson, which is him talking about the Spritz reading technology and using it to read the Bible. This means, I probably got the idea from him for this app, but only consciously decided to make it a few months later.

So head on over to the Play Store (when it gets updated), or the app page to download it (now).

Christian. Husband. Father. Son. Canberran.

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