Thursday, November 3, 2016

Accordance 12 Released

Accordance announced today (2016.11.03) the release of Accordance 12. Just in time for the AAR-SBL meeting! Follow these links for info on the set of new features and enhancements.

One interesting option is a free Accordance Lite version that can be run on Windows or Mac. It contains a set of basic resources, but you can buy almost any individual title from Accordance that will run in this lite version.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Google Noto Fonts: No more tofu

Google is making available a free, family of font faces that are being shared with SIL Open Font License. Google says:
Beautiful and free fonts for all languagesWhen text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as “tofu”. They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.
Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see “no more tofu”. Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all. 
More background information is available here which notes that "Noto is an open-source family of fonts that supports the display of some 110,000 characters from 800 languages." It also works on Android- and Chrome-based devices.

As it pertains to biblical studies, unfortunately, this probably is not a fully satisfying answer. The Noto Serif font includes Greek and Coptic but not Hebrew. The Noto Sans likewise includes Greek and Coptic but not Hebrew, but there is a separate Noto Sans Hebrew. There are other separate downloads for:
  • Noto Sans Cuneiform
  • Noto Sans Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  • Noto Sans Ethiopic
  • Noto Sans Imperial Aramic
  • Noto Sans Linear B
  • Noto Sans Phoenician
  • Noto Sans Samaritan
  • Noto Sans Syriac: Eastern, Estrangela, Western
  • and more...
 Those extra font families may make Noto an attractive option, but for most of my work, I'm still using the free Cardo font, the SBL BibLit font (which is a combination of the SBL Hebrew and SBL Greek), or even the Times New Roman (TNR) which can handle almost all Greek and Hebrew needs. (TNR does include critical apparatus markers, but it must substitute for the fraktur characters for the Majority Text and Septuagint and papyrus.)

I find the fonts to be attractive enough, though their clarity is more striking than their elegance. (SBL Lit and TNR are more attractive, in my opinion.) Here's a comparative sample I've created. (Click to enlarge.)
Download the Noto fonts HERE. Even if you don't use the Noto fonts, I'm guessing that you at leaste learned that the little blank character boxes is called tofu.

Monday, August 1, 2016

New Ministry Tech Articles: Olive Tree Bible Study 6 for Mac

It's always worth checking on what Kevin Purcell is covering in Ministry Tech. This month he has a positive review of Olive Tree's Bible Study 6 for Mac. Olive Tree has been around since at least 2000 and have consistently upgraded there software into a highly capable system. The app is actually available for Windows, Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Mac. The app is free, and you can get caught a few free resources to get started including the NIV, ESV, HCSB, NET, and more.

While you're at Ministry Tech, keep scrolling to see Purcell's article on Android Bible apps running on Chromebooks. He includes both hardware recommendations and pointers to the Bible apps.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Luther's Small Catechism / El Catecismo Menor de Lutero free from AugsburgFortress

There's an app for that! AugsburgFortress now has Luther's Small CatechismEl Catecismo Menor de Lutero available as an app for both Android and iOS. It includes the updated translation, and the app offers the choice of either English or Spanish. It's a simple app and attractively presented. A search function is also available. From the website:
Take Luther’s Small Catechism with you wherever you go. Written 500 years ago by the reformer Martin Luther, these basic questions and answers on Christian faith continue to be a guide and companion for children, youth, and adults today.
Read and search all the content of the classic “pocket editions” of Luther’s Small Catechism and El Catecismo Menor de Lutero:
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Apostles’ Creed
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
  • Confession
  • The Sacrament of the Altar
  • Morning and Evening Blessings
  • Blessings at Meals  
There is an in-app upgrade to the "Study Edition" for USD$1.99 that provides more notes, illustrations, introduction, and more content.
HERE is the Android app on GooglePlay.
HERE is the iOS app on iTunes.