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Biblelator Installation

Last updated: 2018-02-16 RJH

Please see the document DevelopmentPrinciples.md for information about the design decisions behind how and why Biblelator was developed.

This document provides basic instructions for installing and running a copy of a pre-release version of Biblelator onto your computer.

After the numbered instructions, there's a description of my own experience of trying to follow my own instructions on a different computer.

  1. Install Python3

    Biblelator uses Python3 (it's currently being developed on Python 3.6 but will probably run on most relatively recent versions of Python3.

    To see if Python3 is installed on your computer, open a terminal or command prompt window on your system and enter: python3 If Python3 is installed, it should show a version number and a >>> prompt. Type "quit()" (without the quotes) to exit Python.

    If it's not already installed, you should install Python3 on your system either through the software manager on your system, or else as per the instructions here at https://www.python.org/downloads.

  2. Optionally install Git

    Git is a program that makes it easy to fetch the latest Biblelator files from the Internet. However, you don't have to install Git if you don't want to.

    You can run Git from a command prompt window, or else from a GUI program such as TortoiseGit on Windows.

    If it's not already installed, you should install Git on your system either through the software manager on your system, or else as per the instructions here at http://git-scm.com/downloads and/or TortoiseGit for Windows as per the instructions at https://code.google.com/p/tortoisegit/wiki/Download.

    If you use Git in steps #4 and #5 below, then to upgrade later to future versions of BibleOrgSys and Biblelator, you just have to do a "git pull" command on each of those folders.

    If Git is not on your path when you open a command prompt window in Windows, a command like "set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files (x86)\git\bin" might help (or without the " (x86)" if it's not a 64-bit system).

  3. Create a folder for Biblelator -- we recommend the name BiblelatorFiles. If you want other users on your computer to be able to use Biblelator, either create this folder somewhere public such as in Public Documents, or else change the permissions of the folder to allow other users to be able to read from it and write to it. You can call the folder anything you like, but these instructions will assume that you called it BiblelatorFiles.

  4. A note about the Biblelator development version: When you are installing the Biblelator program files using git clone in #6 below, you have the option of using the master (stable) version, or the later development version. The development version is likely to have more features, and at any point in time, might have more or less bugs. If you want to do this, use: git checkout development after the git clone command in step #6a. Note that depending on the current stages of development, you might also need the development version of the BOS (in step #5a below).

  5. Install the Bible Organisational System (BOS) inside the BiblelatorFiles folder. Open https://github.com/openscriptures/BibleOrgSys in a browser window. On the right-hand side of the page are links to either: a. Download (clone) BibleOrgSys with Git (using either HTTPS or SSH (if you have a GitHub account). This method allows easier updating to future development versions. The HTTPS link is https://github.com/openscriptures/BibleOrgSys.git b. Without Git, download the current version BibleOrgSys as a ZIP file and unzip the file in the BiblelatorFiles folder (then remove -master from the folder name). Either way, you should end up with a new folder called BibleOrgSys inside your BiblelatorFiles folder from step #3.

  6. Install the Biblelator program inside the BiblelatorFiles folder. Open https://github.com/openscriptures/Biblelator in a browser window. On the right-hand side of the page are links to either: a. Download (clone) Biblelator with Git (using either HTTPS or SSH (if you have a GitHub account). This method allows easier updating to future development versions. The HTTPS link is https://github.com/openscriptures/Biblelator.git b. Without Git, download the current version Biblelator as a ZIP file and unzip the file in the BiblelatorFiles folder (then remove -master from the folder name). Either way, you should end up with a new folder called Biblelator inside your BiblelatorFiles folder from step #3.

  7. Install OpenScriptures HebrewLexicon. Open https://github.com/openscriptures/HebrewLexicon On the right-hand side of the page are links to either: a. Download (clone) HebrewLexicon with Git (using either HTTPS or SSH (if you have a GitHub account). This method allows easier updating to future corrected versions. The HTTPS link is https://github.com/openscriptures/HebrewLexicon.git b. Without Git, download the current version HebrewLexicon as a ZIP file and unzip the file in the first/top BiblelatorFiles folder (then remove -master from the folder name). Either way, you should end up with a new folder called HebrewLexicon inside your BiblelatorFiles folder from step #3.

  8. Install morphgnt Greek Strongs info. Open https://github.com/morphgnt/strongs-dictionary-xml On the right-hand side of the page are links to either: a. Download (clone) strongs-dictionary-xml with Git (using either HTTPS or SSH (if you have a GitHub account). This method allows easier updating to future corrected versions. The HTTPS link is https://github.com/morphgnt/strongs-dictionary-xml.git b. Without Git, download the current version strongs-dictionary-xml as a ZIP file and unzip the file in the first/top BiblelatorFiles folder (then remove -master from the folder name). Either way, you should end up with a new folder called strongs-dictionary-xml inside your BiblelatorFiles folder from step #3.

  9. Make Biblelator.py executable -- only on Linux. Navigate to the 2nd Biblelator folder either in a command line window or a file manager. If on a command line, type "chmod +x Biblelator.py" (without the quotes), or if in a file manager, right-click on Biblelator.py, choose Properties, and Permissions (or similar) and set the Executable flag.

  10. Try a test run of the Biblelator program. Open a command prompt window and navigate to your second Biblelator folder using the cd command, e.g., cd /home/fred/Biblelator/Biblelator (a Linux example), or cd \Users\Public\Documents\Biblelator\Biblelator (a Windows example). On Linux, type ".\Biblelator.py --version" (without the quotes), or on Windows, the command is something like: "Biblelator.py --version" (without the quotes) or if that doesn't work, you might need something like "C:\Python36\python.exe Biblelator.py --version" (without the quotes) depending on your Python3 version number and how it was installed. This test run of the program should just display the Biblelator version number and then exit immediately. If you see the error "ImportError: No module named tkinter", check in case you are accidentally using Python 2 rather than Python 3. If the program does not run, please copy the contents of the command prompt window, and paste them into the comment box at http://Freely-Given.org/Contact.html.

  11. A note about the lock file: Biblelator creates a Biblelator.lock file in its home folder when it's running. This enables it to detect if you start Biblelator twice at the same time, and/or if the program crashed last time (because the file won't have been automatically deleted). When restarted after a crash, Biblelator tries to check if the autosave files contain valuable edit data. Then you can recover the files if they contain a lot of work. Then the Biblelator.lock file must be manually deleted before the program will run again. So if you were testing the program, or know that you hadn't done a lot of work since the last save, just go ahead and delete the Biblelator.lock file.

  12. View optional parameters. On Linux, type ".\Biblelator.py --help" (without the quotes), or on Windows, the command is something like: "Biblelator.py --help" (without the quotes) or if that doesn't work, you might need something like "C:\Python36\python.exe Biblelator.py --help" (without the quotes) depending on your Python3 version number and how it was installed. This test run of the program should display the Biblelator command prompt help page and then exit immediately. Note that the --strict flag is part of the Bible Organisational System usually used for strict checking of data files where you want to halt even if there's a small error. You usually don't want this behaviour in an editor so it's not recommended for Biblelator. Note that multiprocessing is currently disabled, so the --single flag currently does nothing.

  13. Run Biblelator in the normal mode for normal working. If everything seems to be working correctly, next time you run Biblelator you might not need to run it in debug mode, i.e., simply omit the "--version" or "--help" parameters in order to run in normal mode. If the program does not run, please copy the contents of the command prompt window, and paste them into the comment box at http://Freely-Given.org/Contact.html. It may also be helpful to include the contents of the Biblelator.ini file which should be in yourNormalHomeFolder/BiblelatorData/BiblelatorSettings/ folder.

  14. IF #12 ABOVE CRASHED IMMEDIATELY, or if you need more info on what's going wrong, try starting the Biblelator program in debug mode. Using a command similar to what worked in the previous step, replace "--version" with "--debug" to actually run the program but with extra debugging information displayed in the command prompt window so we can more easily track issues if there's an installation program. This command should open the Biblelator main window (with an extra Debug menu and extra debug information inside the main window). Aside from displaying these extras, plus extra debug information displayed in the command prompt window, you should be able to access all (working) Biblelator functions as usual.

    WARNING: The debug mode has a HALT button, which unlike the QUIT button, exits immediately WITHOUT SAVING any files or settings, so use it with great caution.

    If the program does not run, please copy the contents of the command prompt window, and paste them into the comment box at http://Freely-Given.org/Contact.html. Note that a BiblelatorData folder should be created in your home folder when you exit the program, and inside that, a BiblelatorSettings folder should contain your settings information and a BiblelatorLogs folder should contain a log file.

  15. In order to keep people safe who might be working on Bibles in sensitive locations, the default settings have all Internet access disabled. We recommend that most people enable Internet access. Unfortunately, this can't yet be done inside the program, so you need to find the settings file and edit it. The BiblelatorData folder should have been created in your home folder. Inside that is the BiblelatorSettings folder. Inside that, there's a default Biblelator.ini file (or you might have created a different ini file using the --override (or -o) argument). Open this file with a text editor, e.g., gedit or Notepad and change the setting "internetAccess" to Enabled (and then save the file of course).

  16. Eventually (once the program is working fully and reliably) you might like to make a desktop or toolbar shortcut to run Biblelator on your system so it can be started easier (without having to open a command prompt window and manually navigate to files and folders). Meanwhile though, it's probably useful to have the command prompt window open.

  17. If you wish to access online Scripture resources from the Digital Bible Platform (Faith Comes By Hearing FCBH), request further information from the Biblelator programmer(s) via http://Freely-Given.org/Contact.html.

  18. If you wish to access offline Scripture resources from the Crosswire Sword project, you should download and install/unzip the resources from the Crosswire or other repositories. You might already have these installed if you use a Sword-based Bible program such as Xiphos, Bibletime, BPBible, etc. Then you should use http://Freely-Given.org/Contact.html to contact the Biblelator programmers and let us know how you installed the Sword modules, and which folder they were installed to. Then hopefully we can get you started with basic access to these modules.

  19. PhotoBible If you wish to use the PhotoBible export option (converts each few verses into JPG files for use on "feature phones" with cameras) for your USFM projects, you need to install the free ImageMagick package. For Linux, this can usually be installed from your package manager, and for Windows (untested), the exe installation files can be downloaded from http://www.imagemagick.org/download/binaries.

  20. Program updates If you used Git to install Biblelator and/or BibleOrgSys, you should regularly update each of them with "git pull" on each folder (or the equivalent command from the GUI if you use TortoiseGit or equivalent). If you installed Biblelator and/or BibleOrgSys by downloading a zip file from GitHub.com, you should regularly update each of them by downloading the latest zip file and extracting them into each folder to overwrite existing files. (This won't erase renamed or deleted files, but who cares.)

Please see the document GettingStarted.md for help on how the Biblelator resource and project windows are designed to work.

The following describes my attempt (March 2016) to install and run Biblelator v0.31 on a Windows-7 laptop:

  • Opened https://github.com/openscriptures/Biblelator/blob/master/Documentation/Installation.md in a browser
  • Python 3.4.3 was already installed for all users
  • Opened command prompt and typed "python". This worked. Closed Python 3.4.3.
  • Didn't want to install Git
  • Downloaded zip from https://github.com/openscriptures/BibleOrgSys (15MB) and https://github.com/openscriptures/Biblelator/tree/development
  • Moved two zip files from Downloads folder to C:\Users\Public\Documents
  • Right-clicked the files and choose Extract all…
  • Had to rename BibleOrgSys-master folder to BibleOrgSys and Biblelator-development to Biblelator
  • Discovered that these folders both had an extra folder inside them, so went into that folder, did Control+A to select all files, Control+X to cut, went back up a level then Control+V to paste and then deleted the now-empty extra folder
  • Now the file Biblelator.py, etc. is in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Biblelator
    and BCVBible.py, etc. is in C:\Users\Public\Documents\BibleOrgSys\
  • (Yes I forgot to create a BiblelatorFiles folder like in the instructions above.)
  • Entered "cd C:\Users\Public\Documents\Biblelator" in command prompt window
  • Entered "Biblelator.py --version" in command prompt window. This gave a lot of WARNINGs and CRITICAL errors, but did display v0.32 at the bottom. (Since I downloaded the development branch from GitHub, this will likely be a still-unfinished v0.32.)
  • Entered "Biblelator.py --debug" in command prompt window. Same lot of errors and a multicoloured Biblelator window opened. I clicked the quit button.
  • Entered "Biblelator.py" in command prompt window. Same lot of errors and a less coloured Biblelator window which I made less deep by moving up the bottom border.
  • Tried to open some resource windows, but online Digitial Bible Platform was greyed out (needs a key code -- email the program developer to get one)
  • Tried to open a Sword module but it failed. (Not too surprised since I have none installed.)
  • I looked here https://www.crosswire.org/applications/?section=Windows and decided to install Xiphos from http://xiphos.org/download/.
  • Installed Xiphos (required the administrator password, plus again to allow Windows firewall access to the Internet)
  • Xiphos installed no modules, but after closing two introductory windows, showed the Module Manager.
  • Modules Sources / Choose indicated that resources would be installed into C:\Users<user>\AppData\Roaming/Sword.
  • I went into Modules / Install/Update, clicked Refresh, and installed some English Bibles, then restarted Xiphos to ensure that they were really there.
  • Now restarting Biblelator, I could open these Sword modules (although the display formatting was very messy -- but this is still only v0.32).
  • Closed Biblelator and restarted it, and it remembered which windows I had opened where.
  • Created a new project, and then created all (blank) books using RSV52 versification.
  • I could open a lexicon window, but it showed nothing but a heading when I typed H1234 into the lexicon key box (to the right of the verse spinbox in the main window)
  • File / Info on the new project window showed me that the project was saved in C:\Users<user>\BiblelatorData.