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All,

I'm proud to announce the release of Bible 1.0.1, a library for parsing
Bible references and retrieving the text from the web.

What is it?

Mainly, an interactive application for retrieving and displaying books,
chapters, and verses. Once installed, type "bible" to start an interactive
session. A wide variety of references are supported:

  Gen 1 # first chapter of Genesis
  Genesis 1 # Full names supported
  1 Kgs 1 - 2 # 1st and 2nd chapter in 1 Kings
  Luke 15:8-10 # Specific verses from chapters supported
  Luke 15:1-7, 11-32 # Multiple, disjoint verse specification
  Matt 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 5: 31 # Multiple books together
  Gen 1, 3 # discontinuous chapters
  Gen 1 - 2:3 # Span chapters, to a specific verse

Besides the abbreviations listed above, most common names for books can be
used ( i.e. "1 Kings", "Matthew", etc.). Other common means of separating
chapters and verses may also be used (e.g. "Lk 15.11-32", "Genesis 1; 3",
etc.). My motivation for writing this library was to be able copy verse
references off web pages and paste them into the console with little or no
change, so the parser is pretty flexible.

Three translations are supported out of the box: Revised Standard Version
(the default), New American Bible, and Douay-Rheims. To access these, enter
:rsv, :nab, or :dr at the console.

The script can also be passed various arguments to look up a reference,
print it, and exit. Run "bible --help" to see these options.

How do I get it?

The easiest way to get it is via a gem download:

  gem install bible

The project is hosted on rubyforge at: http://rubyforge.org/projects/bible/

Other Notes

If you run this on Windows, and have the win32console gem installed, output
will be nicely paged. Book titles, chapters, and verses will also be bolded.
Essentially, the text is a lot easier to read with the gem installed. Any
one who wishes to get it working on *nix systems is welcome to contact me
with a patch or even suggestions.

Limitations

The library includes a definition of the books in the bible, the chapters in
each book, and the number of verses in each chapter. This allows references
to be parsed accurately but it makes supporting multiple Bible "schemas"
difficult. It will accept all deutero-canonical books ( i.e. Catholic
Bibles) but it the verse references for older translations, like the
Douay-Rheims, might be off. I'd like it to support all versions eventually (
e.g. Vulgate, Septuagint, NIV, etc, etc) but that's not the case right now.

Anything else?

The interactive application is the main point of this gem, but it does
include a library that could conceivably be used in other applications.
Also, all text is scraped off various web sites so do be nice - no need to
download the entire Bible daily or anything.

Bug reports, feedback, and suggestions are welcome. God Bless ;)

Justin

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