Gospel Library for Windows 8

Any discussions around the Gospel Library App on various mobile and electronic devices.
russellhltn
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#41

Post by russellhltn »

eblood66 wrote:It sounds like EricBowman wants to develop something using just the gospel content. That should be very possible if he requests API access approval and signs the associated agreement. I'm sure there are many people who would love to have that kind of app especially with no word about an official app.
True, but syncing any highlighting to the website or other supported devices will most likely require the LDS Account APIs.
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Eric84
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#42

Post by Eric84 »

Eric Bowman/Moderators,

I have been following this topic and the development of a windows 8 gospel library application since windows 8 was released. I don't have any inside information but I will voice the impression I get from reading these forums, while making it clear that I don't know what the reality of the Church's It department is. I do, however, think it is important for moderators and church IT though to know what the members conclude from the lack of information that has been supplied on the issue. So I will supply my own perspective here.

The optimistic view: It is possible that the church has their own plans for windows 8 and have just chosen not to make the information publically available. Perhaps, they feel if it takes off it will be significant enough that they want to take it on internally and don't want to deal with a community project at that point (and thus we don't have a community project). They have not given any indication that this is the case, to the many members who check this forum for information. I leave it open as a possibility but don't think it likely.

My guess of reality: It is also possible that they see windows 8 as a hassle as it is one more application to deal with and such windows 8 has such small market share on portable devices it doesn't merit the time. The feeling is that the number of Windows 8 users don't matter because they have a website, only the number of windows 8 mobile users matter. This does neglect the fact that an application offers a far better experience than a web page, at least in my opinion. However, after all the work that has gone into making a great web experience (lds.org is very nice) why would they waste it on windows 8 with only 4.7% market share (though likely at least 50 million users)?

We could argue that the development would be contributed by volunteers etc. I really wonder though if the actual IT people are even aware of the interest on the forum or if it is just the moderators. Most of the programmers that I personally know (only one of these works for the church) are pretty much obsessed with android and of course IOS gets development because of its large market share. I'd imagine that this combined with the previous paragraph are the most likely reality. Until a significant portion of the people within Church IT or upper church leadership are using windows 8 there likely won't be adequate pressure to get anything going.

As one point of evidence, If you look through some of the early posts on some of these threads (I can't remember which one) you will see an open disgust by at least one moderator at the complexity of developing one app for windows phone, and a separate for windows and having to maintain both of them. There were responses from volunteers explaining that it wouldn't be to bad and explaining why, clearly people that understand the WinRT and WinPRT development process. I understand why they wouldn't want to develop for it officially, although I do disagree with the position. I don't understand though why we can't have a community project. I'm wondering if it's possible that we just haven't had anyone ask. We don't know for sure that Joe Coolish actually requested this.

Anyway, that's my analysis of the situation. I don't mean it to be negative, but explanatory of how I feel as a member of the church using many windows products as to my interpretation of the responses (and lack of response) given on these forums. I don't necessarily blame anyone, the main thing I wish was that there was more information given as to the Church stance. I also wish that we could get an explanation from Joe Coolish as to how his request to start a community project was handled (if he did, in fact, make the request). I wonder, would the Church IT approve something like this or is there some road block we don't know about?

So, Eric Bowman, If you have the technical ability to supervise development, I think the best thing to do would be to approach the church about creating a community development project for windows 8. Joe Coolish might have done this but we never heard anything back. I'm hoping the church told him to just keep quiet and that they would be announcing something but we have no indication that this is the case. I would ask, that if you do approach them about a project, that you keep us updated on what the response is so we at least know.

Sincerely,

Eric
lajackson
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#43

Post by lajackson »

Eric84 wrote:I would ask, that if you do approach them about a project, that you keep us updated on what the response is so we at least know.
The hardest part is not knowing.

I see this everyday in my Church calling, and it runs totally counter to the world in which we live today where nearly everything of an intensely personal nature is broadcast immediately around the world.

One thing we do here at the Forum is share the things we do know where we can. Of course, this works much better in technical areas than in development areas.

My guess, and it is just a personal guess, is that they would like very much to find a way to develop mobile applications once and then be able to port them to different devices. The reality of computer programming does not seem to lend itself well to that approach.

And so they struggle to figure out how to expend the resources necessary for a good thing, while still accomplishing all of the better things they are tasked to do for the work of the Church.

But I believe these discussions are helpful. In this very thread, a suggestion has been made that the distribution of Gospel Library content is different than the need to validate permissions for the use of LDS Tools. I think this is a very valuable point and worth noting by Church developers.

Yes, bookmarks and highlighting and note taking and all that other stuff would not sync with other devices and online tools. However, members and others would still be able to access and use the content of Gospel Library in their personal studies and in discussions at Church and with friends.

Perhaps this is where Windows 8 development might start for those mobile apps.

And I also believe it is still appropriate to gently remind and ask that consideration be given for developing on this mobile platform (or any other). I sense, from what I recently have seen, that when there is an individual capable volunteer who takes hold of an application's development and is able to devote the time and energy to it, under Church direction, Headquarters is amenable to working with that person, and progress happens.

Although I do not use this platform, I hope that happens soon. There is evident interest and the necessary volunteer support seems to be available. Perhaps the pieces will fall in place soon with the right folks so that work may begin.
joe_coolish
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#44

Post by joe_coolish »

Hey guys, I just wanted to post an update about the status of the project.

I've been on vacation the past couple of weeks, so I haven't been on this thread as much as I'd have liked.

I contacted the Church about getting permission to use the Gospel Library content, and yesterday I got the following response:
Thank you for your request to use Church material for your electronic application.

At this time, we are accepting requests but are not giving permission. We will keep your information on file, but we are unable to process these requests at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.
This, along with the posts that have been made here on the forum from the moderators about the Source Code potentially containing Copy Right information, I have decided to pull the project down off of Source Control (in this instance I would rather ask and wait for permission than move forward and beg for forgiveness later). I will not be adding any new members to the TFS project.

I will continue to work on the app so that once I get the permission to distribute, it will be ready. I really hope that, as was mentioned, the rights to distribute the content of the Gospel Library becomes separate to the LDS Tools User Data.

I apologize for getting everyone's hopes up about having an official app out soon. If there is any specific person I can contact about getting the code transferred to the LDSTech team, I would be very happy to get into contact with them.

Thanks for the support so far, and I will continue to post updates once I get them.
taftbabbitt
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#45

Post by taftbabbitt »

What seems strange to me is that this is available for windows phone which is win8, so it should be a small thing to get it ready for surface - actually I was surprised that it was not already available for surface given that it was already in the windows store and can be downloaded for the window phone... I suppose there is something more to it that I don't understand...
Eric84
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#46

Post by Eric84 »

Thanks for the update Joe! You can see a lot of people are interested in this. Thanks for the work you are dedicating to it!
EricBowman
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#47

Post by EricBowman »

Joe,

Were you asking permission to make an official app that uses the LDS login or were you requesting access to the basic API?
jevans65
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#48

Post by jevans65 »

Its been posted to the store. First version, but needs some work. I am sure they are hard at work at making the improvements and adding features.
joe_coolish
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Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#49

Post by joe_coolish »

@Eric
I only need the content. I knew I wouldn't get any of the LDS login stuff, so I just wanted to request access to the library materials (books, magazines, etc)

@jevans
I downloaded the app and it looks very good (and very fast). I like the main interface as well as the reader. There is more work that needs to be done, but it is a very good app IMO.


Now that it is out there, how can I contribute to that project? I'd hate to waste time on something when I could be helping the official app? Any idea who I need to contact?

Thanks!
Eric84
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:15 pm

Re: Gospel Library for Windows 8

#50

Post by Eric84 »

Great news! Looks like the optimistic case was the reality!
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