Talk:Gospel Library for Android

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HTML Text Display Technology

We need to discuss options for displaying the HTML text of the scriptures. Please enter here your research into the pros and cons of various technologies.


I will take the side of using a WebView.


  • WebView is a technology that we are familiar with.
  • We need to use a technology that is good at displaying HTML and hyperlinks. The database we got from the iPhone team contains each chapter formatted in HTML. WebViews are especially good at displaying HTML. Look at the following excerpt from Matt. chapter 1.
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="main.css">
  <script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-1.3.2.min.js"></script>
  <script type="text/javascript" src="main.js"></script>
  <div id="container">
    <div class="studySummary">
      Christ is born of Mary—She conceives by the power of the Holy Ghost—Our Lord is named Jesus.
    <div class="verse">
      <div id="matt_1_1">
        <a name="1" class="verseAnchor">1 </a>The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of 
        <a href="#" class="studyNote" noteRef="1a" mark="a"><sup>a</sup></a>David, the son of Abraham.
    <div class="verse">
      <div id="matt_1_2">
        <a name="2" class="verseAnchor">2 </a><a href="#" class="studyNote" noteRef="2a" mark="a">
        <sup>a</sup></a>Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat 
        <a href="#" class="studyNote" noteRef="2b" mark="b"><sup>b</sup></a>Judas and his brethren;
  <div id="__data" book="matt" chapter="1"></div>
This is pretty much standard HTML (with some non-standard attributes). Whatever we do we should choose a technology that does most of the work for us when displaying HTML.
  • We need to be able to redirect the action of clicking on a link so we load the chapter, verse and/or reference it refers to in our application.
  • WebView supports javascript.


  • WebView makes getting to the text it contains rather difficult. There is no such method as WebView.getContent().

--Jack C. Holt 17:29, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Additional WebView Cons

  • Searching for exact phrase is difficult or slow
  • Database size is inflated to store additional content (in the form of tags, attributes, etc).

--Yfisaqt 06:03, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

More Input on WebView

I'm also in favor of using WebView for the following additional reasons:

  • WebView is implemented in native code, which means that it should be much more performant than anything writting in Java since Dalvik is strictly interpreted mode at this point.
  • While content isn't directly available via java methods, it is readily accessible, navigable, and manipulable via JavaScript, including the ability to register and call back to Java objects.
  • The content we put into WebView doesn't have to be pure HTML. Inside the body tag, it can just as easily by any XML with CSS styling applied.

Svella 13:28, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

More Input on WebView

If we use WebView, can that work be leveraged for other platforms (Blackberry, Palm Pre, etc.)? I agree with Svella on the use of XML/XHTML and CSS class names for the presentation of the scriptural text.

Rhusted 17:07, 6 December 2009 (GMT-5)

More Input on WebView

My main question with using a web view is how hard is it to long press somewhere in the content and find out where you were? Given the nice anchor tagging in the content, we can easily use anchors to move people right to the scriptures that are important to them. However, how easily can we figure out where someone has clicked? How easily can we accomplish the highlighting features?

I do know that if we were to display each verse in a text block, there are classes that exist to make the parsing of the html into display very easy. The major advantage in that for me is to easily delineate where your related notes/bookmarks are. If the webview makes this easy, then I am all for using a single weview over a list of text objects. If we cannot determine where the user is in the page, then we have a major hurdle to jump.

Jwiggins78 16:52, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Even More Input on WebView - Long press catching

WebView is really simple to use, so I vote for it. As for the long-press question (Jwiggings78), WebView provides a OnLongClickListener (see and

blancogr 14:13, 15 December 2009 (GMT-7)

Initial Project Setup Experiences


One thing that might be worth adding to the Initial Project Setup section is that the 1.5 and 1.6 SDK versions should be installed. I was getting Java Build Path errors but installing 1.5 and selecting `Android 1.5' in the `Android' section of project properties fixed those.

I'm still getting `invalid resource directory name' and `R cannot be resolved' when trying to build the project. --Mgalgs 17:27, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Reveal Gospel Library app for Android

I love the existing Reveal Gospel Library app for Android mobile phones. It has a great variety of LDS e-books, which are provided by external sources like,, Guttenberg, and other sites. You can access all the scriptures, Church magazines, lesson manuals, general conference talks, and publications for other Church programs. All free. Developed by Dave Packham and Jack C. Holt.

It has great functionality and none of the hassles I had with readers on Windows Mobile with multiple steps to find, download, copy to my phone, and set up menus.

Hope the Church's version is at least this good!

RichmanLL 5/13/10

Easier Installation - Comparison to Reveal

I had some concerns about making errors during the installation process. Poking around the Internet I found a reference to a program called Apps Installer - a free App available in the App Store. After installing the App - I downloaded the gl-android-893.apk file to my computer. When you select the Apps Installer application it will scan your phone for applications (.apk files) that are not installed. It is almost as easy as installing from the Apps Store. (Even with the new instructions for installation I prefer the Apps Installer method)

In comparing the Gospel Library to the Reveal Reader I find a lot to like in both applications. The big plus to Reveal is the breadth of documents/books available. The big plus to the Gospel Library is it is easier to navigate and feels more normal to use. Following a class discussion as they bounce through a few references is definitely easier in the reader. Of course if they bounce over to a Conference Address I have to hop over to Reveal Reader. -- Prcrb585 18:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Gospel Library Bookmarks

I love the app but I hate the way the bookmarks work. I like to keep a "Reading" bookmark. As I read I like to update the bookmark to the current location. Perhaps I have missed the method to update the bookmark. Currently I have multiple "Reading" bookmarks. Perhaps this is something coming in a later version. (I can hope, can't I?)

--Gary K Luther 22:45 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Long press on the bookmark and you get an option to update it.

--Steve Gallafent 05:24 14 Sep 10 UTC

General Conference

First I have to say I love the app. I don't carry my scriptures around often and it's so nice to have them on my phone. I am just wondering if there is going to be an update any time soon to include the October 2010 General Conference addresses? I know that they are on and in PDF format that my phone reads, but it's not as simple or clean as the Gospel Library app is. Any timeframe?

--Caleb 22:54, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Sync with new

The new has some awesome study tools built in. It would be very helpful if the bookmarks and highlights from our Android devices could be synced with our accounts, and vice versa.

Sync, highlight, and Cross-reference has great study tools, a notebook, and can highlight WORDS in a verse rather than the entire verse. It would be awesome if the Gospel library could sync with the notebook and scriptures. Then it would be nice to highlight specific words also.

I would also love to be able to create my own links to other verses when I select/click a note or highlight, just like the scriptures have footnotes I would love to create my own!

Amazing job so far! Ryan

This page was last modified on 15 May 2011, at 21:14.

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