Archive for year 2007

Olive Tree at BibleTech 2008

This January Olive Tree will be giving two talks at BibleTech 2008. According to the BibleTech website, BibleTech is a conference that explores the intersection of Bible study and technology. This two-day conference is designed for publishers, programmers, webmasters, educators, bloggers and anyone interested in using technology to improve Bible study. BibleTech 2008 is an opportunity to meet others who share your interests and hear from industry leaders.

Drew Haninger (President, CEO, of Olive Tree) will be talking about “Electronic Publishing and Bible Software in a Fast-Moving Mobile Landscape.” I will be talking about “The Challenges and Future of Bible Software in a Mobile World”.

There will be a number of other very interesting talks given at BibleTech 2008. If you are passionate about the intersection of Bible study and technology I would recommend attechend BibleTech 2008 in Seattle, WA on January 25th and 26th.


The 100 Milestone

Recently Olive Tree Bible Software surpassed a significant milestone. We now offer over 100 Bible translations! Olive Tree strives to provide you with resources for you to grow in your Christian walk, and we know Bible translations are a fundamental part of that effort. We will continue to provide you with Bible translations in English and other languages. When we have fully supported Unicode format (currently in beta), we will be able to offer Bible translations in many of the world’s languages, in addition to the non-English translations we already offer.

We have just added several Bible translations that pushed us past the 100 milestone, including William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament, a Tagalog (Phillipines) translation, and a Swahili New Testament. Of course, we have had for many years the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), the King James Version (KJV), the English Standard Version (ESV) and other English Bible translations. We also offer numerous non-English translations of the Bible as well as an extensive set of Greek and Hebrew language Bible materials.

The 100 milestone also applies to our free resources. We have over 100 free resources, and roughly a third of those are free Bibles. And we have more on the way! We often post New Releases every week and you can look for more free resources and free Bibles in the future.

Olive Tree is a growing company with a great future. We seek to provide you with the best resources and the most useful BibleReader possible. No small part of that is the free resources and free BibleReader we provide to our customers. May they be a blessing to you in your walk with the Lord.

Job Opening for a Java Programmer at Olive Tree!

We are currently looking for a Java Programmer that could help us develop the BibleReader for Java platforms. The number of BlackBerrys and J2ME enabled phones is rapidly growing. Olive Tree strives to support as many popular mobile platforms as possible. To provide customers with the best experience on BlackBerrys and J2ME enabled phones we need another programmer who can take charge of the Java BibleReader.

The job posting follows.

Software Developer – I (Java/J2ME/C++ Programmer)

  • Olive Tree Bible Software is looking for a part/full time engineer in Java J2ME.
  • We have several Java BibleReader platforms and need to do more development.

Ideal Requirements: 3-5 years professional experience with Java, J2ME, and C++.

  • Experience as part of a multi-person software development team.
  • Experience in developing applications for the BlackBerry or J2ME cell phones.
  • Locations: Greater Northwest (states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon)
  • Most work will be done from home.
  • Self motivated and productive when not constantly supervised.

Additional Useful Experience: (not required)

  • Linux C++ programming, PHP, and MySql database.
  • Experience in Biblical material or Bible Software.
  • Experience in Biblical Greek and Hebrew.
  • Experience in the field of information retrieval.

To apply for this position, please email your resume to with the subject line: Resume

Unicode on Palm

Many of you may have seen the post a few weeks ago about Hebrew and Aramaic developments on the Pocket PC. I am happy to let you know that we have been working on these features on Palm as well :) Unfortunately, the Palm OS is still in the dark ages when it comes to font support. To make Hebrew look the best we needed to support Unicode and take advantage of technologies that have been developed for rendering complex scripts. Since Palm does not support this we had to create our own Unicode solution for Palm.

You may be wondering just what is Unicode and why is it important. Unicode is a character encoding that is used to represent characters in most of the world’s scripts. So by supporting Unicode on Palm we now have a way to render text from most languages! See the screen shot below for an example (we have not applied any cursive joining rules on this screen shot).

Unicode Example

The first book we are working on with Unicode support is the HMT. Here is a screen shot of the beta version of HMT with Unicode support. The display and rendering of the Hebrew is much improved with this new Unicode HMT.

Palm Unicode HMT

A Rough Day at Work

On Tuesday, us O.T. engineers left for Mount Spokane for an “Engineering Meeting.”  We spent hours (well, at least 2 hours) working our way toward the top of Day-Mount Spokane!  Of course, on the way up we talked about Olive Tree (for at least part of the time :-)).  Finally, we reached the peak….



hike_4 hike_5



Top Picture from left to right:

Stephen Johnson (my bro): Senior software engineer : always making the Bible reader the best it can be
Chris Early: Intern programmer 1 : Doing LOTS of programming with conversion projects!!!
Paul Johnson (me): Intern programmer 2 : Created material for the iPod, and tutorial videos
Tim Rosinbum: Regular expression guru (a.k.a. conversion project master): Converted almost 100 items!
Drew Haninger: owner and CEO : Does everything!

Engineers that couldn’t make it due to different geographic locations:

Kathy Stevens: AMAZING conversion programmer : Oxford material and other great resources
Drayton Benner: Programmer/Hebrew scholar : Did unicode Hebrew HMT and font support

This is only the list of engineers.  There are many others who do LOTS for O.T.!!!

Believing God’s Love

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” –Jude 20-21

How vulnerable we may find ourselves in the matter of trusting God’s love toward us! Some small thing happens that threatens our security, and a host of anxious, gloomy, fearful, and even blaming thoughts rush in like air into a vacuum. If we are this way in small things, how much greater is the tendency to lose our grip on God when big things happen (although, praise the Lord, He never loses His grip on us)!

To keep ourselves in the love of God, to simply believe what God has said concerning His intention toward us, sounds easy enough, but we may discover that it is the fight of our life, what Paul calls “the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). As Jude indicates in the verse above, we keep ourselves in God’s love by praying in the Holy Spirit and building ourselves (and one another) up in our faith, something which he calls “most holy.” How do we “build ourselves up in such a faith”? Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Concerning our Lord’s absolute faithfulness, the Bible has much to say: “I will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5)” and “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). As we stay calm in adversity and saturate ourselves with facts like these, then “faith comes,” and when faith comes, all is well, whether or not our circumstances change.

Sometimes dark thoughts and morose feelings want to occupy our mind and fill our emotions. “You’ll never make it. You’ve failed too many times. There’s no hope for you.” Then come the temptations to try to solve a problem on our own. “You’d better do something about this right away. Change yourself, or else!” But while reading, as currently I am, a devotional by C. H. Spurgeon and a little book by Martin Luther, I keep hearing about the fundamental need of faith in God’s unconditional love, no matter what happens in us, to us, or around us.

When our insides are raw and our mind is reeling, the confidence in God exuded by those who have gone before us is of great value, and very needful, like ointment to an open wound. Consider Amy Carmichael’s entry for August 12 in her devotional The Edges of His Ways. Like so many who learned the secret of trusting God for everything, she derives comfort from the most unlikely places and sees God’s grace everywhere. (Surely, this is what God desires for each of us.) Her text is Romans 10:21 in the Rotherham translation, which says, “All day long have I stretched forth My hands unto a people unyielding and contradicting.” Reading this, one may think, “How can I find any solace in a verse like this?”

Notice, however, that Amy’s focus is not on the unyielding ones, but on the God who stretches forth His hands. She writes, “Today this verse which has often helped me came in my reading. When I have been near the end of my patience with some unyielding child, or some ‘contradicting’ disposition, these words have come to me. He who gave us our work to do knows all about it, and has been through the sense of baffled love. He is with us now, and all the day long His hands are stretched forth. His love never faileth. Lord, evermore give us this love.”

How comforting such words are, written by someone who kept herself in the love of God! Thank You, Lord, for all day long stretching forth Your hands to unyielding and contradicting people. By Your grace may we always, in every situation, believe in and yield to this unconditional love.

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