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#1 sljones

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:37 PM

I'm actually curious whether Accordance sees itself as a software company or a publisher of Bible-oriented content. It appears that Accordance gives away the software. (Not quite: there's a fee for the starter-pack -- but it's credited toward the purchase of fancier module sets.)

Assuming I've read the business model correctly, I wonder why Accordance doesn't open-source its Bible *reader* -- particularly since throughout this thread the theme in many replies is that "(1) it would take 2 years and (2) we have neat features that would be more useful." If the reader code were open-sourced then the 7 or 7,000 programmers worldwide who want to fix bugs or port to AmigaOS or whatever could go to work on it at no cost to Accordance, other than (maybe) maintaining a bug database and CVS-type repository. I realize that it's more likely to be 7 than 7,000 but it's *free*. And I wouldn't be surprised if a top desire of those 7 is not Cocoa but native Windows. So they go off and do it, at no cost to Accordance, and it might take 3 years (witness Mozilla Firefox before it's beta quality). But it's at no cost to Accordance and would be a huge increase in market.

The only downside *I* can imagine is if the DRM for the module content is located not in the modules but in the reader. Related to that, there is the possibility that competitors, knowing how the reader works, could produce content to run in it. There could be a race for the bottom at least on public-domain works (Matthew Henry commentary, KJV, etc.). But again that would free up resources at Accordance to be spent encoding more exotic licensed products like the newer commentaries and all sorts of scholarly material.

Just speculation. It could be that most of your customers just get the starter pack.

Helen: New topic started and link added to previous topic.

Edited by Helen Brown, 05 February 2006 - 07:25 AM.


#2 Helen Brown

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:33 AM

The short answer to your post is "No."

OakTree is primarily a software company. The majority of the content that we publish is licensed from other publishers. We do expend considerable effort to adapt that content to Accordance. We also sponsor some content development where we feel there is a need for it.

Accordance is far more than a "Bible reader." It is a highly sophisticated search engine that also requires a quite complex structure for its modules. The engine is not "free." Its low price ($39) is factored into the primary collections that we encourage users to start with. True, it is included on every CD-ROM for the convenience of the user, but the others are really intended as add-ons to the primary collections.

No doubt the open source model has been successful in other fields, but Accordance has been designed with a totally different modus operandi. It is highly structured and highly controlled, so that new features can be added without disrupting the smooth operation of the rest of the program. We would not welcome a situation in which people all over the world would be tinkering with the code, and releasing unauthorized versions.

We already allow users to make their own modules as user tools.

It seems that very few people stop with just the Starter kit. Many do try out the program for $39 and then come back to add more content or apply the price to one of the primary collections, sometimes within minutes of their first purchase.

Edited by Helen Brown, 05 February 2006 - 08:51 AM.

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