All, I've set up a general discussion Slack channel for talking about these topics when we're *not* at a conference. Feel free to hop on: you can get an invitation at bibletechnology-slack.herokuapp.com.
Join Bible Technology on Slack!
- Yes, please do this on faithlife. My seminary is now trying to start to use Logos very actively in education and at least in homework. It is a small seminary, which have invested alot in Logos. It would have been wonderful to be connected to a Bible and technology forum, so people could follow the edge of digital bible research tools.
- You all are welcome to, and more power to you! However, there are at least two big reasons for doing what we are doing (focused not on using specific technology that's out there already but on the *development* of that technology) on Slack. The first is technical: Slack is and will almost certainly remain a vastly better platform for technical discussions because of its native support for things like syntax highlighting. Free form chat is also better than post-oriented things for that kind of discussion. (Being frank, Slack's performance is substantially better as well.) The second major reason is cultural: Faithlife is a great company and Logos is good software, but "neutral ground" is better for the kinds of things (including encouraging collaboration and cross-pollination) I and others who came up with the idea had in mind. That's no knock on Faithlife! It's just easier to make sure any and all comers and topics and technologies are—and feel!—on equal footing in a space not owned by the 800lb gorilla in the room (even if it's a really cuddly gorilla!).
- I was in the middle of penning something much like what Chris just said, but hadn't finished it yet and it is now redundant. Both points are well put and salient. The ability to mix in external data (e.g. commit feeds from FOSS projects) is important when you are talking about having a bunch of FOSS developers coming together in a common space, and the near real time interaction of chat is a very different level of interaction than the news sharing and discussion forum style venue offered here. The cultural reasons are also not insignificant. However much Logos may have pushed forward the bar in the space at the intersection of Bible study and technology, it remains a walled garden with an often prohibitive price tag‡. Even though many of its products are free-as-in-beer, they are not open for outside developers to build from. I, for one, am not comfortable discussing, organizing and developing software designed to be open source (and in direct competition with a commercial product) inside a space controlled by the company behind that product. ‡ As a matter of fact, I have helped raise funds so native pastors where I work could have access, but I personally don't have access to a Logos library in large part because I simply can't afford it. In saying this, I am by no means suggesting an adversarial relationship. I have high hopes that this will not come to that. It would be wrong for it to be so. Allow me to take this moment to say: thank you, Logos, for offering this space, for hosting Bible Tech, for being a catalyst to get such discussions and interactions happening, and for generally forging technical ground and providing tools useful to pastors. I'm not belittling any of these and other contributions. And please don't take it as offensive that some of us feel the need for some breathing room. I'll stick around here commenting from time to time—and anyone is welcome to join those of us choosing to congregate in venues such as Slack, on Github, and in other spaces. But for both technical and cultural reasons, the needs of open source collaborators are not well served under this banner. Maybe the interests of seminaries and pastors would be well served by having developments reported on and potential further needs and opportunities mentioned and even discussed here. I do hope enough people are active in multiple circles and can serve as bridges to tie them together. I would personally appreciate it if Faithlife folks continue to drive forward the field, and of course you have to look out for the best interests of your venues along the way, but even in being a world leader in the field please don't presume to be an umbrella for everything that goes on in the field. And by way of explanation to users who are invested in the platform, please understand that what may be the best choice for you and your context is not a be-all-and-end-all solution for the all the contexts in the world. Some of us try to serve (and hence also live in) those other contexts.