- To provide an opportunity to learn methods really well before taking a rope to ring them.
- To make the software available on mobile platforms, such as mobile phones as wells as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
- To raise money for St. Mark's Bell Fund. Proceeds will initially contribute towards remaining funds required for the restoration appeal. Following the restoration, funds will be put towards maintenance of the bells in general.
It has been suggested that a great way to learn a method other than writing out lines on paper is to use a computer program. The reasons for this are:
- You can 'ring' the changes faster. This is all about testing speed of memory recall. Without actually pulling a bell at the same time, you should be able to recall the method in double quick time!
- Your answers are checked for you by the software as you 'ring', and very thoroughly against the original line. Hence you cannot make transcription or comparison errors, and part of the tedium of learning is removed.
- Its way more fun!
Until now, not even affordable software has really filled this need. The hope is this software provides an easy user interface for tower bell ringers to use. Where only one bell has to be guided through the changes, and precise timing relative to the other bells is not important to prove the blue line has been correctly remembered.
There is a free offering available on-line at Cheltenham Branch website. This has been offered as a taster for the paid mobile version, and as an offering to the ringing community. The only limititation on this version is mobility. It's a Java based Applet that works on most desktops (Windows, Macintosh and Linux) with Java SE (Standard Edition or J2SE) installed. The Applet executes inside the browser, but mobile phone browsers tend not to support this mode of operation.
The mobile version is available for £12 from the JBlueLine Home Page. There is a 30 day trial period to allow you to verify the software works on your phone. After that, the software reduces in functionality until you register your license. It works on both Java ME enabled phones and Android Smart Phones.
There are currently no plans to recode the software for Apple's iPhone. Apple do not look on Java favourably, preferring Object C instead. This would require a total rewrite which is beyond the available resources.
All the proceeds go towards bell maintenance at St. Mark's, Cheltenham. None of the proceeds are for personal profit.
- JBlueLineME - Micro Edition, for mobile phone and PDAs that provide a Java ME virtual machine. This tended to preceed the Smart Phone revolution, and will likely be found on older mobile phones.
- JBlueLineSE - Standard Edition, for desktop PCs with Java SE installed. This works stand alone without the browser, but obviously shares much of the code with the Applet version that executes in the browser.
- JBlueLineAE - Android Edition for Android Smart Phones. This is not available from the Android Market owing to the need to pay a listing fee.
- Web Applet - Applet for web based access via a browser. Works on most desktop PCs with Java SE installed, but tends not to work on mobile devices (owing to the size of the Java SE installation). This obviously limits mobility, and hopes to encourage purchase of the mobile version.
© St. Mark's Bell Ringers.
The method collections are © Central Council of Church Bell Ringers and are included free of charge.