Two Concerns of Mine Concerning Logos and Faithlife

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 9 2016 6:44 PM

I have two concerns concerning the Logos desktop app and Faithlife groups that I wanted to bring to the attention of the Faithlife/Logos team (and if Bob can read this, I would appreciate it).

In terms of the Logos desktop app, I am beginning to become concerned with the rapid release schedule every six weeks in terms of the stability of the app, especially the Mac version. Version 6.10 has been the last straw where I finally needed to say something. 6.10 has been not responding many of the times I launch it, requiring me to force quit the application and re-launch it, and even then, it launches slower than any version of Logos I've used in the past. I even reinstalled the application with the help from Faithlife Support, and I am still encountering these issues. 

Additionally, with every "major" release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10) lately, it seems to "butcher" my index, causing me to have to rebuild my library index with every new "major" release of Logos. I am spending more time resolving the indexing issues Logos continues to cause me and less time in Bible study.

While my Mac is beginning to show some signs of aging, plus I am looking at investing in a $5,000 Mac Pro this year to ensure I have one powerful machine for running Logos, I am still concerned with the increasing instability I am seeing in the Logos desktop app, especially compared to other Mac Bible study apps I run on my Mac whose update schedules are far less than Logos.

While I LOVE Logos Now and wish to remain a Logos Now subscriber, and the current benefits I have in Logos Now are definitely worth the subscription price (Systematic Theologies in the Passage Guide, the new datasets, the extra Visual Copy Media, etc.), I really don't need Logos to release a new update to the Logos desktop engine every six weeks in order to keep me "satisfied" as a Logos Now subscriber. Actually, all it's beginning to do is concern me in terms of the stability of the desktop application, forcing me to resort to cross grading some of my critical Bible study tools in another platform to use as a backup while I deal with the issues introduced into each update of the Logos desktop app. 

I would highly recommend that Faithlife/Logos seriously re-considers the six week release schedule for the Logos Desktop app, backing it down to possibly once a quarter instead. I would still definitely continue to subscribe to Logos Now, and expecting new features once a quarter versus every six weeks would give the Faithlife/Logos team a chance to thoroughly optimize the code and ensure its delivering a more stable build when it does instead of rushing to get a release out the door just for the sake of releasing new features. I would rather Faithlife/Logos take longer to deliver us a more stable product when delivering new features instead of dealing with the update fallout that's been occurring even six weeks, as all it's doing is making it more difficult for me to enjoy the Logos desktop app as much as I need to.

I am also saying this not out of criticism, but as someone who uses the Logos desktop app on a daily basis for seminary and spends hours in the application at a time and in addition to Logos Now, spends thousands of dollars in Logos sales every year.

The second concern of mine has to do with Faithlife Groups. I admin a couple of groups on Faithlife that the Faithlife/Logos staff assisted me in getting launched: Prayer Partners and CSB/Community Study Bible. The Faithlife/Logos team did a great job featuring them on the Faithlife Blog as well.

However, I am starting to get people joining my group that concern me a little bit. I've seen a few people join that use one word names or very "short" names, either no profile picture or a generic profile picture that does not represent them, and when they comment on posts in my groups, instead of using fewer, more paragraph style comments, they comment in a series of short, one lined comments that tend to "clutter" my groups. 

I even had one person go out and create his own "Study Bible" group that practically mirrors the functionality of the CSB/Community Study Bible group I admin, as well as he even copied and pasted some of my Community Notes I had derived from research papers from school into his group, at first doing so without any credit to me at all. I later reluctantly told him that I would give him the permission to use my work on another group page if he would credit me as the source of the author, as well as I recommended that he "affiliated" his "Study Bible" group with CSB/Community Study Bible since essentially, he was creating a "knockoff" of CSB/Community Study Bible and mirroring the functionality and even some of the content without gaining consent from me or someone at Faithlife first (I talked with the Faithlife team before launching the CSB group to get their "blessing" first).

While I am not trying to have a "monopoly" on "Study Bible groups" and prayer request groups on Faithlife by any means, I just find it a little concerning that people are first of all joining Faithlife groups I admin that do not really identify themselves as to who they are (short names and no or generic profile pictures). I have no idea if these people are really Logos Bible Software customers or people that are just leveraging the free tools. Then to come in and "clutter" the discussions then to "mirror" the functionality of the groups I admin and even copy/paste some of the content I have worked hard at creating in seminary without asking is also concerning to me as well.

I am trying to use Faithlife Groups as a means to really supercharge community interactions with the Word of God and prayer with other Faithlife/Logos Bible Software users. However, I am afraid that there are some who have merely leveraged the free tools and who are not loyal Logos Bible Software customers using this as a gateway into Faithlife Groups, reducing some of the "quality control" on groups people like me are trying to admin. I haven't banned anyone from any groups I admin yet since I am trying to act in a Christian spirit as an admin and not a dictator, but it does disturb me.

I am thankful for some of the free tools that Faithlife/Logos offers (such as the Faithlife Study Bible) and that Faithlife is a free platform to interact with the Word that people can use without investing in solid funds into a Logos Base Package, but at the same time, I want to ensure the people joining groups I admin are keeping the discussions in the groups in a quality manner, as well as are not using groups I admin as a means to simply knockoff content. Ideally, I would like to see more of Logos Bible Software users on these forums in Faithlife and interact with them on Faithlife since I know and can identify with more of the people on here.

Thank you for listening to my concerns, and I appreciate you taking your time to receive my feedback.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 9 2016 10:46 PM

Nathan Parker:
, I am beginning to become concerned with the rapid release schedule every six weeks in terms of the stability of the app, especially the Mac version.

Interesting as my experience is quite different. This last release has given me the ability to turn the Context Menu into a random result generator ... almost at will. And in the past I have had indexing problems but they have dwindled down to rare ... but sufficiently annoying I really wish I knew how to trap the problem without onerous effort on my part. But my experience is that the 6 week schedule has decreased the number of bugs introduced in a release ... and this last release squished a large number of bug. Yes, I can still find an embarrassing number of problem when I start testing the nitty-gritty for documenting but the problems are affecting a narrower range and slowly becoming more esoteric. I wonder how much of it is Mac and how much is the functions you use. I hope enough people respond to give me a sense whether your experience or mine is more typical.

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GregW | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 2:22 AM

Hi Nathan, I don't really use Faithlife so can't comment on that, but I have to say I've seen an improvement in overall stability on Mac since the six-week schedule started. I'd also say I've seen fewer bugs introduced with the releases. I'm on 6.10 and haven't experienced any problems with it yet. Like you, I use the application every day, and spend several hours a day in it. I haven't had any indexing issues, so this certainly isn't my experience.

I would agree, though, that six weeks is probably a shorter cycle than necessary: as a Logos Now subscriber I have barely understood one set of new functions before the next lot arrive. 


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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:15 AM

Nathan Parker:
Additionally, with every "major" release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10) lately, it seems to "butcher" my index, causing me to have to rebuild my library index with every new "major" release of Logos. I am spending more time resolving the indexing issues Logos continues to cause me and less time in Bible study.

The reindexing problem is real, but you seem to have overstated the issues. as to your other complaints/observations, I do not see anything like the instability you describe. And I have remained on the Beta Channel the entire time—from 6.0 through 6.10. Logos does seem a bit slow, but I use some very complex layouts.

I seldom/never use FL groups, so I cannot comment there.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:30 AM

Nathan Parker:
Additionally, with every "major" release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10) lately, it seems to "butcher" my index, causing me to have to rebuild my library index with every new "major" release of Logos. I am spending more time resolving the indexing issues Logos continues to cause me and less time in Bible study.

While I can feel for your situation, this has not been mine. Like Jack I have some very complex layouts and I attribute that to the slowing I have noticed but indexing is almost never a problem for me these days.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 6:30 AM

Jack Caviness:
The reindexing problem is real, but you seem to have overstated the issues

I don't think it is possible to overstate the indexing issue, and I do think the quick turnaround may be partially to blame. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 6:32 AM

Nathan - are the hard drives installed "stock," or did you install new ones after market? I'm only interested in the computers with index issues. 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 2:59 PM

alabama24:
I don't think it is possible to overstate the indexing issue,

In some of the early 6.10 betas, I had indexing issue. However, they seem to have improved/disappeared. In response to the question you asked Nathan: I have a stock 3TB Fusion drive in a late 2012/early 2013? 27" iMac.

Interestingly enough, Just started Logos, and the Indexer did not start. That is strange. Will need to keep[ an eye on this.

alabama24:
I do think the quick turnaround may be partially to blame.

Didn't Logos make changes to Mono with 6.10? Perhaps that is the culprit.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:07 PM

Jack Caviness:
In some of the early 6.10 betas, I had indexing issue. However, they seem to have improved/disappeared.

FL currently has a fix to some issues, but are withholding the Service Release because of the reindexing issue. I am glad it has disappeared for you, but not so for many of us! 

Jack Caviness:
In response to the question you asked Nathan: I have a stock 3TB Fusion drive in a late 2012/early 2013? 27" iMac.

...and you agree with me that he shouldn't worry about upgrading from the fusion drive? 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:16 PM

Jack Caviness:

alabama24:
I do think the quick turnaround may be partially to blame.

Didn't Logos make changes to Mono with 6.10? Perhaps that is the culprit.

Sure, but with a quick turn around, there is less time to test out and see. You admit that you had issues with the reindexing bug, but when 6.10 shipped, more users experienced it. 

I am not ANTI quick turnaround... I think many good things have happened because of it, but there are serious downsides as well. Sometimes the arbitrary time frame should be scrapped to make sure things don't go really wrong! 

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John Goodman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:21 PM

Since the new release cycle I've had loads of great improvements for my workflow and seen performance improve dramatically. I've never re-indexed but I did have one bad release which crashed all the time. I called support and they fixed it by controlling my mac and deleting a couple of files.

Can you describe in more details what you are doing when the index corrupts and what symptoms you see?

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John Crupper | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 3:46 PM

While I don't know that this is in fact the reason, my guess is that Faithlife/Logos has adopted a software development methodology called SCRUM. 

I won't go into the details here; you can Google it to find out more. But, one key aspect of SCRUM is delivering workable software at the end of each development cycle (called a sprint) which usually lasts about 2-4 weeks.

I have not personally had any problems with any of the deployments.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 4:06 PM

John Goodman:
Can you describe in more details what you are doing when the index corrupts and what symptoms you see?

As far as I know, you don't have to do anything. As far as I know it isn't like "don't run a guide, the index will get corrupted." The symptom is obvious... a FULL reindexing takes place. With my quick SSD, my large library takes 4-5 hours of intense work. The MacBook was doing that daily until it went into the great unknown... (She was old, but I was holding out on replacing her). 

John Goodman:
I did have one bad release which crashed all the time. I called support and they fixed it by controlling my mac and deleting a couple of files.

That is more common, and not really a big deal if you know how to deal with it. Providing logs in the forum generally gets you an answer within 12 hours on which file to delete and have rebuilt. 

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 6:39 PM

Thanks everyone for chiming in.

To answer the question, my iMac is the main machine I'm running Logos on at the moment since my MBP is undergoing the Graphics Chip Replacement Program from Apple, and I haven't used Logos on it in a while since I've been trying to isolate what's been wrong with it and realize that it is now the Graphics Chip Replacement issue that's been going on (I've had issues keeping it powered on). So my iMac has been my main day-to-day Logos machine.

My iMac is a 2011 model, so it did not come with a fusion drive. It still has its stock hard drive. 

I do know that my Mac is to blame for "some" of the general issues I'm having with applications including Logos, as it's beginning to show signs of aging and tends to get REALLY hot when running either many apps at once on it, or when I'm knee-deep in Logos, or when I'm streaming long lectures from school that use Flash (I'm considering moving my lecture streaming to my iPad since the iPad can serve up an HTML5 version of the videos).

Getting a Mac Pro this year will definitely help since I'm wanting to install 32-64GB of RAM and outfit it with a 1TB SSD which will give me a huge performance boost over the 8GB of RAM and hard drive in my iMac, plus the Mac Pro is designed to run cool and shouldn't get near as toasty as my iMac. It'll be worth the investment for Logos alone, but I'm just waiting to see if Apple releases a new Mac Pro model this year with refreshed specs.

When Logos 6 first came out, performance was excellent and far superior to previous Logos builds. It wasn't as fast as some other Mac Bible apps I've used, but for such a large application like Logos, Logos 6 was dramatically zippier than v4 and v5. 6.10 is where I've seen the main actual performance issues. Starting up the program itself is slower than pre-6.10 builds, and at times becomes "not responding" causing me to force quit Logos. For the last few builds, Factbook generation and some of the guides passage boxes have been slow as well.

In terms of the indexing issue, what generally happens is one of two things: 1. Either after each "major" release of Logos, I go to run a search in my library and get absolutely NOTHING back, even when I run simple searches against large collections like my journals or all resources. After rebuilding my index, I get massive wealth of search results back. 2. Or what happens is the Logos attempts to index new books after the "major" release and gets "stuck" at 0% and can never index my new books, in which Logos Support recommends I rebuild my index. 

Quarterly releases, in my opinion, would be a nice "sweet spot" when it comes to releasing new Logos feature releases (not sure what would be ideal for new datasets and Logos Cloud book subscriptions). The software that powers TV stations that they pay $1,000-2,000/month from generally receive quarterly updates with new features included in their subscriptions. It would give Faithlife/Logos a chance to battle test the new features a little more before releasing them and give us all enough time between releases to really soak up and enjoy what's new (and for Morris Proctor and John Fallahee to update their Logos Now training easier). It would still be far better than waiting years for a new Logos major release, and it would be a little less pressure all around.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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Nathan Parker:

In terms of the Logos desktop app, I am beginning to become concerned with the rapid release schedule every six weeks in terms of the stability of the app, especially the Mac version. Version 6.10 has been the last straw where I finally needed to say something. 6.10 has been not responding many of the times I launch it, requiring me to force quit the application and re-launch it, and even then, it launches slower than any version of Logos I've used in the past. I even reinstalled the application with the help from Faithlife Support, and I am still encountering these issues. 

Additionally, with every "major" release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10) lately, it seems to "butcher" my index, causing me to have to rebuild my library index with every new "major" release of Logos. I am spending more time resolving the indexing issues Logos continues to cause me and less time in Bible study.

Nathan, I'm sorry to hear that you've been having trouble with Logos 6. 

Regarding the "not responding" problem, it would be helpful for us if you collected and uploaded a sample using the Logging Utility: https://www.logos.com/support/logos6/mac/report-problem 

That will show us what's happening (or not happening!) when Logos is freezing.

There does appear to be a bug in the Logos 6.10 release for Mac that causes a small percentage of users to rebuild their index unnecessarily. We are working on this problem as an urgent priority and plan to release a SR to fix it (hopefully as soon as tomorrow).

Regarding the six-week update cycle, we have metrics that track the overall number of crashes on customers' computers and the average number of days to resolution for a bug (in our internal bug tracker), and have seen a good downward trend for both. I believe it's been beneficial for most customers. We haven't been tracking the frequency of index corruption (and rebuilding), but are now aware that that's also an important metric to track. Perhaps you may have run into the index corruption bug as early as Logos 6.7, but we didn't know about it. We will be fixing this in 6.11 by sending feedback when a corrupt index is detected and rebuilt. This should help us ensure this type of bug doesn't happen again.

Thanks for your feedback!

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 7:56 PM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):

Perhaps you may have run into the index corruption bug as early as Logos 6.7, but we didn't know about it. We will be fixing this in 6.11 by sending feedback when a corrupt index is detected and rebuilt. This should help us ensure this type of bug doesn't happen again.

Thanks Bradley!

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2016 8:18 PM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):

Nathan Parker:

In terms of the Logos desktop app, I am beginning to become concerned with the rapid release schedule every six weeks in terms of the stability of the app, especially the Mac version. Version 6.10 has been the last straw where I finally needed to say something. 6.10 has been not responding many of the times I launch it, requiring me to force quit the application and re-launch it, and even then, it launches slower than any version of Logos I've used in the past. I even reinstalled the application with the help from Faithlife Support, and I am still encountering these issues. 

Additionally, with every "major" release (6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10) lately, it seems to "butcher" my index, causing me to have to rebuild my library index with every new "major" release of Logos. I am spending more time resolving the indexing issues Logos continues to cause me and less time in Bible study.

Nathan, I'm sorry to hear that you've been having trouble with Logos 6. 

Regarding the "not responding" problem, it would be helpful for us if you collected and uploaded a sample using the Logging Utility: https://www.logos.com/support/logos6/mac/report-problem 

That will show us what's happening (or not happening!) when Logos is freezing.

There does appear to be a bug in the Logos 6.10 release for Mac that causes a small percentage of users to rebuild their index unnecessarily. We are working on this problem as an urgent priority and plan to release a SR to fix it (hopefully as soon as tomorrow).

Regarding the six-week update cycle, we have metrics that track the overall number of crashes on customers' computers and the average number of days to resolution for a bug (in our internal bug tracker), and have seen a good downward trend for both. I believe it's been beneficial for most customers. We haven't been tracking the frequency of index corruption (and rebuilding), but are now aware that that's also an important metric to track. Perhaps you may have run into the index corruption bug as early as Logos 6.7, but we didn't know about it. We will be fixing this in 6.11 by sending feedback when a corrupt index is detected and rebuilt. This should help us ensure this type of bug doesn't happen again.

Thanks for your feedback!

Sounds good. I'll definitely be in Logos tomorrow and possibly tonight. If I encounter the issue again, I'll get some logging going so you can see what's going on. 

Sounds great on the index corruption bugs as well. I'm really glad to hear there's a resolution in sight for it and glad we're finally talking about it and reporting it.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 11 2016 2:48 AM

alabama24:

Jack Caviness:
In response to the question you asked Nathan: I have a stock 3TB Fusion drive in a late 2012/early 2013? 27" iMac.

...and you agree with me that he shouldn't worry about upgrading from the fusion drive? 

Since you added a ?, I will respond to it as a question. No, I would not advise replacing the fusion drive. It has never given me a second's trouble.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 11 2016 4:03 AM

Thanks for clarifying. Smile

I like how small, lightweight MacBook Pros have become, but still wish a fusion drive was am option. I need BOTH size and speed. 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 11 2016 1:02 PM

alabama24:

Jack Caviness:
In some of the early 6.10 betas, I had indexing issue. However, they seem to have improved/disappeared.

FL currently has a fix to some issues, but are withholding the Service Release because of the reindexing issue. I am glad it has disappeared for you, but not so for many of us! 

Interestingly enough, the reason I thought the indexing issue had been resolved in my system was a failure of the Indexer to launch. I had a search failure in a just-built personal book. The Indexer log was several days old, even though Logos had been restarted several times. When I rebuilt the indices, the constant reindex bug reappeared.

Fortunately, SR-2 proved an effective bug bomb. Now, everything looks good—for real.

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