Future for Logos Web App

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This post has 11 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 68
aaylnx | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 10 2017 11:16 AM

I just got the email regarding updates to the web app.  Looks great.  Very good!  Glad to see that you are getting closer and closer to parity with the desktop edition.  This is nice for me as a Chromebook and Linux user.  

I have a question for Logos folks.  Are you aiming for the web app to eventually gain full feature parity with the desktop app?  The improvements you have made are great, but there is still quite a way to go.  In the past, I have been skeptical about the possibility of the web version of Logos to ever reaching feature parity with the desktop version.  However, with recent announcements about new technologies (like webassembly) being adopted by a number of key browsers (Chrome and Firefox), I've wondered whether the likelihood of such a goal might be improving.  Let me summarize my question.  In brief, what are the goals for the web app, and do you expect emerging web technologies to help bring you closer to these goals (possibly feature parity) any time soon?  Thanks!

Posts 579
LogosEmployee
Alan Palmer (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 10 2017 12:07 PM

aaylnx:
what are the goals for the web app

Broadly, our goal is to provide the best Bible study tools available on the web. That is much more nuanced (and exciting) than just full feature parity with the desktop application.

We'd love your feedback as we do so. Are there things on the desktop you particularly miss? Are there things we could be doing on the web app that you might use other online resources for? We appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about your experiences.

aaylnx:
do you expect emerging web technologies to help bring you closer to these goals (possibly feature parity) any time soon?

A couple years ago, we made an early bet on web assembly by utilizing emscripten to bring our resource display code to the browser. We have been following their progress and are excited to watch as browsers continue to adopt these technologies. You mentioned Chrome and Firefox, but Safari and Edge both have recently discussed upcoming support as well!

That said, web assembly is no silver bullet. It isn't always obvious in during development of web apps how much code/data should exist in the browser and how much should be served through web requests made to servers (a lot of considerations to be made there regarding performance, security, latency/bandwidth, etc). Furthermore, most of our desktop code is in C# and while there are some people who are working on web assembly compilation targets for .NET, I don't expect this ever to be more than .NET Core which limits the usefulness in our case.

We will continue to follow industry trends and be wise with our technology choices in order to serve our customers the best we possibly can.

Posts 281
Sean McIntyre | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 13 2017 8:19 PM

Alan Palmer (Faithlife):

That is much more nuanced (and exciting) than just full feature parity with the desktop application.

From a user perspective that sounds more mysterious and non-comital.
Do you actually mean nuanced, e.g. the same (parity) with a subtle difference or just following its own path?

From an end user perspective, Logos is a work tool. What I need is to move from one platform to another and have the same workflow. New, exciting and different just tells me that I will have to keep changing my workflow and equals inconvenience.

I would love to be able to be able to switch to a chromebook. For that I need parity and offline features.

Also, I am paying you to be a beta tester, which is a very odd state of affairs.

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 13 2017 8:34 PM

I would like to see the web app have the same function as the local desktop program as well. This would make working from either one not a difficult transition as Sean points out. 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 1836
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 13 2017 10:49 PM

We don't currently plan for the web app and the desktop app to diverge in significant ways. (They may diverge slightly in some ways necessitated or facilitated by the platform and technological constraints and enablements. For example, the desktop app is going to have much better offline support than the web app. We may eventually do some basic offline support (TBD), but you'll need to rely on the desktop app if you need offline functionality.)

We will likely use the web app to experiment with new approaches and improvements to features. If they prove to be successful, we'll likely bring them back into the desktop app to keep them as close to parity as appropriate. The homepage and search are two current examples of this.

Now, it's possible that the userbases for the two platforms will end up being very different and have very different needs, in which case we'd be open to exploring further variance between the two platforms if that was the best way to serve both audiences. But that's not currently our plan, nor do we anticipate that happening.

Finally, we may not bring every last desktop feature over to the web. Some of the more obscure features that don't get used as often may not ever make it into the web app. In those cases, we'll either have lack of parity or we may consider retiring the feature from the desktop app to keep the two platforms more closely aligned. That's still a ways out, and we'll be sure to get your input once we get into the long tail of desktop features.

But Alan's main point is that we're not planning to merely build the desktop app as it exists today for the web. We want to build the future of the desktop app in the web and then bring that into the desktop app (subsequently or in some cases simultaneously) whenever appropriate.

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Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 13 2017 11:40 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We will likely use the web app to experiment with new approaches and improvements to features. If they prove to be successful, we'll likely bring them back into the desktop app to keep them as close to parity as appropriate. The homepage and search are two current examples of this.

Thank you. This sounds similar to what Apple did with (innovating first on iOS, then simplifying) macOS by making it more like iOS.

I envision this as a positive thing, hoping that the desktop version can be reinvented, to make it simpler, friendlier, and more intuitive.

Posts 48
Doug Newby | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 17 2017 12:27 PM

Sean McIntyre:
I am paying you to be a beta teste

I think it is important to remember that the web app is a feature of other services.  Those services being Logos Now and Logos Cloud.  I see it as a perk of being a subscriber of those services but not the main reason for the fee.  However, as a logos cloud subscriber I would gladly pay an extra fee just for the web app if that meant we had guaranteed major month feature updates.  I would love to have the ability to use a chromebook for my Logos use and never need to use the full desktop version.

Posts 2723
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 18 2017 6:31 AM

Doug Newby:
I think it is important to remember that the web app is a feature of other services.  Those services being Logos Now and Logos Cloud.  I see it as a perk of being a subscriber of those services but not the main reason for the fee.  However, as a logos cloud subscriber I would gladly pay an extra fee just for the web app if that meant we had guaranteed major month feature updates.  I would love to have the ability to use a chromebook for my Logos use and never need to use the full desktop version.

The recent speed of development makes your suggestion of monthly feature updates hopeful, but I'd want to see the progress continue before I'd every pay for it.

In fact, the main reason I subscribed to Logos Now was for the access to the Web App. I use a Chromebook regularly. At the time that it came out they didn't run Android apps. Currently I own a Samsung Chromebook Plus which does support the Logos Bible Android Mobile app so it's less important than it was then.

Posts 10216
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 18 2017 7:34 AM

I'm glad to see that the web app may extend beyond the desktop.  I'd hate for another desktop (though, no indexing!).  I can see the benefit to others, though.

The web app offers the future. It doesn't have the strait-jacket of perfection (no bugs!), training issues (one more video), and avoiding change (legacy).

If a kid shows up at Bellingham with some strange but interesting talent, you can wall him (typically) off on the web, and see what happens ... easy to manage. Or some scholars with web talents in Timbukto. It's endless. And exciting.

I'm off-internet. And no Now.  The offerings are for desktop people. But if the strange kid, or the Timbukto scholars, I'd sign just for the happiness.


Posts 258
danwdoo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 19 2017 10:38 AM

One usage case I think would be nice to focus on is a book/resource reading mode/feature. It should be easy to access a quick list of a couple of books that I might be currently reading on the go so that I can quickly get to them, do a short bit of reading in a suitable interface, and then be able to quit and know that my exact position is saved on any other device (including the desktop client). This would help answer the resources on Kindle need at least somewhat, IMHO.

Posts 1
Attwood | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 21 2018 4:03 PM

I would think in light what is happening with Windows version "X" or whatever it is after Windows 10 many more people will be switching to Chromebooks and Linux. Right now you cannot run Logos on Linux without complex skills. This is sad because it's easy to get Logos App up on Linux. BUT... and that's a big BUT... there's no way to use it offline. I travel in places where I really need offline. I'm going to bring my Chromebook bc it's light and good battery life.  I can tell you this if you do not make logos Linux friendly or Chromebook friendly your going to be going out of business. I'm not exaggerating. The rest of the world will be on Linux devices not Windows. Windows is going the way of IBM's OS/2. It seems to me that unfortunately like many Christian Ministries there's not too many forward thinking people making the decisions. They want to keep on doing what they've always been doing myopically ignoring what the rest of the world. Windows has been declining since Windows 7 ...the world has changed. Please catch up I have no desire for logos to go the way of CDWord that would be sad. 

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Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 21 2018 11:11 PM

Attwood:
... I have no desire for logos to go the way of CDWord that would be sad.

Welcome Big Smile

Bob Pritchett, Faithlife CEO, agrees with you => Faithlife and Logos Bible Software: Here for the long haul!

Faithlife motivator for offline Linux (open source) development would be lots of Web App users spending $$$ to expand their libraries (ideally using a browser on Linux when purchasing/renting Faithlife resources).

Attwood:
... there's not too many forward thinking people making the decisions.

Thankful for Web App working on many platforms that reflects Faithlife forward thinking decision.

Attwood:
Windows has been declining since Windows 7 ...the world has changed.

Blog article => Global market share held by operating systems for desktop PCs, from January 2013 to July 2018 shows Windows market share being 82.88 % of desktop computers worldwide in July 2018 (down from 90.96 % in Jan 2013) while graphic shows macOS market share has noticeably increased since Jan '13 (from 7.95 % to 12.52 %) while Linux (open source) market share nearly doubled from 0.88 % in Jan 2013 to 1.71 % in Jul 2018. Suspect Apple refreshing Mac models this year could result in noticeable market share increase.

Technical note: macOS includes hundreds of open source projects => https://opensource.apple.com/ and => https://developer.apple.com/opensource/

Attwood:
Right now you cannot run Logos on Linux without complex skills.

Legal way to run Logos on Linux (or an open source distribution) is using a virtual machine running a licensed copy of Windows (so need a computer with enough resources to run host and guest operating systems). Apple's macOS is licensed for use only on Apple hardware.

Attwood:
I'm going to bring my Chromebook bc it's light and good battery life.

Personally use a MacBook Air that is light along with having adequate computer resources to run Logos and/or Verbum applications offline. Battery life has been adequate for weekly Bible Studies (with Wi-Fi turned off to prolong battery usability).

Noticed some Chromebook models have high enough octane for offline application use => https://zipso.net/chromebook-specs-comparison-table/ (similar to newer MacBook models having enough "octane" for decent Logos/Verbum use => https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks)

Keep Smiling Smile

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