Reading Plan with Custom Layout

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Posts 54
Michael Sheaver | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jul 3 2017 5:17 PM

Greetings!

I have created a number of daily reading plans to aid my study, as you can see in the left panel of this screenshot:

For each of the reading plans, I have created a unique custom layout specifically tailored to that plan. For example, for the NRSVCE reading plan, the layout is shown here:

Since I have not yet found a way to associate a saved layout with each specific reading plan, I must do this little keyboard song-and-dance every time I want to use it (using the NRSVCE reading plan as an example):

  1. Go to the Home panel, closing all other windows
  2. Click the NRSVCE shortcut in the top of the screen (circled in red in the first screenshot above)
  3. After the layout loads, click the Home button to redisplay the Home panel
  4. Click the first hyperlinked reference for today in the NRSVCE reading plan (this takes me back to the custom NRSVCE layout, and takes me to the beginning of today's reading)
  5. When I complete the reading, click the "Mark read" hyperlink (this takes me to the beginning of the next day's reading and shows it as being for tomorrow)
  6. Click "Layouts" in the upper right corner of the window
  7. Click the "Update active" hyperlink
  8. Click the "Close all panels" button (X inside a circle) and go back to the home screen

I must repeat this little routine for each reading plan, and and every day.

My question for the forum is: Is there a way to associate a custom layout for each specific reading plan? If so, how can I do that?

If not, how can we make an enhancement request to have the ability to do this? 

If this were possible, it would decrease the number of clicks needed from 8 to 3:

  1. One to open the plan in the desired layout to the proper passage
  2. One to mark the passage as read, and
  3. One to close the layout and return back to the home screen

This would definitely make for a much nicer workflow and a better overall user experience.

Posts 2022
LogosEmployee

Hmm... I can get you down to 4 or 5 clicks (depending on how you count it).

For each reading plan, create and save your layout (as a normal saved layout, not a Home Page or Quickstart layout). In the layout, include the reading plan document with the view set to Overview mode. Make sure that the Bible in the layout is set to "Send hyperlinks here".

Clicks:

  1. Click to open the Layouts menu
  2. Click to load the layout
  3. Click on the reference in the reading plan to navigate to the reading.
  4. Click to mark the passage as read
  5. Click to return to the Home Page (not required if you just need to load another layout for another reading plan)
Posts 54
Michael Sheaver | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 3 2017 7:39 PM

Yes, that approach would work, somewhat. But honestly, my main objective in posting this was not to find some fancy hacks to get around a limitation in the software, which is what both of us have come up with. Rather, my hope is to point out for the developers a very easy modification that would really improve the usability of one aspect of the software -  reading plans and custom layouts.

It would be almost trivial to programmatically incorporate an option button to the right of each reading plan, like the following example from another portion of the program:

        

...where one of the options would be to choose a custom layout for the reading plan. Then the end user, from that point on, could easily open the reading plan in his/her chosen layout every day without having to do some fancy click-work.

This simple mod would be a win/win for everyone, and would enhance the end user experience. So, I hope that the developers can see this and agree that it is change worthy of pursuing.

(Yes, I am a programmer myself, and yes, I am passionate about software that people actually enjoy using. Smile)

Posts 2022
LogosEmployee

As one of the developers that you are trying to communicate with, let me inform you that this is not so simple as it seems (is anything ever as simple as it seems?). A change like this requires a change to the data that is synced. That requires changes on the server, not just the two versions of the desktop application. It requires some consideration as to how this could be modified so that it would work on the web application (and possibly the mobile applications), all of which can add their own complications. It requires some thought as to how this should interact with the existing Bible Reading Plan layout (does that go away requiring a layout to be set on each layout, does it become a fallback default causing confusion when the desired layout doesn't work because people forget what layout they had set on the plan, etc).

Usually the best way to demonstrate interest in a feature suggestion is to submit it to https://logos.uservoice.com and then encourage others to add their support.

The intent of my suggestion was to provide an option to improve your current workflow until such time as your desired feature might someday be implemented.

Oh, and if you are a programmer, and looking for work, consider submitting a resume! https://faithlife.com/careers

Posts 54
Michael Sheaver | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 5 2017 7:09 AM

Hi Andrew,

Let me begin by apologizing to you. I realize that my response to you overstepped my (non) authority on this topic, and I probably came across in a less than flattering tone. I should not have presumed to know anything about the complexities of the environment in which you work, and for that all I can do is to humbly ask your forgiveness. I do thank you for taking the time to respond and share some of the details.

I do appreciate the challenges of working with so many divergent technologies; I know that even within the Apple ecosystem alone it is difficult to manage the same codebase between macOS and iOS. When you factor in the other platforms such as Windows, web, and Android, it can indeed be kind of akin to trying to herd cats. Then considering logistical necessities such as version control, code testing, regression rollback, incessant (and not necessarily compatible) demands coming at you from every direction and the challenge of integrating open source code from diverse groups - well, just know that I do understand, and appreciate the stress.

But I must say that with all that, the fact that you have created the very best Bible study software out there, hands down, is truly a testament to the passion and drive that your team has! Every time I use the Logos software, I am continually amazed at the dizzying array of capabilities that it offers to help us dig deeper into God's Word. I do wish there was a way that I could contribute to your great work, and join your team. However I am afraid that my 20-plus years of working in IT for the federal government in many different capacities (network engineer, Unix admin, database admin, helpdesk manager, forensic investigator) has given me the kind of resume that your team needs. Although my degree was in programming and software engineering, and I used programming to solve problems all along, I do not have any big software projects that I can point to as accomplishments. I have dabbled in small projects on my own, but again nothing that really demonstrates what I can. do. At least not yet.

Thank you for your patience, and for your gracious responses to my posts!

Posts 2022
LogosEmployee

Michael, it's no problem at all! I hope I didn't come across as upset in my previous post, because I certainly wasn't.

That said, associating a specific layout with a reading plan is an interesting idea, and I do recommend submitting a suggestion on UserVoice.

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