The future of Logos: is it fast?

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Posts 51
phrogger | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jul 29 2019 10:40 AM

I hope so.

Below is an article that summarizes how I feel about the current slowness of Logos. The sluggishness of Logos and speediness of Accordance would be perfect examples of the points he makes.

Here's the opening paragraph:

"I love fast software. That is, software speedy both in function and interface. Software with minimal to no lag between wanting to activate or manipulate something and the thing happening. Lightness.

Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile without necessarily knowing why."

https://craigmod.com/essays/fast_software/

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 10:53 AM

To help Faithlife developers improve responsiveness, please provide irritating sluggishness of Logos examples, ideally with steps to repeat.

My favorite Logos feature is visual filter highlighting that can combine thousands of search results for simultaneous display. Thankful can "see" range of Greek verbal expression along with Precepts. Caveat: opening a resource with many visual filters is sluggish (so prefer using faster hardware, especially Solid State Disk).

Keep Smiling Smile

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 11:26 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
To help Faithlife developers improve responsiveness, please provide irritating sluggishness of Logos examples, ideally with steps to repeat.

Don't take this as an attack, but I find this sort of response irritating. The sluggishness of Logos has been sufficiently documented by many, many users and in all kinds of domains. The point is not to keep asking customers for specific examples only to tell them it's normal. That's really totally missing the point of the OP I think.

Posts 3135
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 12:31 PM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
To help Faithlife developers improve responsiveness, please provide irritating sluggishness of Logos examples, ideally with steps to repeat.

Here are easily reproducible examples:

1. Type anything in the main search box and hit enter.

2. Run any guide.

3. Open the Library in a pane or a window. (Bonus: Scroll down quickly and watch the bookcovers.)

4. Try to do anything while Logos is indexing.

5. Click on anything on the Dashboard.

6. Open a saved layout. The more resources, the better.

7. Scroll down while on the Home page.

Yes, you can do some of this stuff much faster or with much less lag now than before. Yes, if you have a pretty good computer, some of this stuff is a lot faster than if you don't.

Logos is still slow.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 1:15 PM

phrogger:

Software that’s speedy usually means it’s focused. Like a good tool, it often means that it’s simple, but that’s not necessarily true. Speed in software is probably the most valuable, least valued asset. To me, speedy software is the difference between an application smoothly integrating into your life, and one called upon with great reluctance. Fastness in software is like great margins in a book — makes you smile without necessarily knowing why."

https://craigmod.com/essays/fast_software/

It's true, of my 4 Bible software platforms, Logos is slowest. But I'd also say Logos performance is amazing under my crazy demands (150 resources open, 5 of 6 links in use, 4 CitedBy panels, a TextCompare with 40+ Bibles, 2 multiviews, and on and on). One layout.

So, I'd suspect the complaint is for during reasonable use, where you "dont-use-that-feature!" to get it to go.

I got Bibleworks before its developers changed personal gears. Libby was so angry.  You just pass your mouse over a Bible text, and it's displaying the early mss in a blink (and everything else too). But the old mss images, down to verse and run-on greek words; how's that possible?!

Realistically, the Logos answer is 'no'. Not until they dump the underlying L4 platform with untold years of code.


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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 5:43 PM

Denise:
Realistically, the Logos answer is 'no'. Not until they dump the underlying L4 platform with untold years of code.

And that partly reflects Libby's legacy e.g. Passage Analysis. But many features were withheld or implemented differently e.g. Series, Prioritization. A new identity was introduced with Logos 6 (via features more than a new interface), and I believe Logos 8 dumped a lot of the Logos 4 legacy code because it is basically faster.

The overall issue of speed is addressed by having an SSD, at least 8 GB memory and a fast processor (not necessarily the "fastest"). I don't need to compare it with other software, even though I have Libby on my Windows 10 desktop. I have a much bigger library in Logos 8 than Libby could comfortably accommodate, but it is much smaller than the five-digit libraries that others have! 

The issue of indexing can be alleviated with the right strategy for downloading i.e. defer it until you are ready. And the need for downloading is driven by complaints about the resource text/tagging ("continual improvement" is a better way to phrase it), and the desire to increase one's knowledge base!

If I don't like something I'll make it known, so I'm not in denial about "slowness" wherever that may apply. So one has to be specific, and unfortunately, I've seen over many years that the specs of machines superior to my own haven't met expectations (the physical implementation has been flawed). My budget for machines is around $AUD900, and I'm usually 12 months past the introduction of the hardware when I upgrade every 4-5 years.

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

Posts 1116
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 29 2019 8:09 PM

Francis:

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
To help Faithlife developers improve responsiveness, please provide irritating sluggishness of Logos examples, ideally with steps to repeat.

Don't take this as an attack, but I find this sort of response irritating. The sluggishness of Logos has been sufficiently documented by many, many users and in all kinds of domains. The point is not to keep asking customers for specific examples only to tell them it's normal. That's really totally missing the point of the OP I think.

+1 to this, and also the response of "just buy better hardware, especially an SSD."

There have been noticeable improvements with 8, and overall I find it quite useable, but let's not kid ourselves that the program isn't sluggish at practically every point. My laptop can run fairly demanding games without lag, but there's still quite a noticeable delay even with just right-clicking a word in Logos.

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 12:57 AM

Sean:
My laptop can run fairly demanding games without lag, but there's still quite a noticeable delay even with just right-clicking a word in Logos.

+1

I believe context menu sluggishness has to do (at least in part) with network lookups. With the current reworking of the context menu, my plea is to ELIMINATE network related bottlenecks. If "internet-enhanced" functions need to stay in the context menu, I'd really like to see more control in the program settings over what we want to use internet for (rather than just "use internet; yes|no").

Posts 169
Michael | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 7:25 AM

Reuben Helmuth:

Sean:
My laptop can run fairly demanding games without lag, but there's still quite a noticeable delay even with just right-clicking a word in Logos.

+1

I believe context menu sluggishness has to do (at least in part) with network lookups. With the current reworking of the context menu, my plea is to ELIMINATE network related bottlenecks. If "internet-enhanced" functions need to stay in the context menu, I'd really like to see more control in the program settings over what we want to use internet for (rather than just "use internet; yes|no").

It would be nice to be able to fine tune the performance based on our personal preferences.  Similar to how video games allow users to choose performance versus nice graphics.  Let us choose performance versus enhanced features.  I'm sure Faithlife has data to show what features are performance hogs and what percentage of users are actually using those features.  Maybe let us turn off the features that require the most resources that few people use.

In addition to whether or not Logos gets faster, I'd love for Logos to get more customizable UI options.  A company has long allowed for more tweaks to the user interface in particular independent window colors.

It'd be nice to be able to customize what features show up in the context menu.  

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 8:32 AM

Michael:

It'd be nice to be able to customize what features show up in the context menu.  

At this point, I don't much care (I 'stayed' in the update poker game). But quite often, they choose feature selling over user-speed. In the context menu, they hid the lexicons a ways back. In the layout menu more recently, they hid the user named layouts. The minimal search presentation is still a decade old. So it goes.

Above, Dave mentioned the Libby to L4 conversion. That got me to thinking. Libby's search performance is truly awful; and she's on an SSD. But BW and Accordance were (and are) quite fast on even slow drives. I just wonder, maybe the strategy is not 'be top notch' but just 'keep the company in business'. (which is good).


Posts 142
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 8:39 AM

I believe logos is built on Microsoft WPF, a good choice, but it can be sluggish on lower end machines. If you are having performance issues the best way to see improvements is to upgrade your hardware. Add more memory, fast processor, faster drive, and a good graphics card, or buy a better machine. logos is only slow for me when I have a lots of commentaries linked. However, I have high-end computers.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 12:30 PM

Sean:

Francis:

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
To help Faithlife developers improve responsiveness, please provide irritating sluggishness of Logos examples, ideally with steps to repeat.

Don't take this as an attack, but I find this sort of response irritating. The sluggishness of Logos has been sufficiently documented by many, many users and in all kinds of domains. The point is not to keep asking customers for specific examples only to tell them it's normal. That's really totally missing the point of the OP I think.

+1 to this, and also the response of "just buy better hardware, especially an SSD."

Embarrassed Apologies for irritation. FYI: from professional computer support of complex database applications, do remember a lesson learned that what is irritatingly slow to one paying customer may be a non issue to another OR many customers could be frowning Sad for the same reason (provides  more incentive to turn frowns upside down). Thread topic "The future of Logos: is it fast ?" is a valid question since previous Faithlife development seems to have focus on feature enrichment (over being fast).

Ideal response for all requests is less than a second so human thinking is not impacted, which is irritating.

Concur one of my "search assistant" irritations is well known along with being a thorn. Opening a new search tab (or duplicating it) causes previous search to automatically run again since new tab results are discarded since the reason for opening new search tab is a different search. Another professional lesson for performance improvement is avoiding unneeded work. Unfortunately, Faithlife has chosen a number of "show off" defaults that are annoying: e.g. open a guide that populates all sections at the same time, which causes human to wait & leaves sluggishness impression. Another example is context menu showing everything known for a right click (so waiting for menu to populate & appear is annoying).

To me, some aspects of Logos performance are amazingly fast for what is being done while other aspects are annoying/irritating. My use of Logos & Verbum is tempered by desire to avoid annoying waits.

A lesson learned from many forum discussions is repetition of previously discussed stuff. After experiencing SSD noticeably improving responsiveness, have no desire to go back to a computer having a spinning hard disk for Logos & Verbum use. Thankful for SSD upgrade being more affordable than replacing computer, which has extended usable of several computers for me.

Thankful for Logos & Verbum beta testers (on Windows & Mac) who interact with Faithlife developers in Logos Desktop Beta forum.

Thankful for Faithlife mobile beta testers.

Keep Smiling Smile

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 1:36 PM

Michael:
It would be nice to be able to fine tune the performance based on our personal preferences. 

The issue with Logos' slowness is as much to do with its architecture as anything else. It's flexibility and power mean it will never (and probably can never) be lightning fast. That's not to say it can't get faster, but it will never be the fastest.

To give you one simple example. If you hover over a Bible reference, all of the following is going on:

  1. It looks at the datatype specified in the reference (Bible).
  2. It looks at the prioritisation list to get a list of resources that support that datatype. Advanced prioritisation means it has to consider not just which resources contain a Bible index, but which are prioritised from the particular reference specified, and from the current resource.
  3. Once it has the list it looks at the approximate ranges they're able to meet requests for and rejects those that don't broadly cover the current reference (so it knows not to waste time querying Hebrew OTs for an NT reference).
  4. For the first resource in the prioritisation list that matches the reference range, it looks for the verse mapping specified in the reference, and the verse mapping specified in the Bible. If the mapping schemes different (they usually are), it looks up to see whether the specific verse maps differently (it usually doesn't).
  5. Now, it opens the resource and checks to see if it contains the correct reference. If so, it displays it. If not, it goes back to #4 for the next resource in the filtered priority list.

Obviously, that's the simplified version - but my point is that most Bible software doesn't do all that. That makes Logos slower, but more useful and more accurate.

You can't turn off this type of architecture. It's fundamental to how Logos works. But extra steps like those illustrated above abound in Logos, and are one of the reasons why Logos will never be the quickest Bible software around – but it is likely to stay the best.

Posts 142
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 9:06 PM

Sean:

+1 to this, and also the response of "just buy better hardware, especially an SSD."

There have been noticeable improvements with 8, and overall I find it quite useable, but let's not kid ourselves that the program isn't sluggish at practically every point. My laptop can run fairly demanding games without lag, but there's still quite a noticeable delay even with just right-clicking a word in Logos.

Suggesting hardware improvements might be irritating, but it is recommended because it works. Smile One problem with performance is due to Logos running on the WPF Microsoft platform. Logos has made this choice and must live with it. In my opinion, it was the right choice. However, they are limited in what they can do to improve the underlying performance. High-end hardware will help. A good graphics card will help because WPF uses DirectX and the more processing the graphics card does, when rendering pixels, the less the processor has to do. The processor can offload the rendering work and focus on program functionality.

The other problem with performance, as already mentioned, is the extent of functionality that exists in Logos.

Posts 1116
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 10:39 PM

James Macleod:
Suggesting hardware improvements might be irritating, but it is recommended because it works.

It works, but it also covers up overly loose programming. Why work on improving things when you can just convince people to spend more money on hardware? It's an easy solution but far from the best one.

James Macleod:
A good graphics card will help because WPF uses DirectX and the more processing the graphics card does, when rendering pixels, the less the processor has to do. The processor can offload the rendering work and focus on program functionality.

My laptop, which is my main system, has both an onboard (wimpy) Intel graphics chip and a separate Nvidia GeForce card with 4GB of memory. HOWEVER, I'm 99.5% sure software does not run on the Nvidia unless it's a program recognized by the card's driver. Everything else defaults to the Intel chip. I know of no way to force Logos to use the extra graphics card. I've tried before, but if anyone can tell me how to force it to use the Nvidia, I'd really appreciate it.

Posts 1116
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 30 2019 10:50 PM

Okay, for people who want yet another example of sluggishness:

When Logos 8 came out with the greatly less functional home screen, I changed my settings, for the first time ever, to open to the last used layout. Now that some of the home screen functionality has been restored, I sometimes try to check it.

Right now I have open a simple layout with 12 tabs open. It's been open for several hours without me doing too much. I do have other programs open, but task manager shows I still have about 2GB of my 8GB RAM free. My internet speed averages about 75mbps up and 75 down.

After clicking on the home screen button, it took about 25 seconds for the home screen to open, then about 10 more for anything to display on it. Over half a minute for the home screen to load! No, I don't have an SSD, but nothing else on my computer takes anywhere near this long to work. I like Logos, but I really don't think this sort of performance is excusable.

Posts 142
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2019 11:06 AM

Sean:

My laptop, which is my main system, has both an onboard (wimpy) Intel graphics chip and a separate Nvidia GeForce card with 4GB of memory. HOWEVER, I'm 99.5% sure software does not run on the Nvidia unless it's a program recognized by the card's driver. Everything else defaults to the Intel chip. I know of no way to force Logos to use the extra graphics card. I've tried before, but if anyone can tell me how to force it to use the Nvidia, I'd really appreciate it.

Logos won't recognize your card directly.  I believe Logos is a WPF app, though I could be mistaken. WPF applications use DirectX. It is DirectX that makes use of the graphics card if possible to offload processing. I am a developer, but not an WPF expert. Have you upgraded your graphics card driver and firmware to the latest? Are you using both graphics cards at the same time? I wonder if that is the problem. Lowest common denominator type of thing. 

Do you know if Logos has any tips on speeding up Logos via hardware? Such a thing would be useful.

Posts 5148
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2019 1:11 PM

The aspect where FL is extremely sluggish and no one has mentioned as yet, granted it is not a software issue but just as significant to some users is their speed to market with significant new resources - they are available to purchase on just about every other platform and FL is still getting around to putting up a pre-pub page. Along with this is the ability to get new publishers on board. For instance it was revealed in another thread a publisher could not be brought into the FL e-book till 2020.

Deborah Keiser:

 Regrettably, we do not have a contract with the publisher and it is unlikely we will have one soon. Considerable changes need to be made in how we process files in order for us to succeed at getting an agreement with them.  Making the dev changes necessary are on the long term plans but not likely until 2020.

Improving speed to market probably won‘t get the attention for many complicated reasons like above example but I think it is a big negative for FL and I would love to see it change.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2019 1:41 PM

James Macleod:
believe Logos is a WPF app, though I could be mistaken. WPF applications use DirectX. It is DirectX that makes use of the graphics card if possible to offload processing.

James, I know you don't own the problem, just trying to overcome it. And many surely appreciate. So, please don't misunderstand.

But, there's a bit of (logical, not theological) perverseness in hardware discussions like these. The target market is folks, largely operating with strained financial, time, and emotional budgets, a calling that hovers in the mystical, and 'well, you need an SSD but be super careful which one, plus your graphical card's driver ... '

When one designs software (and many here do), you know your market, whether it be classrooms, corporate, or musicians, and you design appropriately. Granted, Mark makes a good point on 'it's really busy'. But I'd say the conclusive marketing brag would be "Logos! The joy of the rich geeky pastor. Are you one?!'

Seems.


Posts 18
Perk | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 31 2019 5:12 PM

Looking at Mark's list I think of Logos not only answering my query but also anticipating my next query and gathering the data for it. I also tend to think of response time as not individual mouse clicks but the time it takes to get to my final answer.

Consider a layout with multiple Bibles, multiple resources and multiple documents. Opening this may seem slow, but it's a lot faster than me opening each resource individually.

When I hear slow I automatically think "compared to what". Other queries, how it used to run, competitors , amount of work done, my patience, etc.

An anecdotal story, before retiring I spent most of my career in database design and performance. We had a complex query running for over 12 hours on the system The analyst was not concerned and very happy with the system. It used to take him a week to get the same answer His response time improved by 80%.

Gerald

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