So, who else has found L9 to be a bit...underwhelming?

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Posts 40
Christopher Bucklin | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Oct 27 2020 6:23 PM

First off, I love Logos Bible Software. It's seriously one of my favorite things. I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop that I carry around everywhere just for my Logos usage. So no hate from me here. I'm a loyal customer and fan.

Secondly, I'm not really an old-timer, so I don't have a lot of experience with how upgrades and new releases flow. I first bought Logos 7, and then Logos 8 came out four months later, and I immediately upgraded. I remember significant changes and features: workflows, canvas, multiple guides... etc. So I was really excited to see what innovations Logos 9 would bring, especially as I read through all the great suggestions on the forum dedicated to Logos 9 Ideas.

And so, I purchased L9 on release day. As it turns out, I have to say... I'm a bit underwhelmed with what I have found. Don't get me wrong, there are some good things here... but it seems like most of these things are simply Quality of Life changes: Commentary divisions, Dark Mode etc... Nothing really creative or innovative like I saw in the transition to Logos 8. 

Further, (and as a loyal fan of Logos, I offer this criticism with nothing but a positive bent) it seems that the few things that were implemented, weren't implemented very well. For example, why do you have to restart the whole program to apply the dark mode theme, and do the same to get it back to light mode? Even during their demo video, they skipped that, simply fading the screen to dark mode with some camera trickery right after the button was clicked. What kind of programming is this?

And what's with the "preaching mode" loading in a web browser, so that you can't enter preaching mode unless you are online? Seriously? Why did anyone ever think this was a good idea? What's the advantage of this? Why would it not just load in the program itself?

And the Counseling Guide - I've put several entries into it, and the majority of them only pulled information from the "quick guide" series of Counseling that comes with the L9 Base package. I've bought multiple library expansions of counseling resources, and it doesn't seem to be consulting them. Kinda felt like just a basic search through this quick reference guide. Also, at least for the topics I searched, most had NO bible verses associated. When I looked up "sexual desire", it only had four verses, and none were from the Song of Solomon. Really? We aren't pointing to the SOS when counseling patients with issues of sexual desire? Honestly, it just feels shallow.

Anyway - no, I don't regret my upgrade because any upgrades to this already great software are better than no upgrades - plus new base package libraries. But as both a loyal, and honest customer, I have to say, I feel a bit let down with Logos 9. Perhaps Logos 8 was simply that good of an upgrade.

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 6:55 PM

Well, since you're asking, yes. But that's only because I really like L7.

But just watching the party, it seems to me FL rolled out big possibilities (ie built a lot of prep-code). The counciling will fill in. A lot of less knowledgable Bible study'ers will click away at the Factbook. And some of what they set up in OL really has some fascinating possibilities.  

I agree, online preaching missed the target. But ... it sure would integrate into Proclaim nicely? And member's smart phones all around the world?

I think it's hope in Bellingham, while overcoming Covid struggles.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 1686
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 6:56 PM

Christopher Bucklin:
I feel a bit let down with Logos 9. Perhaps Logos 8 was simply that good of an upgrade.

That's the problem with the hype surrounding a new version, I guess, Christopher. It's the balance between creating expectations that aren't met, verses pointing out the considerable amount of additional functionality in the new version.

I am what you'd call "an old timer," and my first reaction when L9 downloaded, was, "Excellent, that's the familiar interface I know and love. I can just keep using it for the work I'm doing, and discover the new stuff as I go." Since then, I've been exploring Factbook, the Bible Books Explorer, the Counseling Guide, and the way commentaries can be identified by era or denomination in the Passage Guide, with a peek at the Sermon Builder and Sermon Manager. Oh, and I've also bought a couple of the new L9 base packages that suited my budget with dynamic pricing.

So, like you say, it's a good, solid update with the familiar interface. That's about right for me.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:02 PM

Christopher Bucklin:
Nothing really creative or innovative like I saw in the transition to Logos 8. 

Interesting as I saw Logos 8 as a "loser" in comparison to previous releases - one that built develop dead ends into itself. But I see Logos 9 as having built an infrastructure that can easily provide more goodies for several years as well as providing a huge step forward in integration of tool. My biggest regret is that they have yet to include the Bible Explorer in the integration - and its a tool that has great potential for the average non-professional user.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1753
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:02 PM

Great post.  Those of us who helped beta test the new "iteration" of Logos were also underwhelmed except for the updates to Factbook.

As most know I continue to be concerned (I will be charitable here) about how the software becomes more and more complex and is imho useless in a group bible study.

My wife says they need a whole Logos for Dummies menu and functionality revamp.

Hard work was done on this latest update but I for one join you in considering L9 NOT a major update at all.

Did I jump on the bandwagon and update?  Yes.

Buyers remorse?  Some but an update to factbook is something versus nothing.

Logos bought and incorporated its only real competitor imho - Wordsearch (which seemed to offer much cheaper books at lower prices) but didnt seem to adopt its simpler approach to Bible study.  I still continue to believe developers never ever sit in a bible study and try to use the software in the real world.  I know for certain they would scoff at the mere suggestion.  Still I must be grateful for what is offered...a rushed-to-release-something venture during Covid that has some small things worth celebrating.  My advice...hire some newbies to use the software and take careful notes Faithlife. It will be eye opening for you.

Thanks for your great post.  I hope they ask you to be a beta tester.  Encourage them to keep doing a great job but consider revamping the software from the ground up.  Watch the fur fly then : )

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:18 PM

Christopher Bucklin:
And the Counseling Guide - I've put several entries into it, and the majority of them only pulled information from the "quick guide" series of Counseling that comes with the L9 Base package. I've bought multiple library expansions of counseling resources, and it doesn't seem to be consulting them.

Here is the list of resources that the Counseling Guide currently pulls information from.

Note that it requires specific tagging to have been done, which is why the guide doesn't presently find information from every counseling resource you have.

FL plans to continue tagging more counseling resources to make the guide more useful. If you have specific resource suggestions, feel free to add them to that thread!

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

Posts 5531
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:26 PM

As I am not a preacher and do not prepare lessons there are aspects of Logos 9 that the marketing team are pumping up that have no interest to me. I am quite happy there are no major innovations you seem to be looking for. Logos 8 was a disaster iMHO too much was changed with it being only partly developed and really should not have been put in a production version,  Logos 8 ruined the way I approached bible study because of the notes tool and highlighting changes being implemented before they were ready for everyday use. FL used us for ongoing testing of incomplete code. 

Without those major innovative changes and what was not ready when Logos 8 was released now much better developed I can get back to settling on a new routine of  how I use the software for my personal bible study and exploration of topics that interest me. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:26 PM

JoshInRI:
Those of us who helped beta test the new "iteration" of Logos were also underwhelmed except for the updates to Factbook.

Josh, please don't make blanket statements about the beta testers' impression of L9.

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

Posts 968
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:31 PM

JoshInRI:

My wife says they need a whole Logos for Dummies menu and functionality revamp.

I’d buy Logos for Dummies if they made it

WIN 10 i7 9750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM | iPad Air 3
Verbum 9 Ultimate

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 7:47 PM

Christopher, sorry you are a little disappointed, but remember that Faithlife is committed to a 6 week upgrade cycle, and so we will see improvements and (perhaps) even some new features along the way. 

FL has made a lot of efforts to be more user friendly. The Guides, Workflows, sample layouts, the Go bar, Interactives, Search Templates, and Factbook are all additions with the purpose of making this rather complex software easier to use. The work that has been done on Factbook for L9 is another push in this direction. I think it has the chance to be transformative of the Logos experience at some point.

The focus on sermon preparation and delivery and counselling are an obvious nod to one of their major user groups. In the past I did not use sermon builder, but I am giving it a second look with the improvements they've made.

In L9 FL has focused on enhancing what they have already created (plus a few new things). It is more updating that offering things that are new. They continue to make working in Logos easier and getting things done or finding information less burdensome. I am happy with this even without a blockbuster new tool or other capability.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 4132
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:03 PM

As a pastor and seminarian I am pretty happy with it.

I like the factbook. I don't think it will ever be complete... BUT. I read bi-weekly updates, which means its always going to be pressing forward. Its already been helpful on a few topics. A couple clicks, and I have the information that I was looking for. It represents actual AND hopefull better access to information going forward.

The sermon manager is a nice feature. I'm putting papers for classes in there too... I still print my notes, and bring them up into the pulpit with me, but we don't really have internet at church, so that is what it is.

I'm interested to see where the new OL tools take me. I've had quite a bit of greek (5-6 semesters - 1 at the college level and the rest at the seminary level). But barely any hebrew. Hoping these tools will refresh my hebrew, and keep my greek fresh.

Not to mention the denomination data from the community collection rule project being incorporated into some of the searches.

All in all I'm quite happy. Quite happy.

But then I think this release was perhaps targeted to pastors. No insider info. But thats how it feels to me.

L2 lvl4 (...) WORDsearch, L9

Posts 4132
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:14 PM

JoshInRI:

were also underwhelmed except for the updates to Factbook.



Your post is at best unwise Josh.

L2 lvl4 (...) WORDsearch, L9

Posts 5531
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:25 PM

David Wanat:

JoshInRI:

My wife says they need a whole Logos for Dummies menu and functionality revamp.

I’d buy Logos for Dummies if they made it

It’s called Morris Procter A-Z Video reference library but you need to be a monthly subscriber as the content updates as the software changes.

A physical dummies book or DVD of training videos would be out or date sooner than later.

Posts 97
John W | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:27 PM

I'm very pleased with L9. This iteration as the others is a help to my bible study and growth in the Lord and ministry to others (maybe not as much as another upgrade along the way but I'm grateful for any improvements they make). I love how it maximizes my time as I study. I greatly appreciate too FL's proactivity in making sure we  are getting the most out of the software with all the free training continually offered. And the gracious spirit I pick up from FL in providing free or greatly reduced price resources on a regular basis.

Posts 4849
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:42 PM

Christopher Bucklin:
Don't get me wrong, there are some good things here... but it seems like most of these things are simply Quality of Life changes

My memory is biased, but I think there was a lot of "We need QoL changes"-type feedback shortly after L8 came out.

Christopher Bucklin:
Nothing really creative or innovative like I saw in the transition to Logos 8. 

Also a lot fewer bug reports and disgruntled people on the forums this time around, so there is that trade off. I think the Sermon/Homily Manager is a huge new feature to people who will use it.

Christopher Bucklin:
For example, why do you have to restart the whole program to apply the dark mode theme, and do the same to get it back to light mode?

Basically because with the amount of programming it would have taken before launch to do that, they could build multiple other smaller features from scratch. And they weren't sure how many people would care. I, for one, have turned Dark Mode on... and I don't ever intend to turn it off, except maybe for bug testing purposes or something.

Christopher Bucklin:
And what's with the "preaching mode" loading in a web browser, so that you can't enter preaching mode unless you are online? Seriously? Why did anyone ever think this was a good idea? What's the advantage of this? Why would it not just load in the program itself?

Their surveys of people who preach clearly indicated that most who preach from devices don't do so from laptops. You can vote for this feature upgrade here: https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/744

Christopher Bucklin:
And the Counseling Guide - I've put several entries into it, and the majority of them only pulled information from the "quick guide" series of Counseling that comes with the L9 Base package. I've bought multiple library expansions of counseling resources, and it doesn't seem to be consulting them. Kinda felt like just a basic search through this quick reference guide. Also, at least for the topics I searched, most had NO bible verses associated. When I looked up "sexual desire", it only had four verses, and none were from the Song of Solomon. Really? We aren't pointing to the SOS when counseling patients with issues of sexual desire? Honestly, it just feels shallow.

Like the revolutionary Logos 8's Theology Guide, the Counseling Guide was released with minimal initial tagging, which will be improved rapidly.

Christopher Bucklin:
Perhaps Logos 8 was simply that good of an upgrade.

It was Faithlife's most successful product launch in history at the time, so perhaps it was.

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 4849
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 8:47 PM

JoshInRI:
My wife says they need a whole Logos for Dummies menu and functionality revamp.

I'd love to know exactly what that functionality revamp could look like. Logos/Verbum is complicated, but I'm not sure how to dramatically simplify it.

“I want you to know how the people should behave in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” - 1 Timothy 3:15 (EOB:NT).

Posts 1401
Myke Harbuck | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 9:13 PM

JoshInRI:

Those of us who helped beta test the new "iteration" of Logos were also underwhelmed except for the updates to Factbook.

Well, not the whole story. I did publicly state this in the private beta forum (where, as the name suggests, there is an expectation of privacy - at least I thought there was). However, as I began to use the enhancements and new features, I began to see the value they held and thus changed my mind quickly. For example, I now realize that the new Factbook, after some use, is worth the upgrade cost alone, IMO. And the Bible Book Browser is a brilliantly simple yet valuable new tool. 

So, perhaps 24 hours might not be enough time to draw the best of conclusions. Give it a full week of dedicated use and see if your assessment changes. 

Myke Harbuck
Lead Pastor, www.ByronCity.Church
Adjunct Professor, Georgia Military College

Posts 2089
LogosEmployee
Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 10:19 PM

Christopher, thanks for the honest yet gracious feedback.

I'm sorry you're not more excited about Logos 9. We serve such a large and diverse userbase that it's really hard to nail it for everyone equally with every release. Logos 7 had a bit more focus on the pastor, and we shifted with Logos 8 to the broader audience. For Logos 9 we decided to shift back toward the pastor. It's okay if you find some releases more exciting than others.

Christopher Bucklin:
Further, (and as a loyal fan of Logos, I offer this criticism with nothing but a positive bent) it seems that the few things that were implemented, weren't implemented very well. For example, why do you have to restart the whole program to apply the dark mode theme, and do the same to get it back to light mode? Even during their demo video, they skipped that, simply fading the screen to dark mode with some camera trickery right after the button was clicked. What kind of programming is this?

Because of our very diverse userbase, we generally take a breadth over depth approach. That is, we do 20 features and build out the essential experience for them instead of doing 2 features and taking them to full maturity. This ensures that most people can find something to enjoy in a new release, but it also means that some features aren't done enough for some users at launch.

That's why we'll devote the next six months to continuing to mature Logos 9 based on the feedback we're hearing from users.

Because Logos is so large and we didn't design it with application themes in mind, we had to make a massive investment to deliver dark mode (perhaps our third most expensive feature: [1] Factbook, [2] Sermon Manager, [3] Dark Mode). And we're still not done. There's a long list of little things that we weren't able to address. We decided to focus on the actual dark mode experience over the convenience of changing the setting. We did that for a couple of reasons: (1) we evaluated it and determined that it would be a multi-week project and (2) we figured that most people won't use dark mode and most of those who do will change it once (or not at all if they have their OS set to dark mode) and leave it alone. Therefore, we didn't consider that the best place to spend those multiple weeks. If that's how the community would like to have us spend our resources, we're happy to reconsider. You can let us know by voting for the suggestion.

Christopher Bucklin:
And what's with the "preaching mode" loading in a web browser, so that you can't enter preaching mode unless you are online? Seriously? Why did anyone ever think this was a good idea? What's the advantage of this? Why would it not just load in the program itself?

There's a similar explanation here. The best way to bring Preaching Mode to all three platforms was to bring it to the web and allow each platform to leverage it there. We did extensive research and found that by far those who preach from a device do so from an iPad, so we decided to embed the feature in our mobile app to solve for the majority use case. We had always wanted to embed it in the desktop app, too, but it was lower priority based on the data. You can vote for that suggestion, too, if you'd like us to prioritize it.

Christopher Bucklin:
And the Counseling Guide - I've put several entries into it, and the majority of them only pulled information from the "quick guide" series of Counseling that comes with the L9 Base package. I've bought multiple library expansions of counseling resources, and it doesn't seem to be consulting them. Kinda felt like just a basic search through this quick reference guide. Also, at least for the topics I searched, most had NO bible verses associated. When I looked up "sexual desire", it only had four verses, and none were from the Song of Solomon. Really? We aren't pointing to the SOS when counseling patients with issues of sexual desire? Honestly, it just feels shallow.

Similar explanation here. We have lots of plans to add more content to the Counseling Guide: dictionaries, journals, sermons, etc. You'll see the content really get fleshed out in the coming months.

How would you like to see us spend the next six months? What's at the top of your wish list?

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I hope that in the coming point releases you'll grow in your appreciation for Logos 9.

Posts 2692
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 27 2020 11:00 PM

Logos is what you make of it. L9 is practically on steroids compared to what we used to have to deal with so I am just counting myself grateful. The features will always be a work in progress. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 83
RHC | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 28 2020 12:24 AM

I write this request with respect and thankfulness for Logos. Although I was grateful that Carta was included in base packages, I remained frustrated that the original language Concordance or Word List feature wasn't improved to allow exports with more information included. My #1 request for Logos would be for FL to modify Concordance or Word List so that it's possible to export a list of Greek/Hebrew words for a given passage with the following information in 4 columns:

1. lemma    2. lemma gloss/definition     3. root      4. root gloss/definition

It would be great if we could also export this 4 column list such that the 4 columns are grouped under the root for each lemma.

Logos has all this great information available, but it's frustrating not being able to access it in this manner for study purposes.

I've posted this suggestion today at the Feedback site as well: https://feedback.faithlife.com/boards/logos-desktop-app/posts/816

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