Love all the new resources...but

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This post has 52 Replies | 2 Followers

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Sep 13 2010 10:33 PM

...what I'd really like to see--and I don't think I can stress this point enough--is for Logos to

GO BACK AND UPDATE THE LINKS FOR RESOURCES THAT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED FOR YEARS BUT WHICH CURRENTLY HAVE LOUSY LINKING.

The main advantage to digital resources is the hyperlink. Having resources that don't link to other resources I have in my digital library REALLY chaps my hiney. The infamous example is the Anchor Bible Dictionary, but there are tons of other resources with the same disease. I well understand that this is labor intensive, but it is also a "gotta have it" aspect of what all Logos resources stand for. For instance, when the Talmud PrePub ships, which I am eagerly anticipating, my question is...today...when it ships, will the dozens and dozens of resources I now have that reference it--the very references which have motivated me to advocate for the Talmud in Logos format--will those references to the Talmud "work"? Frankly, I fear the answer...but I hope my fears are unfounded.

I do know that tons of current potential links are "dead" or non-existent. For me, over and above Logos cranking out hundreds or thousands or millions of new titles each week/month/year, I want these forlorn links to be given life. I want to be given the best use of what I already have rather than have even more resources that ABD or other resources don't link to.

Posts 13411
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 1:52 AM

This is a real problem, isn't it? From the users point of view we need those links to get the best use from our existing resources. From Logos' point of view they need the money from new resources.

Personally, I'd like to see the price of new resources reflect the work required to find links to the new resource in old resources, and added in. For many resources that wouldn't be a huge amount of work. A quick search in your library will bring up the references, and then it's a case of manually adding links.

That said, for important titles, I'd also like Logos to subsidise this through a central 'pot' created from (e.g.) a 1% levy on all sales. The Talmud is a good example of a resource which will cost many thousands of dollars to add links to, simply because there are so many. We probably couldn't afford the resource if we had to pay for it.

Posts 19039
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 1:59 AM

Another issue that they've mentioned is that they are always working on adding links to old resources but they don't want to force us all to redownload our entire library to get the updated links every time a new resource (or three or four) ships. So they will keep revisiting old resources on some sort of a rotation and only pushing revised resources with links fixed through the pipeline every three months or so. The last time they did a resource update was a few months ago, so I'm guessing we're due for another one soon. But if I recall, they only updated 100 or so resource that time. That means it's gonig to be a long time to wait for our entire library to get its links fixed. I've got 4000+ books in mine. That'll be 40 cycles of updates, by which time I'm sure there will be a mass of new resources, requiring still more new links in old resources. And on and on it goes...

If anyone has any brilliant ideas for a solution to this, I'm sure Logos will be willing to listen.

Posts 2736
DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 2:49 AM

Simple, Employ me, I would be happy to do it Big Smile

 I also agree that with any new resourse releace, older resources linking to it should also be updated for that enhanced experience...

Never Deprive Anyone of Hope.. It Might Be ALL They Have

Posts 5495
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 3:02 AM

DominicM:

Simple, Employ me, I would be happy to do it Big Smile

+2 Cool

 

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 4:46 AM

+1 Yes

Posts 302
John Graves | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 5:32 AM

I posted about this also yesterday.  But the resources I was using with bad linking are Baker Exegetical and NiGTC these are pretty new aren't they?  Very frustrating for me personally.

Posts 3715
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 8:37 AM

Rosie Perera:
The last time they did a resource update was a few months ago, so I'm guessing we're due for another one soon.

And when they do, I'm guessing there'll be as many or more complaints about the download as there are "thank you"s for the updated content, based on our track record. Sad

Rosie Perera:
If anyone has any brilliant ideas for a solution to this, I'm sure Logos will be willing to listen.

That's the trick isn't it? Balance the downloads with the need for content upgrades?

And thanks, Rosie for your gentleness in reminding us of the size of the problem!

Why am I posting? I'm a little concerned at the tone of the posts, given that Logos is really caught in a conflicting needs from users.

Brilliant answers?

Not here. But maybe there could be something similar to the "report a typo" function--"Report a Link"  that'd allow us to establish the link in our resources, but also send it (or at least report it) to Logos for potential inclusion for everyone. If the function to establish a link between resources will exist in the PBB, maybe it could be adapted for this "Report a Link" function.

 

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 8:48 AM

BillS:
Not here. But maybe there could be something similar to the "report a typo" function--"Report a Link"  that'd allow us to establish the link in our resources, but also send it (or at least report it) to Logos for potential inclusion for everyone. If the function to establish a link between resources will exist in the PBB, maybe it could be adapted for this "Report a Link" function.

I always use the Report a Typo function for these (as well as for links that point to the wrong place). Then in the "Note" section I point out the lack of hyperlink to the correct resource.

The more of these they get, the more they'll know which ones we think need the most attention.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 856
Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:04 AM

Richard DeRuiter:

I always use the Report a Typo function for these (as well as for links that point to the wrong place). Then in the "Note" section I point out the lack of hyperlink to the correct resource.

The more of these they get, the more they'll know which ones we think need the most attention.

Good idea, Richard. Thanks.

Posts 19039
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:32 AM

DominicM:

Simple, Employ me, I would be happy to do it Big Smile

 I also agree that with any new resourse releace, older resources linking to it should also be updated for that enhanced experience...

+1 Yes

I think they'd need to hire a whole army of eager people like you to stay on top of this. Imagine yourself sitting down with just one volume of Anchor Bible Dictionary (it's got 6 volumes on the order of 1000 pages each). Then consider that it is peppered with abbreviated references such as (ANET, 307) or JBL 83: 298–302. In some cases later references within one article assume the name of the work since it was mentioned earlier and only give the section/paragraph reference. We know about this from Scripture references (e.g., "particularly...in 3:13 and 1:4, 13; and the relationship between 3:2, 16") but it happens with other kinds of works, too. You'd have to carefully read through the entire volume, finding each reference, figuring out what it's actually referring to -- I'm sure there'd be a big table of abbreviations to help you (ANET is Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, which I have in Logos but ABD links don't work; JBL is Journal of Biblical Literature, still coming in pre-pub, but it would be great if all the links in my existing library just worked as soon as it ships), generating the appropriate tag for it, and editing that into the file, very carefully proof-checking your work. This would be very time-consuming and laborious (and probably boring/tedious) work. It would probably take you a couple of months to get through one volume. Now multiply that by six and that's just one of the 10,000+ resources in Logos's catalogue. Granted it's one of the ones that's more heavily loaded with links. But now you begin to see the magnitude of the job they've got ahead of them. And believe me, they do have people assigned to this very task who are working through the backlog. But as others point out, this work does not bring in any revenue for them. So I think it's hard for them to prioritize it. But if we can impress upon them how much extra value it gives us in our Logos libraries to have all the linking, and that we'd be more willing to shout from the rooftops about how awesome our Logos library is, and encourage them that it would bring in more revenue in the long run, maybe that would help their motivation to keep plugging away at this, and assign more people to the task.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:35 AM

BillS:
Why am I posting? I'm a little concerned at the tone of the posts, given that Logos is really caught in a conflicting needs from users.

I'm not sure that's entirely fair. The reason for our investment in Logos is substantially due to the way that the resource link with one another. The difficulty here is that we just don't know what Logos is doing about this. We've had some reassurance that major works like AYBD are being updated, but we don't know the policy on new resources.

What we need to know is:

  1. Will old books link to new resources? That is, when a new book is issued, is it normal policy for an employee to search for references to that books in other resources, and add links to it?
  2. Will new books link to old resources? That is, when a new book  issued, is it normal policy for links to be created to all existing resources, or to just some of them?

In fairness, the answer to (2) often seems to be "yes". I just checked Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God, and that seems to link in all the right places. I also checked entries in the Zondervan bundle which seemed also to link correctly. This is necessary, but nonetheless really appreciated.

But the answer to (1) seems to be an unspoken "no", except in very limited circumstances. If so, that's a real shame, and one that diminishes the value of Logos. My concern is that if this work isn't done when resources are released, it will never be done. If it's too much work now, it's not going to get any easier with the passage of time.

Posts 547
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:37 AM

Rosie,

I'm afraid that the majority of books that we have downloaded since the release of Logos 4 have been books that needed to be modified to work correctly with Logos 4. I have seen very few rebuilt books with updated tagging come through the pipeline.

With over 11,000 titles to redo, I'm afraid that the task is overwhelming for Logos to do. I have submitted typos from more than 5 years ago that still have not be revisited. Just playing around with the search function, one can see how much work needs to be done just on typos, let alone updated tagging.

Logos has always done a great job on their bible and original language databases. I am hoping for the same treatment with the rest of our books in the near future. Bob said almost a year ago that they were going to retag the library, but I haven't heard any updates about it since then.

Posts 13411
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:44 AM

Rosie Perera:
Imagine yourself sitting down with just one volume of Anchor Bible Dictionary

We understand that, and (within reason), we're willing to wait. But it's much more difficult to understand why the Pillar Commentary on Ephesians contains around 50 references to Stott's BST commentary on the same book, but none of them are linked, despite the BST being available in Logos for three years. Indeed, just looking through the bibliography of that commentary, not a single resource appears to be linked, even though many of them (ICC, WBC, AB, Calvin, NICNT, Hendriksen, Schnackenburg, NIVAC, Westcott, Stott, NBC) are available in Logos.

That's not a mistake, that appears to be a deliberate policy (at least with this resource). More worryingly, several of those commentaries were available in Logos before this resource was created.

Posts 1674
Paul N | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 9:57 AM

what if there was a way for interested Logos users to do "packets" of work in large resources and entire resources worth of tagging and then submit them to Logos for proofing.  Sort of like how you can allow your computer to help processing information for the SETI project.  I guess there would need to be some training and some direction in a project such as this.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:05 AM

Paul Newsome:

what if there was a way for interested Logos users to do "packets" of work in large resources and entire resources worth of tagging and then submit them to Logos for proofing.  Sort of like how you can allow your computer to help processing information for the SETI project.  I guess there would need to be some training and some direction in a project such as this.

So far, Logos' attempts at this have not proved cost effective. When these packets are submitted they still have to be proof-read by someone in Logos, so that Logos can maintain it's standard of quality.

 

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 10:15 AM

Isn't the reason why having the public domain books in Logos costs them money for reasons like this? They spend extra time making sure this kind of thing is taken care of. At least that is the argument. But if it is not actually happening it takes away the argument and makes me wonder again, why are public domain books so expensive in Logos when they are free in other applications?

Posts 654
David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 11:41 AM

I don't know what steps are needed or how Logos implements the resource linking for new works, but I would think it is a bit complex.  First, we have to define what we mean by "new resources" and "old resources."  By "old" and "new" do we mean the year when these resources were written?  Or, the year Logos digitally published them?  A resource that Logos makes available for purchase today may be one that was originally penned 100 years ago.  Would I expect such a resource to link to my resources that were published in print 20 years ago?  I don't see how that is possible.  Perhaps I am not understanding the arguments here. Now, I  do understand the need for newer resources to have proper links to older resources. I don't know how Logos does this, what is involved.

Also, what do we mean by links? Should we have a taxonomy of elements for links? Are we referring to other printed body of works, Internet databases, websites, wikis, etc? Bible verses, I think, are the most commonly linked elements. They are linked to whatever is your preferred translation.  Other elements include references to scholarly commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and books. Anything else?

Paul Newsome's suggestion is interesting because I imagine that it takes considerable computing man-hours to search resources, find possible references to other resources, and record such findings. Logos can conduct a study on how a person would do this manually; then, develop a software program to help automate the tedious tasks. Humans can alpha test or beta test the results.  One challenge would be the database structure to store all the findings - i.e. resources that need linking, exact locations, name of linked elements, etc. The amount of data would be overwhelming and need to be in a useful format. If we, the user, can somehow participate with Logos in the process of linking elements between resources, a la SETI, I would think that this would save some time and computing cost, even if Logos staff needs to review the results.

It's a challenging task for sure.

Posts 302
John Graves | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 11:55 AM

David L Bailey:
Also, what do we mean by links?

 

What I meant by links is simply being able to click on the resource being footnoted in the text of the book I am reading and being taken there, especially langauge tools such as BDAG

Posts 1228
Ron | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 14 2010 11:58 AM

+1

There is a lot of work that needs to be done with both typos and links.  While I understand the concerns about bandwidth from users that have a monthly cap and/or a slow download speed, it will take eons to get this all fixed and updated if they trickle the corrections out at a pace of a few every 3 months...and that's assuming that that's what the resource updates are doing.  If they are instead just updating resources from Logos 3 to Logos 4 format, then when can we expect typo and link correction updates?

I have stumbled across numerous typos in my reading, but unfortunately haven't reported any.  Mainly it is because I do almost all of my reading on Blackberry and (more recently) iPad and so have no way to report typos...but I have to admit, there is also this nagging thought in the back of my mind of the anecdotes of people reporting typos 5 years ago that haven't yet been fixed that makes me wonder if it does any good to report them.

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