1) Why Logos and 2) Why Logos over Accordance

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This post has 58 Replies | 15 Followers

Posts 22
tjluoma | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Sep 24 2010 6:49 AM

Hello friends

It is an exciting time to be a student of the Bible who is also a Mac user! As you probably know, Accordance version 9 has just been released, and Logos 4 for Mac is just around the corner.

I would like to solicit your help. I am a writer for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, and reviewed Logos 3 about a year ago (link) and have also used & reviewed Accordance, including the new version 9 release. I'm also a full-time ordained minister currently working on finishing my D.Min. at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

I hope to be able to provide a review of Logos 4 for Mac which goes beyond the marketing copy of listing which new features are available to give Mac users a sense of why Logos users have chosen it (first question) and specific reasons why they chose it over Accordance.

For example: I would *assume* that the existence of a Windows and Mac version means that pastors who have a Mac at home and a WIndows computer at the church would be happy to find they could use the same program on both. But are any of you using Logos for that reason?

Although both Logos and Accordance have a dizzying number resources available, it appears that Logos has a greater number of them available. That said, Mac users are used to Windows users saying that Windows is better because it has "more software available" and Mac users generally respond by saying "Yeah, but Mac has *better* software available." My assumption is that it's not just a matter of "more = better" but "Here are some resources that were important to me that were available on Logos but not Accordance." 

So there are a few of my assumptions, but you know the old saying "When you assume, you are likely to make mistakes." (I may not have that 100% accurate, but you get the idea.)

I'd like to hear what features of Logos (esp. v.4) make you happy that you chose Logos. What do you like more than v.3? Was there one feature in particular that made you say "I'm definitely upgrading to get _this feature_"? 

In my research thus far, the only negative that I have seen about Logos 4 has been the speed/CPU requirements, where even Logos says in their FAQ that you'll want a fairly new computer to get the best performance. Again, my *assumption* is that given how long most churches hang onto computers (at the first church I served {in 1998} I was presented with a 486 running Windows 3.1, and the secretary was using a 386 and DOS), this could be a problem for some pastors. Is Logos 4 running acceptably on your computer, or are you frustrated by the speed (for either situation, I'd be interested to know how old your computer is and any other relevant specs)? Are there other issues new users should be aware of?

Personally I like both Logos and Accordance quite a bit. I found that I, personally, have tended to use Accordance more often, but taking a close look at Logos 4, and so far have found several parts that I like over v3. But I believe that you all can probably illuminate me to things that I might not notice even if I used Logos exclusively for a long time, because you are more familiar with the program than I am.

ps - I know that people are naturally suspicious of lots of things (and perhaps some especially of "bloggers"), so please let me make it clear that I have no financial stake in people using either Logos or Accordance. I have invested my own money in owning the latest copies of both programs on the Mac, and largely consider them to be like Nikon and Canon, each one having different features that make their users love them, and (hopefully) the existence of a competitor makes each one stronger.

ps2 - I'm signed up to get email replies to this thread, but if you'd like to contact me directly, you can email me at GMail (same username as this forum).

 

Posts 18
Christopher Guest | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 7:23 AM

I had the same question nearly a year ago - go for the supposed 'Rolls Royce" Accordance or the relative Mac  'newcomer', Logos.

Primarily, these factors swayed me for Logos. I am a layman, and therefore required a value for money product that addressed my personal market segment, so to speak. That is, I don't want to get bogged down my the detailed minutiae of studying Greek and Hebrew (that appears to be the target market for Accordance). That may be just what is required by many people, but not me. I wanted something that would give me the bigger picture, if you will - and Logos, in my opinion does just that at a reasonable price point.

Also with Accordance; if you want graphics resources, you have to pay extra for it big time. Plus, if I specifically wanted my chosen Bible - the ESV - I had to pay extra over that of the 'Introductory' version of Accordance.

What is more, Logos appears ahead of the game in providing apps for the iPod Touch and iPad.

Overall, the price paid for the comprehensively specced, and dual-platform, Logos is better value for money

 

My Mac can go all the way to OS XI

www.bournvillechurch.co.uk

Posts 10116
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 7:53 AM

Well, your query can be a little dangerous, since it's easy to be wrong about software capabilities. Often what doesn't seem to be available can be achieved in other ways. But for me, Logos was the only 'game in town' for a hebrew interlinear that included morph-tags on displayed lines. Most use a mouse-over or alternatively paralleling two separate resources or text blocks. I wanted to be able to see whole sections of morph-tags at a time, with or without the hebrew. And to date, I still think Logos is the only one. Plus, since I purchased, the expansion to syntax and now high-definition schemes is even more useful.


Posts 698
LogosEmployee

As one of the developers of Logos 4 Mac, I'm going to stay out of the "Accordance vs. Logos" debate. Because you're a journalist, I figured a technical correction would be appreciated. Strictly speaking, there was no product called "Logos 3" available for the Mac. The previous version available on the Mac was Libronix 1.x, the most recent version being Libronix 1.2.2.

It's also fair to point out that while a "one or the other" choice may be made for some, more than a few people use both products.

Also, on the outside chance that you haven't seen them, there are a fairly large number of videos that describe the functionality of Logos 4: http://www.logos.com/videos

Director of Engineering for Enterprise and Operations

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 12:57 PM

Hi there

I am not an Accordance user and have not tried it, so can't and won't comment on it. Focusing on Logos 4 for Mac, I would say that definitely first of all one would have to consider the total platform, a major part of which is the breadth and depth of resources (books) available, now and in the future. Given that a purchaser is buying into a (obviously necessarily) commercially restrictive license (i.e. Logos are not going to allow their resources to be opened in Accordance, and vice versa) people have to be comfortable that they are 'buying into' a long term viable platform. I think it would be fair to say that Logos has a mainstream evangelical position in terms of book titles (no problems from me on that) but they also provide for broader audiences. Plus I think they have some innovative programs to help to get as many titles into electronic form as quickly as possible, including releasing titles based on specific interests of existing customers.

One example, I got the 'Catena Aurea' by Thomas Aquinas (http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/5216) 8 volumes through the Logos 'Pre-Pub' program for $14! (I got in very early). So I not only get a difficult to obtain title for a great price, but I get it in electronic format indexed and searchable ready to be able to add depth to studying the gospels.

In terms of the software, for Logos 4 they took the (brave) step to get versions on the two major platforms, Mac & Windows, so that people could, potentially, maximise their investment in the platform (books) by being able to use either OS, and keeping the software user interface fairly consistent. They traditionally have developed for Windows, and they had to make some choices to get a 'native' Mac application built on top of the book 'engine' but they have done it, and it is shipping and it will only improve over time. The team have worked hard to get Logos 4 for Mac released, and now they have achieved that milestone I am sure they will be continuing to polish it.

My use is not as an original languages expert, my interest is in being able to dig into and understand the message in each of the books of the Bible as if each was being written directly to me in colloquial language (as they were to original audiences). Does (the new version of) Logos 4 help me achieve that goal? Well obviously given that the information is in the books, the question then is how well does Logos 4 allow a user to a) get at them = UI design and features, without b) getting in the way = functionality and performance. For me I think the interface does a pretty good job - you can follow a train of thought and 'dig into' information (for example any Bible passage right click on a word) and get educated and then find gems leading you into new directions. I just wish I had more time to dig for treasures.

Performance wise, yep you won't run it on your '486 Smile, but on most reasonably new Macs it runs fine (and again it will continue to improve as they fine tune it). I have a (not-new) Mac Pro and it runs fine. I also have a much less powered MacBook 13" I take to Bible study (no-one complains about having a fully indexed 600 book library available!) and it runs acceptably on that. Sure, if anyone does an Exegetical Guide on a whole chapter of the Bible then it is going to grind away, but that obviously is not a practical thing to do if one understands what the software has to do to do exegesis on hundreds of words at once.

In summary - would anyone regret the investment in Logos 4 for Mac? I don't think so.

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

Posts 1880
Philana Crouch | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 1:53 PM

I started with Logos on Windows when I was working on my B.A. in Theology, and now have completed an MDiv, I have so many resources in Logos that switching to Accordance now that I am using the Mac would not really be an option. Also the program works really great. 

Some of the new features would have been so helpful when I was in school. One is Clippings, which allow a way to take snippets of things like an index card. Also the way that Favorites now works is really great. I was even able to take on a the reading lists and favorite that specific one. The redesign of all of the guides and documents are much improved.

I know that Accordance is out there, but many of the resources I want to get are not available, and as far as I can tell with Accordance it does not give the page numbers of the print editions. I know when I had to write papers if the majority of my work was strictly electronic editions without page numbers it was a problem. But with Logos I had the best of both worlds, a digital copy, but I could include the page numbers for my professors (hey some them have a love/hate relationship with computers). Also if I had the money to invest in Accordance, I would use the money to get more books in Logos instead.

I think Accordance might have been an option when there was not Mac version of Logos, but now that Logos 4 is on the Mac I have to stay with them.

 

Posts 22
tjluoma | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 3:13 PM

Cameron

I respect that position. It would be helpful to me to be able to talk with someone @ Logos to make sure that my article/review is accurate. Much better than having to post corrections afterwards.

If you'd be willing to be that person, please get in touch via email (luomat at gmail).

Thanks.

 

 

Posts 1246
David Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 3:30 PM

I'd be happy to be your point of contact for any fact-checking you want/need to do. I believe you already have my e-mail address from our earlier Twitter exchange.

David Mitchell
Development Lead
Faithlife

Posts 22
tjluoma | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 3:40 PM

Ah, yes, indeed I do. In fact I've got a draft of my reply that I was working on earlier to address some of the things we were talking about. Will try to send that off tonight.

Posts 16
Charles Hedrick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 8:15 PM

Doing a good comparison is gong to take time. You'll want to come up with a realistic set of use cases and try them on both. You'll also want to compare the resources available. My sense is that Logos has more resources, and a more flexible UI. It also feels heavier. I have both. I normally use Logos on my primary machine and Accordance on my laptop (because I don't know of any way to tell Logos just to download a few resources, and I have enough stuff that I don't want it all on my laptop).

Neither is wonderful in helping you manage a large collection of resources. I have Logos configured to make it easy to use the things I use often, but it took some doing.

 

 

 

Posts 147
John Murphy | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 8:27 PM

I have (and use) both Accordance and Logos (Running it on Mac now, although I've also run it on Windows).  They are both fine platforms and whichever one that is chosen, it will enhance biblical studies immeasurably.  If I had to choose one over the other I would choose Logos mainly because Logos has many more resources available and is generally (but not always) cheaper.  In addition, Logos is coming out with some really unique resources that aren't available anywhere else (even in print).  I'm thinking particularly of the work Steve Runge has done on the High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, and the High Definition commentaries starting to come out.  These are unavailable anywhere else and (I think) invaluable for biblical study.  Accordance wins with it's notes system over Logos.  Logos wins with cataloguing research data with it's "Clippings" function.  The biblical people, places, things reports in Logos 4 are unique and invaluable as well.    Going back to Logos 3, the automated reports (which have been enhanced in L4) are a brilliant approach allowing someone with almost zero understanding of the software to get deeply into research knowing only that they have to type a reference or word into the box on the home page.  For someone starting out that is an incredible advantage of Logos.   Finally, while both companies have excellent software forums, because Logos has such a huge user base one can post a question on the forum any time day or night and get an answer usually in a matter of minutes.  This has been very helpful to me, multiple times.  Again, they are both fantastic products and no matter which one someone chooses they will be stunned at the power unleashed in biblical studies.

Posts 2
Derek L Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 8:33 PM

Logos is indeed cheaper than Accordance. However, the clincher for me was the constant crashing. I owned Logos 4 for two weeks in early September and was never able to use it. Every update left me nothing but an unexpected error after 1 minute of run time. In addition, when I opened the program my 4 gigs of RAM whirred like they were attempting to rocket my computer to Mars.

Accordance supplied me with a stable program that didn't eat all of my computer's RAM. And, after fiddling around with my friends PC version of Logos 4, I found that the Accordance search functions are much more intuitive.

With that said, Logos definitely has a finer sheen as well as better products for those not in the market for an original language study. But, for my money and mental stability, Accordance was the better choice.

Posts 1928
Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 9:59 PM

Cameron Watters:
It's also fair to point out that while a "one or the other" choice may be made for some, more than a few people use both products.

I use both as each has its own strengths.  If I could only own one, now that Logos 4 is native to Mac, Logos would have the slight edge simply because I can get resources I need on the Logos platform that I can't on the Accordance.  This of course, displays one of my priorities.  For others, their priorities might be different.

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 24 2010 11:08 PM

Derek L Davis:

I owned Logos 4 for two weeks in early September and was never able to use it. 

It's a shame you had some difficulties, I think though that some points should be clarified for the sake of correctness as I believe your experience was not the norm. If you were trying Logos 4 for Mac in September then you were using the beta, or maybe even the alpha — it wasn't released. It was made pretty clear to everyone that they were on the 'bleeding edge'. As this was your first posting on the forums it could be deduced that you had not asked the community about your difficulties using the alpha/beta version?

Derek L Davis:

However, the clincher for me was the constant crashing. Every update left me nothing but an unexpected error after 1 minute of run time.

On the stability side well I installed (upgraded) multiple versions of L4M during alpha, and more increasingly as it got to beta. I never encounted constant crashing, I believe (from reading the forum each day) that the majority of alpha/beta users had the same experience. Sure some issues, more usually finding features not [yet] working, but not constant crashing.

Derek L Davis:

In addition, when I opened the program my 4 gigs of RAM whirred like they were attempting to rocket my computer to Mars.

Well that could have simply been L4M doing what it had to do — its initial indexing of books. It was designed to use as much horsepower as possible to get the one time big task of indexing finished. I was happy to see it use all four cores of my machine to finish the job as quickly as possible, I'd go to bed and leave it to it. Sounds like perhaps your installation never got a chance to properly finish. On my machine now with Logos gold running, but not active, it takes less than 1% of CPU resources and 264MB of RAM

Anyway good that you have found a tool which helps with your study, I felt though that some clarification on your comments was warranted.

BTW — I have no vested interest in Logos, just a user.

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 12:03 AM

John Murphy:
Finally, while both companies have excellent software forums, because Logos has such a huge user base one can post a question on the forum any time day or night and get an answer usually in a matter of minutes.

Observation: Accordance forums have 19,654 total posts compared to 174,313 Logos forum posts.

Also, Logos has Wiki http://wiki.logos.com/Logos_Bible_Software_Wiki that contains an impressive amount of user contributed information and usage tips, often with illustrations.

Package comparison, Logos web page => http://www.logos.com/comparison shows which resource(s) are in 9 packages.  Accordance has a product library comparison page with 3 out of 7 bundles (mega bundle page has links to included bundles with links to ...).

Logos Scholar's Gold, Platinum, and Portfolio packages include United Bible Societies Translator's Handbook Series (cross-cultural insights);

http://www.logos.com/products/details/1904

http://www.logos.com/products/details/1782

Logos has 15 hours of "Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software 4" videos => http://www.logos.com/products/details/5876

Keep Smiling Smile

 

Posts 15805
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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 1:11 AM

Patrick S.:

Derek L Davis:

I owned Logos 4 for two weeks in early September and was never able to use it. 

It's a shame you had some difficulties, I think though that some points should be clarified for the sake of correctness as I believe your experience was not the norm. If you were trying Logos 4 for Mac in September then you were using the beta, or maybe even the alpha -

Wiki page has Logos 4 Mac Release Notes and History => http://wiki.logos.com/Mac_Release_Notes_and_History

By way of comparison, Logos for Mac 1.2.2 took much less time to initially scan resources to build library and open for use while searches took longer to complete.  After downloading resources, Logos 4 library indexing can take several hours (depends on size of library and speed of computer).  Also, Logos 4 syncs lots of information - quite useful for multiple Logos 4 installations (PC & MAC) or installing Logos 4 on a replacement computer.

Constant crashing comment brings back memories of Alpha releases 8, 9, 10, and 11 that did constantly crash (dozens of times over several weeks while trying to isolate issue) => Thankful for fix in Alpha release 12.  Over various releases, have experienced Layout and Home Page crashes - glad for option to start up Logos 4 with blank layout.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 26
Neal Gordon | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 2:23 AM

When I purchased the first version of Logos for Mac, I had looked at Accordance too (for some time). In the end what influenced my decision was the sheer number of resources for Logos. I also looked carefully at how often new resources were added over time. Logos was constantly working on adding new resources, with many new titles being added each day. The concept of Pre-Pub offers was also extremely tempting and I know I've benefitted from some of these offers over time.There's also more activity on the forums here as someone else has already mentioned. I personally have liked the way the development for mac has progressed (giving us access to various releases at each stage), and it's meant that with each release, I've been learning more about each feature as it gets added into the program.

I personally have not had that many difficulties with the alpha releases, and I've been using them for sermon preparation for some time. The forums have been a great education as well on how to use the product, and also a good source of entertainment sometimes :-) It's made the development of the product feel more like a community with many of the mac developers frequently answering questions or in other cases dropping us hints over what the next new features are going to be in the new releases.

Personally I think Logos is great, and the ability of me being able to access my resources on my mac laptop, on a windows machine, and my iPhone for no extra charge is a bonus.

Posts 197
Rick Ross | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 8:31 AM

I use both and one thing that I like with Accordance is how they separate the books into categories.  So far with Logos 4 Mac I still have no way of knowing whether or not I am missing any resources I purchased.  I will continue using both programs and eventually decide on one or the other, once I learn the capabilities of each.  They both have strengths and weaknesses.

Posts 2
Derek L Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 9:13 AM

Patrick,

I was using beta, and I am aware of the disclaimer that informed me of its pre-release status. However, in that same disclaimer and elsewhere on the website it said that a majority of Mac users could barely tell the difference functionally between Mac and PC. This leads into your next point about the crashing. I was never able to actually use the program because it would crash before it ever loaded anything. The program would shoot my RAM usage up to 3.7 and then crash. This progresses to the third point that my library most definitely had already been indexed.

Thus, though I understand that I bought it as a pre-release, it was not made clear to me that this product would not work unless I spent hours sending logs and getting updates and hoping that it wouldn't crash. For the sake of my sanity, it was better for me to purchase Accordance. I haven't run into a glitch yet.

 

Derek

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 25 2010 9:15 AM

RIchard K Ross:

So far with Logos 4 Mac I still have no way of knowing whether or not I am missing any resources I purchased.  I

You are not missing any resources you purchased as your licenses are synced with the Logos server and the resources downloaded and updated automatically.

RIchard K Ross:

one thing that I like with Accordance is how they separate the books into categories

As for categories, you will want to make good use of Collections. Collections make's Logos very useful at managing (according to your own customization) extremely large libraries. I have almost 4,000 resources and find that with a little work up front on Collections the library is extremely manageable. You might want to check out Thomas Black's recent blog post: http://blog.logos.com/archives/2010/09/collections_as_virtual_bookshelves.html

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

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