I'm blown away at the power of L4: a skeptic repents

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This post has 108 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 2738
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 2:32 PM

If in fact Logos is going to be in "constant beta" then I won't last long around here.

Posts 2778
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 2:47 PM

Kevin A. Purcell:
If in fact Logos is going to be in "constant beta" then I won't last long around here.
Huh.. that is the same reason I switched to Mac from Windows Vista.

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 65
Arthur Balis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 2:52 PM

@ Joe

I was bright enough to buy a new machine the day before Vista released, for the explicit purpose of not owning a machine with Vista.  I laughed at the salesman who promised me the upgrade to Vista would come free in the mail.   

If I'd had any inkling that Logos 4 was this new, I would have either bought Logos 3 intentionally or waited 6 to 12 months for the bugs to be worked out by someone else.

Posts 28
Karen Campbell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 3:03 PM

Arthur Balis:
I laughed at the salesman who promised me the upgrade to Vista would come free in the mail.   

Big Smile

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 3:35 PM

Arthur Balis:
If I'd had any inkling that Logos 4 was this new, I would have either bought Logos 3 intentionally or waited 6 to 12 months for the bugs to be worked out by someone else.

You do know you can still run most of what you've purchased in Logos 3, right? They even have a script that will download everything into the right format for you so you don't have to dig through resources on the ftp site.

http://www.logos.com/support/downloads/ldls

Posts 27953
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 7:01 PM

Rosie Perera:
But then read the article that article pointed to about interating rapidly based on real world feedback. And I can see how it's working here with Logos 4, so I'm more and more OK with them having released it in such an unfinished state. I am being dragged kicking and screaming into this era of the new software development methodology.

Hate to break it to you but reinterative prototyping as a methodology came in with forms on CRTs. Logos appears to have done the data analysis/modeling necessary to make the method work. Personally, I think that the notes and print functions should have been more fleshed out before release. I find it very frustrating to have to use temporary kluges or two versions of the software to do such basic functions.

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

Posts 2778
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 7:16 PM

MJ. Smith:
Personally, I think that the notes and print functions should have been more fleshed out before release. I find it very frustrating to have to use temporary kluges or two versions of the software to do such basic functions.
In an ideal situation, I agree. But I suspect that Logos needed to make the release date to increase capital so they could continue development.  In that case, I would rather go through the kludge then have Logos never release for want of cash.

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 4 2009 7:35 PM

Joe Miller:
But I suspect that Logos needed to make the release date to increase capital so they could continue development.  In that case, I would rather go through the kludge then have Logos never release for want of cash.

If your assumption is correct, I would agree. And it is not as if I have a model of feature interdependencies.

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

Posts 1931
Donovan R. Palmer | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 12:24 AM

In another thread I mentioned recently the concept of "public beta" which I have seen several companies use of late,. Devonthink and 1Password both use public betas (though 1Password has just come out of public beta). In both these cases, the older, mature product was still sold and in use, but the public beta was available for download/purchase. If you visit the forums of these products, you will note very quickly that many, if not most have already begun to move to the public beta version. Yet the public beta version is not feature complete. You will even find buttons that don't do anything yet!

In general, I think this is a good win/win model and I like the term "public beta". It allows users to participate in the the final development stage of a product with the appropriate expectations of a beta product, but also allows those who are more conservative to stick with the tried and true older version should they wish to do so. By allowing users to participate, it garners the effects of what the article speaks about that Bob tweeted.

I think that if a software company wants to do this, one of the important things is to keep the support and resources up for the older Gold release and not abandon it until the new product truly replaces the old one. I have had some concerns that the older Mac 1.2.2 training videos, albeit there weren't many, have disappeared. Or at least I can't find them. For fairly new Logos Mac users, this is not a good thing if they cannot use L4 Alpha x or the Windows version in a virtual machine.

All in all, I think it is a good thing and in general, I would guess we get better software developed faster.

 

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 2:25 AM

Kevin A. Purcell:
If in fact Logos is going to be in "constant beta" then I won't last long around here.

Kevin,

remember L3? It was a beta download for....hmmmm all it's life? Up to V4 I had the "Beta 3" installed Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 10539
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 7:08 AM

I was one of the early angry-people the day the blog announced L4. And I still would argue that

the issue wasn't the software. It was the attitude of Logos. On the one hand, they go to tremendous

 lengths to press the edge of technology, respond to customers, and so forth. And on the other,

they delight in keeping customers in the dark as long as feasible, until the customers are at

just the right boiling point. It seems like it would be a whole lot easier just to keep customers

informed.  If Logos had said L4 is pretty close to ready and for Christmas how about helping

out and hey, it's a good deal too. Well, now, I'd be thrilled.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 1977
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 7:40 AM

Kevin A. Purcell:

If in fact Logos is going to be in "constant beta" then I won't last long around here.

Yeah, I was taken aback by this statement as well.  I am in agreement with you, Kevin, although it depends on what Bob meant by his statement. If he meant that L4, being a released product but in a constant beta stage, I will not be lasting long. If it is a model as always been (such as what was done in L3...and I suspect from his statement that this is not what he means), then that is a different story.

I might be focused wrong but my understanding of the complaining has less to do with the new look and style and more to do with the excitement of downloading L4 with no understanding that

1.  The download would be the biggest any program has ever asked to download...and without giving the unsuspecting downloader the information he/she needs to be prepared

2.  L4 was still in beta form (and still is today)

I would argue that if on day 1 (not day 21) this information was released, most people who have complained, would not have complained.  The first 21 days of L4, I was saving the data and reformating my machine on my spare time as a result of crashes due to installing L4.

When I finally got everything working again, and L4 installed, it ran just as I expected from the information I had...and I love L4 just as I knew I would, not having any problem with change in style or look. 

As I understand now, these two issues mentioned above have been addressed.  But they were real issues the first month of L4.

Posts 707
Russ Quinn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 7:59 AM

"Constant Beta" is potentially negative until perceived feature parity is achieved between L4 and L3 (and with L4 for Mac).

"Constant Beta" is potentially positive after feature parity is achieved because that is an indication of aggressive development of new features.

Posts 2738
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 8:04 AM

I love to test beta software. Right now I am enrolled in beta tests for about four different products and have other beta software installed that is so good I use it for most of the work I do in those programs.

What I want on a program that has to work for me because I have to get work done is that they might choose to rush out some new feature with this beta all the time mentality that will break it at just the wrong time. With the new update feature in L4 it just updates and being a guy who loves living on the edge, I always greet the little blue box in the tray with excitement

Sadly, now the excitement is "will it finally improve the speed of this program" instead of "wow what new feature is in here today."

Posts 2738
Kevin A. Purcell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 8:05 AM

Robert Pavich:

Kevin A. Purcell:
If in fact Logos is going to be in "constant beta" then I won't last long around here.

Kevin,

remember L3? It was a beta download for....hmmmm all it's life? Up to V4 I had the "Beta 3" installed Big Smile

Yep. I do. But in that case the beta was always smooth and fast. Not yet the case for L4.

Posts 42
Edward hyndman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 2:41 PM

Here are some other thoughts regarding L4 and its release and the effect of not having "parity" of features with L3

At present, though I have L3 and L4 on my computer, (and I do not have excessive slowness issues with L4), because my notes, verse lists, prayer lists, etc are only accessible in L3, and because copy/paste and print are more restricted on L4, and L4 notes do seem to have some bug issues, I cannot actually use L4 for my work. I can run it so as to update it and have a poke around, but it is not going to be my bible study software for some time... maybe 6, 8, 12 months?

The effect of this is that while L4 requires some new adaption and learning, I am not using it enough in work to find out how to use it or to see any great feature for which I think it might be worth holding out, instead when I am running it I am comparing it with how easily I use L3 and all the great features of L3 which L4 does not (yet) have.

So one effect of "public beta" may be to make the newer program look weaker.

There is another, longer term background concern. Logos have certainly made a new departure in L4. It may well be a good business move. But here we have to decide a longer term investment for ourselves. What if, as features from L3 get added back into L4 we find that they do not measure up to L3? What if notes never can replace L3 notes, L4 verse lists cannot do what L3 verse lists could do? They may well do, but we don't know, yet. So we wait. But at some point we will have to decide if L4 is really a departure to a different "audience" than our ministry. Despite the years of information we have added to our logos 3 versions, if we really think L4 will not do the work we need, we will have to look for an alternative as at some point a discontinued product will be less supported. That is the source of some of the consternation at the moment from our point of view.

This may sound (having re-read it) like a moan or something, but it is not. I really believe that properly understanding the causes of customers' responses is vital to resolving them, and its taken me time to work out some of the factors here myself. I hope L4 will improve to the point where I can be using it day to day, but right now, even with the interface and features, it is simply easier and in some specific places neccessary to use L3.

 

Posts 1692
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 7:33 PM

DeniseBarnhart:

And on the other, they delight in keeping customers in the dark as long as feasible, until the customers are at just the right boiling point.

Sorry -- that's not our intention. Until Logos 4, we've run almost every beta publicly, and we're right up front about most things we're doing. (Pre-pub is a pretty good advance notice system of what books we're doing, for example!)

Past experience has shown us, though, that there's a cost to dribbling a product out in public beta. For one things, sales of the existing product dry up when people anticipate a new one, even if you promise free updates for a period. (But it's hard to predict when the beta will end, which makes it hard to even make that promise.)

In the past we've ended a very public beta process with barely enough cash to make payroll. (Years ago -- that wasn't an issue this time.)

We did toy with naming Logos 4 something completely new -- because to us it is in many ways a v1.0 product. It's like the original Mac following the Apple IIe. It's not just the next release in a series, though, like the Mac, it is the "next flagship product." While we are improving and adding to Logos 4 constantly, I don't see this period as an extended beta, I see it as a finished v1.0 product with constant updates and improvements. I can see how, from the perspective of a Logos 3 user looking for feature parity, it's not fully baked. But someone with no Logos 3 experience would see it differently.

Our conversations in the forum are largely with Logos 3 users who are moving to Logos 4. Your complaints and concerns are legitimate, and we are listening and answering them as fast as we can. And together you vastly outnumber the number of "first time users" who purchase Logos 4. 

However, in the practical world where we pay the bills, the revenue generated from existing Logos 3 users is pretty well balanced with what we generate from completely new users. So a lot of our thought about Logos 4 -- and about when it was "better" than Logos 3 -- had to do with meeting the needs of tomorrow's user. Because shipping Logos 4 takes NOTHING away from Logos 3 users -- you still have Logos 3, and can wait for Logos 4. But for new users, the question is, was Logos 4 yet a more compelling purchase / experience than Logos 3? And our belief was that it was, with easier installation, less confusing activation, simpler, streamlined interface, etc. The fact that sentence diagramming and prayer lists weren't there yet didn't outweigh the benefits of not frustrating new customers with our 2001-era interface and installation process.

I hope you don't take offense -- I don't mean to diminish or devalue our existing users. You are very important to us, and we're taking your concerns seriously and addressing them. I'm just trying to provide some explanation of the subjective and complicated decision making process. I'm not saying we made the right call, or picked the exact right moment for each action...just talking about what influenced us.

-- Bob

 

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 8:04 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I'm not saying we made the right call, or picked the exact right moment for each action...just talking about what influenced us.

Bob, as a long-time user of Logos, I believe you are moving in the right direction by going after new users. My stuff is only as valuable as the software that runs it. If Logos dies, so does my ability to keep what I have. So go after the new customers. Please.

No there's not going to be a 'but' here.

I think Logos 4 is a better upgrade to Logos 3 than Libronix was to Logos 2. After the initial shock, Logos4 is much more intuitive and easy to move around in, find things and get things done.

I would like to see a bit more Logos staff presence here in the forums. I think it would alleviate a lot of anxiety (which sometimes is expressed as frustration), and build confidence in the company. But I'd much rather have you guys working on the program than talking about working on the program.

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

Posts 3578
steve clark | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 8:14 PM

Richard,

i thought you worked for Logos, just kidding.

You have put in some serious hours answering everyone's questions (including some of mine). Thank you Richard !

Thanks BobP, for your honesty!

Thanks Logos staff for the new product and in advance for the upcoming polished product!

 

QLinks, Bibl2, LLR, Macros
Dell Insp 17-5748, i5, 1.7 GHz, 8G RAM, win 8.1

Posts 847
Praiser | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Dec 5 2009 8:32 PM

To all the Logos 4 users out there who are complaining about the new Logos 4 not having all the features of L3. I do appreciate the new features that Logos 4 has, I also realize that it is missing some of the features of L3.
I like the fact that L3 is separate from Logos 4 and can still be used for those features that we feel we can't be without.
Logos 4 has many of the features coming that will rival if not surpass those of L3.

To those who still seem to be sour on the new format, have you taken time to consider that the RESOURCES in the upgrades that are offered also work in L3? They are some terrific resources at some terriffic discounts. In your case, think of it this way, forget the fact that the new Logos 4 platform is included and price out the resources that you are interested in that are in the upgrades being offered. With the introductory specials in many cases, the upgrade price is less than one of the commentary sets that are included. Along with that comes the Logos 4 platform that will only get better with time.

At first I upgraded to Logos 4 Platinum from Scholars Gold. The commentaries that I did not have would cost me way more than my upgrade price. As a matter of fact, one of the commentary sets (that was on my wish list) was more than my upgrade price, not including all the others that were included. That alone cinched the upgrade deal. After printing out the comparison between Platinum and Portfolio and calculating what it contained that I would really be interested in that I did not have. I realized that the items on my wish list that were included in the upgrade would cost me $2,000 more than my Portfolio upgrade price! So one month after upgrading to Logos 4 Platinum I have upgraded to Logos 4 Portfolio. I couldn't let the great deal get away. Also what I found was that there were some awesome books included that I didn't know that I really wanted, until I got them.

Thank you Bob and the Logos Team for working diligently to give us great research products! And thank you too, for the great new upgrade offers.

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