Feasting on the Word formatting

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Posts 149
Bob Schaefer | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, May 15 2013 6:26 PM

I'm very excited to, at long last, have Feasting on the Word in my Logos library!

I wonder, though, whether this isn't a case where the digital edition needs to be formatted differently from the print one?

For those who are not familiar with it, Feasting uses a slightly unusual format for its commentary. From the introduction:

"With four different essays on each of the four biblical texts assigned by the Revised Common Lectionary, this series offers preachers sixteen different ways into the proclamation of God’s Word on any given occasion. For each reading, preachers will find brief essays on the exegetical, theological, homiletical, and pastoral challenges of the text. The page layout is unusual. By setting the biblical passage at the top of the page and placing the essays beneath it, we mean to suggest the interdependence of the four approaches without granting priority to any one of them."

David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor, "Series Introduction", Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: Year A, Volume 1, ed. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). viii.

So the four-column approach is deliberate, and part of the philosophy of the set. This works pretty well in print, where the four essays span a two-page spread:

Here's that same reading as it appears onscreen in Logos:

This is much more difficult to read, particularly if you're using a screen of modest resolution, or if you aren't interested in constantly floating Feasting in its own window. It was even harder on the eyes before I unchecked the box in Logos' settings to justify the resource text. When justified, each column practically runs into the next.

This becomes even more of a problem when using a tablet. Here's how it looks on my Nexus 7:

As for portrait mode, don't even try it! The columns are too narrow to be usable, but at the same time the spread of four columns is too wide for the app to display the right-most edge.

I appreciate the editor's desire not to prioritize one perspective on the text over the other three. And I am usually a fan of keeping the digital text as close in formatting to the print edition as possible - so kudos to Logos for taking the time to do all this fancy layout.

But, at the end of the day, I want to be able to read my books, and I just don't think this layout works onscreen, except for folks with LOTS of pixels at their disposal.

Could this series be reformatted for its digital edition, perhaps using a single column, but with hyperlinks just beneath the header to offer all four perspectives at the outset?

What do others think?

Posts 149
Bob Schaefer | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 15 2013 6:32 PM

Another comparison - the number of "page turns" required to read the articles for this particular entry:

  • Print: 2
  • Laptop: 11
  • Tablet: 20
Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 7:38 AM

I haven't seen this resource, but my thought after reading your post was this:

How about something like the inline interlinear display dropdown, except instead of choosing what lines you want to see, you choose what columns you want to see. You could then select as many as fits nicely on your screen, and switch over when you're done with the first.

Another option would be an automatic adaptation to vertical/horizontal mode, like in Text Comparison. The downside to that would be that links would go to the first 'essay', and people may not even realize there are four essays on each text.

And now that I write, I thought of a third option: as now, except with wider columns. I e some columns simply disappear off the screen and you get a horizontal scrollbar. That's probably what I would prefer, now that I think of it, and it would be the closest to the print edition as well. Plus I believe it's already been done in places, where a book has a very wide image.

Either way, it looks like the space between columns need to be wider. 

In fact, I've run across that problem before, so a setting for that would be quite a good idea.

The 'page turns' probably have more to do with what font size you're using.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

Posts 605
John Fugh, Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 7:44 AM

I agree that this layout is a problem.  I've posted about it here.  http://community.logos.com/forums/t/70403.aspx

Posts 5262
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 16 2013 9:20 AM

Oh my that is horrible… Hopefully Logos can get it reformatted soon. I am glad I own the version released or should say rereleased by WJKP, the original CD was worse than what Logos real eased being nothing but PDF of the printed Volumes more or less with it's custom reader being only thing that could open it. Thankfully free of charge they upgraded their CD owners free of charge with the current CD powered by a different software, which gives a layout.. of four complete articles one after another and not in some bizarre (and pointless) parallel column format.


PS: Is Logos restricted to the printed volumes or has the remaining lections been added? (I know the printed copy  focused only on on OT reading stream but the remaining half of readings were done and are included in the version I use ).


Posts 1100
Kyle G. Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 17 2013 7:49 AM

You are correct. This is very difficult to read.

We apologize for this and are in the process of re-formatting the book.

Thank you for your patience.

Posts 605
John Fugh, Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 17 2013 7:52 AM
That's good news. Not trying to pin you down, but is this a 6 month process? ...a 12 month process?
Posts 1100
Kyle G. Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 17 2013 3:19 PM

At this point I can't give you an exact date of when it will be done.

I can say we're working on it right now. I can also say it's going to be much less than a six month process.

Posts 560
Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 17 2013 7:26 PM

I am very disappointed in the current format but am happy to know that logos is going to fix it. I would like to thank Logos for taking care of their customers. Thank You!!

Posts 11
James R Harlan | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 22 2013 6:10 AM

I'm so glad this is getting reformatted. I would prefer it arranged with each essay below the previous one, rather than in columns. While the columnar format works in a printed book, it doesn't work (at least for me) on screen--too much scrolling to do when I will usually read all four essays anyway.

Posts 1100
Kyle G. Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 11 2013 8:10 AM

The work on reformatting Feasting on the Word has been completed. It will be arranged so that each perspective will be followed by the next (Theological Perspective, Pastoral Perspective, Homiletical Perspective) rather than its current four-column layout. This will make reading, especially on mobile devices, much easier.

Please look for the updated resources to be released in the next week.

Unfortunately, by reformatting the book we were forced to make significant article changes. This will likely cause disruptions for any highlighting and notes that have been used. 

Posts 1886
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 11 2013 9:13 AM

Thanks Kyle, for the update. 

This is good news.

Posts 149
Bob Schaefer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 11 2013 5:29 PM

Got the updated files tonight. Thanks, Logos, for the snappy response on this!

Posts 1886
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 11 2013 6:07 PM

Next week, came tonight.

Time flies

Posts 21
Jay Davis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 12 2013 5:53 PM

Thank You - Thank You - Thank You For Fixing The Columns!!!!!Geeked

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