Place all your Verbum-specific suggestions here! (or, How to Rebrand Logos for Catholics!)

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Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Oct 26 2013 12:17 PM

Logos really is wonderful software, just like America is a wonderful country. However, just as you can tell that America was for many years staunchly non-Catholic in its convictions, and that Catholics were for long stretches strangers and sojourners in this country, just so does Verbum have a lot of stuff going for it that Catholics have to remember to bracket, and most of this stuff is from the Logos days.

I can appreciate that Logos is a friend's party, rather than home. I also understand that this is pretty much the reason for Verbum is branching out like it is into re-branding. 

Consider these suggestions as suggestions on how and where to re-brand better. I do love the product, mind, otherwise I wouldn't bother --- you have a lot of great commentaries and resources, and even when they're free they're brilliantly indexed in Verbum. Wonderful! 

However, it still stands improvement, as do all things of the world. 

Generally, these suggestions come in three sorts: 

  • Catholic foundations. Big sources which tells you that you're at home. (Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4.) 
  • "Scrutiny hat" toggles. Functions and features which reminds you when you're leaving home. (Nos. 5, 6.) These are especially important during and probably easier to implement than the replacing the "foundation" reference works. 
  • Flavoring. Little sources and features that make you feel at home. (Nos. 7, 8.)

More specifically:

  1. Timeline. Some stuff on the timeline regarding Church history seems questionable. Just as an example, I learned yesterday that the office of bishop was invented in the second century. (This is odd not just in a Catholic sense, I might add, and in a Catholic sense it is downright confusing, if not wrong, if not plain wrong.) 
  2. Basic resources for basic features not included in Verbum. When I tried to look up the references for a different claim on the timeline, I find that it references a basic resource found as low as Logos Bronze (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible.) Hrm. Well. I don't have Logos Bronze. I have Verbum Master. Presumably, the Timeline will be getting an overhaul when the Catholic Encylopedia (1910) comes out.
  3. Overhaul the timeline, &c. when the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) comes out. Also, include it in some low- or mid-level base packages. 
  4. Reading lists. Lots of these reading lists, being from and for a non-Catholic standpoint, are not very helpful. Not only do they reference works which, as per No. 2, are not in even the Master-level library, but even if these works were included they would contain claims not at all safe to examine without putting on our scrutiny hats. Which brings me to this: 
  5. Color-code different sources. I have a fascination with Reformed theology for reasons which are not appropriate on these forums, so I bought a package of Calvinist resources. Is there a way I could, at a glance or at a toggle, tell which resources are not Catholic? I'd hate to start reading Contending for the Faith without the friendly reminder that I'm "at a friend's party" with that one. Color-coding non-Catholic sources would be a solution. Also, it would help winnow or prioritize non-Catholic reading lists.
  6. Toggle an "auto-hide" on non-Catholic sources, toggling it on for casual reading and study and off for academic work. 
  7. Images. I can appreciate that this is primarily study software, and that there are going to be low-resolution scans of public domain woodcuts in grainy black and grey. However, please look into making my Home Page not full of text, and my image searches not tons of clip art. The Catholic faith enjoys the greatest art there ever was and ever will be. Magnificat, for its part, does this sort of thing very well, as does Daniel Mitsui, and Corpus Christi Watershed. For that matter, the Art Renewal Center may be a good resource for a lot of classic religious and devotional art. Maybe you can even use Wikipedia, if you keep the images themselves free. Seriously --- send a photographer to Europe for six weeks and you'll get it. License photos and you'll do even better. 
  8. Hymnal. The good folks at Corpus Christi Watershed have now put together two Hymnal-Missals using only public domain hymnody. Nothing against "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" but "Faith of our Fathers" seems like it deserves even more attention under a Verbum branding. 

I'll most more as I notice more. These are, as always, open for discussion. 

Any thoughts? 

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 12:32 PM

#5 is a great suggestion, also occasional commentary volumes in sets that are  predominantly Protestant!!:

Color-code different sources. I have a fascination with Reformed theology for reasons which are not appropriate on these forums, so I bought a package of Calvinist resources. Is there a way I could, at a glance or at a toggle, tell which resources are not Catholic? I'd hate to start reading Contending for the Faith without the friendly reminder that I'm "at a friend's party" with that one. Color-coding non-Catholic sources would be a solution. Also, it would help winnow or prioritize non-Catholic reading lists.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 1:17 PM

134927:
Overhaul the timeline, &c. when the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) comes out.

Leave my timeline out of the "overhaul" Don't add it until Logos 6 so I can skip the upgrade.

134927:
Color-code different sources.

How about just colour code all the Catholic resources? There are less of them to deal with. A litany of rainbow colours will just become confusing and won't help those with poor eyesight much. Remember the pie graph of denominational resources? It was hard to distinguish between the colours of some groups. The Rainbow Bible had to issue a colour coded bookmark to help readers differentiate the different colours.

Besides the confusion, this sounds like the idea of another poster to put "heresy labels" on Catholic works. Why can't we stick with denominational tagging and let each reader take some personal responsibility for what they read?

BTW: I have Verbum Capstone along with Logos Portfolio. I am not at all against Catholic resources. I ordered the Catholic Encyclopaedia in a third party software while I await its release from Pre-Pub in Logos. No hurt feelings intended.

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 1:30 PM

RC users would get value for their money: Protestants already get more value being able to discern conservative/traditionalist works with the help of denominational tagging:

Super.Tramp:
Why can't we stick with denominational tagging and let each reader take some personal responsibility for what they read?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 1:39 PM

While I understand the impetus for many of these suggestions, some of them I personally would not want to see implemented.

134927:
Timeline.

I rarely use the timeline - I much preferred Libronix where I could make my own timelines, specific to my needs. But as it stands now I know exactly what it means - this is the date provided by some Logos resource that has been tagged for dates. I'd not be keen on Logos trying to edit the dates or make them "meaningful" because I would no longer know what they are.

134927:
Overhaul the timeline

The timeline is constantly being updated as more resources are being coded for time. It will be updated for Catholic Encyclopedia etc.

134927:
Reading lists.

These are my baby ... others on the forums can confirm I've tried for years to get people to use this feature. Naturally the rule of thumb is "if the author is MJ Smith" the reading list is perfect. And, of course, I'm Catholic.Smile. However, the purpose of these is for users to offer lists of resources - for general use, for specific groups, for themselves. I don't believe they should be limited to Logos resources nor do I think they should be denominationally "pure".

134927:
Color-code different sources.

134927:
Toggle an "auto-hide" on non-Catholic sources,

I would hate either of these features. Too many resources are arguably equally appropriate to multiple groups - especially when dealing with pre-Reformation material. There are also books I wish to include in my "Catholic" collections where the author is silly enough to think that they are Lutheran, Anglican, Orthodox, Coptic, or UCC.Wink There are also Catholic authors whose views are greatly annoying to me (or at least non-helpful) that I don't wish to include in my Catholic collections. So I much prefer making denominational collections that meet my needs rather than trusting a company that confuses Raymond E. Brown with Raymond Brown.Sad

My Guides all have denomination specific collections which I open and close at will - providing the same information that you are suggesting be conveyed by color and toggle.

134927:
Images.

134927:
Hymnal.

Yes

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

Posts 41
Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:10 PM

Good points, generally, but these are going to be toggles. 

A litany of rainbow colours will just become confusing and won't help those with poor eyesight much. Remember the pie graph of denominational resources? It was hard to distinguish between the colours of some groups.

Heh. Well, I'll just say that two -- or maybe three, counting the East --- colors should be sufficient. Rivers separating the various denominations are not so deep or wide as those separating them from Catholicism. In expression, non-Catholics are as different from Catholics as Catholics are from the Orthodox. That's setting aside the ideas for a moment --- just the words are confusing. 

What would also be nice would be a way to self-color, or self-code all of these things. That way, the wound is always self-inflicted. That, or a mess of toggles. 

Besides the confusion, this sounds like the idea of another poster to put "heresy labels" on Catholic works.

Well, it really is. I was just trying to be polite about it. Keep in mind, too, that my point in doing this is so that I can specifically purchase non-Catholic works for my own reading and use. I'd just like to buy a lot of non-Catholic resources and simultaneously know that I'm reading one when I am. 

Why can't we stick with denominational tagging and let each reader take some personal responsibility for what they read?

"Search all" functionality, for one. This is the sort of thing which can, and should, be handled electronically. 

--------------

I don't believe they should be limited to Logos resources nor do I think they should be denominationally "pure".

I didn't realize that they weren't limited to Logos resources! Huh. 

So far as being denominationally "pure," --- well, it really comes down to this: If the goal of Verbum rebranding is about making Catholics feel at home, and not like guests tolerated as long as they have money, then it has to involve a sense of security and trust, especially if there are going to be any non-Catholic works. 

Then again, maybe casual use simply won't bother buying alien resources for use, or buy at the levels where there aren't any. 

Hrm. 

I'll stick by the "self color" or "self code" resources solution. I know I personally would like a reminder other than "Oh, that's right --- the word 'Calvin' is in the title." 

Posts 41
Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:11 PM

Ugh. These are supposed to indented in places. Any chance I could get some help with this? 

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:11 PM

Let me first say I understand you are suggesting these changes for the Verbum branded interface, but I think some of your suggestions have potential implications or applications in both branded interfaces and would require Logos maintaining one data superset rather than separate data sets for both branded software interfaces. Hence some of my comments below are made with this mind set and not meant to imply I am against them, but simply that I think they are issues broader than the Verbum brand.

134927:
1. Timeline. Some stuff on the timeline regarding Church history seems questionable. Just as an example, I learned yesterday that the office of bishop was invented in the second century. (This is odd not just in a Catholic sense, I might add, and in a Catholic sense it is downright confusing, if not wrong, if not plain wrong.) 

I'm not an expert in church history but can understand the interpretation of events could be influence by your faith / denominational belief system.  I think having more resources with a catholic, and eastern orthodox for that matter, viewpoint could help balance that out.

134927:
2. Basic resources for basic features not included in Verbum. When I tried to look up the references for a different claim on the timeline, I find that it references a basic resource found as low as Logos Bronze (Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible.) Hrm. Well. I don't have Logos Bronze. I have Verbum Master. Presumably, the Timeline will be getting an overhaul when the Catholic Encylopedia (1910) comes out.

This can be an issue for many users regardless of their doctrinal beliefs - links to resources they don't own. It then becomes a question of do I choose to purchase that resource or not. I do get though for users with a catholic faith basis it could be a bigger problem in terms of which resources are included in base packages and which are not.

134927:
3. Overhaul the timeline, &c. when the Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) comes out. Also, include it in some low- or mid-level base packages. 

I have not problem with links from this resource being added to the existing timeline when it comes out.  I am not sure it would be practical for Logos to be running separate timelines for Logos and Verbum brands - and if so do they then start setting up separate timelines and branding based on denomination.  Hence I think 'overhaul' is problem too strong a term to use in this instance.  Addition of more catholic and for that matter eastern orthodox related links and events to the timeline I am fine with - these are all part of church and world history.  Like any resource it is up to me to determine how I choose to own the resource and relate to the content.

134927:
4. Reading lists. Lots of these reading lists, being from and for a non-Catholic standpoint, are not very helpful. Not only do they reference works which, as per No. 2, are not in even the Master-level library, but even if these works were included they would contain claims not at all safe to examine without putting on our scrutiny hats.

Not all, but I would say a significant number of reading lists are user created.  You can contribute to them by creating lists that have a catholic focus.  There is nothing preventing you from doing so, other than your own limits on time etc.  There was not a lot of catholic faith based material available when these lists first came out so it should not be unexpected to not find a lot of the sort of links you would like.  It will take user contributions to change the status quo.

134927:
5. Color-code different sources. I have a fascination with Reformed theology for reasons which are not appropriate on these forums, so I bought a package of Calvinist resources. Is there a way I could, at a glance or at a toggle, tell which resources are not Catholic? I'd hate to start reading Contending for the Faith without the friendly reminder that I'm "at a friend's party" with that one. Color-coding non-Catholic sources would be a solution. Also, it would help winnow or prioritize non-Catholic reading lists.

This would be nice, as another posted suggested maybe the reverse would be easier and have catholic resources color-coded.  This of course raises the question of what to do with Eastern Orthodox resources.  For me currently I tag resources myself, often using community tags as a guide if I am not sure if a resource is catholic, eastern orthodox or what protestant denomination influences the resource. But if a system of color-coding could be implemented I think it would be beneficial for all and less work to maintain than tagging, for users at least.

134927:
6. Toggle an "auto-hide" on non-Catholic sources, toggling it on for casual reading and study and off for academic work. 

I would think the reverse could also be asked for in Logos branded interface, but then where is the line drawn,  can I get this for pentecostal or baptist or wesleyan resources.  And then what about Calvin v Arminian resources ?  

 

134927:
7. Images. I can appreciate that this is primarily study software, and that there are going to be low-resolution scans of public domain woodcuts in grainy black and grey. However, please look into making my Home Page not full of text, and my image searches not tons of clip art. The Catholic faith enjoys the greatest art there ever was and ever will be. Magnificat, for its part, does this sort of thing very well, as does Daniel Mitsui, and Corpus Christi Watershed. For that matter, the Art Renewal Center may be a good resource for a lot of classic religious and devotional art. Maybe you can even use Wikipedia, if you keep the images themselves free. Seriously --- send a photographer to Europe for six weeks and you'll get it. License photos and you'll do even better. 

No matter our faith basis I'm sure we would all like better quality and a broad base of images available in Logos/Verbum.  We are also all going to have different subsets of images that interest each of us more than others, but you've raise some good suggestions for improving Images which I think could be applicable to both the Verbum and Logos branded products - after all both faiths share a common history for a significant period of time.

134927:
8. Hymnal. The good folks at Corpus Christi Watershed have now put together two Hymnal-Missals using only public domain hymnody. Nothing against "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" but "Faith of our Fathers" seems like it deserves even more attention under a Verbum branding. 

If you mean the Logos Hymnal it's been around forever and a day in Logos land, the presentation of it may have change in more recent times, I'm not sure if the content has been expanded off hand, but  Logos Catholic Hymnal as a separate resource I think is a fair call to be included as part of Verbum base packages and available  as a separate resource for those that want to add it to their Logos branded product.

Posts 41
Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:11 PM

Good points, generally, but these are going to be toggles. 

A litany of rainbow colours will just become confusing and won't help those with poor eyesight much. Remember the pie graph of denominational resources? It was hard to distinguish between the colours of some groups.

Heh. Well, I'll just say that two -- or maybe three, counting the East --- colors should be sufficient. Rivers separating the various denominations are not so deep or wide as those separating them from Catholicism. In expression, non-Catholics are as different from Catholics as Catholics are from the Orthodox. That's setting aside the ideas for a moment --- just the words are confusing. 

What would also be nice would be a way to self-color, or self-code all of these things. That way, the wound is always self-inflicted. That, or a mess of toggles. 

Besides the confusion, this sounds like the idea of another poster to put "heresy labels" on Catholic works.

Well, it really is. I was just trying to be polite about it. Keep in mind, too, that my point in doing this is so that I can specifically purchase non-Catholic works for my own reading and use. I'd just like to buy a lot of non-Catholic resources and simultaneously know that I'm reading one when I am. 

Why can't we stick with denominational tagging and let each reader take some personal responsibility for what they read?

"Search all" functionality, for one. This is the sort of thing which can, and should, be handled electronically. 

--------------

I don't believe they should be limited to Logos resources nor do I think they should be denominationally "pure".

I didn't realize that they weren't limited to Logos resources! Huh. 

So far as being denominationally "pure," --- well, it really comes down to this: If the goal of Verbum rebranding is about making Catholics feel at home, and not like guests tolerated as long as they have money, then it has to involve a sense of security and trust, especially if there are going to be any non-Catholic works. 

Then again, maybe casual use simply won't bother buying alien resources for use, or buy at the levels where there aren't any. 

Hrm. 

I'll stick by the "self color" or "self code" resources solution. I know I personally would like a reminder other than "Oh, that's right --- the word 'Calvin' is in the title." 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:26 PM

Your responses would be easier to follow if you did the following for quotations:

1. Be sure to use "reply" in the upper right not "quick reply" in the lower right.

2. Highlight the section you wish to quote.

3. Make sure your cursor in the message box is where you want the quote

4. Click on quote.

Hope this helps

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

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 2:33 PM

134927:
If the goal of Verbum rebranding is about making Catholics feel at home,

For myself, the major "not at home" issues are:

  • ties to the secular calendar rather than liturgical calendar so there is a constant updating of resources rather than of calendar.
  • inability to attach a note to multiple items e.g. making a note apply to 2 lectionary readings or the lectionary and the missal.
  • prayer list function not supporting Biblical references etc. ... or ideally even a liturgical prayer book option

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

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 3:28 PM

Color-code different sources. ...

What would also be nice would be a way to self-color, or self-code all of these things. ...

+1 Yes for enabling Logos users to choose a color for each resource.  Colorful Tabs in Logos open resources plus Title Background color in search results would be awesome.  Mock up example using yellow highlighter for St. Augustine's Confessions (tab) and Select Letters of St Jerome (search result):

Keep Smiling Smile

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 4:19 PM

Logos already supports multi-colored panels  by type. I presume colors are the issue.

..

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

Posts 41
Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 5:25 PM

Disciple of Christ:
Let me first say I understand you are suggesting these changes for the Verbum branded interface, but I think some of your suggestions have potential implications or applications in both branded interfaces and would require Logos maintaining one data superset rather than separate data sets for both branded software interfaces. Hence some of my comments below are made with this mind set and not meant to imply I am against them, but simply that I think they are issues broader than the Verbum brand.

Disciple of Christ:
I'm not an expert in church history but can understand the interpretation of events could be influence by your faith / denominational belief system.  I think having more resources with a catholic, and eastern orthodox for that matter, viewpoint could help balance that out.

Strongs' 1985 ---

Disciple of Christ:
I would think the reverse could also be asked for in Logos branded interface, but then where is the line drawn,  can I get this for pentecostal or baptist or wesleyan resources.  And then what about Calvin v Arminian resources ?  

Catholic / Non-Catholic / Orthodox are the three main modes of expression when it comes to Christian thought. Non-Catholic is more of a thing than each individual group of ideas is when it comes to practice. Except for certain groups of classically trained diehards --- in a good way, for what it is --- even within the same discipline there's a lot of interplay between radically incompatible modes of thought within what I am not calling Protestantism (for ecumenical reasons.) 

It's the same, in a sense, regarding different spiritualities in Catholicism. The difference is that, for a Catholic, that's safe territory spiritually, whereas not Catholic is not. (Latter-day Merton aside.) 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 5:28 PM

Denise:

Logos already supports multi-colored panels  by type. I presume colors are the issue.

..

I honestly can not see any highlighting color in the above screenshot. I have a blind spot in dead center of my left eye and my right eye only sees color if I look directly at something. (No, I do not drive anymore. Cool

There are not enough uniquely distinguishable colours to address all denominational tags, even if I could see them. Since I can not it won't bother me for Logos to go ahead and do so.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 5:30 PM

Super.Tramp:
I honestly can not see any highlighting color in the above screenshot.

Are you just referring to the tab? I see pink there.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 5:36 PM

A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture  This commentary is one i own and it is very good. In most ways every much as good as the Jerome Biblical commentary. 

The International Bible Commentary: A Catholic and Ecumenical Commentary for the Twenty-First Century Is a wonderful resource from Liturgical Press. 

Speaking of Liturgical Press 

New Collegeville Bible Commentary Series I believe December will be the release of the final three volumes to complete this... the NT is already consolidated into a one volume and would guess the entire set will get a one or two volume  consolidation soon.

-dan

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 6:26 PM

Benjamin Baxter:
(Latter-day Merton aside.) 

Who has problems with latter-day Merton? The main objections to Merton I hear are, like objections to deMello, based on naive misunderstandings. Unfortunately, my Logos doesn't have the resources I'd need to support my contention - or yours for that matter.Sad

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

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 9:19 PM

ST ... when you go to settings and change the background, it varies by type of resource as to which backgrounds change. In the example, the left one is a hebrew interlinear (from a denomination that George regards as heretics), while the right is a hebrew phrase analysis (approved creed and acceptable).

Which, regarding to another of the suggestions above, I decided to try out the timeline package from Another Software Co. Kind of interesting the way the pieces can be controlled, and user time events inserted.  So in-between Libronix (of course the best) and ASC, customizable timelines appear to be do-able.  Of course in Logos5, they're customizable by incrementally buying a whole lot of resources.

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

Posts 41
Benjamin Baxter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Oct 26 2013 9:38 PM

MJ. Smith:

Who has problems with latter-day Merton? The main objections to Merton I hear are, like objections to deMello, based on naive misunderstandings. Unfortunately, my Logos doesn't have the resources I'd need to support my contention - or yours for that matter.Sad

Where do naive misunderstandings come but uncautious self-study? As great as Logos is, it is still just a tool for self-study, and does not protect from uncaution. Time will tell if Merton is more like Tertullian or more like Origen in the way that he ended.

Anyways, are there any other suggestions for Verbum specifically? You seem like you might have specific ideas, yourself, Mr. Smith. 

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