Looks like Zondervan bought themselves some Bible software...

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 9:00 AM

Ron Corbett:

BTW - I don't agree that the NOTES feature needs a great deal of attention. Yes, a few tweaks, but Logos is a Bible program and not a desktop publishing program. I would rather see Logos put their time and energies into program improvements and resources. Things like improving search features, making Logos more intuitive, continuing to increase speed and expand current features is of greater value to me.  

Notes IS a "current feature" of the program needing expansion and improvement. While the database/search/hyperlink function of the program is fundamental, "doing something" with the output is what Notes are all about. And the most important aspect of the Notes function is its "Bible-resident" capability.

Having these notes anywhere other than preccisely where they are in Book eviscerates their value almost entirely. I would love to have a photographic memory (or even a cybernetic equivalent), but absent that, Notes are the most important element of Logos (and this pic is obviously L3). Until L5 can do what L3 can where notes are concerned (and the cows have all lost their way permanently, I fear), then Notes will remain in desperate need of attention.

One day, when L5 grows up, it will be L3.

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 9:10 AM

David Paul:
Notes are the most important element of Logos (and this pic is obviously L3). Until L5 can do what L3 can where notes are concerned

....   Thank you for sharing the pics. You made your point.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 10429
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 9:30 AM

David, I apologize.  I don't know where my head was ... I think I was affected by the mushroom thread.  But objectively looking at the problem,  I think maybe the Talmud/Targum dictionary in Logos might be my only sigh. I like many Logos features, but Libronix is still the nice and easy.  Five years later and counting, Logos4/5 remains the Jaguar parked in the garage. Powerful! Twelve cylinders of growling horsepower. Gets the guys glances! But a pain.  


Posts 4772
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 12:19 PM

Denise:

Five years later and counting, Logos4/5 remains the Jaguar parked in the garage. Powerful! Twelve cylinders of growling horsepower. Gets the guys glances! But a pain.  

LOL...Jaguar!! Perpetually at the bottom of all owner satisfaction polls. Broken Heart

Posts 2829
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 6:29 PM

Points will made in this thread. 

Surely Logos can go "Back to the Future", and catch notes up to L3.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 9:43 PM

Ron Corbett:
BTW - I don't agree that the NOTES feature needs a great deal of attention. Yes, a few tweaks, but Logos is a Bible program and not a desktop publishing program. I would rather see Logos put their time and energies into program improvements and resources. Things like improving search features, making Logos more intuitive, continuing to increase speed and expand current features is of greater value to me.
Yes
Ron Corbett:
May all who read these posts pray for wisdom and grace upon Logos and you and your loved ones. Yes
Yes

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 11 2014 11:38 PM

Ron Corbett:
BTW - I don't agree that the NOTES feature needs a great deal of attention. Yes, a few tweaks, but Logos is a Bible program and not a desktop publishing program.

I beg to differ with you ... and suspect you may likely disagree with yourself if you look at it from a different perspective.

  • Logos provides us with a variety of long lists of passages - cross-references, topics lists, bible fact lists, word translations . . . the lists are seemingly endless, and almost useless not to mention that they encourage repetitive work. Why? Because we have no way of attaching notes that allow us to classify relationships, identify subcategories and otherwise note our personal work in the actual resources/displays so that it is associated with the data rather than a particular project we are working on. This results in our exploring some items in the lists multiple times and never getting around to others.
  • Logos does a lot of work for us - morphology tagging, clause visualization, attaching pronouns to their antecedents, identifying speakers, interlinears ... but doesn't allow for us to "correct" the data via overlays/notes if we don't happen to agree with the Logos scholars ... or if we wish to document the reasoning that allows us to agree with Logos.
  • Logos makes no provision for Bible study that uses scripture to interpret scripture, explores the interplay between lectionary readings, original text/ quotation or allusion, prophecy / fulfillment, comparison of repetitions, possible contradictions ...because it does not allow notes to be attached to multiple passages

While there are some other items that have a major impact on actual study e.g. the ability to create a visual filter from a passage list, the shortcomings of notes is the largest single item preventing us from taking advantage of the power of Logos to move us beyond simply replicating dead tree format study methods in an environment that should revolutionize our study.

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

Posts 10234
Forum MVP
NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 12:57 AM

MJ. Smith:

Ron Corbett:
BTW - I don't agree that the NOTES feature needs a great deal of attention. Yes, a few tweaks, but Logos is a Bible program and not a desktop publishing program.

I beg to differ with you ... and suspect you may likely disagree with yourself if you look at it from a different perspective.

  • Logos provides us with a variety of long lists of passages - cross-references, topics lists, bible fact lists, word translations . . . the lists are seemingly endless, and almost useless not to mention that they encourage repetitive work. Why? Because we have no way of attaching notes that allow us to classify relationships, identify subcategories and otherwise note our personal work in the actual resources/displays so that it is associated with the data rather than a particular project we are working on. This results in our exploring some items in the lists multiple times and never getting around to others.
  • Logos does a lot of work for us - morphology tagging, clause visualization, attaching pronouns to their antecedents, identifying speakers, interlinears ... but doesn't allow for us to "correct" the data via overlays/notes if we don't happen to agree with the Logos scholars ... or if we wish to document the reasoning that allows us to agree with Logos.
  • Logos makes no provision for Bible study that uses scripture to interpret scripture, explores the interplay between lectionary readings, original text/ quotation or allusion, prophecy / fulfillment, comparison of repetitions, possible contradictions ...because it does not allow notes to be attached to multiple passages

While there are some other items that have a major impact on actual study e.g. the ability to create a visual filter from a passage list, the shortcomings of notes is the largest single item preventing us from taking advantage of the power of Logos to move us beyond simply replicating dead tree format study methods in an environment that should revolutionize our study.

MJ,

I think you are both right Big Smile

Ron's argument was directed against making the notes editor into a full-featured duplicate of MS Word, with all the formatting and structuring and object-embedding possibilites that this would bring.

Your post calls for a completely different direction of notes development: the "linkability" of notes (of whatever text formatting capability - you don't address this) to other Logos objects than verse references and resource text selection. I am 100% with you here. 

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 1:08 AM

NB.Mick:
I think you are both right Big Smile

That is deliberate on my part. While I would like more features available in notes in support of more contemporary note-rittaking techniques, that isn't the greatest need. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize ...

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

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 3:45 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Don Awalt:
While I love Logos, I grow very tired of the lack of attention of so many usability things

You are right -- we need to keep paying attention to the core user experience. We are working on improvements to a lot of features we haven't touched in a while, for upcoming releases. I'm sorry about some of the little details escaping attention in new features; we'll give them another review.

Don Awalt:
I also grow tired of the lack of transparency by Logos on their plans

You're right: we've been burned so many times by announcing things and then being unable to hit the date, or meet the raised expectations. We have found it better to just work quietly on new things and then release them.

The other problem is just size and information visibility. There was a day when I knew the status of every pre-pub off the top of my head, because we only did one or two a month. Today we're working on a goal of 10,000 new volumes per year, and between our staff and our contractor, there are over 900 people involved in book production. (And this summer, with interns, there will be 130+ software developers.) While what you want to know is known to the organization, the Logos employees who spend their time in the forums don't always have immediate access -- or even know where to find the information. And the time and distraction to hunt down 'What's the status of this book / bug / feature?' is very expensive. And even then the answer could be something that changes: a crisis or new priority could take precedence, and make that status update or delivery prediction wrong.

'Communication' is the biggest problem in every organization. And it's not easily solved, because it's always a compromise. The technology exists for me to read everyone's email, view every case in the bug-tracking database, and see all the databases. But there are 400 people processing 50-200 emails a day, each. So managers get summary reports, which they summarize for their managers, etc. I get a big picture view: 150 books will be posted this week. Yes, I can ask for and get the list. I may even be able to get next week's list -- but now that's 300 titles! And what I get asked in the forums is "When is Book X going to ship?" Well, that's in a database (that I don't use -- I get summary reports), and even if I did consult it, it might say "Status: Waiting for Contract". And the actual details of the waiting could be with one individual, who knows that they emailed the publisher Tuesday, but that the publisher's permissions person is on vacation until next Wednesday, and so they're just waiting for the response, etc. 

You can accuse us of bad systems or management all you want, but I don't think there's a good solution to these problems that doesn't cost far more in productivity than the value returned. Because answering that question is next to impossible: the publisher's permissions person might be back Wednesday, but might take a week to dig out of their email -- we don't know! -- and even if we did know, and did tell you, it doesn't do anything to change the result, except slow it down by using staff time to answer the questions / send emails / create reports (and read them!).

If you've got a better solution, I'm open to hearing it. We try to be as transparent as we can, and I generally answer questions I do know the answer to. I just don't want to invest in hunting down all the answers to what are essentially "When will this happen?" questions, for these reasons.

First off Bob, thanks for the time spent to reply, it is appreciated.

Second, and I say this with humility after thinking about this for a day since I first read your response - while I totally appreciate the challenge customer communication presents to your company (I founded and ran a company that grew to 300 people in 6 cities across the country for 18 years), I think the challenges you represent here are no excuse for not focusing your organization on significant improvement. The message from Logos right now is "you are right, there are shortfalls in what/how we communicate things that customers want to know, but we are too big/distributed/doing too many things to respond, and the right solution is not obvious or affordable." What message does that send for what the next 5 years will be like? I won't belabor the point because I suspect you know it, and there are ample books and resources that say the exact same thing - in fact, they say a growing company that is not communicating well with customers is heading in a very dangerous direction.

I would only say you have an ample size of very bright and talented people in your organization. Innovation, creativity, and hard work is something they appear to embrace, Unaddressed difficult problems fester in companies more times than not because the top guy accepts it. I suspect if it became very important to you, and you challenged your organization to address it, a weakness would become a strength. Customer communications would be done in a way that was not only sustainable but helped the company's performance, vs. being a drag on it in time/resources/money.  Good communication can in fact be a source of retention, as customers will know too much about Logos to consider another direction. Can anything good come from customers having little or no knowledge of Logos in the areas this conversation addresses? I don't think so - bad decisions will be made that hurt both sides.

This is Logos' challenge to solve, and there should be no solace in the current performance because customer(s) cannot suggest a solution - that's not what you need them for, and they are grossly unqualified to help.

Thanks for listening.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 5:24 AM

Don Awalt:
What message does that send for what the next 5 years will be like?

I often dwell on this, and I find that it is the reason that I can't bring myself to invest more heavily into the software.

To me, the perceived attitude to the unimportance of continually enhancing the core customer experience, and the evidential disregard of core customer requests for said improvements, always leads me to feel that the long term future of the company is less than promising.

Just saying...

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 1350
PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 5:27 AM

I agree with you, Don.

Perhaps Bob can divert some of the marketing staff (judging from the amount of marketing messages we all get, there seems to be an over abundance of them) to improving the actual customer experience / communication process.

Peter

Posts 855
Ron Corbett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 6:45 AM

MJ. Smith:
Logos provides us with a variety of long lists of passages - cross-references, topics lists, bible fact lists, word translations . . . the lists are seemingly endless, and almost useless not to mention that they encourage repetitive work. Why? Because we have no way of attaching notes that allow us to classify relationships, identify subcategories and otherwise note our personal work in the actual resources/displays so that it is associated with the data rather than a particular project we are working on. This results in our exploring some items in the lists multiple times and never getting around to others.

Is this a NOTES feature? It seems to me to be in a completely different category.  Maybe it is semantics, but while I agree that work can be improved with some attention to the areas you mention, this is (to me) a question of tagging, user classification, cross-referencing, etc. As I recall, you [or maybe it was Denise] put a lot of time into personally tagging all your resources. Maybe some way of making better use of these tags is what might help you. What I am talking about is exporting notes - and I use Notes a lot - to my Word Processor. this already works in Logos. [Although my Notes are not exported in Turabian which would be nice as I have selected Turabian as the format for exporting text when I copy and paste]. I fine tune my paper in my Word Processor instead of within Logos. Maybe I heard you (and others) wrong, but I thought the posts were pushing for Logos to incorporate  extra features already available in an external word-processing program. Sounds like you are looking for more - and no doubt your ideas would help to improve Logos. At the end of the day, I am all for anything that helps us to get faster, relevant and more precise results out of Logos. 

MJ. Smith:
Logos makes no provision for Bible study that uses scripture to interpret scripture, explores the interplay between lectionary readings, original text/ quotation or allusion, prophecy / fulfillment, comparison of repetitions, possible contradictions ...because it does not allow notes to be attached to multiple passages

I also have a separate note file for 'Bible Commentary notes' - as in one of Mark Barnes' videos.All my notes are searchable in Logos and they all come up in all my top bibles - with numerous hyper-links, bullet lists and all. I have another note file in which I create notes WITHIN Resources. These notes: add a comment or cross reference or word study to the actual resource. I also use orange highlights exclusively to identify statements in a resource that I question. [The "O" in orange stands for the "o" in objectionable.] Again, some of your suggestions seem to suggest a need for different kinds of user labels, etc and that can be good. I just don't see this as being a necessary part of the Notes features. 

If your suggestions could be incorporated into some kind of sermon classification tool / personal Bible commentary [perhaps interactive with selection / prioritization options for every user], I would quickly add my vote. 

Posts 10429
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 6:53 AM

I'd think 'communication' would have to be narrowed down.  

Most customers probably either see 'books' as the criticality (when available; status), and software features/workability.

Both of these are tough even for a demanding boss, much less demanding customers.  When, oh Lord, when?? (referring to Jesus coming of course).

But my criticism is much simpler.  They are very poor self-horn-tooters.  Logos has an immense number of advantages and uses that you'd never know about, if you depended on Logos to tell you.

Most of the tooting appears to come from people that don't know the product/feature set.  And then the tooting is dispersed; not clear. A little of this; a little of that.  The product managers seem to be more focused.

But as long as Bob & Co. don't sell to Zondervan, I'm ok.


Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 6:59 AM

Yeah, a company of Logos size would probably need to be purchased by amazon :P.

If it HAD to sell (and I hope it doesn't ever), Z would probably be a better choice than amazon.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 7:04 AM

abondservant:
Yeah, a company of Logos size would probably need to be purchased by amazon :P.

Actually, HarperCollins has about $14 Billion behind it in purchasing power.

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 10429
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 7:06 AM

Ron ... yes, I'm the current vice president of the Logos Tagging Association.  And our association (formed just seconds ago) has not been terribly successful in improving the tagging experience in Logos.

But ignoring I may loose my job, the notes functionality that MJ mentions, is a valid concern.  I don't think I have a single note in my Logos (mainly highlight to keep my place and mind plugged in).  

But that said I also have my own Bible software. And 'notes' are its premier functionality.  That's how I have over a 100K of them.  I can attach notes to multiple verses as needed. I can use my searches to assign notes. I can check off specific search results for notes/highlights. I can overlay my resource text with my own translations.

My software additionally supports documents to which notes are coordinated (rename/move doc; notes gets updated). And the documents are readable outside my software. My software also supports image additions along with image editing etc.  Plus spreadsheets and cell connecting across notes.

Then there's my analytics, which are also embedded in my notes.  Tells me who a phrasing is most like, when it normally might have been written and which words are unusual.  I'm not a pastor but I'd think that be a neat ability.

My next goal is being able to 'note' across a wide segment of text, with highlighted lines to show the relationships (eg the Apostle Paul's logic flow).

My point is 'notes' is pretty basic in Logos.  MJ's just touching the fringe of the opportunities. 

EDIT: (can't resist; the potential in Logos is so great!)

My software also re-writes the text.  So if you thought a Paulist wrote 1 Peter, how would the 'real' Paul have written it (in the greek).  Which of course is .... a note.  If you thought Luke wrote Acts, which words are the criticality?  More notes!

I bring in other peoples notes too.  My software includes about 20-30 parsers to allow automated inclusion from the internet.


Posts 285
Luigi Sam | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 7:13 AM

MJ. Smith:

  • Logos makes no provision for Bible study that uses scripture to interpret scripture, explores the interplay between lectionary readings, original text/ quotation or allusion, prophecy / fulfillment, comparison of repetitions, possible contradictions ...because it does not allow notes to be attached to multiple passages

good day MJ!

I'm coming into this conversation without studying all comments.

I notice a portion of this dot point stands out to me, and I also notice that I dont actually understand the the overall meaning of the dot point. can you please clarify?

thanks

LJI

Posts 406
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 7:28 AM

Michael Childs:
Surely Logos can go "Back to the Future"
Just when we thought it couldn't get more unreliable than a Jaguar, You have to bring up a DeLorean. Stick out tongue 

Posts 285
Luigi Sam | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 7:36 AM

Don Awalt:

What really seems to drive the Bible software market these days is content - people don't want to buy the same book multiple times, so it's hard to switch.

The Good news is that if Logos implements the Bible Sync Protocol which has been implemented by Xiphos (May 2014) (Karl at Xiphos being the first of the interested Bible Software Parties to implement it ), then purchasing content for each Bible Program Platform will not be an issue!

Instead Bible Software Developers can focus on "Bible Software" rather than "Content". This is the new era of Bible Software Development. ( I am speaking as a software developer :) Bible software that is designed for study. Bible software that actually makes use of the existing content. And that utilizes the Bible text for all that it is worth rather than 'endless 'content' and words through commentators' ( some useful, some repetitious, some without merit ).

etc. :D

References:

Xiphos 3.2.0 Reference (May 2014 Release): http://sourceforge.net/projects/gnomesword/

Logos Forum Reference (2012): Home>General>Automatic Sync of the Current Verse over multiple Bible Software Products (i.e Logos, The Word, e-Sword, etc)

I don't mind if Logos has no 'formal interest in this post', it is the actual potential benefit for users, and SWD's to become as passionate, and as mature as possible by the vision of using each bible software platform ( ie Logos, e-sword . etc ) for their benefits as platforms, so that users don't need to wait for those features, and so that each Bible Software Platform direction can focus on useful 'features' rather than content made by man ( which struggles with the issue of being tainted by bias )

May the Lord direct His servants.

LJI

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