Request for LDLS3 Notes Capabilities in L4 (And maybe a bit more...)

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Posts 24
Walter A. Svarczkopf | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jan 11 2010 11:44 AM

First off... well done on L4.  There are a number of things that I find delightful, and powerful.  I am looking forward to figuring out what else there is out there.  However, I am still not sold on moving just yet.  And that has solely to do with the Notes features and functions.  This is one of the most important features to me. 

I use Logos for study and for teaching.  I create my actual handouts via cut/paste from Logos Notes files into a Word Processor.  However, for teaching, I use my laptop and my notes file, so I can quickly hyperlink to all the supporting verses I have found.  Here is an example of what an LDLS3 Notes file looks like for me. 


I organize a single Notes file for the entire study, using specific notes, colored and indented to mimic what a book table of contents (Chapters, Sections, Subsections, etc) might look like.  Each note on the left opens the larger text of notes on the right.  I use the simple formatting functions to make it readable.  And I use extensively the "Tag References as Hyperlinks" button to find all of the Bible references and create hyperlinks at one time.  I love that.  I need that.  Using the above, I can have a complete Bible Study in a note file.  For instance "Sunday School - Romans".  I can have my questions, my answers, my biblical reference support, and I can jump around as I teach to read the supporting verses. 

This is what I use Logos for, to teach others.  It works beautifully right now in LDLS3.  I used to be able to treat a Notes file almost like a book.  I could arrange the different notes within the file in whatever order I wanted.  I could indent notes, to form an outline.  All of this was visible in the left pane of the notes window, and I did not actually see the notes until I clicked on one in that left pane.  Then, on the right pane, I would see the full text of the note in the note editing pane.  This allowed me to manage my notes almost like a book, with chapters and sub-headings... This was VERY convenient for teaching.

L4 does not have any of these capabilities.  The notes in a notes file are all open and visible at the same time.  When a new note is added, it is added at the bottom.  Hence, in order to get to it, I need to scroll all the way to the end of the note file, to get to my latest note.  Also, there is no capability to rearrange note order in a notes file.  I don't know about others, but I tend to bounce around, working on different things at different times.  Being able to rearrange the notes in a file is of great benefit. 

At a minimum, what I would like to have is the ability to collapse the text of a note, so that only the note titles are visible.  I would also like the capability to move notes up and down within the notes file. 

What I would REALLY like is for a note file to be treated just like any other book within L4, with a table of contents that is organized like a nested tree.  That way, I can collapse and expand any section of the tree I want, just like I do for any other book.  I really like the >> that opens and the << that closed the table of contents in L4.  Would it be possible to use this same code to organize and display notes files?  If it can be done, I think I would be fully ready to move over from LDSL3 to L4.

So, if I were to list exactly what I would like to see, it would be this:

  1. Provide the capability to move individual notes up/down in the note file.
  2. Provide the capability to indent/unindent notes in a note file to create a nested tree hierarchy.
  3. Use the Table of contents features found for books to provide a visual view of the notes tree.  The code must already exist.  In this way, the notes file can remain as is, one big long structure (like a book), But, I can get to the section I want by navigating using the "Table of Contents" tree. 
  4. Provide the LDLS3 Tag References as Hyperlinks" button in L4 so that for sections of notes cut/pasted from elsewhere, I can get the hyperlinks created all at once. 

Thank you for considering this very important feature/function. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 12:24 PM

Logos -

Walter is absolutely right. He has pulled together an excellent case example of why many have been asking for:

1) expand-contract capability

2) sort and sequence capability

3) TOC function

4) links that work

5) auto-generated titles (present) that when created by reference identify the entire range

You are so close on many features - please get the notes right - then you'll really have bragging rights.

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

Posts 221
Tim | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 12:35 PM

I concur. I use notes for my exegetical study. I do a full exegetical study on each verse, so I have a note file for every book of the Bible, and a note for each verse that I have studied! I am dreading trying to deal with notes once I import what I have in L3 and then not being able to organize them by verse!! I REALLY don't want to keep my data in Word. I love the ability to hotlink verse in my notes and even linking to other resources. I NEED the functionality mentioned above. Please Bob, we are not asking for a full word processor, just for a little bit of L3 functionality back in L4. There are so many other things about L4 that are great, this is one of the few places L4 is less than L3. 

 

Posts 40
Jim R. Keener | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 5:39 PM

Walter,

Thank you for laying  out the case for note improvement.  Like you, I find myself using Libronix when I need to do a practical search/study.  I have spent hours and hours with L4.  I even bought a new computer based on the specs Logos gave.  I wish I had waited.  I'm not really happy with the product, but what do you do?  Maybe they will look at your post and other people's comments and make notes usable. 

Thanks again.

Jim R. Keener

 

Posts 24
Walter A. Svarczkopf | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 1:46 PM

Does anyone from Logos respond to these requests one way or another?  How does one know if Logos is listening?

Posts 1646
SteveF | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 8:04 PM

Walter A. Svarczkopf:
Does anyone from Logos respond to these requests one way or another?  How does one know if Logos is listening?

First, Walter, welcome to these Forums. Secondly, thank you for your response regarding posting the Notes "bug" report in the "wrong" forum. You are a true gentleman! I see that you have done that. (And Yes, one of those asking/telling did come across as very "gruff.")

I've listed three hyper-links - and no, they do not at first look as if they answer your question. BUT using Favorites along with the Notes can overcome some of the built in deficiencies of Notes. Please especially look at the second link. It is partly based on the video in the third link. These are "work-around" by folks here to get some use out of Notes and to organize them.

http://wiki.logos.com/Favorites

http://wiki.logos.com/Favorites#The_power_of_Favorites

Preparing a sermon with Logos :: 4:14 evangelical christian theology blog

(Walter, now to your first question about "no response to your queries/suggestions about Notes from Logos staffers."  On most questions/issues Logos staffers on these Forums are very wonderfully quick and helpful. Period. But --  if you search on these Forums you will soon discover that "Bob" - the owner of Logos - does not really see Notes being used in the way you want to. He prefers that we use Word processors or other commercial note taking software etc. He sees Notes as simply an annotation tool for making a very quick comment on a verse. Much like a pencil note in a real Bible.  So, except for true "bugs" I doubt official logos folks will comment on what could be understood as design "flaws" in notes. Improvements have been made. But to expect a complete re-understanding of Notes and their purpose seems a bit out of the question?)

All the best as you work through this issue.

 

 

 

 

Regards, SteveF

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 9:06 PM

I keep reading about Bob's attitude towards notes, but no matter how many times this issue comes up; there is always support for a better notes application.  I know in my own case, i would love this product more and use it more, if I could do more with the notes.  I am also sure that no matter how Bob feels about this, there are many of us that have also seen that Bob has a heart for those of us that use Logos, and we will always hope that he will decide to give us more in the area of notes. I am also not sure but I think some where I have read something that mentions that asking and getting are sometimes tied together.

Thanks for asking again!  And Bob, I know that Logos can not be all things to all people, but this issue keeps coming up, as a real felt need, please be patient with us and don't take it badly just because we disagree with you and keep asking!

In Christ,

Jim

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 9:20 PM

MJ. Smith:
2) sort and sequence capability

Allow me to correct myself - one can re-sequence notes if you don't run into the scrolling problem - the window doesn't scroll as you move a note up or down so you have to drop it within the confines of the current window's content.

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

Posts 569
J. Morris | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 9:30 PM

Notes are an essential support function to the entire program.  IMO they should have been enhanced not reduced.

-It reminds me how windows gives a computer a base score on performance... it is only as high as the lowest factor...  Notes are keeping the L4 base 'score' down... (kinda like my integrated graphics card is keeping my computer's base score down...lol)

-However, with the 'roar' as loud as it is, I'd imagine we're going to get a compromise sooner or later.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 10:09 PM

SteveF:
He prefers that we use Word processors or other commercial note taking software etc. He sees Notes as simply an annotation tool for making a very quick comment on a verse. Much like a pencil note in a real Bible.  So, except for true "bugs" I doubt official logos folks will comment on what could be understood as design "flaws" in notes. Improvements have been made. But to expect a complete re-understanding of Notes and their purpose seems a bit out of the question?)

I have a slightly different take on this - I think Bob is open to change within the confines of  "not rebuilding the wheel". My starting positions:

  • I agree that Logos should not be in the business of building word processors or generic diagram generators.
  • I also believe that Logos has real potential as "where we keep all our stuff" - for example, I am organizing my PDF files using favorites.
  • I also understand why dropping IE as the screen painter et. al. had the effect of dropping features we had in L3
  • I have never written a pencil note in a "real" Bible - and I have no intention in starting;

What have notes gained in L4 so far?

  • We have notes embedded in the Guides which expands where we can put notes.
  • Our notes are searchable and those results can appear in the Guides
  • We have a new "note type" - clippings which use the 3x5 image.

Why do we need strong cut & paste into Notes and linkage functionality? Ignore the pencil in a page&spine Bible - think of papers stuck between pages or 3x5 cards. For many of us our "short notes on a verse" can be an annotation that takes more space:

  • It may be a diagram that is not supported by the sentence-diagrammer.
  • It may be a chart comparing one verse to another
  • It may be a "study guide" filled out for a specific passage ... we are waiting to see where Logos takes their "study guide" concept, but until we are provided alternatives, I have to assume notes
  • Intertextual analysis, structural analysis, philological analysis can all require notes of substantial length.

I think that Bob P. can be convinced that these are 'short annotations' in his sense of term - and that 3x5's are an appropriate model. While it may not be the way I envisioned it, what I see is:

  • The ability to move notes and have them automatically fall in canonical sequence is currently intended ... there are glitches because of scrolling problems but I don't see Bob opposed to sorting [Do we need a photo of his desk and files to prove/disprove this? Wink Oops, unauthorized humor snuck in.
  • Linkage is a feature that is being worked on - the intended limits are not yet known
  • Expand/collapse notes - one feature that we've heard nothing on (unfortunately)
  • TOC for note files - another feature we've heard nothing on but the search function alleviates some of the need, and with appropriate linkage we could build our own TOC; or we may use Favorites.
  • Copy & paste of preformatted materials and/or diagrams - if this is not currently intended, I think that a sufficiently strong case can be made for the educational movement towards graphic organizers requiring that Logos follows their customers into the more graphic orientation of note taking.

Now I ask you? Do you really think that we can't nudge Logos towards change?

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

Posts 269
Stein Dahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 10:10 PM

 

SteveF:
you will soon discover that "Bob" - the owner of Logos - does not really see Notes being used in the way you want to. He prefers that we use Word processors or other commercial note taking software etc. He sees Notes as simply an annotation tool for making a very quick comment on a verse. Much like a pencil note in a real Bible. 

 

Okay.  So, let me see if I've got this straight.  The guy at the top of the food chain at Logos doesn't think Notes is important enough to update and important enough that they even give their own (long term) customers at least the same functionality they had with Notes in the previous version of the software?  What?  You're kidding right? 

Okay.  I get it.  I think it must be a money thing.  What isn't these days.

But what if . . .  most Logos customers are asking for this feature?  Doesn't that make any difference?  Isn't the customer always right?  Doesn't it make sense to somehow make available to them what they're asking for?

Logos has been the best "be all" - "do all" Bible Study program for years, and the ability to keep your own extensive study notes right inside that very same program was fantastic.  And that seems to be what many, if not most Logos customers want continued (if not improved a little) in L4.  The note taking capability in L4 is a step backward.

And since it's probably a money thing - I would even be willing to pay to have it developed.  That's how much I want and need this feature. 

In other words, Logos should at least make a more robust note taking system available as an Add-In resource that customers can purchase.

It can't be that difficult to do.  Even the free program The WORD has better note taking capability than L4 in its current state.  

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 23 2010 10:17 PM

Stein Dahl:
Okay.  So, let me see if I've got this straight.

See my comment above for an alternative view ... I have "a half-cup that is full" optimism

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

Posts 569
J. Morris | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 24 2010 6:43 AM

Stein Dahl:
I would even be willing to pay to have it developed.  That's how much I want and need this feature.

--IF-- it came with SIGNIFICANT enhancements (over L3...) I'd be willing to pay a 'reasonable' fee in order to get it developed. 

-I wouldn't be very thrilled about it, but I'd pay because I need it....

Posts 269
Stein Dahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 24 2010 3:07 PM

Jeremiah Daniel Morris:

Stein Dahl:
I would even be willing to pay to have it developed.  That's how much I want and need this feature.

--IF-- it came with SIGNIFICANT enhancements (over L3...) I'd be willing to pay a 'reasonable' fee in order to get it developed. 

-I wouldn't be very thrilled about it, but I'd pay because I need it....

That's exactly what I was trying to say too.  You took the words right out of my mouth.

 

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 25 2010 1:30 AM

I would be willing to buy an add on, but it would look bad for Logos to make us pay for features that are an important part of some free programs,  I was not going to mention The Word program but since some one else has, that is a great program that allows a user to make their own public domain books with ease, they can tagged, searched and put in collections!  It also allows note taking that is easy to use and I currently like the note taking better than what we currently have.

When I first start to teach a person how to use a bible study program I use The Word, it is very hard to make people believe that my expensive Logos program has a less desirable note taking program than the free the Word Program has that they learned on.  I have given up trying to defend Logos on this point, I now admit that it is a weak point of the program. Other bible programs also see the note taking feature as being more important than Logos does, and I am afraid they are missing the boat on this one.  I love Logos 4 but do not use it as much as I would like to, because of the lack of notes, in fact I still put my notes in Libronix 3.

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 65
J. Bryant Evans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 25 2010 2:59 PM

If Steve is correct, the Bob is simply saying "No" to his customers. While I would be pleased to also pay a modest fee for functionality I agree that this is a terribly embarrassing position for Logos. I am horribly saddened by this attitude.

I hope Steve is just wrong. But is it too much for Bob himself to clarify the issue?

Posts 191
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 25 2010 4:55 PM

Having invested 10s of 1000s of dollars in Logos over the years and just updated to Portfolio ed'n of Logos 4, I would feel disappointed, but nevertheless STILL would be willing to pay for a good-quality integrated note-system.

It IS THAT important. It is essential to good Bible study.

I have said before that I think Bob, whilst a great, thoughful, responsive, pro-active leader and manager, is wrong on this issue. Time and time again (I've lost count of the number of posts over the years) there have been calls for a good quality note system on both the newsgroups of old and now the forums. It is what customers want. (and Happy customers are the best advertising!)

Why not create a basic Word processor clone? What is wrong with that? - even the forum comment box I am now using has basic formating and insertion capabilities(aka a "word processor"), as does every spreadsheet, mind-mapping, presentation software etc - just about any software or online blog has a "mini-word-processor" built in - why not Logos.

Not to mention the competition! (even free software considers it to be so important to their users thet have 'word-processor' clones!) Why not Logos?

Consider: Why do so many users (it seems) feel obliged to purchase One Note, Evernote or the like? It's cash out of circulation for the company Logos i.e. less for users to spend on books!

Please Bob, realise how important good-quality notes are to your customers and deliver!

 

PS Your argument of not wanting to "recreate the wheel and make a word-processor' doesn't entirely follow. By the same logic, since there are many other pieces of Bible Software out there - why do you want to 're-create the wheel' and have another one - why not just finish the company? God forbid! But if your logic holds that's what you should do. I know you are in it - not to re-create the wheel of Bible-software - but to transform it - so why not do that with powerful notes?  Thanks

 

 

 

Posts 1646
SteveF | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 25 2010 7:29 PM

[Steve's disclaimer: I was going to add a lot of BOLD & UNDERLINING etc but decided not to. If you cannot find this just search for <Bob,Notes> etc, without the "arrows." Also, because Notes do NOT act like a word processor, I rarely, if ever, use them. I do have some that were made and shared by the Libronix 3 "community" that I have now been able to import into L4 with the latest beta version 4.0b Beta 5 etc.]

Bob Pritchett Replied: Jul 4, 2009 3:48 PM

Let me start by saying we ARE improving notes in the next release, and implementing many of the most commonly requested features.

I'd also like to better understand what you want to do with notes. Longtime newsgroup readers know that I am very reluctant to turn our notes feature into a full-featured word processor (because it feels like a slipperly slope to writing a full-featured word processor, which is a very big job and not our goal). 

I still (try) to think of notes as short, personal observations tied to a particular verse or passage. I think of notes as offering you the ability to create something akin to the notes in a study Bible, using your own content.

I understand why you'd want them to be searchable (they will be), and exportable, etc. But I don't get why you'd need strong indent/outlining features, multiple font support (beyond setting the default, and for Greek/Hebrew), paragraph formatting, etc. Aren't these things better suited to your word processor?

Or are users wanting to create larger documents than I envision, inside the notes system?

(BTW, our notes are stored in XML right now, and are also exportable. Create a Note File Summary and then use the Export feature, or just open the notefile in a text editor -- though that's a power-user feature for people comfortable with XML.)

-- Bob

Regards, SteveF

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 25 2010 10:26 PM

I have to admit at one time, I could have understood Bob's point of view.  In fact there was a time when I didn't even use notes.  But as I have grown up I have stopped thinking like a child!

What do I mean by that???  What happened to me was I bought the Camp Logos 1 and 2 training DvDs,  and all of a sudden I saw the light!!!

For the first time I understood there is no need for me to keep doing the same research over and over again, that I could and should be able to save this information into my very own little research resource or we can call it book, or what every you like.  I discovered that I could make this information more useful to me by creating my own arrangement of the information that I was using as resources, so as to answer any problems that I might want to deal with in seconds. I do not have to keep recreating the wheel!!!

The more that Logos helps me to be able to rearrange and access this information in the manner that it is the most useful to me and my life style the better and more important Logos becomes to me.

This resource becomes very important to me when I am dealing with people concerning the scriptures, because it allows me to instantly make my research handy so that they can see what I have seen without doing all the research, it can be used in witnessing or teaching.  The better this system is the more people that it will help, it should be able to be used either like Bob sees it being used or at the level  that a teacher with 30 years teaching in a seminary would like to use it.

This really should not be to hard to do, at least not for a company that has given us a whole new way to study the scriptures!!!

In Christ,

Jim

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 26 2010 1:10 AM

SteveF quoting Bob Pritchard:

But I don't get why you'd need strong indent/outlining features, multiple font support (beyond setting the default, and for Greek/Hebrew), paragraph formatting, etc. Aren't these things better suited to your word processor?

Or are users wanting to create larger documents than I envision, inside the notes system?

Bob,

Consider how students now learn to take notes and consider whether your vision matches. [At the end I ask the purchasers the same question]. Examples of university level instruction on notetaking (much different then when I was in school):

  • The Cornell Method
  • The Outline Method
  • The Mapping Method
  • The Charting Method
  • The Sentence Method

http://ctl.stanford.edu/Student/studyskills/taking_notes.pdf

  • The Cornell Method
  • The Mapping Method (fleshed out more than on Stanford site)
  • The Outline Method

http://www.alextech.edu/en/CollegeServices/SupportServices/StudySkills/LectureNoteTaking/MethodsOfNoteTaking.aspx

  • annotations on notes

http://www.northcentral.edu/files/46/Editing_Lecture_Notes.pdf

  • color coding (esp. applies to clippings vs. notes)

http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/col/bruinsuccess/03/12.cfm

also highly relevant are graphic organizers, but that's a different topic.... However, I think the note-taking skills show the need for indentation, outline, charts, and insertion of diagrams. As I have said many times, I have no problem with copy & paste for the more graphic of these. But perhaps if we can insure that Logos and their customers have the same understanding of what a note is, we can make everyone happy.

So everyone asking for additional features - how do your desires map to these methods and techniques?

 

 

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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