Quality and Update Cycles Beyond Logos 6

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This post has 121 Replies | 9 Followers

Posts 1084
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 3:50 AM

MJ. Smith:
(Sorry but you deserved that, you really did. Big Smile)

For clarity as well as charity, my comment was just piggy-backing on Francis's far more eloquent statement; while his comment was in reply to you, mine was just a general complaint. In general I find you contributions to the forum extremely valuable.

 Logos Now Subscriber -- 22/2/2018

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 7:26 AM

Sean:
...some means of selecting unlinked citation/bibliographic text and having the program attempt to parse it into a resource reference. ... Such a tool would require some ingenuity and of course wouldn't work 100% of the time, but I think it would be a very worthy addition (and selling point!) for L7. (I'd certainly value it more than yet another way of visually depicting a Bible sentence or chapter.)
Yes

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 1005
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 8:14 AM

Sean:

Donnie Hale:
A variation on this, or at least explaining it as I would think of it, is "community links." Rather than crowd-sourcing the links by submission to Logos and awaiting resource updates, follow the pattern of community tags and community notes. Directly apply the crowd-sourced community links to open resources (assuming they're enabled, etc.).

I think this would be good to correct the occasional problem but not as a means of allowing Faithlife to outsource its responsibility to provide better linking to the resources it has published. I don't have a problem with the occasional missing or errant link, which is what the community could help best with. My problem is with resources missing hundreds of links to major works that came out in Logos subsequently. For users to try to manually submit all of these links would be extremely time consuming when Faithlife must have in-house automation tools to at least ease the process.

I don't think anyone is suggesting this as a way to allow Logos to justify shipping poorly linked products (though it would help, as you note, with the occasional missing or incorrect link). But I do think it's only fair to recognize that they have a problem with "legacy" resources. That's where I believe crowd-sourcing links could fill a real gap.

Bob Pritchett:

'Tagging' seems to be a big complaint, which I understand to be missing links to other books, to bibliographic references, etc. (Let me know if I'm misunderstanding.)

This is probably the ultimate example of where our large library leads to issues: the books in our base packages sell in the many thousands of units. Most other books on pre-pub sell 100-800 units. You'd be amazed how many sell just a hundred or so.

I was recently emailed by a user who is upset that a set of books lack links to inline bibliographic references. e.g. "(Smith, 1984, p. 37) or -- worse -- (Jones, 1993)". These are indirect references to the bibliography that follows -- you have to find the next bibliography (at the end of the chapter, if there, or at the end of the book) and then find the reference to Smith's book from 1984, and then make that inline reference a link on the p. 37, or to the whole book.

This is more difficult to automatically tag than things like "John 3:16", and takes a lot of back-and-forth look-up even for human taggers. (And it's error-prone and a bit fragile.)

We have never intentionally supported this reference style. We only supported putting biblio identifiers on whole-book references back in 2009. (Previously we only linked to books we already had, with hard links, or to canonical reference schemes.) While we may have in some cases tagged these short references, they weren't planned or budgeted for -- they were on a list for 'future support' as our biblio data type resolution improved (depending, as it does, on a server-based dynamic lookup of bibliographic information).

The user emailing me has a collection of books that are very important to him, and which he's reading carefully. The lack of links on these short references is frustrating him, and 'failing to deliver on the promise of the Logos system.' But the books in question were produced in 2007 -- before we tagged any bibliographic links -- sold few units (in other words, he may likely be the ONLY user in the world reading them right now), and have a large number of never-tagged short-references. (Which means it's a huge amount of work, raising the cost, and which also means that even once we DO link them, most of them won't resolve to a book we have in the system.)

And that's a complaint about one resource in a library of 45,000, 20,000 of which (?) were produced more than 5 years ago -- in Libronix days, when we promised dramatically different functionality and supported fewer things.

Bob goes on to describe how they prioritize resources for tagging, and to say that they've moved the particular resource the user complained about up the list. But just based on pure economics, I suspect I could grow old and die before they could go back and get all of their existing catalog fully linked. 

As you say, it would be extremely time consuming for users if we set out to systematically build all the links.  But where there's a reference that I have to chase down manually anyway, I'd be glad to spend a second to submit it if it were quick and convenient to do so. I suspect other people would be too.  Over time the most important links would get filled in.

Posts 1005
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 8:20 AM

Sean:

What I meant to say: we ourselves need some more tools within the program itself to more intelligently search for and open up resources in our own libraries. Rather than just having to type in the author and title, find the right volume, go to the right page number, there should be some means of selecting unlinked citation/bibliographic text and having the program attempt to parse it into a resource reference. Maybe it could even be integrated with a community tagging project--we could confirm whether or not the parse worked & the information would be sent in for later official linkage. Such a tool would require some ingenuity and of course wouldn't work 100% of the time, but I think it would be a very worthy addition (and selling point!) for L7. (I'd certainly value it more than yet another way of visually depicting a Bible sentence or chapter.)

I would certainly like something like that.  The "wouldn't work 100% of the time" might be a problem for them, though - I can see myself quickly becoming frustrated by the times it didn't work. Sometimes you don't release internal tools to the user community because it isn't practical to take them beyond the "good enough" level, and you know they'll generate more user dissatisfaction and complaints than they're worth.

Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 8:30 AM

MJ. Smith:
I have produced a long string of bug reports to the point I've been teased by customer service as "requiring by personal QA person".

That is funnySmile and begs the question concerning the beta-testing process that so many are a part of. Maybe it should undergo a review.

Posts 3649
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 8:53 AM

MJ. Smith:
Friends?

That was never being questioned. 

Sean:
while his comment was in reply to you, mine was just a general complaint

I can see why it looks like I was targeting M.J. directly because I quoted from her twice before my blab, but really my plea was more general as well and these quotes were just to provide immediate context. I have been thinking this for a long time and I certainly felt that way a good number of times in last week's thread. 

Posts 10043
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 10:14 AM

At the risk of receiving the ire of either MJ or Francis (with no intended contrasting), I think they're both actually correct.  Like many on the forum, I used to 'exec' in a large company.  Quality is unbelievably complex. The basic problem is the 'daily grind' which always intrudes on the company's goals.  There are always more priorities than time, various levels of ability, sickness, vacations, and so forth.  Quality is last in line, not by intent but as a result.

What surprised me, was that quality is 'the boss'.  No more, no less.  It can't be delegated.  When the boss decided 'quality', then the company changed course.  Indeed I was surprised.  I didn't think it was do-able.  But it requires discipline.  By the boss.

I also was a CPA and did multi-billion dollar business planning.  The equation at Logos, I don't see how it's sustainable.  The problem is new revenues = new feature sets.  More resources works against smaller buying populations. And Logos is on the high-end of feature sets.  Each new revenue generator has a 'tail on the dog' ... earlier resources.  And it layers badly, by version.  But who knows, maybe in their resource mix (which I don't know about), it's do-able?

I don't like subscriptions, but I'd bet it's the only viable solution.


Posts 7958
LogosEmployee
Bradley Grainger (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 10:21 AM

Francis:
tag searches that don't work

Please provide more details on this.

(I'm guessing you're probably referring to an already-discussed issue, but it may be something I missed or forgot and need a reminder.)

Posts 3649
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 10:32 AM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):

Francis:
tag searches that don't work

Please provide more details on this.

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/98674.aspx

Don't work = unusable. Technically, they "work" in that you can search them. But practically, the functionality is so poorly implemented that it is unusable. You can't meaningfully search and retrieve your tags in user documents.

Posts 7958
LogosEmployee
Bradley Grainger (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 11:49 AM

Francis:

Thanks for clarifying. I assume you've already seen my response (https://community.logos.com/forums/p/98674/681447.aspx#681447) and no further feedback from Faithlife is needed at this point. 

Posts 1005
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 12:00 PM

Denise:

Each new revenue generator has a 'tail on the dog' ... earlier resources.

One possible solution might be if Logos could, as Sean implies, find a way of building the new features into the program logic instead of having to change the mark-up of the older resources. In other words, with links, build in the capability to recognize and parse references rather than having to build the links into the resources. I doubt that's practical - but if it were it would escape the "tail" problem.

Posts 3649
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 12:01 PM

Bradley Grainger (Faithlife):
I assume you've already seen my response

Yes, I've seen it. Indeed, it's all good as far as feedback goes. Hopefully "soon" will not prove to be too much of a relative term Big Smile

Posts 26154
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 1:07 PM

Sean:

For clarity as well as charity, my comment was just piggy-backing on Francis's far more eloquent statement; while his comment was in reply to you, mine was just a general complaint. In general I find you contributions to the forum extremely valuable.

I have edited my post to reflect that I had misread you. Thanks for clarifying.

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

Posts 19
Tom Traubitz | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 24 2015 1:21 PM

Bob, thanks for the transparency.

I am concerned by the "subscription model" approach and would rather Logos focus on ensuring the permanence of books I own and will own in the future.   The launch of Logos 6 (as with Logos 5) ultimately required me wiping my existing library and re-downloading from scratch.   I know this must be "my problem" (even thought the corruption issue seemed to transfer identically to two devices), it does give me pause that all my content is locked up in highly encrypted formats that only Logos can make usable.

In my mind the subscription model would lend Logos focus towards a culture of "disposability" in terms of content, versus a concern for permanence (e.g. like a book.)  Currently Logos is investment in trust that as devices and operating systems continue to change, Logos will still be there 5 ... 10 ... 15 years from now (as my traditional books would be.)   Going to a model of rental where content is used and discarded like Netflix or other similar digital rental models feels like a significant change in Logos's direction and would undermine the "like a book" environment users have previously committed to.  For example, I do not feel it matters to me if Netflix was to go out of business 5 years from now ... I do feel it would be a loss if Logos stops making the content readers for my books in the same time frame.  (Not that I expect that to happen for either.)

The reason why Christian books command such prices is their perceived long-term value (like a commentary series) is their continuing value into a longer future than, say a novel read for pleasure, which may not have as much value after it has been read.   Another user gave the example of a dictionary and a movie: the purpose to which the content is used is on a completely different scale of permanence.  Given the recent technical concerns raised by the launch of Logos 6 and the outage of Faithlife's entire web framework, seeing Faithlife taking on yet another model really raises concerns that ensuring the future permanence of my content investment is being taking as seriously as I'd like to see.

Posts 24746
Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 3:40 PM

Rosie Perera:

A proposal: Treat the forums as a kind of bug database (I remember RAID from Microsoft but I don't know what sort of system you use internally), and track bug reports on it as aggressively as you would an internal bug database.

1. Any thread that contains a bug report gets marked as such somehow (add a new forum feature for this if necessary). The user who posts the thread, or an MVP or Faithlife employee could have access to set that flag, so that we can make sure that the time we post a bug report that it won't fall through the cracks.

Rosie and I have previously made proposals for better bug tracking and my suggestion was to make bug reporting easier and consistent by having a format that forces essential information to be given in the first post (Logos/Verbum 6.1, Mac/Windows, Crash/Bug/Enquiry, upload Logs,  attach a screenshot)  but is tailored to the forum e.g. Logos 5 forums force the user to acknowledge that the bug is for Logos/Verbum 5. General forum makes it clear this isn't the place for bug reports!

I think it is essential for these reasons:-

  • reduces wear/tear and time for Faithlife/MVP's extracting essential information, providing links for logs, suggesting the thread be moved to another forum, etc.
  • Key words can be easily found with forum search e.g. I can find all my bug reports. Faithlife can find reports to which they haven't responded
  • directs users as to what is needed (via links) and they will get a faster turnaround

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 24746
Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 4:40 PM

Bob

Bob Pritchett:
A shorter cycle means new ideas get feedback faster. A shorter cycle means bad ideas don't waste as many resources before being abandoned.

This is fine, but I'm an Owner and not a renter.

A few examples of bad ideas:-

Bible Event Navigator was flawed from the start (gave far too many hits in Media search) and now that the flaws have been removed it is fairly useless!

Biblical People Diagrams  wasn't needed in Factbook as FSBI can supply plenty of stick figures, but it doesn't offer anything useful in Media search.

Ask the Author - if the idea wasn't totally bad, the implementation is awful with too many deceased author messages. Please withdraw.

Library functions:-

  • Most Used   - meaningless, never offered anything significant. Please withdraw.
  • Read   -  it was thrown into a v. 6.0x beta and it is useless/inaccurate. Please withdraw.

OTOH Labels is a good Logos 6 idea but the implementation is incomplete/flawed. Too much left for users to report/comment/complain about in the forums. I'm agnostic to Visual Copy but the same comment applies.

Bob Pritchett:
So the good news is, we're in the maintenance phase now. We've had multiple meetings and internal email threads, and performance, bug fixes, interface improvements, documentation, and resource maintenance (re-tagging with new data types, label markup, data sets, etc.) are top priorities.

Great! Fix Labels and Visual Copy and those niggling/annoying/persistent bugs you've ignored for years. Communicate your ideas/conclusions in the relevant threads so we know they haven't been ignored.

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 10043
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 4:47 PM

So, Dave, I guess I shouldn't 'Ask the Author' on Menetho?

(I'm a little tired. I just spent the last hour trying to figure out how to force L6 not to grab all the memory I have.  As usual when you do a re-load a layout, it doesn't give up any memory; just runs it up to 96% (8g) and then heads for the diskdrive,  and all my other guys have to start sweating it out.)


Posts 591
Rayner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 4:47 PM

Dave Hooton:

Library functions:-

  • Most Used   - meaningless, never offered anything significant. Please withdraw.
  • Read   -  it was thrown into a v. 6.0x beta and it is useless/inaccurate. Please withdraw.

If the "Read" functionality concerns the little circular disk symbol and percentage that appears to say how much of a book one has read, I think it's useful, just in terms of giving me a rough approximation of how much of a book I have glanced at.  I realise the program cannot know what we've read, but I'd like to keep this functionality around for a little longer to gauge its usefulness.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 5:16 PM

I'll throw my thoughts in, although these points may have been made since there are so many comments:

1. I am clearly in the camp that gets very frustrated because of the perceived number of bugs, which you addressed in your post Bob. Thanks for that, acknowledgment is the first step although I cast my vote to slow down a bit and produce better quality code. 

2. I was a software engineer for over 30 years, and to me Logos/Verbum releases seem to have way too many regression bugs.  I have never seen anything about automated test plans/regression tests/building the verification code first, all the software testing concepts that have come mainstream in the last 10-15 years. If you think it costs more to write software this way, you are mistaken. Do you use any kind of regression/build the tests into the software first? There are times I can't believe the bugs that got out, it is CLEAR no one tested that area, or built in the software so that the bug would have been apparent before shipment.

3. Like others here I feel the bugs to be addressed are hit and miss. If you are going to move in a  way that users see "lots" of bugs in their perception (probably sometimes true, sometimes not), then transparency would dictate bringing us in on the bug reporting/priority issues. Others here have suggested ways to do this. I have my pet bugs that I have reported that I have not been able to even get a response or simple acknowledgement from a Faithlife employee on, for a very long time. It would be much preferable to at least know a bug is on the list, moving up, but not addressed yet. I don't know if bugs I have reported are going to be fixed or not, and the lack of communication and in my perception lack of attention is extremely aggravating.

Posts 26154
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 25 2015 5:50 PM

Don, I bumped a number of bugs without responses last night to help make them visible again and geta sense of the scope of the problem. If I missed any of yours bump them.

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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