How to re-write and release a replacement product.

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Posts 44
G. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 4:27 AM

Bob,

Your involvement here speaks volumes about Logos!  While I have my own frustrations with Logos4 I do appreciate the vision.  That said, it's inevitable some will not feel led to follow the path you're blazing.  My only critique is that the roll-out of Logos4 was (and is) billed as an "upgrade" which carries quite a bit of baggage in terms of expectations.  Happily there are many out there who enjoy exploring new software and who like engaging in beta testing.  However, some of us don't; we simply want to install and go ... regardless of how unreasonable that may seem.  I understand there are development and implementation challenges I can't hope to understand but the fact remains that Logos4 feels rough and unfinished -- and I'm not running a 6-year old computer :).  To some degree I feel like an unwilling participant in a beta test!  The fact that Logos is willing to offer a full refund to unsatisfied customers is an honorable policy but it's also simplistic to suggest folks simply return the product and walk away.  It's sort of like waiting in line for an extended time; once you've invested this much time you may as well see it through!  Now I also have to admit I didn't take on the responsibility of fully researching the Logos4 "upgrade" before purchasing ... I simply trusted that meeting the minimum performance specifications ensured smooth sailing ... more time on the forums might well have resulted in a more informed decision to wait a few months to upgrade.  I'll stick around because I do appreciate the vision and I'm deeply thankful there's a company out there with such a great customer focus.

I hope I haven't sounded too negative; I know the folks at Logos have a genuine heart for making God's word more accessible and I'm sure Logos4 will continue to meet that need.

Gregg

Posts 8837
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 4:54 AM

GreggShelton:

Bob,

Your involvement here speaks volumes about Logos!  While I have my own frustrations with Logos4 I do appreciate the vision.  That said, it's inevitable some will not feel led to follow the path you're blazing.  My only critique is that the roll-out of Logos4 was (and is) billed as an "upgrade" which carries quite a bit of baggage in terms of expectations.  Happily there are many out there who enjoy exploring new software and who like engaging in beta testing.  However, some of us don't; we simply want to install and go ... regardless of how unreasonable that may seem.  I understand there are development and implementation challenges I can't hope to understand but the fact remains that Logos4 feels rough and unfinished -- and I'm not running a 6-year old computer :).  To some degree I feel like an unwilling participant in a beta test!  The fact that Logos is willing to offer a full refund to unsatisfied customers is an honorable policy but it's also simplistic to suggest folks simply return the product and walk away.  It's sort of like waiting in line for an extended time; once you've invested this much time you may as well see it through!  Now I also have to admit I didn't take on the responsibility of fully researching the Logos4 "upgrade" before purchasing ... I simply trusted that meeting the minimum performance specifications ensured smooth sailing ... more time on the forums might well have resulted in a more informed decision to wait a few months to upgrade.  I'll stick around because I do appreciate the vision and I'm deeply thankful there's a company out there with such a great customer focus.

I hope I haven't sounded too negative; I know the folks at Logos have a genuine heart for making God's word more accessible and I'm sure Logos4 will continue to meet that need.

Gregg

You sound as though L4 is your first exposure to Logos.  Is that the case?  If so, I might suggest that you download L3 and also download the resources you have licensed from ftp://ftp.logos.com/lbxbooks.  Attempt to syncronize your licenses which may give you access through L3 to the L3 resources.  If that doesn't work, perhaps Logos would be willing to give you a license to them in L3 as well as L4.  I have both L3 and L4 and was a beta tester in the all too brief beta program.  I also tend to feel that the beta was much to brief and the program is still not ready for prime time though it has many great features.  I'm sure that improvements will continue to be made so that in the not too distant future I will be able to use it in my regular studies.  At the moment there are basically two factors which prevent this for me: 

(1) Deficiencies in notes
(2) A nearly unusable morphology search (I wish they would bring back the old check-box method which seemed to be more reliable and less difficult)

Hang in there.  I have confidence in the people at Logos so I'm sure they will get it right.  In the meantime, look into the possibility of using L3.  The two programs can be used simultaneously (I ususally do this) until L4 is up to speed.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 5:00 AM

Mike S,

I read your post and have no idea what it has to do with keylinking and how we get the equivilent advanced feature in Logos 4?

It is not obvious that you read what I wrote because you argue that people did not want a new UI and I argued that the UI is what changes the most, it sounds like we agree; though, you say we disagree.

It is kind of like writing a new operating system and replacing the OS scheduler for Simultaneous Multithreaded Processors with the Windows 95 time slicing scheduler - it is a huge step backwards.

Sorry, I do not understand what you are disagreeing about?

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 5:18 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Ken Avery:
I do believe Logos 4 is salvageable and should be considered "beta" at best, the product still needs a lot of work to meet the goals specified above.

I'm glad you think it's salvageable. :-) But I don't share your goals.

Bob,

Thank you for the response, I agree with most of what you say; though, my concern has not been addressed - keylinking.

This is my issue and why I say it is salvageable, I believe you can fix this; I believe it can be replaced with something equivalent or better, we don't like the priority solution.

I hope this is direct enough.

Posts 44
G. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 5:32 AM

George Somsel:
 

You sound as though L4 is your first exposure to Logos.  Is that the case?  If so, I might suggest that you download L3 and also download the resources you have licensed from ftp://ftp.logos.com/lbxbooks.  Attempt to syncronize your licenses which may give you access through L3 to the L3 resources.  If that doesn't work, perhaps Logos would be willing to give you a license to them in L3 as well as L4.  I have both L3 and L4 and was a beta tester in the all too brief beta program.  I also tend to feel that the beta was much to brief and the program is still not ready for prime time though it has many great features.  I'm sure that improvements will continue to be made so that in the not too distant future I will be able to use it in my regular studies.  At the moment there are basically two factors which prevent this for me: 

(1) Deficiencies in notes
(2) A nearly unusable morphology search (I wish they would bring back the old check-box method which seemed to be more reliable and less difficult)

Hang in there.  I have confidence in the people at Logos so I'm sure they will get it right.  In the meantime, look into the possibility of using L3.  The two programs can be used simultaneously (I ususally do this) until L4 is up to speed.

George,

Thanks for the kind suggestions.  In fact, I'm not a new Logos user and still have Logos 3 installed although I've been trying to use Logos 4 exclusively in order to overcome the learning curve!  My frustration is that as a seminary student I simply don't have time to fuss with the software.  I invested in Logos preciesly because time was at a premium in my life and I was looking for a way to streamline reasearch; Logos 3 has been a lifesaver!  Logos 4 has grown on me and I can see its promise but it isn't there yet as a research tool.  I'm genuinely thankful others are able to run the software without sluggishness or hang-ups but that certianly hasn't been my experience on either my Duo-core laptop (4 GB memory) or my quad-core desktop!  I know there are many who can accept Logos 4's delays but when I'm trying to juggle two or three papers, a lesson outline, a honey-do list and the reality Christmas is right around the corner I tend to be a bit impatient with sluggish performance!

That said, I do have confidence in the folks at Logos and hope springs eternal ... besides a couple of hours unpacking Christmas decorations should help temper any instant-gratification-related frustrations!

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Gregg

 

 

Posts 7186
Forum MVP
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:27 AM

Sean Boisen:
and we certainly can't provide every feature that every user desires
You mean I'm NOT going to get that automatic sermon writing module?  Nuts.

Posts 323
Doug | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:30 AM

As a programmer, I can understand Ken's point of view.  Software, really shouldn't be released until the features are pretty much in place.  A list of fixes and completions over the next year doesn't really meet that standard.  And while Microsoft certainly has changed the look and feel of it's products, features and functionality were not lost.  As someone pointed out already, calling this Logos 4 implies that it is the successor to Logos 3.  Now, some of you are calling it Libronix 3 to try to make a distinction.  But Libronix is Logos and Logos 4 still uses the Libronix engine, so that is really just a play on words that means nothing.  When I made the puchase, the button said Upgrade Now.  An upgrade implies something better. 

I'm trying to be fair because as a long time Logos user, I want them to succeed.  I still think there has never been a better piece of Bible Study Software written that can compare to L3.  It's great.  Maybe someday, L4 will be great too.  But that day is not today.  It's still half baked.  It wasn't ready to come out of the oven and it should have been left in there until it was done.  Then they could have put the icing on it. 

Personally, I think it would have been easier to accomplish their goals by updating the L3 user interface.  L4 isn't that much different other than cosmetically.  In other words Sadie's got a new dress on.  But the functionality and features were already present in L3.  It wouldn't have been that difficult to change the look and add the features without starting over.  Those who argue that they don't want 20 year old technology need to understand that you are still using the same engine (Libronix).  Yet you would sacrifice functionality for something new.  Not logical to me.

But again, I want Logos to succeed and I believe in them.  This is the first major mistake I've seen them make and I won't jump ship over that.  Also, the people on this forum are a help overall and I'm thankful for that.  Let cooler heads prevail and let's reason together about this.

Posts 7186
Forum MVP
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:30 AM

Damian McGrath:
Ray, BW7 didn't come with a manual - does BW8?
BW6 Came with a full printed manual.  BW7 & 8 came with the same quality of completely feature complete manual in Electronic form.

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:33 AM

Bob Pritchett:


Ken Avery:


Having worked on SW for years developing SW for very large customers, here are a couple things I have learned:

1.    The ideal replacement SW does everything the original SW does.

2.    The settings for the original product are migrated to the new product.

3.    If the presentation changes the new product must have equivalency.

Even before starting the re-write these goals should be first on the radar.



I'm glad you think it's salvageable. :-) But I don't share your goals.

My goal isn't to maintain a particular set of features, data formats, and user interface for decades. My goal is to more people do more and better Bible study.


If our goals are not the same could you at least provide smooth transitions; if you are going to change the internal operation and remove advanced features that people invest time learning and become dependent on could you make it less painful and at least give us equivalent or better replacement functionality?

Basically, as a customer, I feel as though I am chasing a moving target hoping it will provide the same or better advanced functionality; I can get all the basic functionality from e-sword or the Word. (Disclosure - I use these products also for the content that is not provided by Logos)

I probably approach SW development different than you do; I developed my own SW methodology in the 80's and that is why I can crank out new products at the rate that I do. My background is working on embedded systems, writing Operating Systems, making new boards and bringing up the new BIOS, I wrote the virtual device code for Compaq's Insight Remote Management processor, custom web browsers, device drives ... etc. I have worked on various Operating Systems, Windows NT, ATT Unix, Linux ... etc.

So you are right when you say we start with different goals; I stand by the goals I stated and believe that a re-write should keep these goals in front of them; I understand how decisions are made and trade offs are inevitable.

Posts 4508
Forum MVP
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:34 AM

Thomas Black:
You mean I'm NOT going to get that automatic sermon writing module?  Nuts.

Sorry, you'll have to keep buying them from PerryNoble.com until this feature is implimented.... Big Smile

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 7186
Forum MVP
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:41 AM

Bob Pritchett:
I'm a bit nervous being so direct -- please don't read this as our not caring about our existing users! We do, and we want your feedback, and to build a product you're happy to keep using and upgrading. But I hope you can appreciate and share our goal of engaging even more users.

Bob,

As one of those longer term users I've never felt that you didn't care about me.  I have a bit of a head start on many others because I was on the Beta team, but I would like to communicate for everyone "listening" that my experience then matches my experience now - consistently being heard, sometimes agreed with, other times not so much.  I know you're listening. 

I'm frustrated when my pet desires aren't met, but I appreciate you're (and other Logos employees) interjections in the forums which explain the current model and why my model won't work.  But that still doesn't keep me from mentioning pet peeves like everything about handouts.  Wink

Posts 7645
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 6:54 AM

Ken Avery:
Thank you for the response, I agree with most of what you say; though, my concern has not been addressed - keylinking.

This is my issue and why I say it is salvageable, I believe you can fix this; I believe it can be replaced with something equivalent or better, we don't like the priority solution.

I hope this is direct enough.

Ken,

As it happens, I agree with you that prioritising is not adequate. However, for many of us keylinking was no better - it was too time consuming to set up, and too painful to re-set up when you got new resources. For that reason I developed a technique that by-passed keylinking with judicious use of workspaces, parallel resource associations and reference targets.

I'm therefore not at all keen to see a retun to keylinking. Many other users share the same view. I believe that what we need is something different, but better, that combines the strengths of keylinking, parallel resource associations and prioritising. I think that one answer would be to allow different priority lists for different types of data, with a master list to fall back on and for those who don't want/need to create multiple lists.

But if you really want to affect change, the best way (as Sean tried to point out earlier) is to be constructive. Logos are not writing software for you (there were seven personal pronouns in those three sentences of yours above). They're writing software for all of us. So please consider making suggestions that consider how others use the software, and even how others would like to use the software but currently feel unable to do so. How could something equivalent to keylinking integrate with an easy-to-use system for non-power users?

Mark

 

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 7:08 AM

Mark Barnes:

Ken Avery:
Thank you for the response, I agree with most of what you say; though, my concern has not been addressed - keylinking.

This is my issue and why I say it is salvageable, I believe you can fix this; I believe it can be replaced with something equivalent or better, we don't like the priority solution.

I hope this is direct enough.

 

Ken,

I'm therefore not at all keen to see a retun to keylinking. Many other users share the same view. I believe that what we need is something different, but better, that combines the strengths of keylinking, parallel resource associations and prioritising. I think that one answer would be to allow different priority lists for different types of data, with a master list to fall back on and for those who don't want/need to create multiple lists.

But if you really want to affect change, the best way (as Sean tried to point out earlier) is to be constructive. Logos are not writing software for you (there were seven personal pronouns in those three sentences of yours above). They're writing software for all of us. So please consider making suggestions that consider how others use the software, and even how others would like to use the software but currently feel unable to do so. How could something equivalent to keylinking integrate with an easy-to-use system for non-power users?

Mark

Well said, this is why I keep asking for equivelent or better (hoping for better); as far as using to many personal pronouns, I did not want to speak for everyone, these are my opinions and I am not sure everyone agrees.

 

Posts 8443
Forum MVP
Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 7:28 AM

Mark Barnes:
I think that one answer would be to allow different priority lists for different types of data, with a master list to fall back on and for those who don't want/need to create multiple lists.

That is a good suggestion, but it would not replace all  the options that were present with PRAs. With those users could arrange commentaries in groups according to style (Critical, Exegetical, Expositional, Devotional, or whatever). This could be done with other resource types as well.

Posts 8837
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 8:04 AM

Thomas Black:

Sean Boisen:
and we certainly can't provide every feature that every user desires
You mean I'm NOT going to get that automatic sermon writing module?  Nuts.

Pecans, cashews, almonds, walnus or just peanuts?

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 8837
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 8:09 AM

DouglasEStephens:

Personally, I think it would have been easier to accomplish their goals by updating the L3 user interface.  L4 isn't that much different other than cosmetically.  In other words Sadie's got a new dress on.  But the functionality and features were already present in L3.  It wouldn't have been that difficult to change the look and add the features without starting over.  Those who argue that they don't want 20 year old technology need to understand that you are still using the same engine (Libronix).  Yet you would sacrifice functionality for something new.  Not logical to me.

To say that L4 is the same engine as L3 is about like saying that the jet was no different from a prop plane.  Both may get you from one location to another by passing through the air, but "what's under the hood" is totally different.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 90
James Macleod | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 8:42 AM

Ken Avery:

Time for SW school again Geeked

I'm not sure that taking the mantle of some sort of SW guru is helpful to the discussion. I've been working in SW development for 20+ years and I've seen lots of development methodologies. Some work and some don't or some work in certain situations with certain teams but not in others. Your approach, though not bad, is a more old school. I think Logos is taking more of an Agile development strategy. I believe they are doing it right. They have done a good job moving to a totally new platform and I look forward to seeing what features they add to a really good core product.

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 8:51 AM

Thomas Black:

Bob Pritchett:
I'm a bit nervous being so direct -- please don't read this as our not caring about our existing users! We do, and we want your feedback, and to build a product you're happy to keep using and upgrading. But I hope you can appreciate and share our goal of engaging even more users.

Bob,

As one of those longer term users I've never felt that you didn't care about me.  I have a bit of a head start on many others because I was on the Beta team, but I would like to communicate for everyone "listening" that my experience then matches my experience now - consistently being heard, sometimes agreed with, other times not so much.  I know you're listening. 

I'm frustrated when my pet desires aren't met, but I appreciate you're (and other Logos employees) interjections in the forums which explain the current model and why my model won't work.  But that still doesn't keep me from mentioning pet peeves like everything about handouts.  Wink

Well said, Logos has the best technical support and it is very obvious that you are listening and care about all of us Big Smile

If I am being critical it is because I care about the product and I know Logos also cares about the product; If I did not feel so strongly about the product I would not be so critical.

That said, I agree that more customers is better; I am not asking that anyone at Logos drop what they are doing and address how we can get a better keylinking replacement, I am only asking for a commitment and time frame (assuming we get something better).

Posts 7186
Forum MVP
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 8:59 AM

Ken Avery:
If I am being critical it is because I care about the product and I know Logos also cares about the product; If I did not feel so strongly about the product I would not be so critical.
Well stated Ken.  I think this is a recurring theme behind much (but not all) of the criticism on these boards.  As users we tend to be passionate about this software - that tends to produce a few sparks.

Posts 268
Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 2 2009 9:33 AM

James Macleod:

Ken Avery:

Time for SW school again Geeked

 I'm not sure that taking the mantle of some sort of SW guru is helpful to the discussion. I've been working in SW development for 20+ years and I've seen lots of development methodologies. Some work and some don't or some work in certain situations with certain teams but not in others. Your approach, though not bad, is a more old school. I think Logos is taking more of an Agile development strategy. I believe they are doing it right. They have done a good job moving to a totally new platform and I look forward to seeing what features they add to a really good core product.

Normally I would not answer a post like this because it is all about opinions and we all have opinions; though, I would like to make something clear, my methodology has been used to make Operating Systems, Databases and Database Applications, Device Drivers, network routers ... the list of successes is very long, the list of failures is exactly zero.

I have said more about development than I normally divulge; for those who disagree with me, you are disagreeing with 30+ years of 100% success. The reason I usually do not discuss SW development is because I prefer to keep what and how I do what I do to myself in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

So if I appear to be a little ***, it is because 30+ years of 100% success tends to give one confidence!

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