User Manuals -- Are hardcopies available?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 1:51 AM

Doc B

Doc B:

Graham Criddle:
The manuals exist

Graham, do comprehensive, FL-produced manuals exist?

Doc B:
A Faithlife-produced user's manual.

Sorry - I was't aware that was specifically what was being discussed here and wasn't what I was trying to say.

I just wanted to ensure that anyone reading this thread knew that manuals did exist. .

As posted earlier in this thread paper ones (produced by MP Seminars) are available at https://www.logos.com/product/49668/logos-6-training-manual-volumes-1-and-2 and digital ones are available at https://www.logos.com/product/52479/logos-6-training-manual-volumes-1-and-2 

To the best of my knowledge - and maybe reflecting some of the issues discussed above - these are for the initial releases of Logos 6 software and haven't been updated with new releases.

I wasn't trying to make a distinction, and don't understand why there should be one, between a manual produced by Faithlife themselves as opposed to someone else and Bob comments on the value that Morris and others bring in this area at https://www.logos.com/product/52479/logos-6-training-manual-volumes-1-and-2 

Doc B:
(And yes, some of us old fashioned types think that a user manual is part of the purchase price...not free, but paid for in the purchase price...of a software package, especially a premium one.)

Chargeable / free is a separate issue and not what I was commenting on.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 1:53 AM

Charles McNeil:

Graham Criddle:
Just to re-iterate. The manuals exist

When will it be shipped to those of us that need one? I know you can't give an official word, but its good to know they exit. Thanks!

From earlier comments in this thread I hope this is clear by now.

But, under the current business model, they will be shipped to people when they pay for them.

Note the Digital version is currently on sale for $39.99 and was on sale earlier this month for $34.99.

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C M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 3:24 AM

Graham Criddle:

under the current business model, they will be shipped to people when they pay for them.

Note the Digital version is currently on sale for $39.99 and was on sale earlier this month for $34.99. 

Oh, "what a difference, a day makes." We're back at square one- paying extra for instructions to use a product we purchased legally and in good faith.

Mis-spoke or not, FL executives must want to do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do.

Why sell the software and not give the  manual?  This is equivalent to putting food in a hungry man's mouth and tells him not to swallow. For a company that claims to help people research and understand the Bible faster, easier, and deeper; doubling down on the "current business model", this is a disappointment. 

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 5:19 AM

Charles McNeil:
Oh, "what a difference, a day makes." We're back at square one- paying extra for instructions to use a product we purchased legally and in good faith.

Sorry I don't understand. I don't see that anything has changed from when this conversation started.

Charles McNeil:
Why sell the software and not give the  manual?

That's a Faithlife business issue and one I'm not qualified to comment on

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 5:24 AM

I think that it is important to point out that there are quite a few Logos training tools available that are available for free including a large Logos 6 Help manual, free videos and the entire forums. The Morris Proctor manuals that are for sale in Logos are resources that are produced by a person with his own company. To carry the analogy of a car being sold with owner manuals, there are other companies that produce additional resources that are available for an additional fee. I believe that is what is happening here. Basic helps are offered for free by Logos but additional ones are available for a fee by someone else.

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 8:11 AM

I don't want to debate anyone on this, but just share my perspective. From my experience, Logos is analogous not to a car, but to any other sophisticated software used as a tool. I build web applications for a living, using a Microsoft product. But almost nobody in my field relies on Microsoft documentation as their primary source of training. So, we learn to get good at it through experience, forums (free), explanations of features on web sites (free), videos (free), or occasionally, third-party training that we pay for. In this regard, FL meets my expectations.

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C M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 8:38 AM

Lew Worthington:
almost nobody in my field relies on Microsoft documentation as their primary source of training.

  1. At least you received the document.
  2. You exercise your rights and options not to use what was given.
  3. We have not received a manual to reject it.
  4. Give me the basic manual and I will decide if it's inadequate and if I need additional information or training.
  5. I was not given the option you had.

Your experience is not my experience. In short, "that dog won't hunt." There's no justification for FL to do what it is doing. I know it's not in your power to change things; however, I would like you to reconsider trying to defend them.  They have not given people the basic written documents. This is a form of manipulation and control. Don't encourage them in obligating people to them. Let the product speak for itself.

All  FL has to do is call me, review my holdings with them and sent me an up-to-date manual to match my package. They don't have to announce it, just send it. Everyone may not need or want a manual, but I do.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 8:45 AM

Charles McNeil:
This is a form of manipulation and control.

You have said this several times but I do not understand it. What do you mean by this statement? I am trying to understand you.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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C M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 9:05 AM

Lew Worthington:
But almost nobody in my field relies on Microsoft documentation as their primary source of training. So, we learn to get good at it through experience, forums (free), explanations of features on web sites (free), videos (free), or occasionally, third-party training that we pay for. In this regard, FL meets my expectations.

Lew,

  1. In writing a paper, it's best if one goes to the primary sources first and then, to secondary ones. One can not supplement anything if he or she doesn't have the basics.
  2. New knowledge, is built upon old knowledge.
  3. To build a house that worth its salt, one must lay a foundation before putting up walls or a roof.
  4. In studying the Bible (Logos supposed to be helping), it's better do so in the original languages (Hebrew/Greek) than various translations. They have their place and purposes the original is first and then, commentaries, books, etc.

FL has not met my basic needs of a manual. Why would they allow their "good" to be evil spoken of? Lew, you are too intelligent to NOT see the principle of my position. "Be true to thy own self."

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 10:07 AM

Charles McNeil:

Lew, you are too intelligent to NOT see the principle of my position. "Be true to thy own self."

Sorry. I am probably not that intelligent. Smile

As I stated in my first post, "I don't want to debate anyone on this, but just share my perspective." I'm happy to agree to disagree.

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C M | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 10:18 AM

Lew Worthington:
I am probably not that intelligent. Smile

"NONE IS SO BLIND, WHO WILL NOT SEE."

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 29 2015 11:08 AM

Super.Tramp:
Was anyone promised a hardcopy user manual when they purchased Logos?

Nope.

I've never been promised a hardcopy user manual for any piece of software I've bought (short of, maybe, a blurb on the box that said, 'manual enclosed').

But it was a reasonable expectation it would be in the box, and always was, excepting some real discount software such as games, etc. After the era of boxed software came to an end, the manuals were always linked on the installation CD. Now that some software no longer comes on a CD, but is downloaded, links to the manuals are provided on the download page in is a separate document that downloads with the installation file. Logos is the only premium software I've ever bought that had neither a hardcopy manual nor an online PDF-type manual.

It does have a help file, and I don't mean to overlook or demean that. Initially, it wasn't much. Since I bought Logos, they have enhanced the onboard help file quite a bit. That's good. But it is still very lacking in application. They've published quite a few more videos, which are helpful, but have no real depth or worked examples to speak of, and a video is hard to set on your desk and flip a page in while you are trying to figure out how to (say) code your PB correctly.

Let me make this practical: If I had a dollar for every time I've tried to search for something, but couldn't find it without help from one of the forum MVPs, or had indexing errors (same solution), or couldn't find a resource (same solution), or tried vainly to write a syntax search or even worse code something, and so on, I'd have enough cash to upgrade to portfolio. I should have been able to look up the answer in a manual, but that was not available. The wiki is like searching for a cardboard box in a warehouse full of cardboard boxes...you know its in there, but it'll take a few hours to find it...unless someone gives you a link to the page you want, good luck.

In spite of all the pushback, no one has given me a clear, valid reason why asking for some sort of official documentation, cost-inclusive with the software/resource purchase, is unreasonable. Asking for reasonable accommodation isn't wrong, so I will continue to do so until someone can show me it is unreasonable or can show a better solution.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 2:18 PM

Hi, folks.

The suggestion to have a downloadable PDF that you can print on demand is worth considering. I'll look into what that would take to do.

Now *ahem*:

Just because the manual isn't paper (or PDF) doesn't mean it isn't real. Feels ironic to even have to say that.

It's not perfect, but it's close to decent. In any case, it does exist. I know, because my backside still tingles from the hours spent sitting and writing so much of it! Smile

Seriously. I have personally spent a fair bit of time Logos 6 shipped last year re-organizing and re-writing the on-board help manual, with much assistance from software testers Dylan and Steve. This is an ongoing effort. Just last week I revised and extended the Advanced Search article, with assistance from Bradley. I expect that will be published soon.

Let me draw some bright lines between some categories which I've seen blurred in this thread and others:

  1. Reference manuals document the parts of a product and how they function. Examples are minimal, used mainly for illustrating features, be they mundane or exotic. The material ranges from the basic to the incredibly obscure. The presentation is generally organized by categories pertaining to the product functions rather than as a learning curve.
  2. Training materials teach you how to use a product. Examples are plentiful, and "worked out" to a greater degree. These might consist of textbooks (printed, electronic, or online), videos, blog posts, web sites, seminars, or in-person workshops. The presentation is generally organized by specific tasks, or rather, by the skills necessary to do specific tasks.
  3. Community helps are regular people helping regular people. These are unofficial channels that may consist of forums, wikis, social media posts, emails, or even phone calls.
  4. Customer service are paid employees (so not MVPs) who handle customer issues and complaints on behalf of the company. We do this over the phone, over email, and in the forums. I'm doing it right now. Smile

As you move down the continuum from reference to customer service, the range of topics to address becomes wider and more diverse. Reference manuals only cover a few predictable topics, sometimes at length; training is geared toward covering the topics attendant to mastering a given set of skills; community help and customer service is open-ended as to topic.

So, with those definitions in hand ...

With your purchase, free of charge, you receive the following reference manuals and training materials: 

  • The on-board Logos 6 Help resource. This is far from perfect, but is improving all the time.
  • Feature introduction and basic training videos. These will never be enough, but are updated continually.
  • "Logos Pro" training videos, which are more in-depth.

We also host, free of charge, the following community helps:

We are also very accessible:

  • Me. My email address is eli@faithlife.com. Yep, I regularly put it out on the internet for everyone to see, and I hereby invite you to ask me any question you like about the software. It won't take me several days to answer, either. I also write long help articles, and would appreciate any specific, actionable feedback that you may have.
  • My boss's boss. If I don't cut it, bob@faithlife.com is the president and CEO.

(Come to think of it, I don't think you even have to purchase anything to get any of the material listed above. Just a free login.)

Yes, with some extra investment, you can get further training materials from Morris Proctor (or John Fallahee), as mentioned in this and other threads. These gentlemen are independent software trainers. While we do recommend them, it is not in any way our company policy/stance/opinion that their training substitutes for a free on-board reference manual. I do understand how it might seem that that way, since the free materials suffer in comparison to the paid.

Now, it might be fair to say that we have leaned too heavily on community helps and third-party training to cover deficiencies in our documentation. That's a legitimate (if debatable) criticism. You could say that the on-board help isn't well-written, or is missing this or that, or needs revision on these or those points. That's demonstrably true in any number of specific cases.

But it's just plain false that you don't receive any manual with the software.

Again, I'm wide open to any and all suggestions you may have on improving the reference manual that comes for free in the software. That email address again is eli@faithlife.com.

---

Here's as official a statement on print manuals as I can make: Faithlife will NEVER produce a free printed reference manual. Downloadable PDF? Maybe, I'll look into that. But not on paper.

Yes, Bob is aware of this. He set this policy back in, oh, 1999-ish.

Reasons:

  • We're hopelessly biased in favor of electronic publishing. Faithlife produces electronic reference works. It used to be that the default for the world was to publish things in paper and then make it electronic if needed. The tables turned, quite some time ago. Now, everything starts electronic and paper only comes into the picture when it can justify the expense.
  • Speaking of, yes, it's partly because of cost. Paper costs orders of magnitude more than pixels. It requires different production workflows, more expensive shipping methods, bigger packaging. Imagine a warehouse with pallets of books wrapped in plastic film, and employees to schlep them from one side to the other and stuff them into giant boxes. (We used to do that.) Sad to say, you paper guys are a dwindling minority, and it's not fair to expect us to build the cost for that into the software for everyone else.
  • Yes, also hassle. Has anyone ever typeset a 300+ page document for print? Boy, I sure have. Every little change means possibly having to re-flow the whole thing. Widows, orphans, keeps violations, justification, hyphenation, figures, indexes? Fitting text into arbitrarily-sized rectangles is time-consuming. No thanks.
  • As others have noted, a printed manual would be out of date as soon as it was printed. At our current help-creating capacity (four to six full-time employees) we can produce on-board help reference documentation and new training videos at about the same speed we can create code, which is great! New features ship every six weeks. It takes longer than that to get a manual through production, printing, and shipping. We could produce something periodically, but the period would probably be once every two years, which is too long.
  • We think that facilitating and even cultivating a community of users helping one another is a great thing! We have some of the best users in the world, and it's part of the ethic of our community to help one another. Toward that end, Faithlife employees are more accessible than most. Did you see my email address up there? Smile

I'm at your service, as always.

Shalom!

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 2:54 PM

Thanks Eli. I know that I am stretching it, but make sure that the Pdf can easily be converted into word. I want to make it a Logos ebook. Who has the money to print a 200 page manual? Not me.

If you are feeling really good, make it a word document and we can clean it up if necessary to make an ebook out of it.

Thanks.

Lynden Williams Communications

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 2:55 PM

Thanks Eli

Very helpful post

Graham

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 2:57 PM

Be sure to include Logos Now features.

Lynden Williams Communications

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 3:03 PM

Great response Eli. This confirms everything that I thought plus a little more. Thank you!

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 3:16 PM

Lynden Williams:
Thanks Eli. I know that I am stretching it, but make sure that the Pdf can easily be converted into word. I want to make it a Logos ebook. Who has the money to print a 200 page manual? Not me.

What I'm talking about is already a Logos ebook, the Logos 6 Help manual.

Lynden Williams:

Be sure to include Logos Now features.

It does. At the moment, we just document every feature and label the ones that are only available in Logos Now. 

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Lynden Williams | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 3:25 PM

Eli Evans:

Lynden Williams:
Thanks Eli. I know that I am stretching it, but make sure that the Pdf can easily be converted into word. I want to make it a Logos ebook. Who has the money to print a 200 page manual? Not me.

What I'm talking about is already a Logos ebook, the Logos 6 Help manual.

Lynden Williams:

Be sure to include Logos Now features.

It does. At the moment, we just document every feature and label the ones that are only available in Logos Now. 

I was thinking of a pretty one with all the pictures to illustrate.

Lynden Williams Communications

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Eli Evans (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 30 2015 3:30 PM

Lynden Williams:
I was thinking of a pretty one with all the pictures to illustrate.

Ah, I understand. We don't have a free help manual like that, and I don't know of any plans to make one. (You may be thinking of one of MP's courses, which often have screen shots, and sometimes come in paper, but aren't typically free.)

We include a very few illustrations in the current help manual where a prose description won't suffice. The pretty pictures we do make tend to be videos, which don't work as well on paper because they move around too much. Smile

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