Gripes: Indexing and GUI L4M -13a

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Posts 30
Cornelius Jemison | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Feb 22 2010 11:18 AM

For the past several days I’ve had to leave my laptop running with the hopes that the indexing would be completed sometime yesterday.  In addition, I've had to turn off the energy management settings and leave my laptop at home running. Also, I’ve ensured that all other resources, short of disabling the GUI, wouldn't be running until the indexing has completed.  Unfortunately, it's not done yet.   Because of the inaccurate timer, I don't have clue when the indexing will be completed.  This needs to be address so Logos can set their customers’ expectations.  Like so many others, I’ve been impacted by the indexing. 

 

In all honesty, I don't pretend understand some of the underline system structures and design; however, it would make more sense that Logos would  first provide a standard base application with the all the resources and sqlite db files, and then allow processing for indexing resources that aren't included with the base packages.  This would probably decrease the amount time for indexing files.

OR

 Instead of wasting valuable CPU resources to cycle through so many documents, you could put this in a processing cluster to do it for us (the guys who paid for the upgrade).   Every CPU cycle counts towards the degradation of the machine, and it makes no sense to ask the customers to do this.  Amazon and so many other software infrastructure providers provide systems that you can setup as a Beowulf Cluster to process through your indexes.  Google does this and so many others do it, too.  Why not Logos?  Just a thought…

The GUI needs some work. It looks as if this product was developed using the MONO project, an open source initiative to bring the ability to use of .NET applications to other non-windows platforms, is risky at best.  Why not develop a full-fledged Apple GUI with Objective-C, which would be more stable than MONO?  MONO is clunky, messy, and sometimes it’s non-responsive.

Right now, If someone were to ask me about purchasing this product, I would tell them to wait until it's finished. Having to pay for an alpha software product that is no where near ready for quality assurance testing isn't fair, in my humble opinion.  Customers shouldn't be treated like company quality assurance testers, either. 

 

Please know that I appreciate your efforts, like so many others, but as a customer and stakeholder, I am disappointed with the investment that I’ve made in purchasing this product at this time.  

 

Just my $0.02 cents, take it for whatever it's worth Big Smile

 

 

Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 |  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz | Memory: 4GB

Posts 10
Frank DeLalla | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 2:11 PM

Well put.  I have to agree that the approach to Mac dev hasn't been fair at all.  I've tried to be very positive, but it is getting harder and harder.

I've been using Logos seriously since the first Mac betas.  Ever since then I've continued to invest serious money into Logos entirely based on the promise that they would eventually make it work.  So far, it hasn't.  I've had nothing but sub-par products for the Mac. 

There are so many reasons to love logos.  Great customer support, huge library selection, payment plans that don’t charge interest, and giant academic discounts--all things I’ve taken full advantage of.  So yes, I’m a bit of Logos fan-boy.  The handling of the Mac engine from the first one to these alphas however has been a little hard to take.  It’s been a while and I still don’t have a UI that matches even the Logos 3 PC experience.  We pay for Logos 1 for the Mac, it goes nowhere, and now we’re in Alpha-release hell just hoping something that isn’t horrible will come out the following Monday! 

And the indexing!  Seriously guys?  Really?  I have the last generation 24 inch iMac--a great set up, and I have to start Activity Monitor before launching Logos so that the ridiculous indexing doesn’t crash the whole system.  Then I read on the forums that this is a “feature”.  Wow.

The vast majority of Logos users are serious Christians.  Lucky you.  I suspect most of them don’t want to seem ungodly and so they just keep heaping the encouragement on you in the forums.

Again, I'm a fan-boy, but I feel you've taken advantage of that.  We're not all pals here.  We're customers, and you've let us down. 

I don't like public griping, but I had to get that off my chest.

Frank

Posts 30
Cornelius Jemison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 2:30 PM

I didn't want to seem like I was complaining.  Being a software developer, I know how difficult it is to manage stakeholders. But, I also feel like this is horrible way to roll out a software package.  Frankly, I don't think anyone should do an implementation like this until you have something worthy of showing the customer.   I will be your biggest cheerleader when I see something better.

Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 |  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz | Memory: 4GB

Posts 10
Frank DeLalla | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 2:51 PM

My point exactly.  I'm entering alpha on a product I'm helping to develop.  I can't imagine the general public, including people who have paid serious money, using our product as it is now. 

 

Frankly, I am complaining.  :-)  My point being, that it is time to complain--not in a cranky, angry way.  Complaining in the sense that this isn't what I signed up (and paid up) for. 

 

Still love Logos.  Just finding my enthusiasm seriously checked at this point.

Posts 102
Andrew Mercer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 2:52 PM

 

Philathea80:

For the past several days I’ve had to leave my laptop running with the hopes that the indexing would be completed sometime yesterday.  

 

Very early on in the forum (about A3 stage) someone else expressed similar problems and the answer was to use a utility called Caffeine (see link http://caffeine.en.softonic.com/mac). What it does is allow your Mac to stay awake (without the need to modify your power mngt settings in Sys Prefs) whilst the indexing runs as indexing won't complete unless the computer is active. When indexing is required and I am not on my computer, I set Caffeine to run indefinitely and turn down my screen brightness to zero and this has worked for every indexing that I have had since Alpha3. I have had a few long indexes as I have upgraded my libray twice during this period. 

Hope this helps and eases your frustration.

Posts 698
LogosEmployee

Philathea80:
The GUI needs some work. It looks as if this product was developed using the MONO project, an open source initiative to bring the ability to use of .NET applications to other non-windows platforms, is risky at best.  Why not develop a full-fledged Apple GUI with Objective-C, which would be more stable than MONO?  MONO is clunky, messy, and sometimes it’s non-responsive.

It's been stated elsewhere in these forums, but the UI of the Mac version is being built with Cocoa in Objective-C. We're not using any of the various GUI Toolkits associated with the Mono project (e.g. WinForms or GTK#). We are using Mono under the hood, but not in the GUI.

Director of Engineering for Enterprise and Operations

Posts 22
Tony Garcia | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 3:39 PM

Yeah, I would have to agree with the feeling of disappointment. Initially, I purchased Libronix hoping that they would continue to develop it so it more closely matched the Windows version. In fact, that is what was promised. The Mac version was supposed to be gaining new features and I was told that development would continue. So I purchased, and was patient. That was last December.

A few months later I learned I was going to have to invest another $100 in a completely new product. While I was glad for all the new features, I felt like I already paid for them. Bt I paid for them again, because I like Logos. But again, I have to agree that I am feeling a bit let down. I wanted to remain the faithful customer and I am trying to be patient, but I feel like I am continually throwing money at this thing and being told it will work very soon.

In short, I feel as if I have made a much greater investment in Logos that Logos has made in me as a customer.

But I'll continue to be faithful and wait, and hope for the best.

This isn't cheap software. I understand and believe that these developers are working hard, but I just want to say that I have slightly higher expectations concerning the quality of the product and the timelines of its development. I've paid a lot for Logos, but its still not working the way I expect it to.

And I have trouble, because this is a Christian company, and I am a Christian, and we are discussing BIBLE software, after all. But honestly, I feel a bit taken advantage of.

Please let me know if I am being unfair. I want you to understand where I am coming from, but if I have misunderstood something, correct me.

Posts 10
Frank DeLalla | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 3:46 PM

Tony Garcia:
And I have trouble, because this is a Christian company, and I am a Christian, and we are discussing BIBLE software, after all. But honestly, I feel a bit taken advantage of.

 

That is what I was trying to get at.  I think people are feeling sheepish about saying what they really think because we're all brothers and sisters.  There is nothing sinful about coming out and expressing disappointment and frustration.  Like you, I've paid twice for a product that hasn't worked once.  Right now I own lots of books that can only be viewed with whatever UI Logos gives me.  I feel trapped.

Posts 30
Cornelius Jemison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 4:04 PM

Fine, the GUI isn't written in MONO, I stand to be corrected;  however, you fail to respond to issues that I mentioned earlier.  And, it doesn't change the fact that the interface is in need of some serious work to address the functionality that suppose to be in the application.   

Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 |  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz | Memory: 4GB

Posts 30
Cornelius Jemison | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 4:14 PM

Speak the truth in love, right? Please correct me if I am wrong.

I have a problem with the way that technical support is being handled.  This isn't a open source project on source forge.  People actually bought and payed for the software.  I figured there would a level of support for this application, so why are  so many users resolving to post their issues on a community forum? If you felt secure enough to sell this as an alpha product, would you also provide support for it, too, right?   I mean the community is great, but someone should still resolve issues on a one on one basis instead of hoping that someone will address their issue. 

I am not trying to knock anyone's company or business, but thus far, I have been disappointed.  Logos is a first class product, so I expected a little more from the people who provided it.

Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 |  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz | Memory: 4GB

Posts 22
Tony Garcia | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 4:22 PM

Community forums are a great place to get tech support. Apple makes first class hardware and software, but there is a ton of troubleshooting in their forums. Most companies request you check forums before contacting them directly. And they didn't really sell it as an alpha product... you could get the engine for free. You paid for the books.

Posts 22
Tony Garcia | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 4:30 PM

I am thinking about trying to get a full refund due to the lack of good development. I know its not the policy, but I think I have a case. I want a refund, and then I'm going to switch to Accordance because I know its going to work on my Mac.

Posts 102
Andrew Mercer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 6:07 PM

Philathea80:

I have a problem with the way that technical support is being handled.  This isn't a open source project on source forge. 

 

You need to remember that this is in Alpha release and as such there is no technical support on an Alpha version. This has been covered in numerous posts over the past couple of months and the Mac developers have been doing a great job.  I wouldn't jump ship yet - you can use the Windows Version of L4 on your mac using a VM - most Mac users are doing that, either via Parallels or FusionWare - some are even using Virtual Box.

I was not a Logos user before L4 but the company has been very upfront and honest with it's direction and intentions. New Alpha's are released approx every two weeks and each one is a positive improvement on their predecessor. 

Peace

Posts 22
Tony Garcia | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 22 2010 6:34 PM

You are right to say they have been upfront and honest, but the problem is that at some point what they say will do actually needs to happen. One year and over $500, I've been waiting for my Bible software to be what Logos told me it would be. And the fact that I have had to contribute more before I get my results is frustrating.

But I wanted to stay current, and I wanted to take advantage of the discount they ran in January. So on the last night of the sale, I decided to buy in and spend $100to wait some more.

I waited for Logos 3 with Libronix to be developed further, and it didn't happen. Now I'm waiting for them to develop a new program they've created. And it all costs me money.

I too feel trapped, like I can't be sure how reliable my software is going to be, or if its going to continue to require further financial investment. Do I get out while I can, or do I go deeper?

Cameron, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I don't want you to feel like I'm ripping on you or the devs. I think you guys are working hard and doing good work. Its just how all this ends up feeling for the user paying for the software. I love how Logos works and what I can do, I just want what I paid for, which is fair.

Posts 30
Cornelius Jemison | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 7:09 AM

I love Logos, so I am not going to give up on it.  I've invested time and money into this thing.  Last night, I turned off the indexer and I am going to wait a couple of weeks to try it again.  I am frustrated with level of support that I've received and felt it was necessary to communicate that.  It's a poor way to do a software implementation.   My boss, nor my company would ever put something out like this.  In my humble opinion, Logos is doing disservice to his customers.  I know the economy is bad, but this is no way to treat your customers. 

I am not happy and think what's been done thus far is unethical. How dare anyone ask you to pay for alpha software that is no where near ready to be released? It's wrong.

Model Identifier: MacBook4,1 |  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz | Memory: 4GB

Posts 505
Michael Kares | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 8:54 AM

From what I understand, Logos was in a tough position.  Soon after the first Mac engine was completed, the development of Logos 4 began.  Logos had to make a choice.  Continue to develop a Mac engine that would be one generation behind the Windows product or work towards platform parity.  I think they made the right choice.  It's the choice I would have made.  Do I think they made a good decision releasing the alpha as a show of faith that the Mac engine was in fact being developed, yes.

 

Logos knows its customer service is lacking...and from what I can tell, its killing them.  They pride themselves on customer service.  However, they built such a great product, that they grew faster than they ever thought they would.  If you guys haven't done so already, today's entry--especially the link to Bob's personal blog.  I think we can all relate to things not going as planned.  Hey, I wish I had access to all of my features on the Mac side as well.  I know running a VM can be a little annoying, but we know two things:  The Windows engine rocks and every two weeks or so the Mac Engine is getting closer to being fully implemented on our machines.

 

This next suggestion is one I need to work on as well: instead of lamenting over what we do not have, lets pray for the people of the company.  In a real sense (now that I think about it), they are partners with us in our various ministries.  So, let's treat them like we would any other partner in ministry: voice our concerns, but above all pray for them.

 

The rant of Mike is ended.

Posts 2793
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:20 AM

Hi Phil, before I reply I need to say that although I carry the Logos employee badge, I have only worked for them for about 3 weeks.  I am currently a church planter, an ordained pastor, and user of Logos for 14 years.  I say this, because my response is as a Logos user, not an employee.  If you read back through my 2,000 posts, you will see I have been very consistent and sincere in what I am writing to you today.

Philathea80:
 I've invested time and money into this thing.  Last night, I turned off the indexer and I am going to wait a couple of weeks to try it again.  I am frustrated with level of support that I've received and felt it was necessary to communicate that.
I am sorry you feel frustrated, and if you have problems with the Alpha, there are many folks here ready to help and give you the support you need.

Philathea80:
It's a poor way to do a software implementation.
It is not common for a company to allow users to test Alpha software, and partly because users with minimal computer skills can get it and get angry when they have to report bugs.  However, as a user, I was very thankful Logos let me Alpha test (I was a Beta tester for the Logos 1.x version, Logos 4 windows version and now Mac).  I have personally enjoyed being a part of the process, making positive suggestions, and helping the programmers find bugs and improve the end product.  

Philathea80:
In my humble opinion, Logos is doing disservice to his customers.  I know the economy is bad, but this is no way to treat your customers. 
I understand that if you got involved and did not understand the meaning of "Alpha" this must be very frustrating and confusing for you to have the program crash.  However, if you see it as an opportunity to help shape the final product, you will realize that this is actually a process that will give us a better piece of software. 

Philathea80:
I am not happy and think what's been done thus far is unethical.
I really fail to see how there is anything unethical in the Alpha process. It is regrettable that you are frustrated with not understanding Alpha software, but ethics is not the issue here brother. (NOTE: I am assuming of course you are a Christian.  Some of our users are not, so if you are not I apologize ahead of time for making that assumption and calling you brother.)

Philathea80:
How dare anyone ask you to pay for alpha software that is no where near ready to be released? It's wrong.
Logos sells the resources, not the software.  The books are usable on Windows, iPhone, and via the web at library.logos.com.  For customers who use Windows AND Mac, the release of the Alpha on Mac was very much appreciated.  I, for example, can use my books on my Windows machine, on my iPhone and at the same time test and help develop the Alpha.  Now certainly not everyone is in that situation and so each user must exercise discretion.  We do have many Mac users on this forum who are Mac only and simply purchased to get the great deal on books that ended in January.  That was their choice and most are very happy to make that deal.  So while the deal may be "wrong" for you personally given your specific needs, it is a great deal for many others (users like me who do weekly sermon prep and teaching on my Mac... it has been a good deal).  I personally have been so impressed with Logos' integrity over the past 14 years, that I consider it a great honor to work for them and represent them.

Phil, please understand I am not trying to change your view or experience.  I am sorry this process has been a frustration for you.  At the same time, I do hope you will see that your experience does not determine the totality of reality.  I, for one, am thankful for the Alpha process and I hope you will respect my experience as much as your own.

Blessings

 

 

 

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 10
Frank DeLalla | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:37 AM

Hey Joe,

Phil is a software developer.  He knows what "alpha" means.  I'm sorry, but simply saying its an alpha misses a big part of the story.  We bought Mac 1 and dev stopped.  For that reason alone we have reason to gripe.  Integrity or no, the company has let us down with a series of huge missteps in relation to the Mac community.  Why can't anyone step up and say to the Mac community that this has been a steaming mess from the beginning? 

Seriously, why are we supposed to be excited about paying for stuff that doesn't work?  You're certainly not helping by telling a software developer (Phil) that he doesn't know what "alpha" means. Read his posts more carefully.  He and I are both working on alpha products.  My company wouldn't accept money in exchange for access to an alpha!  (I know, I know, technically they didn't do that, but that is what the user experience ends up being.  Its a bad customer relations move.  Put it on sale, make it sync with the iPhone, let people buy it thinking it will catch up fast, and then blame them when they get upset later--that is reality.  Seriously, step back and see that that is the reality of the situation.  Yelling "alpha" doesn't change it.)

The only proper response is, "sorry, you paid for this and we changed the game on you half way into it."  Your 14 year experience with Logos is a lot different from my brief experience.  Mine is that I spent over $2000 and the engine is lame (Mac 1) or broken (L4 alpha).  You can do what so many on the forum to, which is shout "alpha" as if that makes it ok.  Or you can apologize as an employee, because that is what you are now brother.

 

Blessings.

Posts 698
LogosEmployee
Cameron Watters (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:42 AM

Tony Garcia:
Cameron, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I don't want you to feel like I'm ripping on you or the devs. I think you guys are working hard and doing good work. Its just how all this ends up feeling for the user paying for the software. I love how Logos works and what I can do, I just want what I paid for, which is fair.

I'm just one of 12 software developers currently working full time on the Mac product (that number excludes the rest of the development team who works on Windows and/or code that is used by both apps).

The discussion about what one bought when one bought a base package (software vs. resources), the issue of "selling an Alpha product", and whether or not expectations were adequately set, up front, when we released the Alpha, have all been covered numerous times in these forums with responses from marketing, support and the the CEO. There isn't a lot I can add to what they've said.

For the time being, my energy is singularly focused on trying to bring Logos 4 Mac to parity with Logos 4 Windows as rapidly as possible. I am sympathetic toward users who are frustrated with the current situation, but I am utterly convinced that the best thing I can do with my time and energy to bring that frustration to an end is a) write code and b) do what I can to ensure that those using the alpha get the most out of it, which includes working with users having issues in the forums and, not surprisingly, writing code.

Director of Engineering for Enterprise and Operations

Posts 100
Heath Choate | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:47 AM

I want to step out a little further on what Joe has said from another percpective. I have only been a Mac user for a little more than a year. Logos 4 is my first experience with the company and their software.

I admit being a bit overwhelmed and frustrated at first. However. I read up and did my research before putting my money down on the software. I too have beta tested software before and was familiar with the process. As it states in the disclaimers and in the forums Alpha software is not stable and it is process of implementing features . Beta means all the features are there but there are still bugs that must be worked out before it ready to be released as a consumer product.

Case and point you can buy the previous versions of Logos on Amazon but you can not buy L4 there yet. I have had very few problems with the software except obvious "missing features" that cause me to use Logos 1 for Mac.

It is frustrating when software changes and you have made an investment. However software makers are always at the behest of the operating systems. With Snow Leopard and Windows 7 releases no matter what they did to improve the previous gen software it was always going to lag behind and soon it would become impossible to support.

The previous gen software supported Power PC something that Apple has ceased to do with Snow Leopard.It was a judgement call that I think was the right one to make.

Regarding the forums and support. The forum members are very informative and very quick to report issues so they can be addressed. It is not a replacement for a call center support system. Again this is Alpha software it will get full support once it becomes an actual commerical release.

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