Logos Staff: A Story to Give you something to think about

Page 7 of 11 (212 items) « First ... < Previous 5 6 7 8 9 Next > ... Last »
This post has 211 Replies | 10 Followers

Posts 118
Jonathan Ray | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 5:07 AM

Francis:
Faithlife has been resistant for years to the users' comments that the underlying technology was sluggish. There have been improvements but it continues to be a problem. One gets the impression of band-aid solutions rather than an overhaul.

Yes, exactly!!!

Francis:
Faithlife has had a consistent history of pushing out of the gate unfinished tools and what appears like side projects. This means that new tools are often poorly integrated, poorly documented, and are not polished as far as usability and performance are concerned.

Interactives come to mind here. 

Posts 1998
Forum MVP
Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 5:13 AM

Francis:
supposed to alleviate the problem by offering more docs and tools. Yet in a way, it compounds the problem

Agreed! The conundrum is that none of us want our favorite little (or big) tool to be disturbed, yet we don't want the clutter the ones we don't use (but might be someone else's favorite). I think that some serious thought needs to happen along the lines of Streamlining, Consolidation, Integration, and Intuitiveness. Where it's possible to combine two tools into one more powerful one, please do so (Explorer/Information, Bible Browser/Search, Library/Collections, FA/Command Box, etc ). If two tools need to remain distinct for some reason but complement each other, then integrate as tightly as possible.

Searching, as we all know, is a major pain point. I strongly support a simplification of the syntax as well as a refactoring of the UI and/or a Query Builder. One of my frustrations has been with the autocomplete not working within existing syntax.

For example, I may wish to find something as simple as when the disciple John is speaking. I can select "{Speaker <Person Abraham>}" from the cookbook, but I can't simply double-click on Abraham and type John since auto-complete doesn't run. I have to type "John" OUTSIDE the braces in order to have auto-complete give me  "<Person John (son of Zebedee)>" which I then have to cut/paste. When I select the above from the cookbook, I would intuitively expect to be able to select "Speaker" and instantaneously be given the replacement options that relate to <Person> e.g Addressee, Agent, Patient, Beneficiary, etc. When I select Abraham, I expect to start getting autocomplete results for all the {Speaker}s in the Bible and when I start typing it would, of course, narrow down very quickly.

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 7:02 AM

Francis:

I'm not sure that "simple mode" is really part of the picture here: what users struggle with is rarely very simple stuff like how to line up two panels or search for a word. A simple mode could turn out to be a simplistic solution which would not be one at all. 

Francis:  But it is, in the context of this thread.  Keep in mind that while we are talking about MANY suggestions for what could be improved, and I am SUPER SUPER excited about every suggestion and comment here, the original point of my post was for the "little guy" who purchases logos and has no clue how to search for a word or line up two panels.  When I first started, Mark on his Logos 4 videos showed me how to search for a word and all I could do with it, but I had to go looking for help OUTSIDE of Logos and not everyone will do that.  Sadly, we STILL have to go looking for help outside of Logos more than we should have to, which is my point.  So I do think we need a simple mode to get people started and then add modules or functions or packages as they grow into the program.

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 3681
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 7:14 AM

Cynthia in Florida:
So I do think we need a simple mode to get people started and then add modules or functions or packages as they grow into the program.

Fair point. It's just that as the thread grew, broader problems became part of the picture and my concern was that it may be thought that a simple mode would be the cure of all ills. I have no issue with a simple mode. I just want to make sure that the broader related issues that affect the rest of us are also properly addressed. I believe that this would also help the "little guy" a great deal. 

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 7:29 AM

Francis:

You hit several of the key points (search builder, better integration, speed). I would say that the approach to date has been mainly to add to what was already there. This does not change the lack of intuitiveness and accessibility of advanced functionality but is supposed to alleviate the problem by offering more docs and tools. Yet in a way, it compounds the problem, since it increases the number of tools and resources one must learn to draw on in order to learn how to do things.

Several areas of need are important:

  • Faithlife has been resistant for years to the users' comments that the underlying technology was sluggish. There have been improvements but it continues to be a problem. One gets the impression of band-aid solutions rather than an overhaul.

Did you know that Audi did not make a Q7 in 2016?  What happened was they decided that the best way to break away from even being compared to Volvo, Mercedes, etc., was to stay ahead of their price range competitors.  They recognized that their current model was "heavy" and with the newer technology, they could lighten it up by redesigning it.  They unloaded some steel weight and replaced it with airplane grade aluminum, which removed much of the "slug" weight, caused it to be much better at handling curves, and better on gas.  So they basically had to go down to the very frame and redesign from there.  They also noted some design and aesthetic flaws, so AFTER redesigning from the frame, they incorporated new designs that makes it faster, beautiful, and more enjoyable for the driver.

True, a model did not come out for 2016, but they let their plans be known to the automotive world and when the new 2017 model came out, sales were so high that people had to pretty much special order them in order to get one, and now that word has gotten out about the new design, their 2018s are doing even better.

Catch my point? Wink

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 7:45 AM

Cynthia: Great Audi post.  I hope FL audies up.

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 8:55 AM

scooter:

Cynthia: Great Audi post.  I hope FL audies up.

Thanks Scooter.  Me too!

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 9:02 AM

Cynthia in Florida:

scooter:

Cynthia: Great Audi post.  I hope FL audies up.

Thanks Scooter.  Me too!

I merely read + highlight.  Thus, I can only be a cheerleader as you folks talk of improvements.  I am with you all the way.

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 9:10 AM

FL:  In case you miss this, look at this thread, particularly OP's second comment!

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/171163.aspx

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 638
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 9:26 AM

Cynthia in Florida:

Perfect example.

Posts 5025
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 12:51 PM

You nailed it Francis:

Francis:

Adam Borries (Faithlife):

Here are the themes I keep hearing from you: 

  • General ease of use; many support the idea of "Simple mode."
  • More free training (which some suggest wouldn't be needed if usability issues were addressed).
  • Search, especially regarding the need to simplify a complex syntax.
    • Faithlife Assistant and Bible Browser are a good start, but not advanced or integrated enough to be helpful all the time.
    • A search builder might help.
  • Speed. 
  • Did I miss anything?

These are all things we are thinking about (a lot), but it's super helpful to get the perspective of boots-on-the-ground users like you. I appreciate hearing from everyone here about your real experience, and what we can do to make it better. 

Carry on, we're listening.

I'm not sure that "simple mode" is really part of the picture here: what users struggle with is rarely very simple stuff like how to line up two panels or search for a word. A simple mode could turn out to be a simplistic solution which would not be one at all. 

You hit several of the key points (search builder, better integration, speed). I would say that the approach to date has been mainly to add to what was already there. This does not change the lack of intuitiveness and accessibility of advanced functionality but is supposed to alleviate the problem by offering more docs and tools. Yet in a way, it compounds the problem, since it increases the number of tools and resources one must learn to draw on in order to learn how to do things.

Several areas of need are important:

  • Faithlife has been resistant for years to the users' comments that the underlying technology was sluggish. There have been improvements but it continues to be a problem. One gets the impression of band-aid solutions rather than an overhaul.
  • Faithlife has defended -- unfortunately with the frequent help of MVPs who seem to think that their mission is "to come to the rescue" -- the notion that advanced software must of necessity have a high learning curve and be somewhat arcane. This is not unlike what can be seen in behavioural issues in which a party cannot change because they refuse to admit that change is needed.
  • Faithlife has had a consistent history of pushing out of the gate unfinished tools and what appears like side projects. This means that new tools are often poorly integrated, poorly documented, and are not polished as far as usability and performance are concerned.

I hope you will not read this as scathing criticism as I do not intend it as such. What I do intend is to connect symptoms and root causes. What I see in the ideas of adding more documentation and more tools to remedy these problems is more of the same and superficial attempts to address issues.

This being said, I truly appreciate that you are listening and know that many things are more easily said than done. 

Posts 5025
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 12:51 PM

You nailed it Francis:

Francis:

Adam Borries (Faithlife):

Here are the themes I keep hearing from you: 

  • General ease of use; many support the idea of "Simple mode."
  • More free training (which some suggest wouldn't be needed if usability issues were addressed).
  • Search, especially regarding the need to simplify a complex syntax.
    • Faithlife Assistant and Bible Browser are a good start, but not advanced or integrated enough to be helpful all the time.
    • A search builder might help.
  • Speed. 
  • Did I miss anything?

These are all things we are thinking about (a lot), but it's super helpful to get the perspective of boots-on-the-ground users like you. I appreciate hearing from everyone here about your real experience, and what we can do to make it better. 

Carry on, we're listening.

I'm not sure that "simple mode" is really part of the picture here: what users struggle with is rarely very simple stuff like how to line up two panels or search for a word. A simple mode could turn out to be a simplistic solution which would not be one at all. 

You hit several of the key points (search builder, better integration, speed). I would say that the approach to date has been mainly to add to what was already there. This does not change the lack of intuitiveness and accessibility of advanced functionality but is supposed to alleviate the problem by offering more docs and tools. Yet in a way, it compounds the problem, since it increases the number of tools and resources one must learn to draw on in order to learn how to do things.

Several areas of need are important:

  • Faithlife has been resistant for years to the users' comments that the underlying technology was sluggish. There have been improvements but it continues to be a problem. One gets the impression of band-aid solutions rather than an overhaul.
  • Faithlife has defended -- unfortunately with the frequent help of MVPs who seem to think that their mission is "to come to the rescue" -- the notion that advanced software must of necessity have a high learning curve and be somewhat arcane. This is not unlike what can be seen in behavioural issues in which a party cannot change because they refuse to admit that change is needed.
  • Faithlife has had a consistent history of pushing out of the gate unfinished tools and what appears like side projects. This means that new tools are often poorly integrated, poorly documented, and are not polished as far as usability and performance are concerned.

I hope you will not read this as scathing criticism as I do not intend it as such. What I do intend is to connect symptoms and root causes. What I see in the ideas of adding more documentation and more tools to remedy these problems is more of the same and superficial attempts to address issues.

This being said, I truly appreciate that you are listening and know that many things are more easily said than done. 

Posts 3220
Forum MVP
PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 1:04 PM

Cynthia in Florida:

FL:  In case you miss this, look at this thread, particularly OP's second comment!

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/171163.aspx

Reading Graham's helpful response to the OP, I noticed something that was new to me:

Graham Criddle:

If you want to match on just references to that particular verse put an "=" before it

I had seen Logos search syntax in the form X ~ <Y>, and X = <Y>, but had never seen <=X>.

If Graham hadn't explained that the = within the <> meant "exact match," I'd have never figured that out without some help.

I think it's a good example of how even a "simple" exact match search has a learning curve, and can be cryptic to some of us. (Especially when we forget it down the road, because we don't use that criteria regularly, then have to "relearn" what it means.)

I think this is why we need some form of graphical search builder where the user can see/apply descriptive natural language options (e.g., some sort of "Also match passages which include this verse" toggle).

Search really needs friendly terminology too that anyone can understand. "Narrow intersection operator" or "Range operator" may be greek to some of us who don't have some type of math or computer background.

As an aside, I think I also understand now that <=Job 1:12> is a shortcut for <Bible = Job 1:12>. That wouldn't have been obvious to me before today. While it's good for power users to have less to type, part of the problem that the different syntax should be understood by everyone to be equivalent.

Posts 781
scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 1:48 PM

PetahChristian:

Search really needs friendly terminology too that anyone can understand. "Narrow intersection operator" or "Range operator" may be greek to some of us who don't have some type of math or computer background.

As an aside, I think I also understand now that <=Job 1:12> is a shortcut for <Bible = Job 1:12>. That wouldn't have been obvious to me before today. While it's good for power users to have less to type, part of the problem that the different syntax should be understood by everyone to be equivalent.

Said so nicely, + oh so true.

I really, REALLY do not want to have to learn computer mumbo jumbo. The rig should come to me in my every day language.

Posts 2201
Forum MVP
John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 4:22 PM

I agree that a simple mode may not be the solution. I do think that the basic functions of the program should be intuitive and that the more complex functions should be easily learned with some effort. A few suggestions, sorry if I am repeating:

1. Categorize the library using the same categories when a base package is advertised. Allow these categories to function as base collections. That way a new user does not have to create collections or got to Faithlife groups. This will allow the cited by tool, add them to Guides or run searches like power users without having to create any collections.. One can always create more complex collections as they advance. I have requested this in the past.

2. Searching needs to have a GUI. Unless you have lots of notes and do lots of complex searching it is impossible to realistically utilize the functions that are available. The suggested searches available are not sufficient. Drop downs for specific wording of searches need to be available and be fast and efficient. Logos can search on items other software cannot, but it doesn't matter if only a few can remember the codes. BTW I consider myself a power user. I think Logos wanted to make the right mouse menu initiated searches the easier way to go, but it still needs work in the functional department. Perhaps not have programers design the search but someone in the company that does not know code.

3. Training videos need to be training focused, not sales focused. They should also be built around what users would be doing in their work and study. I think longer videos would be required with more step by step assistance. The ones available are well produced, but sometimes are too short and end with a sales pitch. The better ones are included in the Mobile Ed courses.

So, even though the original OP was concerned with the "little guy.", I think the concept of ease of learning the program as well as ease of use applies to almost all.

Posts 24955
Forum MVP
Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 26 2018 9:51 PM

Francis:
Faithlife has defended -- unfortunately with the frequent help of MVPs who seem to think that their mission is "to come to the rescue" -- the notion that advanced software must of necessity have a high learning curve and be somewhat arcane. This is not unlike what can be seen in behavioural issues in which a party cannot change because they refuse to admit that change is needed.

With Logos 6, Search syntax grew further with datasets and Labels, presumably because users had been wanting to query the (bible) text from a grammatical, semantic and theological perspective. For example, the question in Jn 1:19 (= John 1:19)Smile can generate 4 queries from the Context menu:-

1. {Label Question WHERE Rhetorical ~ false AND Type ~ "Wh-"}    ----> could not find any documentation! But {Label Question WHERE Rhetorical ~ false} produces similar results to {Section <SpeechAct = Info: Quest>}

2. {Section <PropositionalOutline = Question>}    -----> Lexham Prop. Outlines Glossary (glossary)

3. {Section <SpeechAct = Info: Quest>}    ------> Speech Acts Dataset Documentation (manual)

which states "The Speech Acts of the New Testament dataset is complementary to the Sentence Types of the New Testament dataset. The formal features of a Sentence Type is, by itself, not always able to provide the most useful information to the user in their searches. For example, if a user wanted to search for all of the commands in the New Testament, a list of every instance of the imperative mood may provide a good starting point, but it would not provide all of the data. There are several places where a sentence type other than the imperative is used to give a command. For example, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you that you all agree.” Here Paul uses a declarative sentence (according to the Sentence Type Dataset) to make a command. One would not be able to find other such examples if this data set were not created."   

It recommends {Section <SpeechAct = Oblig:Direct>} for commands.

4. {Section <Sentence = Interrogative>}   ---->  Sentence Types Dataset Documentation  (manualanswers best the Q's of Jesus

which states "The Speech Acts of the Bible Dataset is complementary to the Sentence Types of the Bible Dataset. One (Sentence Types) involves formal criteria, the other (Speech Acts) involves pragmatic criteria focused on the volition or intent of the speaker/writer. The complementary nature of these datasets can be better understood in the nature of commands. Formally, these are imperative statements as annotated by the Sentence Types Dataset. However, other types of statements can be intended as commands without using the formal structure of an imperative. ... The Speech Act Dataset is used to locate these more pragmatic usages. The combination of the two (formal and pragmatic instances) can provide a more complete list of commands or questions."

For commands use {Section <Sentence ~ Imperative>}

.

So, to combine questions:

{Section <Sentence ~ Interrogative>} OR {Section <SpeechAct = Info:Quest>}

which makes it awkward to answer "What are the questions of Jesus"?

Purely from my own efforts I would recommend {Section <Sentence = Interrogative>}   INTERSECTS  {Speaker <Person Jesus>}

Then I find that the documentation recommends, for rhetorical questions:

{Section <SpeechAct = Info: Assert>} WITHIN {Section <Sentence ~ Interrogative>}     ---> !!??

So did you want Jesus' rhetorical questions with my recommended query? Did it matter?

.

If you have gotten this far, it's taken me over 2 hours to answer "What are the questions in the bible" combined with "What are the questions of Jesus?", because I had to start over again with query(s) that have been asked/requested many times by users. Ask me about highlights in resources, something I wanted in the Search, and I'll respond quickly with {Highlight My Style}!  

My point:  a simple Search language ain't Simple! Faithlife Assistant is a testimony to that, if you managed to ask something it understands e.g. Find questions in the bible ---> searches for "questions" in Top Bibles. The complexity of Logos has grown with the thirst for knowledge of its users.

Then we have the complexity of a request like this one, where I struggle because I'm not a student of Greek grammar. I also struggle with Google syntax! So it ain't easy.

That's not to say something can't be done, but it will take enormous effort to simplify the 'dataset' searches to provide the answers you want every time.

I see bad suggestions in Search panel "help", bad parameters like "Match equivalent preferences" in the menu, hidden (but documented) [Match ] parameters for the Find box and too much information for 'dataset' searches in the Context menu (should be user controlled). Probably more, but I don't have the time.

Dave
===

Windows & Android

Posts 809
Cynthia in Florida | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 27 2018 3:57 AM

Dave:   

1.  WOW, what a post!  Thank you.

2.  You’re amazing!

3.  If FL can’t simplify this, there is not a SLIVER of hope for the likes of me, and that makes me sad.  

Cynthia

Romans 8:28-38

Posts 10178
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 27 2018 6:11 AM

Dave Hooton:

My point:  a simple Search language ain't Simple! Faithlife Assistant is a testimony to that, if you managed to ask something it understands e.g. Find questions in the bible ---> searches for "questions" in Top Bibles. The complexity of Logos has grown with the thirst for knowledge of its users.

Not disagreeing. I just don't remember the users wanting all these datasets. I honestly (sort of) thought it was a strategy relative to the seminaries or Bible college classes. Certainly not the bread and butter pastors (given the arcane syntax, works here, not there, etc). Indeed (as noted earlier), I thought (and still think) Rick's bird-dogging was in prep for a killer search system.

And being a Don Juanita, I still think such a search system would be a 'century' feat (looking at the general development of Bible study ... english, affordability, Sunday Bible Class movement, and later the excitement of 'searching' using a 'computer' even in your own home).

My less favorable guess about the datasets, was Bob wanted to keep the pitchfork-holding users busy, while he diverted Logos coders to Proclaim, and his more recent purchase. Which seems to be working ... Proclaim now healthily profitable.


Posts 1949
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 27 2018 6:36 AM

Dave Hooton:
I see bad suggestions in Search panel "help", bad parameters like "Match equivalent preferences" in the menu, hidden (but documented) [Match ] parameters for the Find box and too much information for 'dataset' searches in the Context menu (should be user controlled).

I understand that there is complexity in searching.  I just dont understand why I cannot find a go to page that explains in simple terms how to conduct searches. I also do not understand why the complex search rules cannot be automated with simple commands or a drop down menu so I do not have to type in all the complex rules to do a search.  I guess because it is so complex, I would be willing to pay for a resource that was written to explain it well, though there would be an uproar if such a resource was sold.

Posts 1397
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 27 2018 7:41 AM

I've been following every post of this now seven-page long thread with a great deal of interest and a sense of justification as to why/how I've been so unsuccessful over the years in using Logos for the primary purpose I purchased it 10 years ago--i.e. search capabilities that I understood to be marketed as easy-to-use but head-and-shoulders-above any other Bible app out there.  Search capabilities that would allow me to quickly and reliably search and study scripture as never before possible.

That's what I was after!  I had several paper Bibles, a few paper commentaries, and a couple of paper books on theology and church history--resources that were easily read but not so easily searched and studied.  So I took the plunge with Logos ...and I've taken it again with every new release since, and have regularly plunged deeper and deeper with all the highest-end feature sets, a good variety of base package libraries, and a lot of additional resources not offered in base packages.

When I contrast where I am today with where I was 10 years ago, I find my library has grown from a total of roughly 40 paper resources (Bible and other) to 3400 resources, all supplemented by too many datasets, features, and tools to keep track of--3400 resources that I find are easily read but not so easily searched and studied.

I'm not going to give any specific search/study examples here that I have struggled with.  The fact is I no longer even attempt any but the most basic of searches.  I use to make the effort, but the vast majority of my attempts left me scratching my head.  Why didn't I get any hits--not a single one?  Why did I get these results when I thought I was asking for something else?  Why didn't I get any results from resources A, B, and C?  They're in my library and I know they have information that I would expect to be returned from this query--information I want.  But nope--not included in the results.  I too often found that the time I had available for Bible study had gone entirely to Logos study.

There was a time I asked for help, and as always, kind and faithful MVPs as well as a few other of the very technically oriented users would explain why I was seeing what I was and/or not seeing what I thought I should.  I thank each and every person who has been so kind.  But eventually I came to realize that there were just too many variables in where and how to do searches, and too many technical and/or syntactical hurtles to overcome in the learning curve to be productive with searches.  The truth was, I simply didn't have the time to develop that skill.  It wasn't going to happen so I'd best just get on with reading my resources.

That's basically where I am today--grateful for my library--still wishing I could better utilize it. 

Page 7 of 11 (212 items) « First ... < Previous 5 6 7 8 9 Next > ... Last » | RSS