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Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jul 1 2010 9:52 PM

This was a response posted in the Mac forum but I re-posted it here as I thought it pertained to everyone a bit. Plus, I am desperate for some form of relief over this issue. 

I agree 110% (that the Logos team is doing a great job).

But, please ... anyone, am I the only one that thinks the File Menu is just plain wrong.

First, no matter what platform you are running the File menu should NOT be a file browser. Where is the logic there? How about some form of an open dialogue box? Or some kind of a window or something. Maybe something similar to a Collections tab or a Library tab. But I do not want to browse through hundreds of files in the File menu whether they are in folders or not. I dread each moment that I have to click it, look at it and then find (get it? Find) what I am looking for.

Second, if you are going to make a Mac application at least stick to the standard form of a Mac menu, namely the File menu. Aren't there some form of human interface guidelines here?

Okay ... I'm done. Thank you for listening for the upteenth time. And please, can anyone back me up here?

Again, I love the app and am so grateful for it and appreciate the work that the Logos team is doing.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 1 2010 10:13 PM

Yes

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

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 1 2010 10:26 PM

Yes

Michael, I agree with you 100% that the File menu is hard to use as it is and I've been lobbying for changes. I'm a Windows user and don't know what the Mac Logos 4 File Open menu looks like, but I'm guessing it's pretty similar to what we have on the Windows side.

Were you aware that you can filter the contents of the right side of this menu (like you can the library or the collections tab) by typing a few letters from the name of the file you're looking for. (At least that works on the Windows version; not sure if they have it implemented yet on the Mac version.) You can either type the kind of document/file you're looking for (e.g., note to filter the list so it only shows your notes, and so forth), or the actual name of the file (or part of it). I've finally gotten used to to using this feature and it does indeed make finding the files I want easier, though I still wish they'd sort the files alphabetically instead of in the random order I created them, or better yet give me the choice of what sort order to use. And I wish they'd organize it into subfolders of file type like the L3 File Open dialog.

As for working like a standard Windows/Mac File Open dialog, it can't exactly do that, because those allow us to navigate around on our hard disk looking for the file to open, but Logos "files" are not stored on our hard disk directly; they are in a database somewhere and only Logos has access to them. They aren't OS level files.

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JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 1 2010 10:43 PM

Rosie Perera:
As for working like a standard Windows/Mac File Open dialog, it can't exactly do that, because those allow us to navigate around on our hard disk looking for the file to open, but Logos "files" are not stored on our hard disk directly; they are in a database somewhere and only Logos has access to them. They aren't OS level files.

I too would welcome a review of the design of the Files menu. I don't know if the future PBB feature will have those appear as resources in the Library, files in the File menu, or somewhere new. If as files, this will increase the need for a review to cope well with the numbers.

As for "... it can't exactly do that ... are in a database ...": Well, no matter how or where something is stored, the application could present any kind of structure it wants. It can look like a file tree if it wants, even if its all in one XML text file called C:\big_file.txt.

I do like the "filter" idea we have at present, but it somewhat forces us to name everything in ways to allow the filter to be used well, rather than focus on a natural good name for whatever it is. Naming overload has scalling issues.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 1 2010 10:59 PM

JimT:

As for "... it can't exactly do that ... are in a database ...": Well, no matter how or where something is stored, the application could present any kind of structure it wants. It can look like a file tree if it wants, even if its all in one XML text file called C:\big_file.txt.

Sure, it could present any kind of hierarchical structure it wants, and I have no problem with that. But there's no point in it presenting the structure of my hard disk because I as a naive user (assuming I were one) would have no clue where to navigate in the folder hierarchy of my hard disk to find the one file where Logos stores all my notes documents, and even if I did know where it was, it's always the same file (notes.db). Logos knows what it is. I shouldn't have to select it from my C:\ or "My Documents" or "lzwex2n6v.m1u" or whatever the equivalent is on the Mac. I'm not sure about the Mac, but the "File Open" dialog in Windows apps is a common dialog that apps don't have control over -- they just use the standard one that lets people navigate freely around on their hard disk to open the OS-level file in their application. That is fine for apps like Word and Excel where each file you open in the app maps to a discreet file in the OS level file system. But in Logos that isn't the case, so using the built in File Open dialog of Windows or Mac would not make sense. If they were to create their own that looked like it somewhat, it still wouldn't fool people into thinking it was the standard one, because it wouldn't have all that stuff about selecting the drive and folder from the folder hierarchy on the disk.

So in summary, let them present a virtual hierarchy of different types of documents (in tree form even): Clippings, Notes, etc. But we shouldn't need to know what folder these things are stored in on our hard disk in order to open them.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 4:43 AM

Rosie Perera:
So in summary, let them present a virtual hierarchy of different types of documents (in tree form even): Clippings, Notes, etc. But we shouldn't need to know what folder these things are stored in on our hard disk in order to open them.

Yes

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 5:02 AM

Yes..I agree

DOWN WITH FILE MENU CLUTTER!

Robert Pavich

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

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 5:25 AM

First, Yes

 

Second, have you thought about using your "favorites" folders to organize your various files?

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 1367
JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 7:00 AM

Jack Caviness:

Rosie Perera:
So in summary, let them present a virtual hierarchy of different types of documents (in tree form even): Clippings, Notes, etc. But we shouldn't need to know what folder these things are stored in on our hard disk in order to open them.

Yes

Yes, just like Jack likes.

I was suggesting that Logos4 could present its user-content, as if it was some kind of directory tree structure. I.E. Nested levels with some kinds of layouts. So we could have a subdirectory where all of one kind of Notes go, that is different from where a different kind of Notes go. It does not matter to use humans that Logos4 might store them all in some giant database somewhere. Its the human concept of the layout that matters.

In fact, its no different to how Macs, Windows, Unix, Linux and so on stores files. They are not really on the disk in the way we think, in nested trees of subdirectories. The computer does that for our sake. To the hardware, its just a whole bunch of sectors somewhere.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 7:15 AM

Michael Paul:
And please, can anyone back me up here?

Yes

Dave
===

Windows 11 & Android 8

Posts 4
Matt Blackmon | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 7:47 AM

I agree with the above. I think, for me, the two main questions are of design and function.

In terms of design, if I find myself wondering whether something is a "file" or a "tool" then the criteria for either are probably not clear. This is not all that new of an issue as Logos 3 suffered from some of the same issues with some movement across the various choices in various software releases.

In terms of function, it seems, by menu, that visual filter is not a tool but part of a file. I can understand why, sort of, in that it relates to something that you can create/open/modify, but if we can eventually share some of the other items that will be part of the "tools" context, that separation seems to breakdown.

I can sort of offer some experiential proof of this confusion. My students, once they understand the nature and function of the different "tools" still refer to the wrong menus searching for those tools. That seems to me to imply a lack of clarity in the workflow process.

That said, I am not sure that I have a good solution to suggest, but that more discussion needs to occur.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 8:38 AM

Michael Paul:
Thank you for listening for the upteenth time. And please, can anyone back me up here?

Yes   Yes, Michael.  This is the first time I've heard this raised. Glad you've persisted.

JimT:
I do like the "filter" idea we have at present, but it somewhat forces us to name everything in ways to allow the filter to be used well, rather than focus on a natural good name for whatever it is. Naming overload has scalling issues.
JimT:
I don't know if the future PBB feature will have those appear as resources in the Library, files in the File menu, or somewhere new. If as files, this will increase the need for a review to cope well with the numbers.

Very good points. With shared user notes and PBBs on the horizon it could get wild & wooly. Once upon a time it was difficult to manage files under DOS (with short names.) A file manager called XTree Gold made life wonderful.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 11:10 AM

Matt Blackmon:
wondering whether something is a "file" or a "tool"

Interesting observation. For myself I think of 'tool' as something that has to be applied to something else to have meaning and 'file' as something that has meaning in its own right. I'd never noticed that Logos' tool and file menus don't actually implement my understanding. Embarrassed

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

Posts 216
Dan | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 2:42 PM

Michael Paul:
Second, if you are going to make a Mac application at least stick to the standard form of a Mac menu, namely the File menu. Aren't there some form of human interface guidelines here?

I've thought that since I first saw Logos 4. Too much of the GUI looks like a Windows program and ignores standard Mac conventions, i.e. the Preferences command should open a Preference window, NOT a pane in the program! Why are the scroll bars a non-standard size? Why do the scroll bars not show the up/down arrows together on one end--even though it leaves a blank space for them. I could go on and on... But Logos4Mac needs to look and operate like a Mac program and not a port from Windows!

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William | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 5:54 PM

Michael Paul:
can anyone back me up here?

 

Yes  

 

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 2 2010 6:47 PM

DanGiese:
But Logos4Mac needs to look and operate like a Mac program and not a port from Windows!

If it's any consolation, it doesn't look like a Windows app either. :-)

Our first loyalty is to ease of use, and with Logos 4 we decided to do "what's right for Logos 4" even when it broke from the rigid platform UI guide. (Our observation of both Apple and Microsoft applications is that they do exactly the same thing when they feel it's necessary, and other major apps -- like Adobe's -- also use their own, app-appropriate, UI paradigms.)

I know that on the Mac there may be a bit more conformance in general, but I don't think we're getting that far off, and we value consistency between platforms for our app. (Reduces training costs, makes it easier for Windows users to "Switch", etc. ;-) )

 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 4 2010 7:49 PM

Bob Pritchett:
makes it easier for Windows users to "Switch"

I'm for that. They have suffered long enough. Geeked

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 4 2010 8:26 PM

Jack Caviness:

Bob Pritchett:
makes it easier for Windows users to "Switch"

I'm for that. They have suffered long enough. Geeked

The main form of suffering is all the heckling from you insufferable Mac users who keep trying to get us to abandon ship. I'm gonna go down with this ship! Seriously, though, I'm very happy with Windows and the variety of apps available for it. Mac is catching up, but it'll always be The Little Engine That Could in my mind... Wink

Posts 49
David | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 4 2010 9:45 PM

Michael Paul:

Okay ... I'm done. Thank you for listening for the upteenth time. And please, can anyone back me up here?

Yes, I will. And thank you for the opportunity. I don't think Logos has a clue how to design an intuitive, easy to use interface. For some reason they have to make things difficult to use. As one example, I can find out what version software I am using on ANY Windows-based software package on the market (File menu > Help > About), but I have no clue how to tell you what version L4 I am running. NO CLUE. I do not want to have to spend time and energy trying to figure out something that a standard already addresses. What has Logos accomplished by producing something like this? Nearly two decades of Windows software development has settled on conformity to intuitive, easy to use standards that for some reason Logos has decided to ignore. This feels oh-so-Detroit. Spend decades perfecting something that works really well, then throw it out the window for some marketing agenda.

I just don't get it. I do not want to stumble all over an application to get it to do what I want just because somebody decided I should do it a certain way. No, I'm sorry. That's not the way it works. That's the way you make people angry. I live with this scenario because I develop user interfaces for machine/equipment operators. I know it is my job to make the operator's job as easy as possible by giving them an interface that is intuitive and simple to use. And I know plant operators hate developers who have no clue what the real world is like and produce something that makes their life difficult. Justifiably so.

Every time I use L4, Proverbs 25:19 comes to mind. It looks great, but for me is unusable. Case in point. When I do a word study on פִי ... Well forgive me ... you see I can't do a word study on פִי because whenever I try I can only select from a drop-down list, and פִי isn't on it. Didn't have that problem with L3. I'm tired of fighting it.

Bottom line, I truly think something is really, really wrong with their organization. This isn't just happenstance. I see the same pattern in L4 that I have seen in L3.

Posts 49
David | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 4 2010 10:01 PM

Bob Pritchett:

If it's any consolation, it doesn't look like a Windows app either. :-)

Our first loyalty is to ease of use, and with Logos 4 we decided to do "what's right for Logos 4" even when it broke from the rigid platform UI guide. (Our observation of both Apple and Microsoft applications is that they do exactly the same thing when they feel it's necessary, and other major apps -- like Adobe's -- also use their own, app-appropriate, UI paradigms.)

I know that on the Mac there may be a bit more conformance in general, but I don't think we're getting that far off, and we value consistency between platforms for our app. (Reduces training costs, makes it easier for Windows users to "Switch", etc. ;-) )

In a lot of respects it doesn't act like a Windows app either. Does the smiley face at the end of your first sentence confirm my suspicion that the Logos strategy is to merge the Mac and Windows UIs? If it is I think it will prove to be a bad decision.

I think your second sentence is self-contradictory. Ease of use for who? Dispensing with Windows UI functionality for the sake of Mac conformity doesn't serve Windows users, but it possibly does serve Logos need for reduced costs.

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