Wow Logos on the Mac is so sub-par

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This post has 211 Replies | 11 Followers

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 10:16 AM

Jack Caviness:

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Perhaps non-Apple memory causes a "ever so slight" change and this affects Logos on those machines, things of this nature.

Interesting possibility, but I have few real problems—more annoyances than problems—and the RAM in my desktop is mostly third party—1 GB Apple 10GB 3rd party. Of course, it could depend on which 3rd party supplier was used.

Jack Caviness:

 

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Perhaps non-Apple memory causes a "ever so slight" change and this affects Logos on those machines, things of this nature.

Interesting possibility, but I have few real problems—more annoyances than problems—and the RAM in my desktop is mostly third party—1 GB Apple 10GB 3rd party. Of course, it could depend on which 3rd party supplier was used.

That seems unlikely, but would be interested if Logos' macs are all supplied with apple only memory. My mac has kensington memory in it as Apple would have charged me an arm and a leg to have 8GB in my macBOOK Pro. I do know memory can cause issues but with only one program, that seems unlikely.

-Dan

Posts 452
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 10:42 AM

This is probably irrelevant, but I feel like I should clear this up before anyone spends money on new RAM.

Memory is a shared commodity, and applications don't do any of their own error correction. The OS handles all of that. So if it's a problem with memory, all of your applications will act up equally.

That said, if your computer is acting up in general (not just Logos) with unpredictable crashes and stalls, it's probably a good idea to test your RAM. MacRumors has a useful guide to applications available for that purpose. Memory failure is never a bad guess when it comes to sporadic issues, but it's completely testable, so I would encourage anyone having problems with Logos to run these tests before jumping to that conclusion.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 11:16 AM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Quality, things just have to be done well, it always pays off to do things really well.
Yes

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
The second things he did was to trow out a lot of product and simply try to do a few things- extremely well.
This is simply good business.  This is also what Google and other businesses are doing.

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Something is wrong with the way your staff is doing the trouble shooting.
YesYesYesYesYes(or management is not letting the developers test their code.)

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
Often we tend to treat symptoms without finding root cause. Imho this has been and is plaguing Logos.
I am not sure on this.  Bob has stated several times that Logos made mistakes in the development with L4 (Windows and Mac).  The problem is how to fix it.  To fix it, Logos basically must rewrite the entire program.  The problem comes from the fact that Logos did not drop what they were doing when they first saw the problems.  They were thinking newer faster computers would correct the issues, and newer faster computers have not corrected the issues.

Now the question that Logos must ask, "Where do we go from here?"  Do they go back a step with the platform they used to build L4?  [FWIF, I think it is too late for this option.  This should have happened several years ago.]  Do they go forward and take another guess with Microsoft and their direction with Windows 8 (assuming that the Windows platform leads the development for L4)?  [FWIW, I think this will be a very bad decision.  There are too many question right now with what is going to be happening in the development arena.]  Or do they sit still and wait for the development area settles down somewhat?  [FWIF, this is what I would do.]

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 11:24 AM

Bob Pritchett:
stabilizing and bug fixing doesn't generate revenue.
Bob, I totally disagree with this statement.  Because of my bad experience with L4, I have shared my experience.  Because of this, no one on my campus has purchased a L4 package.  Because of the bugs, Logos has lost income.

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 12:00 PM

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
In my humble opinion, I honestly believe if Logos would just "focus" on trying to make what they already have be truly excellent, then everything else will take care of itself.

I appreciate the value of focus, too, but what if you focus on perfecting your vacuum tubes and the transistor comes along?

I read the Steve Jobs biography, too, and have a long, deep familiarity with the industry. (My dad was a computer distributor in the 1980's -- I literally grew up in the industry.) Steve's "focus" is a lot of what drove Apple into trouble in the 80's. Then it got worse without him. When he came back he "re-focused" on a few key products. But then how do you explain the iPod? Or the iPhone? Weren't they dramatic departures from what should have been his focus on "perfecting the Mac"?

There's no right answer here. But I don't regret "widening our focus" to include the iPhone / iPad / Android phones. I think that putting resources in that was and is a good thing, even at the cost of slowing down our desktop progress.

Fr. Charles R. Matheny:
There has to be a reason, there is a cause, it just hasn't been found for you yet.

True. An unfortunate side-effect of our multiplatform project (and the platforms chosen to enable that multiplatform coding) is that we don't have as mature a crash-reporting system on the Mac as on other platforms. On Windows and even iOS we can find out exactly what happened; on Mac it's still difficult, in part because Mac development tools / ecosystem aren't as advanced, and even more because of our use of Mono.

This is a solvable problem, and we're working on it -- integrating better error handling, crash diagnostics, etc. But it takes time.

We've written Logos "from the ground up" four times. I believe that was the right decision every time, and has led to much of our success. Each time we went with "the state of the art" platform. In this fourth round, with Logos 4, we (and, to be fair, much of the industry) got caught off-guard when things didn't go the way we expected. The Mac resurgence, the move to mobile, HTML5, and the influence of the iPad on Microsoft's platform design all came together to make the choices in this (the fourth) ground-up rewrite wrong.

We'll recover, and move past it. And some parts of the platform aren't "wrong," but just didn't go the way anyone expected. And we hadn't planned on dual-(multi-)platform code -- had specifically planned not to do it -- so we are still refining and improving our particular mix of platforms and tools. This is a problem every company with multi-platform apps has, and we're getting much better at it, and building a much more stable platform. It just takes time to get right.

Posts 1721
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 12:19 PM

tom collinge:

Bob Pritchett:
stabilizing and bug fixing doesn't generate revenue.
Bob, I totally disagree with this statement.  Because of my bad experience with L4, I have shared my experience.  Because of this, no one on my campus has purchased a L4 package.  Because of the bugs, Logos has lost income.

Yes, but there are some practical realities. Having bugs costs some sales. But if it will take 6 months to stabilize something (actually, multiple years with a really complex product like ours that has 20 years of features / expectations / existing-code), very few organizations can afford to defer new-product revenue that long.

And there is the real-world truth that not everyone wants everything held until it is perfect. It's easy to say "You shouldn't have shipped this half-baked!" But people rarely mean that. What they mean is, I wish it was fully-baked today. Because if you only want things fully-baked, you can just ignore every new product until it's been out 3 years and has stabilized. That's always an option. 

We all forget that the reason it was three years till "fully-baked" is because that's how long it takes. It's not like there was some malicious choice to "not bake it all the way." The choice was to ship what we have now if it's useful enough to enough people.

As I keep pointing our, the Logos Windows platform has 20 years of experience, code, history, knowledge, etc. in it. It isn't a lack of commitment or poor management or bad decision making that keeps Logos for Mac from being as stable, mature, and refined. It is a lack of 20 years!

Yes, we could choose to only release Logos for Mac in solid, perfect form. That choice could manifest itself in two ways: never deliver any version of it until around 2014 (just guessing), or build a new, solid, Mac-native product from the ground up that doesn't have to read 20 years of file format, user notes, documents, or data, and which isn't expected to match the mature feature set.

Do we have competitors who are more stable on the Mac? Whose apps crash less? I'm sure. But I'm also sure you'll find they either have 20 years of experience building there, and/or a less-featured, Mac-native (from day one) product. Probably both.

What do you think? Should I have chosen to not have a Mac product even now? To still be working away making it perfect and stable, and coming into the forums for the past three years to repeatedly explain why we aren't on the Mac platform? Or should I have written a new Bible software product from scratch, with a "version 1" level of features, no compatibility with existing Logos books, no sync, no reading your existing notes, highlights, etc. and shipped that in 2009?

Because those are the only two choices. Having it be at feature/stability parity, and file-format compatibility, with the mature Windows product at any date before now was simply impossible. Holding us to that standard isn't just unfair, it's completely unrealistic.

The funny thing about this whole debate flaring up again is... we're almost there. The parity issues list is way down. Stability is up. Our tools and processes are refined. New code isn't "ported" to the Mac -- at the weekly Thursday development "Demo Day" every new feature is dual-platform, and the UI layer is often implemented on the Mac first, before we even get to Windows. We're much closer, and once we get there we have a platform and process that will work in the future.

Really! :-)

 

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 12:39 PM

Bob Pritchett:

What do you think? Should I have chosen to not have a Mac product even now? To still be working away making it perfect and stable, and coming into the forums for the past three years to repeatedly explain why we aren't on the Mac platform? Or should I have written a new Bible software product from scratch, with a "version 1" level of features, no compatibility with existing Logos books, no sync, no reading your existing notes, highlights, etc. and shipped that in 2009?

Because those are the only two choices. Having it be at feature/stability parity, and file-format compatibility, with the mature Windows product at any date before now was simply impossible. Holding us to that standard isn't just unfair, it's completely unrealistic.

Personally, I am glad you made the choice to go with L4 on Mac. I would like full parity with L4 Win, to see less spinning pizza, and purchase Anchor Yale Bible for $50.00 Geeked, but overall I appreciate the progress. 

I know there are some Mac users who have very serious issues, and I hope you can find what is causing this. I also know that we have a few who will complain and criticize no matter how well L4 Mac (or Win) works.

On that track, the XP thread makes me even happier to have chosen Mac thre decades ago Big Smile

Posts 343

Logos 4 Mac has been such a blessing to me as I utilize it much. I extremely rarely get any spinning beach balls. Just about every time there is an update released, it just keeps on getting better! I'm glad I have Logos 4 Mac, rather than having to use Windows to get this great tool! Plus it has better suited and interested me more than any other Bible software for Mac!

Jason Saling

Posts 709
Russ Quinn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 5:25 PM

Bob Pritchett:
What do you think? Should I have chosen to not have a Mac product even now? To still be working away making it perfect and stable, and coming into the forums for the past three years to repeatedly explain why we aren't on the Mac platform?

I've been a Logos user for a while and remember the Libronix 1.0 on Mac days.

I also ran the first release of L4Win on Parallels and participated in the Mac Alpha program while completing my dissertation.

Even though the current version is not perfect, it has revolutionized my ability to research the Biblical text and relevant secondary literature.

I never cease to be amazed that I am always just a few clicks away from most of the major scholarly commentaries and a wealth of primary texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the OT and NT Pseudepigrapha in Greek, Josephus in Greek, Philo in Greek, TLG, Apostolic Fathers in Greek, etc.

Whether I occasionally get a spinning beach ball or if the program does not seem as responsive or snappy as I would like is a minor issue compared to how much L4Mac empowers me to do serious research in an incredibly efficient way.

Maybe I'm showing my age . . . but anybody that has actually done significant research on a Biblical text by going to a real library and spending 45 minutes to an hour pulling all the physical books required to do the kind of research that L4Mac makes possible in a few seconds has to appreciate what a powerful resource this software is for Biblical studies.

Bob, I'm glad you made the decision you did to release the Mac version.

You're vision and leadership with Logos has blessed my life and helped me to be a better student of the Bible and minister of the Word.

Posts 251
Pastor James | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 7:43 PM

Back in the olden days before Libronix/Logos  was available on the mac, I was using it on a pc, totally frustrated with the pc world (not Libronix), and wanting desperately to go to a mac. But, I wasn't willing to give up my Libronix. As soon as I could justify the expenditure (2008) I moved to the mac and have been overwhelmingly satisfied, Logos and all. Big Smile So, thank you Bob for what you have provided.

Posts 15805
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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 15 2012 8:54 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Moreover, while I completely agree that we have performance and stability and parity issues we still need to address, the Mac user base does appear (based on what we see from inside Logos) to be split into "it never works for me" and "it always works for me" camps. I'm not sure what accounts for the split -- if it's the age of hardware, amount of memory, version of OS X, or intensity or pattern of use of the product -- but as you can see even from posters in this forum thread, many people aren't having daily problems with it. 30% of the user base isn't up in arms about the Mac; 30% of support calls aren't critical Mac issues. The pain appears to be spread unevenly, and I'm sorry if it's affecting you worse.

Personally wonder if network lag time is affecting Logos 4 Mac performance (sync delay) ?  Observation: a number of Logos 4 Mac forum posters with recent performance issues are located thousands of miles away from Logos headquarters.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 6:43 AM

Bob Pritchett:
And there is the real-world truth that not everyone wants everything held until it is perfect.
Hi Bob,

While this is a true statement and I agree with it, I think a closer look at who does not want "everything held until it is perfect" is needed.  As you know, there is a bell curve that relates to how fast people adopt new technology.  The farther you get away from the early adopters of new technology, the less patience they have with bugs.  People who adopt new technology do accept bugs.  People who do not adopt new technology simply want their product to work.  Therefore, as you expand your user base, you are going to have more and more users who do not want to have bugs in the program.

FYI... I watched a video that talked about, 'Who are our competitors?"  I wished I could remember the name of the speaker and the name of the video, but I cannot.  The presenter asked the people in the audience (and who was watching the video) about who are our competitors?  This speaker stated that not only do we compete with businesses that produce the same or similar product or service, but we also complete with businesses that produce a product or offer a service that is not even close to what we sell or offer.  Using Logos as an example, a couple of your competitors are BW and Accordance.  Some of your other competitors are Apple, Target, and Walmart.  This speaker claims (and does a very good job at it) that these other companies are our competitors because we compete with them in the arena of customer service and quality of product.

Bob Pritchett:
As I keep pointing our, the Logos Windows platform has 20 years of experience, code, history, knowledge, etc. in it. It isn't a lack of commitment or poor management or bad decision making that keeps Logos for Mac from being as stable, mature, and refined. It is a lack of 20 years! ... Do we have competitors who are more stable on the Mac? Whose apps crash less? I'm sure. But I'm also sure you'll find they either have 20 years of experience building there, and/or a less-featured, Mac-native (from day one) product. Probably both.

Yes and no.  Once we get away from the early adopters, people do not care how much history the product has.  For an example, people do not care if the company that made their new TV has 20 years or 2 months of experience in producing TV's; they simply want their TV to work.  The people who use a Mac are accustomed to their software simply working.

Bob Pritchett:
Because those are the only two choices. Having it be at feature/stability parity, and file-format compatibility, with the mature Windows product at any date before now was simply impossible. Holding us to that standard isn't just unfair, it's completely unrealistic.

I will say yes and no to this too.  While you believe being hold to this standard is simply unfair, it is the standard that you are being held to.  It doesn't matter if you think it is unfair or not.

Here is my advice, place your emphasis on making the product stable, then add the features.  While people are going to complain when a feature that they want is missing, they are complain a lot more if the feature that they want is not there AND they keep running into bugs/performance issues in the feature that they are using.

There is a reason why you will only find BW and Accordance on my campus; these programs simply work on all of the computers (student's computers and seminary's computers).  The same cannot be said when it comes to L4.  Why should someone take a chance on a program that doesn't work that well on their computer when other programs will?  Why should someone put a program on their computer from a company that is sooooooooooooo focused on the future that they have forgotten about the here and now? (FYI... This is my issue with a lot of churches ... too Heavenly bound to be no earthly good.)

I do want to say thanks for engaging your users.  I think it is helpful for us and for you.

Posts 274
Mike W | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 7:48 AM

Jack Caviness:
Personally, I am glad you made the choice to go with L4 on Mac.

YesYesYesYes

I'm also glad that L4 is available on Mac and iPad.  I've been using the Mac version for almost a year without any serious issues ( one version did crash twice but I understand that version had several problems that have been addressed).  I switched to a Mac last year and am happy with the choice.  I do find that reading the Mac threads is very discouraging and I would hate to be a Logos developer reading these forums (if i had the problems that some have I think I would just buy a windows computer).  I do use two other bible study programs on the Mac and an additional two on an IPad and they don't come close to Logos in features or resource availability.  (I often wish that resources such as the CNTTS database were available in Logos and that searches were easier to set up).

Regarding that, I recently had the chance to get a well configured Thinkpad for %60 off list.  I like windows 7 ( I think 8 will be a disaster). but I sure miss a lot of Mac features when using it (system wide spellcheck and multiple desktops especially).  Currently I'm waiting on tech support for assistance with a corrupted SglLite data base on windows (definitely not missing anything by going to a Mac Stick out tongue).  I know that old time mac people can get opinionated and very vocal about their religion computer of choice but I'm definitely glad that I switched to a mac.  After using Logos for about 15 years and seeing the 30% of logos users are on Macs I'm also confident that the program will continue to improve and I'm glad to see the progress so far.

 

Posts 43
Peter Covert | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 9:43 AM

Bob Pritchett:

Yes, we could choose to only release Logos for Mac in solid, perfect form. That choice could manifest itself in two ways: never deliver any version of it until around 2014 (just guessing), or build a new, solid, Mac-native product from the ground up that doesn't have to read 20 years of file format, user notes, documents, or data, and which isn't expected to match the mature feature set.

I simply do not buy it.  If other companies produce bible software without the issues that Logos have, then Logos can produce produce a stable product when it is released.

Posts 143
iamk | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 12:33 PM

As the original poster, I must say this forum has taken a real life of its own. I hope no one is discouraged by the discussion. Logos has taken the platform in a direction for which I'm very excited. I am hopeful that they will get the bugs worked out.

It's just too easy to fire off a forum post when you have to meet a deadline, the program doesn't seem to be working, and your frustrated. My original post was along these lines. I apologize if it wasn't constructive, and I appreciate their efforts.

I would love to see logos focus much less on new modules and ventures and spend more time squashing bugs and optimizing L4Mac. I still maintain that I cannot in good conscience recommend L4Mac right now without saying buyer beware. This has to factor into their business model in some way.

I also appreciate the transparency of the company (Bob et al). However, on that note it always seems like they don't completely understand or acknowledge the problem. "Sorry you're disappointed. Some people are really happy (i.e., must by a 'you' thing), we cannot put too much time on L4Mac because that would take away from our stronger investments." This last point bothers me because L4Mac was not pitched as a software that we will do our best to work on though it will be overshadowed significantly by other projects. It was pitched as logos on the mac built for a mac from the ground up.

I'm still hopeful. thanks!

 

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 2:57 PM

Logos for Mac version 1 was a port of Libronix 3 for the Mac, which was built using Safari 4 for display and development work was outsourced by Logos.  When Apple shipped Safari 5, Logos for Mac v1.2.2 essentially became an eBook Reader.

In December 2010, Logos merged Mac and Windows release notes during Logos 4.2a development.

Thankful for minimal differences between Logos 4 on Mac and Windows.  Also Thankful for many feature parity improvements plus Logos updates to Feature Parity list that shows upcoming 4.6a Beta release already has a Baker's dozen of feature parity issues fixed; looking forward to public release of Logos 4.6a Beta; hoping for release 1 to be a bit less buggy than some previous Logos 4 Mac Beta release 1's.

Logos 4 is resource intensive on Mac & PC – benefits from fast processor, graphics, and quick storage along with adequate memory (i.e. newer hardware since Logos 4 being designed for use over 5 to 8 years); Solid State Disk (SSD) is noticeably faster than hard disk.

For a processor today, would recommend 2nd or 3rd Generation Intel i5 or i7.  Caveat: Logos 4.6 has click and wait opportunities with older hardware having longer time to wait after a click.

From a Mac perspective, am waiting for Apple to refresh desktop Mac models with 3rd generation Intel i5 and i7 => http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 757
Fr. Charles R. Matheny | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 16 2012 7:13 PM

Can understand the need and benefit of SSD. However, Logos makes no real use of newer graphics or multi-core processing. In fact, Logos does not make good use of Ram , newer or old. 8 gigs of fast ram "does not" help logos at all. It will help keep you above the ram limit Logos uses, but above that point, any Ram you have will be for other things as Logos will not access it unless they have changed something radically in the last few months I am unaware of.

Please correct me if Logos will address more than 2 gigs of ram, more than one processor or two cores and if it has the ability to use/offload processing to the GPU.

To my understanding, without "current" 64 bit processing and multi-core code/threading, Logos cannot use these standards.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 17 2012 3:57 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Observation: a number of Logos 4 Mac forum posters with recent performance issues are located thousands of miles away from Logos headquarters.

Would you then propose that Logos limit its marketing to locations west of the Rocky Mountains and north of San Francisco?

Posts 219
Dennis Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 17 2012 5:10 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

Bob Pritchett:
Moreover, while I completely agree that we have performance and stability and parity issues we still need to address, the Mac user base does appear (based on what we see from inside Logos) to be split into "it never works for me" and "it always works for me" camps. I'm not sure what accounts for the split -- if it's the age of hardware, amount of memory, version of OS X, or intensity or pattern of use of the product -- but as you can see even from posters in this forum thread, many people aren't having daily problems with it. 30% of the user base isn't up in arms about the Mac; 30% of support calls aren't critical Mac issues. The pain appears to be spread unevenly, and I'm sorry if it's affecting you worse.

Personally wonder if network lag time is affecting Logos 4 Mac performance (sync delay) ?  Observation: a number of Logos 4 Mac forum posters with recent performance issues are located thousands of miles away from Logos headquarters.

Keep Smiling Smile

Yep!! that is probably my biggest gripe, how long it takes the app to start up because of all the network communications required to get it started. The home page is ridiculously slow in showing and should be an option in preferences that could be bypassed and opened to a specific user layout instead and hopefully much quicker.

Posts 274
Mike W | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 17 2012 9:11 AM

Dennis Miller:
The home page is ridiculously slow

 

I'm not sure if you of aware of this but you can turn off the home page and Logos will start with the last used layout (it's under the customize button on the home page). Also turning internet use on and off as needed helps (I have icons on the toolbar to turn use interned on and off just to make this convenient).

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