Quality control in Logos 6 - a new perspective

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This post has 174 Replies | 12 Followers

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Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jan 8 2015 2:01 AM

Recent discussions have highlighted yet how promising Logos 6 is in terms of biblical studies. I think "promise" is a very appropriate word because it has that double-edge: a promise holds hope yet is not always fulfilled. 

For instance, searches of cultural concepts or other tagged entities shows a lot of gaps and inconsistencies in tagging. This is a quality control problem. 

I think that quality control is the leading issue with the ongoing development of Logos. I don't only think so, I know so. I know that because I participated in a development project for several months and had an insider view of this problem. I became increasingly uncomfortable with my participation in the project because I could see how it was being pushed steadily forward for earlier than later release at the cost of cutting many corners and releasing a product that will be flawed from the start. Those who led the project knew that but they are pressing on. I am sad when I think about the marketing that is being done in anticipation of release, having the awareness that there will be some very disappointed buyers out there.

And yet, it does not need to be so! This post, if anything, is yet another plea to reverse what has become a consistent blotch on a product that is otherwise exciting and holds so much promise.

As it is, I could use some of the tagging "to save hours" (this is a key marketing promise). This can be done by automating what would otherwise need to be done manually. Combing large sections for data over and over is extremely time-consuming. BUT unfortunately, at this point, I cannot rely on results. So, I still have to do the manual work to ascertain what I find. And this is not just compensating for the occasional human error. This is more systemic. 

Jesus told the parable of two sons confronted by the request to do right. One said "I will" but did not do it. The other said "no" but then ended up doing it. Logos, what kind of "son" will you prove to be?

This being said, if I and others simply don't understand that it ain't so, perhaps some explaining would help. Is Logos so broke it must release stuff asap or die and thus considers it better overall to release incomplete or error-filled, bug-ridden products? I do not mean to slander those who may be hard-working and trying as hard as they realistically can. But I am perplexed (and in the case of the experience I allude to above, dismayed) and above all, desire a good outcome.

Posts 18752
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 2:26 AM

Luke 14:28-30 also comes to mind.

Posts 490
Brian W. Davidson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 3:56 AM

I also wish Logos would make quality control a higher priority.

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 6:33 AM

Clearly having a monopoly in a field does not assure an equally dominant product from that field.

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 7:16 AM

Rene Atchley:

Clearly having a monopoly in a field does not assure an equally dominant product from that field.

I don't think there's a monopoly. I've sat all week in a classroom where Bibleworks was used the whole week. And one of the podcasts I regularly watch uses Accordance for nearly all of its biblical language work. What those both have in common is that they are better (mostly: faster) than Logos at those features.

Donnie

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 7:44 AM

I find it incredibly frustrating to post on this site.  Every generalization seems to be opposed by someone somehow by injecting that "wow" that statement isn't true because it isn't true for me.  The point of the thread and post is a critique of the quality control issue for a product from a company that sells a very expensive bible library product.  So yes they may not be a monopoly but that doesn't detract from the ogopolistic nature of the bible software industry on PC/Mac that often (but not all the time under all situations in all time periods) quality controlled problems (but not for everyone all the time under all situations in all time periods of history known to humanity).

Posts 5613
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 7:50 AM

Francis:
As it is, I could use some of the tagging "to save hours" (this is a key marketing promise). This can be done by automating what would otherwise need to be done manually. Combing large sections for data over and over is extremely time-consuming. BUT unfortunately, at this point, I cannot rely on results. So, I still have to do the manual work to ascertain what I find. And this is not just compensating for the occasional human error. This is more systemic. 

I would find it difficult to rely on results from Faithlife-created datasets and tagging for the same reason.  With much of Faithlife's future developmental effort going into creating theses new datasets, I hope they aren't shooting themselves in the foot by creating a reputation of delivering unreliable and missing data.

Francis:
Is Logos so broke it must release stuff asap or die and thus considers it better overall to release incomplete or error-filled, bug-ridden products?

I do understand the need to expand and broaden when you see that you may be about to saturate your market.  They may not be broke, but they do need to keep finding ways to generate income.  (But it probably needs to be done without alienating your customers.)

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 10306
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 7:52 AM

Having not worked at Logos, one can only surmise.  But it sure looks like 'deja vu'.  The boss and team put together the next dreams.  Everybody gets to work, with varying degrees of success.  The boss notices a competitor is releasing the next major version. Asks the teams 'can we do it??'. Of course the teams can (though they really can't).  And didn't.

The sad part is the misplaced dreams.  I was really hoping the Logos databases, the Proclaim platform, the Faithlife community product, the mobiles, and oh yes, the dating game ... the ecosystem (as Logos calls it) ... had great promise.  But each piece is not well designed and always incomplete.

Yesterday and this morning I felt really sorry for the Reverend that just wanted to delete his faithlife group, after giving up.  No one seemed to know how.  No manuals. I would have like to have helped.  The Logos guy answered they'd try to do better ... but no answer for the Reverend.

The Logos6 release I hope won't be repeated in Logos7; too much product that was not complete at sell-time. Pressure now to produce it.  Requests for quality?  I haven't even bothered to see what I bought (since I can't find it!).


Posts 2473
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:16 AM

If the situation described by the OP is true, then it is sad indeed.

The quality of the tagging, linguistic analysis etc. can be evaluated objectively by folks trained in those areas. If there are major errors, there's nowhere to hide.

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:27 AM

Todd Phillips:
I hope they aren't shooting themselves in the foot by creating a reputation of delivering unreliable and missing data.

Is not this already happening? There is also a reputation of greed floating around.

Todd Phillips:
without alienating your customers

Here is a sad fact of my experience. I have used Logos since version 2. Over the years, I have "sold" Logos right, left and center. But in the last while, this has changed. I use Logos because I must, not because I want to. But I am no longer an enthusiastic advocate of Logos. There is a language version coming out on which I did translation. Considering what I know of it, I have not and will not recommend it to anyone. In fact, this was part of what I alluded to earlier: I was at first proud of the idea of helping it be available to more people (and bringing better Bible study to them) but now I would be ashamed to be associated with that version. 

I am not saying this to bash Logos needlessly. I feel that this is a bad turn but it can be reversed. I sure hope so.

But I do wonder, in the present estate and in light of all that has been going on, what user polls would indicate if the simple question was asked where only yes or no was allowed as answer "Do you [still] trust Logos?" I hope Logos is listening and more importantly, hearing.

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:39 AM

Francis:
what user polls would indicate if the simple question was asked where only yes or no was allowed as answer "Do you [still] trust Logos?"

YES!

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:45 AM

The question was not what individual answers might be but what the overall picture would look like. If the individual answer is yes for you, I'm glad for you. We may not have the same needs, experiences or simply responses.

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:53 AM

Francis:
The question was not what individual answers might be but what the overall picture would look like.

I am inviting as many individuals as want to to participate in your one word survey.  Polls are composed of idividual responses so don't devalue my response.

So how about it Logos users? Do you still trust Logos?   Yes or No.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 8:58 AM

To be fair the poll question is "do you [still] trust Logos?"

I wrote it in square bracket because it may or may not be significant to all users depending on the duration of their experience.

Posts 692
Kevin A Lewis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:22 AM

Depends!

Posts 490
Brian W. Davidson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:33 AM

That's not the most helpful question. The issue is the balance of work on new features vs work on fixing bugs and making things work well.

Posts 800
Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:40 AM

As I'm reading this, Roosevelt's line, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" comes to mind -- not necessarily for anyone else, but for me. I've always trusted not only in the company and the product, but in the customer base as well. My overly large investment was partially justified by the fact that Logos will be around long enough that it'll run on computers long after I'm gone: Windows 9, 10, ... 45, etc.

But what if the fear/distrust becomes widespread enough that even donating my library to a church in, say, 2027 would be like donating an Apple II to a church: Why would we want that old thing?

I hope that doesn't happen.

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:42 AM

Rene Atchley:
I find it incredibly frustrating to post on this site.  Every generalization seems to be opposed by someone somehow by injecting that "wow" that statement isn't true because it isn't true for me.

This reminds me of the time my son, frustrated with his mother and me, exclaimed, "You always exaggerate everything I say!" (He immediately realized what he had done and started laughing.) Is not "every generalization" a generalization?

In all seriousness, I did not mean to upset you. If you read to the end of my post, you'll see I tried to make the point even stronger. A true monopoly has little incentive to improve. Logos has competition, at least at some level, and yet it still is challenged in producing equivalent core functionality (at least for me, it's core - working with the biblical languages).

My apologies...

Donnie

Posts 1896
Donnie Hale | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:43 AM

Super.Tramp:
So how about it Logos users? Do you still trust Logos?   Yes or No.

Yes.

-Donnie

Posts 3691
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jan 8 2015 9:49 AM

Lew Worthington:
what if the fear/distrust becomes widespread enough

I agree with your sentiment. I made my sentiment known earlier that there was, in my view a regrettable state of affair, but that I see as reversible and for which I was making a plea. My rhetorical question (about the poll) has been turned into a pointless confrontation...

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