Quality control in Logos 6 - a new perspective

Page 5 of 9 (175 items) « First ... < Previous 3 4 5 6 7 Next > ... Last »
This post has 174 Replies | 12 Followers

Posts 26730
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 4:10 PM

Another way to put what Dave said is that Faithlife should have a set of test cases that work correctly and meet certain performance requirements before a version is released - preferable even before its released to beta. That insures that the software is up to specifications. Designing that test set is a skill in itself and should not be done by the individuals coding the software.

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

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 4:11 PM

Tim:
While this solution sounds attractive, I don't see any way that this could be possible when one looks at the actual business of software development. For example, Faithlife at least in the past has outsourced their transcription portion of their development cycle to a third party to move things from hard copy to electronic. That is the specialty of the 3rd party, but they may not and quite likely are not well suited for the more detailed work of Q/A who review before formal publishing. So should Faithlife stop having pre pubs because Q/A isn't keeping up? Now, if Q/A needs to review more/better before releasing, or catching up on resources that have been released in a flawed state, that means hiring additional personnel and training them. You cannot simply poach from the development staff (or some other department) who have a whole different skill set entirely unrelated to Q/A. Should those other departments be held at a standstill until Q/A (if indeed I have the appropriate dept name there) gets caught up? 

Bob and Faithlife are funny. On one hand, they are willing to deliver incomplete and unreliable product, but on the other hand they refuse to hire "warm bodies" to proofread, to design better UI, etc. - They are waiting for the "perfect" employee to come and sweep them off their feet.

Posts 5251
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 4:18 PM

After quickly reading through this lengthy young thread, I feel grateful to all the faithlife staff who have commented. I am enjoying Verbum 6 but I also feel it was prematurely released (features/datasets should have been done before release) and stability in the early days seemed very bad. Faithlife well may have released it to get more testing done in larger crowds to more easily squash the bugs. That said people who buy 6 should not be used virtually as beta testers. To want to jump into a new feature like the atlas and find that is not complete feels amateurish (LOGOS/VERBUM 6 were/are in ways incomplete, it was made known that this was the case, but I ask WHY release it before being done, you must know there will be complaints). A springtime launch would not have been the end of the earth. I do feel the "Quality Control" was less than stellar for 6.... I would hope in the future Faithlife would wait till the product is more stable and datasets/features more complete.

-Dan

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 4:44 PM

Dan Francis:
That said people who buy 6 should not be used virtually as beta testers. To want to jump into a new feature like the atlas and find that is not complete feels amateurish (LOGOS/VERBUM 6 were/are in ways incomplete, it was made known that this was the case, but I ask WHY release it before being done, you must know there will be complaints). A springtime launch would not have been the end of the earth. I do feel the "Quality Control" was less than stellar for 6.... I would hope in the future Faithlife would wait till the product is more stable and datasets/features more complete.

I wish they had kept with the three year cycle. I also have been strongly opposed to a public exposure of the beta program.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 468
Charlene | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 6:37 PM

As I have been reading the posts, I hesitated in jumping in and sharing my two cents, as I didn't want to get slammed for my comments...this happens so often nowadays when people are honestly just sharing their thoughts and opinions...oh for the "good ole days" before the forum existed Smile....but I decided to go ahead and jump in, but do remember these are MY thoughts and MY opinions, that's all. I am not trying to force my opinions on anyone. I am just stating how I feel.

I have been a user since the earlier days of Logos. I loved it, as it made my study of the Word more productive, as I could do so much more in a shorter amount of time. I thought it was the best. But then gradually through the years I have seen the quality of what was being released become less of what it used to be. It is not that they were being "less innovative." It is just that the quality was not up to the same standard. This seemed to occur when Logos began to "branch out" into other areas, besides just being focused on the Bible software. It was becoming more of a "jack of all trades but master of none." PLEASE understand I am not "bashing Logos." I do appreciate what has been done. It is just that I AM concerned with what has been happening the last few years.

Dave Hooton:

 I could say that Faithlife have lost the perspective of their customers' needs since Logos 5 and you only have to read the forums on indexing issues to get some insight on that matter. 

Then when Bob asked right after the release of Logos 6 what we wanted in Logos 7, he said: "Wait -- I already know the answer! "Fix annoying-thing in Logos 6 first!" :-)"And I know that he thought that that was funny, but I didn't. And don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with "blue skying" and planning for the future; in fact it is needed. BUT there is a time and place for that. And what is needed first is to get the quality of the Logos software back where it used to be.  You can still be innovative, but at a high standard of quality.

I am heavily invested in Logos and so there is basically "no turning back" for me and I realize this. But I don't recommend Logos to others now. It is too complicated for the new person and there is not good documentation for the average user. Yes, I know that there are plenty of places to track down the information to learn about the software, such as the forum, but the average or new user will not do that.

Dave Hooton:

 And usability also comes down to documentation; particularly for the new Logos 6 tagging and search features.

So please don't release new software every 2 years to just be doing the latest or newest thing, just because you can or to get ahead of your competitor. What you do, do well. Get the quality back to where it used to be. If you do that, then not only will you maintain your faithful customers, but you will have new customers coming in as well.

Then when it is time to release a new version, make sure that you really are delivering what you say in the advertising. Don't make the same mistakes each release, promising something that you can't deliver. We will be patient. We have been. But I agree with some of the others that the quality control has to improve.

I hope that you will understand the heart behind these words. Once again, I am not trying to bash Logos. I am just trying to caution them, as I convey my concerns.

Charlene

Posts 78
Kelvin Chiu | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 9:46 PM

Strongly agree with Charlene. Very buggy.

Please don't release new software every 2 years!

Please!

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 9 2015 11:51 PM

MJ. Smith:
I threw up my hands on updating the wiki because links to material explaining what the BSL is was deemed too detailed. I believe that the user base of Logos is too broad for them to take responsibility for training - one problem I ran into was using the term "protocanonical" which I was informed would not be understood.

MJ, first of all, I am very grateful for all the work that you and others put in the wiki. Yet I think that your experience is not quite indicative of what documentation should be like, the problems of its inherent limitations and whether this requires instructors outside of Faithlife. I say this because I assume that as a wiki writer, you have not signed up to be bogged down in the difficult process you describe (like deciding the difficulty level of what you write). When I read the wiki, I don't check who wrote what, so I am not making these comments about you or anyone in particular, but for my part, I consider that while the material on the wiki reflects 1) knowledge of Logos and 2) willingness to help matched by hard work, it does not translate into 3) instructional skill. So, some of the questions you raise in your post really have to do with "how to teach Logos" the same way you would ask how do I teach the gospels to 1) young believers? 2) long-time disciples? 3) seminarians? Questions such as using the word "proto-canonical" would come in play there. 

The idea I have in mind (and perhaps there are better ones) is that Logos must match in its documentation it's multi-level target audiences. Part of this is already reflected in online video training where you have a gradation from basic concepts to "advanced". I believe that this is needed for the help file as well. Not everyone will want to have read too complicated material on case frames for instance because not everyone wants to make an advanced use of it or is at the place yet where they see a need for it.

In many ways, the basic material is already found in the help file, though perhaps some simple examples of use would be helpful. You may say, there are videos for that. Granted. Videos have their use, but one does not always want to watch a whole video in order to find a specific bit of info. At the end of the day, nothing replaces the fundamental role of well-written documentation. Same to be said about the complementarity of what can be found on the wiki and the forums: those who (like me) use Logos as a professional tool, don't have time to wander through the forum maze in search of a bit of information. The basic level should mention in non-technical terms and briefly some of the limitations most likely to apply at that level. A link to "for more information" could connect to material in the intermediate and/or advanced sections. Beyond the basic level, I think there needs to be an intermediate section and an advanced section, with illustrations (non-exhaustive of course) of further applications. 

As far as style, it is instructive to compare MP materials with the help file. The first is instruction, the other plain documentation. Both are needed. I agree with the comment made before that Logos is a premium software: I strongly believe that as such, it should include both documentation and instruction. I am not sure that I see any reason why what MP or Falahee are doing cannot be done internally by Faithlife. I see the need for training as needed because even though I do postgraduate research, I have had this experience where I go into a resource that introduces a new concept and basically all I am reading is definitions. There is no context, no easing into the topic or showing how to use it. Documentation must be more than basic definitions of what each button, click or label is. It is conceivable that the classic help file might no longer be suitable to the kind of tool Logos has become (though perhaps "not enough" is more accurate). Perhaps indeed, better documentation and training is to be delivered in the form of resources but it should NOT be something you have to buy extra, but an integrated feature of base packages. You get the datasets and tools = you get proper documentation to know how you can use them!

Your post does raise some valid questions about how far out some features venture. Danove is not the inventor of case frames but a pioneer in applying them to biblical studies. I have limited knowledge of his work (though he is on my to read list). I know however, from reading other linguistic ventures in biblical studies, that the theoretical underpinnings can be very complex (and often debated) and certainly out of reach for most people who are not versed in linguistics or do not have a high educational level (this is a generalization of course). I don't expect the Logos help file to reproduce Danove's work! On the other hand, to the extent that this feature has been added to base packages that are addressed to all users (e.g., Gold) and advertised as a selling feature, it necessarily raise the question: OK, I got this, how do I use it? I don't expect Logos, for instance, to train its users in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek grammar because it does have a grammatical relationship section in the Exegetical Guide. At the Academic end of the spectrum of its customer base, it is (reasonably) assumed that there will be expertise matching the specificity of the tools. This does not dispense for basic introduction (not of grammar, but of the grammatical relationship tool purpose and use) for all users (unless Logos moved toward a "Professional" or "Academic" package). But MOST IMPORTANTLY, even for those who have expertise, they need to know how Logos implements the feature, what choices they have made, what limitations they know of, etc. In other words, we need to know how this concept works in the Logos feature! This is where stuff like info about morphologies come into play. And, as indicated before, pointing us to external websites is not a good solution.

It is possible to do the Microsoft type of solution: the help file connects to material on their website for more information (including videos). Personally, I am not crazy about this and we always need to keep in mind that if Logos will help people all around the world, in countries where Internet access is limited, in remote areas where high speed is not available and among those who have less means and missionaries, it should not depend excessively on finding documentation on the Internet. It should also be added about the value of the forum for training that it does have value but it is a mess and one may have to wait an indeterminate time to have an answer to a question (answers that can be of varying usefulness but that one has to read through just in case!).

Finally, and returning to the resource format idea versus the classic help file question, I think that Mobile Education modules offer a good example of what it could be like. As much as I am grateful to have gotten a bonus course on Bible Study with my purchases around Logos 6 (and consider Bible Study of much greater value than expertise in Logos), courses on Logos would be much more useful. Let Faithlife develop the courses (if this is deemed a desirable format). Possibly, let there be different levels (basic, intermediate, advanced) and then let them be provided to users as part of their purchase. Does that sound like MP material? Yes. And, I would be extremely happy to see -- as part of the frequent update downloads we get -- something like "new help file section: case frames, basic examples" (or whatever else); in other words, ongoing updates to the documentation, not just the program itself.

To summarize, documentation and training cannot be thought of as an add-on or side-dish. It is an integral part of what Logos has become. It needs to be allotted the resources correspondingly. I apologize for the length of this post.

Posts 26730
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 1:20 AM

I think of it much more like purchasing a resource e.g. Jurgens or Andersen-Forbes or Strong's or Louw-Nida.  I expect such resources to be very clear as to precisely what their coding means, what aspects of language/Bible they code, and the various indices within the resource interact. I expect a professor, hermeneutics book, linguistics book or friendly pastor to show me how to interpret and use that information. Because much of the implied hermeneutics of Logos reflect a hermeneutics that I cannot subscribe to, I do not want Logos/Verbum to tell me how to interpret and use the data they provide for me. However, I do respect the scholarship of the teams building the datasets, trust them as legitimate sources and want them to tell me exactly what their tags mean and don't mean.

And don't underestimate the level of training and documentation (or even specifications) I have under my belt. I had to ensure that a research prof and his cook on ice knew how to enter everything necessary to be paid correctly. It is precisely because of my experience (and education) that I take the view I do on Logos documentation and training. FWIW I think MP produces extremely well designed training manuals - although targets at a use of Logos unlike my own.

And yes, my understanding of case frames owes much more to Martha Palmer and Charles Fillmore than Logos resources.

In short I want Logos/Verbum to be a smooth-running, consistent tool; I don't want it to be my seminary. And I want to be able to put it in the hands of my  fellow parishioners and let each of them work at their own level of interest and expertise. If Logos provides the documented tool, I can provide the training ... and quickly train 10 people to train another 10 each ...

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

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 1:40 AM

MJ. Smith:
And don't underestimate the level of training and documentation (or even specifications) I have under my belt.

I you think I implied anything of the sort, you misconstrued me. I have very high respect for your level of training and documentation, which I often find superior to my own.

MJ. Smith:
I do not want Logos/Verbum to tell me how to interpret and use the data they provide for me. However, I do respect the scholarship of the teams building the datasets, trust them as legitimate sources and want them to tell me exactly what their tags mean and don't mean.

I am not sure how you define where one ends and the other starts. However, I don't think anyone is saying that Logos should be prescriptive in their documentation. It should be descriptive, illustrative and transparent.

Posts 2467
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 6:02 AM

Alan Macgregor:

Super.Tramp:
Motto: "Do less with your Bible software."

I just want Logos 6 to do what it says on the tin.

Motto: "Perform as advertised."

Also, when it comes to bible helps, there needs to be some rigour and consistency, as well as adequate documentation. As an analogy: nobody needs to agree completely with your term paper, but readers must understand your methodology to judge its usefulness or consistency in application.

When it comes to technical, academic stuff, the basis for judgment is the same, but the standards are surely much higher.

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 2:48 PM

Francis,   Do you like Logos (the software program?)

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 10210
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 3:50 PM

Super, you're sounding like Kanbe (that's a complement).  It's the NHK weekly drama that just finished up.  Kanbe was the strategist that essentially put Hideyoshi in power.  So, you have a 'Kanbe question'.  The query-ee bows deeply and answers 'absolutely', with Kanbe quietly smiling. They both know the real truth.


Posts 26730
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 4:49 PM

Francis obviously likes it well enough to care about its weaknesses. I don't think he wants any of the weak point to eventual break.

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

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 5:49 PM

MJ. Smith:

Francis obviously likes it well enough to care about its weaknesses. I don't think he wants any of the weak point to eventual break.

 He sure seems unhappy....Kinda like a bad marriage.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 6:01 PM

Denise:
Super, you're sounding like Kanbe (that's a complement).

Thanks.  

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 468
BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 7:55 PM

Super.Tramp:

Francis,   Do you like Logos (the software program?)

 

I am hoping that Francis will answer you, soon.However, I believe the answer is yes he has liked Logos(and still does), but since he started working on a Phd he has begun to see Logos in a different light. Not, only have his scholarly needs grown and changed, but those in his field apparently aren't using Logos. And, I think Francis would like Logos to be taken more seriously in the academic world he now lives in. For me his post look a lot more like tough love than hate.

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 10 2015 9:49 PM

BKMitchell:
For me his post look a lot more like tough love than hate.

What BKMitchell said - and of course what Denise, MJ, and Dave have said.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 11 2015 1:32 AM

SuperTramp, I don't know why you persist in trying to question individuals at the personal level. This happened already among several users earlier in this thread and it should be clear by now that it is not constructive. 

What I am interested in is seeing progress in the discussion but even progress there will be useless, unless it translates in tangible progress with regard to the issues. 

I appreciate whatever I read of Sean Boisen's responses, the fact that he responds, the tone of his responses and the information he provides. Thank you, Sean. Overall though, I have yet to see a response from Logos that is commensurate to the issues this thread raises. "Good discussion. We appreciate the input. We will be working on some stuff" is not sufficient to communicate that the message has really gone through and reassure that there will be change. I reiterate what I said before, my concern is not with "lo, here is bug A" response: "thanks, we'll fix bug A in RC 5". My concern is with systemic issues and the overall situation. Personally, I would like to hear indications of change. Sean made an allusion to business decision earlier, this may actually be more the heart of the matter...

Finally, I am not sure that all users realize that Bible Software has become a professional tool now (not only Logos). It's not just for personal enjoyment, Bible study and preparing Sunday school classes (to charicature a bit). When you use something for work, you need it not to waste your time going round in circles. You need to do what it claims reliably and to have documentation that matches its claims. It's not a want, it's a must. Some issues sometimes is normal; many issues all the time is not.

Posts 26730
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 11 2015 1:50 AM

Francis:

Finally, I am not sure that all users realize that Bible Software has become a professional tool now (not only Logos). It's not just for personal enjoyment, Bible study and preparing Sunday school classes (to charicature a bit). When you use something for work, you need it not to waste your time going round in circles. You need to do what it claims reliably and to have documentation that matches its claims. It's not a want, it's a must. Some issues sometimes is normal; many issues all the time is not.

Excuse me. "Sunday school" aka Faith formation/Catechesis/RCIA deserves as much respect for the tools they need as the average sermon. If that is not true in your tradition you have my sympathy. To be prepared for the give and take of questions requires that you take preparation seriously.

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

Posts 1428
Forum MVP
Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 11 2015 3:49 AM

When reading the forums I begin to feel we are like kids writing to Father Christmas (who lives in the northern Finland, and nowhere else) Gift

Recalling my days in the telecom software development, I received many wishes, suggestions and demands from the customers. We listed them, prioritized them, and implemented best of them (sometimes in a modified/improved manner). Just takes time. Slow coffee is better than instant coffee, if quality matters. Paradise

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

Page 5 of 9 (175 items) « First ... < Previous 3 4 5 6 7 Next > ... Last » | RSS