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#1 jwritebol

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 04:57 PM

I have some discretionary funds coming my way towards the end of the year and I am currently an Accordance user but noticed that Logos is putting out around Christmas time their software on the Mac platform. My PC buddies say that it is the best software you can get and I am inclined to believe they are basing that statement merely on the massive volume of resources you can get with Logos. So I am curious what advantages are there to staying with Accordance and using my $$ on modules for my Accordance program when I can go to Logos?

Thanks
Jeremy Writebol

Edited by jwritebol, 26 July 2005 - 04:58 PM.

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#2 jarcher

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 08:20 PM

Jeremy,

My inclination is the Accordance is a better exegetical package than Logos but Logos is a better library package. Logos is definitely much less expensive for the amount of resources you get. This has been one of my complaints with Accordance. It is simply too expensive (typical Mac world?). Therefore, it really depends on what you plan on using it for. Just some thoughts….

#3 jwritebol

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 11:11 AM

Maybe I should reveal a bit more about how I am using Accordance to get some help in this area. I am a pastor and use Accordance on a daily basis for my Bible studies, sermon prep, etc. I know Greek but do not have the Scholars Library of tools so I am resigned right now to using Strongs with the NASB to do word studies - so it is pretty limited in that regard. I would either put the discretionary funds toward the Scholars Library of Accordance or buy a package that Logos has with the original languges.... so that is my debate. Which way would you go?

Jeremy
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#4 jpkang

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 03:16 PM

Don't believe everything your PC buddies tell you! :) You should ask them to put their money where their mouth is and have them show you exactly how they use their system and what kinds of actual Greek searches they perform... I've tried Logos (and BibleWorks) several times and given up because I couldn't easily find the information I needed, had questions about the accuracy of the information presented, or found the interface maddeningly unintuitive (but that's probably because I'm spoiled by the Mac). Also, even if Logos manages the impressive feat of a working port by their projected date, it'll be 1.0, and there will certainly be issues that may take a while to work out. So, while it may work for others, I definitely would recommend investing deeper with Accordance. I use it for hours every day (primarily Semitic language research, but also for occasional sermon or Bible study prep which makes use of Greek and English translations), and it is a genuine pleasure to use, and the searches I can and do perform with it never cease to amaze me (or my colleagues who are looking over my shoulder).

p.s. not all implementations of original language tools are equal--look at them in detail! I think the way Accordance lets you search not only the headword of a dictionary (say, BDAG, HALOT, or ABD), but also the content of an entry, scripture references, and quite a few other fields, makes their versions qualitatively more useful than the implementations of the same works on other platforms.
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#5 Ron Webber

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 04:50 PM

I'm with J. P. on this one. I have two laptops on my desk in the office - one is an IBM Thinkpad provided by my employer with LOGOS Scholar's package installed; the other is my older 500 MHz Prismo Powerbook with Accordance 6.6. I have been through the LOGOS' training seminar and even teach the students in our seminary to use the Libronix package, but guess which one I use, almost exclusively? That's right - Accordance is dramatically faster, more intuitive, and a downright elegant software package. I find myself only occasionally turning to the Libronix package for help because it does include a much broader resource base. I would like to see the folks open the resource base some by providing broader access at more competitive pricing, but practically speaking, how many volumes can one read on a subject? I find myself frequently resorting to the same tried and true standards.

And again J. P. warns of waiting for the announced LOGOS port to Mac. It's quite likely that the Mac version will not even have the same functionality as the windows version, especially in its first incarnations, and it may not arrive on schedule. I've watched similar scenarios over the years in which software was greatly delayed or never even materialized at all. Any of you guys remember FullWrite Professional? I'm not wishing the Libronix folks misfortune; it's just that a couple of months ago I received a general email from Libronix looking for a Mac programmer to work on the project. I really do wish them well, but if they just recently acquired the programmers for the project, it may not arrive as scheduled. Still, I want them to succeed. I'm certain it will be good for Accordance users as it will encourage the folks at Oaksoft to market some larger collections to compete with the Libronix offerings. :)

In short, if I were you, I'd go for the investment in Accordance. It really is the best there is.

Regards,

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#6 David Lang

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 10:32 AM

Jeremy,

J.P. and Ron have already given you a pretty good idea of how Accordance is superior to Logos with respect to interface and original language tools, but I just stumbled across a very practical example this morning. The folks at Logos have just begun a Corporate Blog, and Rick Brannan, one of their long-time employees, has posted a detailed example of how to use their Graphical Query Editor. I think if you read it carefully and compare it to how a similar search would be performed in Accordance, you'll see the difference right away.

First of all, we NEVER use terms like "query" and "data-set" (yuck!), and we do our best to avoid forcing the user to jump through unnecessary hoops to get things done. Brannan wants to search for all instances in the Pastoral epistles of the Greek adjective kalos within three words of a noun which agrees with it in number and case. I counted the steps involved in this process and came up with no less than 47! I didn't even count the optional steps and rearranging Brannan recommended you do. I won't list all of Logos' steps here, but below are the steps involved to do the same search in Accordance:

1. Open GNT-T
2. Command 2 to open Greek Construct
3. Drag Lex into first column
4. Type kalos
5. Click OK
6. Drag Noun into second column
7. Click OK
8. Drag Within above two columns
9. Type 3
10. Click OK
11. Drag Agree above two columns
12. Click Number
13. Click Case
14. Click OK
15. Command-D to duplicate Construct window
16. Drag Lex to Second column
17. Drag Noun to First column
18. Switch to tab containing GNT-T
19. Click after first link
20. Shift-command-O for OR
21. Shift-command-L for LINK
22. Double-click Greek Construct 2
23. Click More Options
24. Select Clause
25. Select Pastoral Epistles
(Note: I already had this range predefined. If I didn't, I would use the Range command to create a temporary range [2 additional steps], or go through the process of adding a permanent range [4 additional steps])
26. Click OK
27. Switch back to GNT-T to see results

Note that because the Construct window is order specific, I had to create two construct windows. The first has the noun after kalos, and the second has the noun before kalos. That's the reason for steps 15-22. Note also how many of these steps consist of simply clicking the OK button (or hitting return).

With Logos, there are a host of additional steps you must do to accomplish the same thing. At one point, you must specify that the language of your search term is Greek. Then you click in the entry field to type your Greek word, but before you can enter it, you have to hit F2 twice to change the keyboard to Greek. Why? You've already specified that the language is Greek, why do you have to remember to change the keyboard too?

Likewise, when selecting kalos from the list of Greek words, you have to choose between two forms of the word (one with an accute accent and one with a grave accent). Brannan explains that it doesn't matter which you choose since "Match Marks" is not selected. But if it doesn't matter, why confuse the user with multiple forms? In Accordance, you default to enter lexical forms. That vocabulary list presents you with one form of kalos. If you search by inflected forms, you'll get all the possible inflections, but in most cases, you don't want or need that.

Furthermore, it would appear from Brannan's explanation that you cannot specify agreement between a lexical form like kalos and a generic noun directly. You first must create an adjective element in the Graphical Query Editor and equate it with kalos. THEN you can specify agreement between the Noun tag and the Adjective tag. In Accordance, you put kalos into one column, a noun in another column, and then specify that the two must agree. Why specify that kalos is an adjective when the program should already KNOW kalos is an adjective?

Finally, Logos' Graphical Query Editor is supposed to make it easier to design a search and SEE what you're searching for. Yet when you enter an Adjective term into the Editor, it's labeled with the cryptic "J????". A Noun term appears as "N???". Am I supposed to be able to tell by looking at this what I'm searching for? Why not just put "Adjective" and "Noun"?

I don't mean to be critical of Logos, but it's these kinds of things which leave me (and many users) dumbfounded. It's the developer's job to eliminate unnecessary steps and confusing choices for the user. The less he has to remember to hit F2 or what "J????" means, the more he can focus on actually studying the Bible. That, I think, is what separates Accordance from other Bible programs.

Hope this is helpful.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#7 Tom Castle

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 09:47 AM

David,
That was simply incredible. Very nicely done.
In HIS Eternal Service,
Tom Castle
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#8 Helen Brown

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 10:32 AM

Tyler Williams has posted another comparison of the same search in Logos and Accordance in his Codex: Blogspot.
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#9 Helen Brown

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 01:00 PM

Guess everyone is getting in on the act! Ruben has posted a comparison, bringing BibleWorks in to the picture, on his very useful Bible Software Review weblog.
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#10 jwritebol

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:30 PM

Thanks to everybody for their input on this matter! I think I am going to stay with Accordance after all, and largely due to the issues spoken about here. After reading all this good stuff that everyone contributed I came to the conclusion that maybe I don't know how to get out of Accordance all that I can (I didn't even know there was a graphical construct search or what to use that for) and probably will need to get the training video or something like that to maximize my Accordance experience.

Thanks for the help.

Jeremy Writebol
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#11 jpkang

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:01 PM

Amen!
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#12 jpkang

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:44 PM

p.s. With respect to David's point (on August 4th) about Construct windows being "order specific,"

Note that because the Construct window is order specific, I had to create two construct windows. The first has the noun after kalos, and the second has the noun before kalos. That's the reason for steps 15-22. Note also how many of these steps consist of simply clicking the OK button (or hitting return).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just took a look at the Accordance manual (chapter 10). It says there, about construct windows, "The default relationship is that the elements represent adjacent words in a phrase," which is exactly how it works when you manually type in searches in an argument entry box in a search window (except there you type spaces between words).

But the logic of a construct connection area and the argument entry box diverge when you use WITHIN: if you search for [WORD1] <WITHIN 3 Words> [WORD2] in a Search window, it is no longer bound to the sequence in which you typed WORD1 and WORD2. In fact, there are other command phrases <PRECEDED BY> and <FOLLOWED BY> to narrow things down (I'm not sure when this functionality was introduced).

Now, to the real point of this post. David points out that the search in question would've required eight fewer steps if order were optional. Addressing the same issue, one of Ruben's comparison's summary points is:

4. Libronix and BibleWorks have an option to ignore word order. Accordance does not, hence the need to duplicate the Construct window, invert the search terms, and perform an OR search.

So... if the Construct window gained the order-specifying logic of PRECEDED BY and FOLLOWED BY commands and the WITHIN operator became order-neutral (I don't think this would affect INTER, would it?), then you would have consistency of [b]WITHIN[b]'s logic between the "command line" and graphical search approaches (with the benefit of occasionally saving a bunch of steps!).

I hope this makes sense...
J. P. Kang, Ph.D. (Bible)

#13 Helen Brown

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:53 PM

OK. We are already planning to add an option of searching in either direction. Completely ignoring order has always been ruled out, since it is way too complicated in a complex construction.
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#14 BrianBowman

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 04:35 AM

I have used Logos on both the PC (many years ago) and most recently Series X running under Virtual PC on the MAC. The size of Logo's staff and the number of PC users they have gives them an "economies of scale" advantage over pretty much any Bible Software competitor - PC or MAC. That being said, I don't think Logos is as an intuitive as Accordance, nor as "functionally integrated" with respect to the Users's ability to "get around" in the Application. I base these comments on over 22 years of professional software engineering experience, working directly in the proprietary design of analytic modeling, data file/retrieval systems, DASD device drivers, compiler code-generation, object-relational data servers, low-level authorization subsystems, and some Java-based GUI work. I've also spent nearly 10 years as a serious part-time student of the Bible at College and Seminary levels.

When Logos announced their MAC development effort, I immediately contacted them to volunteer as a Beta Tester - giving them a brief synopsis of my qualifications. Shortly thereafter I recieved an EMAIL from Logos containing a job posting for a MAC developer position. I have not followed up on this because I'm very happy in my present employment and for family reasons not able to relocate to the left-coast.

All this being said, Logos as publicly stated stated that they intend to develop a "native OS X look and feel" for their upcoming MAC product. Porting the Logos search&retrieval engine and compiling it on OS X should be pretty straigtforward. However, doing a native OS X Aqua GUI is no small effort - especially given that the PC version Logos Series X is heavily dependent upon Internet Explorer .dll's for its GUI and interactive environment.

Will Logos deliver their MAC product by Christmas 2005? Only God knows.

Edited by BrianBowman, 11 August 2005 - 04:36 AM.


#15 BrianBowman

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 04:01 PM

... My PC buddies say that it is the best software you can get and I am inclined to believe they are basing that statement merely on the massive volume of resources you can get with Logos. 
Thanks
Jeremy Writebol

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You might find that the massive volume of resources you get with the "packaged" Logos products, while less expensive, are not of the same quality, than a "similarly weighted" set of Accordance Resources. Yes, it's true that the Accordance Scholar's materials can get $$$ real quick. However, you must be careful to compare "apples to apples" with what Logos supplies in their "packages". I think you'll find that the advanced Tagged Hebrew/Greek Texts with parsing tools and definitely the advanced Lexicons and Grammars are not included in the lower-priced Logos packages and will set you back many extra $$$.

I'm sure others can testify to the numbers of serious original language scholars that use Accordance primarily, if not exclusively, because for this kind of study Accordance is currently without peer.

Edited by BrianBowman, 11 August 2005 - 04:46 PM.


#16 BrianBowman

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 10:48 PM

It has also occurred to me that since Apple announced the switch to Intel Processors, Logos may seriously rethink native MAC development. I suspect that Windows (via Virtual PC) will run *much faster* on the new Intel MACs because much of the existing hardware translation in VPC should disappear, making VPC essentially an "OS Adapter" that Microsoft can continue to generate $$ from. This could make the existing Logos PC-native product "acceptable" for Mac users - especially for those of us who would only purchase Logos content titles that are not (or not likely) to be available in Accordance.

Edited by BrianBowman, 27 August 2005 - 10:56 PM.


#17 Nathan Jewett

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 11:15 AM

If you want yet another testimony, I am a recent convert from Logos Scholars Library and wouldn't go back for anything. Logos wins the library battle but you have to wrestle everything out of the interface. Slow and bulky, you need a beefy computer just to run fairly basic searches. Ninety percent of the modules are open domain and rarely used in study. Accordance wins the battle hands down.

Now we just need to beat Logos on this tagged ESV :D

#18 Brent Lawrence

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 03:35 PM

As far as those discretionary funds for Christmas, my advice is to sink it into Accordance. Official word from Logos is that the ship date has been pushed back (as most suspected) and is now Spring 2006!

Having used Bible Software for the PC for a long time, I am so pleased with Accordance that I haven't opened Logos or any other PC Bible software in weeks. I have my Powerbook with me and Accordance is open constantly. I continually learn new things about the program and the speed of Accordance leaves Logos/Libronix in the dust. There are the occasional resources I wish I could get my hands on in Accordance (I'll post a wish list in the Features/Modules request forum another day), but from the most recent releases it is obvious that Oak Tree is committed to getting new resources in our hands. Having used Quickverse and Logos X, my choice is now Accordance.

What I appreciate most about Accordance is the User Tool feature. What good is a Bible software program if you the user can't put anything into it. Accordance does it better than anyone else.

Keep up the good work!

#19 Jonna

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 07:43 PM

Maybe I should reveal a bit more about how I am using Accordance to get some help in this area. I am a pastor and use Accordance on a daily basis for my Bible studies, sermon prep, etc. I know Greek but do not have the Scholars Library of tools so I am resigned right now to using Strongs with the NASB to do word studies - so it is pretty limited in that regard. I would either put the discretionary funds toward the Scholars Library of Accordance or buy a package that Logos has with the original languges.... so that is my debate. Which way would you go?

Jeremy


Greetings from Michigan

I will admit that I don't know Greek -- nor Hebrew. However, I am one of those lay-people in your congregation who likes to look up the terms that you use on Sunday mornings. I have NOT used Logos for over 5 years. I last used it on a Windows 3.1 which I needed to replace back with all the Y2K stuff. However, I can say that: if you don't know Greek or Hebrew -- Logos might be the better package. My main purposes in purchasing the software were: (a) to look things up for myself (B) to have access while on-line and © to have access to articles with commentaries. I think that the earlier commentator is correct in that Accordance is better exegetically. However, I have Bibleworks 6 which works pretty fantastic on virtual PC.

I can tell you that I am a bit frustrated tonight. I bought the Scholars edition with hopes that I could EASILY search all those Theological Journals when I had a question about a passage, combined with look up the Hebrew and Greek and basically do simple word searches. I do think that scholars edition is better than Bibleworks 6. However, Bibleworks 6 is a great program, and I can attest that it works VERY SLICK on Virtual PC. The one caveat: if you decide to use that option -- you will probably need to use a program like Word Perfect or WORD that you load unto your Virtual PC. Otherwise, if you are writing an article or just preparing a word processing document -- your Hebrew fonts will NOT convert properly. In contrast, Accordance seems to to the job without any sort of problem.

I think that I just need more time -- but right now, I am a bit frustrated. I bought both Journals 5 & 6. When I install 5 -- it erases 6. When I install 6 -- it erases 5!!! And further, I can't figure out how to make it search ALL my journals at once. And further -- if the said journal has 5 HITS -- I can't figure out how to get it to advance to the different "HITS". Like I said -- my needs are a bit basic compared to yours.

My best advice: wait until the spring when the Logos Mac version is out. You might even be able to get on the "beta-test" list. Overall, if I had known that Logos might have a Mac version in just a few months, I know that I would have held off. Even their Windows 3.1 version -- even that was able to meet my basic needs (and "felt wants"). So far, Accordance is falling just a bit short. However, my desires would be different than yours

Best wishes

Jonna (a layperson) from michigan

#20 Helen Brown

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Posted 18 November 2005 - 10:45 PM

Jonna:

You are really not giving Accordance a fair chance. You are expecting it to work just like other Bible software you have used. Accordance does so many things differently. Please invest a little time in learning to use it.

Accordance covers both the scholarly searches that BibleWorks does, and the more popular features and texts of other PC programs. We cannot compete with LOGOS on the bgrteadth of their library, but we are far more than a library reader, we let you easily explore any module, find what you need, and follow any train of thought. The Training DVD is a great introduction to the principles that underlie the interface.

I just answered your other post about the TJL. You can go to the Hits by clicking the Mark buttons at the bottom of the window. You can also use the Show pop-up menu to see just the hit articles or paragraphs.

Almost our entire team is away at the ETS/AAR/SBL meetings. Normally one of us would be glad to talk you through some of these issues, but I will have to ask you to wait until after Thanksgiving. Please let us know then if you would still like a call.
Helen Brown
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