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#1 David Lang

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:36 AM

In another thread, someone recently posted the following request:

I agree wholeheartedly with a UI overhaul!

We would be VERY, VERY PLEASED if you (OakTree) would implement Core Image, Core Animation, OpenGL 3.2 in the next iteration of Accordance 9.0. We/I would love to see the program's visuals to resemble Pixelmator according to polish, detail(s), and 3D-looking attentiveness.

I enjoy the detail of attention you've paid greatly to the usefulness of Accordance, but now I would like to see the same details applied to the look of Accordance's graphics to become far more lifelike, organic, and realistically consistent with animations, effects, 3D-looking smoothness and polish in texture, etc. To me the UI looks: archaic (in comparison to to-days apps I'm using), dull, plain, unattractive, and simply lackluster in appearance-though exceedingly useful, YES!, the graphics, to me, looks like something from the 1990's, examples: "Graph" and "Diagram"- need I say more?

I implore you to please impress us with the the next major upgrade/date, 9.0.


While we've made minor interface changes since then, the last time we gave Accordance a major interface overhaul was version 6. OS X has changed a lot since then so we are indeed planning on refreshing the Accordance interface for version 9. We've got lots of exciting changes planned, but it is this question of the "look" of Accordance which is most puzzling to me. That's because people who complain about the current look usually only give vague impressions rather than specific criticisms. The person who posted this request has come closer to offering specifics, but I'd still like a little more.

For example, he uses Pixelmator as an example to be emulated, and Pixelmator is indeed striking. It relies heavily on Transparent Panels, which have this cool glossy black look. Label text on such panels is white. It's high contrast and slick, but Apple's interface guidelines indicate that this interface is only to be used for graphic-heavy programs like image editors. Since Pixelmator is an image editing program, the white on black look is appropriate. Apple also uses this interface for iMovie 09, but it uses the standard Mac interface for other iLife apps like iTunes and iPhoto.

Not only would using the white-on-black look in Accordance be breaking Apple's guidelines, I also worry that the high-contrast look would be distracting for many of our users. So while we have already considered it, we've decided against that particular look.

By the way, these same issues mitigated against the brushed metal look that Apple has now deprecated. It was originally supposed to be used for multimedia apps, and then lots of other apps started using it inappropriately. We had lots of requests to go with that look, but doing so would have broken Apple's guidelines, and of course we would have lost that look with Leopard.

So if the white-on-black look is out, we're left with trying to jazz up the look of Accordance in other ways. One way to do that is to use a more textured look for window surfaces. Right now, we use a flat gray background. Apple uses that same color in many of their windows and panels, but the number of window surfaces in Accordance may make Accordance look more "plain" than other apps.

Another common complaint is that our icons look dated. The user quoted above mentioned the diagram icon and graph icon (perhaps he meant Syntax?) and asked, "need I say more?" Actually, yes, I need a little more. The Resource palette icons were all designed by the folks at the IconFactory, so it's not as if we hacked them together ourselves. When I told that to someone else recently, he was genuinely surprised that we had them professionally designed. I'm not sure I understand why that is.

Apart from the chalkboard look of the Diagram icon, I'm at a loss to know what about it looks dated. We used a chalkboard because most people were first exposed to diagramming in school, and we figured a real world context was better than just a series of disembodied diagram lines. Should we have used a whiteboard with Dry-Erase markers to be a little more modern?

Actually, looking again at the user's suggestions, it occurs to me that he may not be referring to the Resource palette icons but to the Graphs in the Details workspace and the icons for the diagram symbols in the Diagram window itself. If that's the case, then yes, the diagram window could certainly be jazzed up. The Graphs on the other hand have some pretty striking-looking options. (Try area graphs on a black background, for example). It's just that the defaults may not be the most exciting options, and perhaps we need to add other more 3D looking graphs. We're certainly open to suggestions.

Finally, some users complain about the amount of "wasted space" in the program interface. This is amusing to me because we deliberately spread things out when we overhauled the interface for Accordance 6. The original Accordance interface made very efficient use of space but eventually began to feel cramped, especially when OS X interface standards called for spreading things out much more than the Classic Mac OS. Since then, the pendulum has been swinging back to a more efficient use of space and smaller interface elements, and the challenge for long-time Mac developers is figuring out how to keep up with the latest fashion. For Accordance 9, we will be tightening things up a bit and giving you a little more screen real estate for viewing content, but we have to be careful not to go too far by relying too much on tiny interface elements that are too hard to hit, or tight layouts which feel more cramped than efficient.

Okay, so I've told you a bit about the competing concerns which go into interface design, and explained that we need more than just a vague suggestion to "make it look like this or that other program." So here's your chance to make suggestions for how the look of the interface could be updated. I look forward to hearing your ideas.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#2 Fr. Rich

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:07 PM

I have to say that I am in favor of not messing with the GUI. The current interface puts the Biblical text right in the center and keeps everything else organized to be useful in reading and interpreting the text. To me, it is straight forward and business like. I have been hoping that you will not follow some of your competitors and create a very "busy" interface.
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#3 Sean R.

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:07 PM

I actually really appreciate the current Accordance interface. I understand others think it "plain Jane." Yet for me, the graphically understated interface is conducive to keeping the text central (which is, after all, one of the core principles guiding the development of Accordance). A more graphically intense interface might actually distract from the study of the Bible. Thus I am pleased to hear David's explanation of the direction the developers are headed with the interface in Accordance 9.

As words of praise are hardly helpful when working to improve a product, I'll do my best to think of a few criticisms of the current interface.
Sean Reed

#4 Bob Deacon

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 03:33 PM

I have NO complaints with the interface or any other facet of Accordance. It does keep the Bible central which is great. I do not find the workspace to be cluttered or "busy" and I find the icons to be fine just as they are. We humans often times get bored and desire change but the older we get change becomes more difficult to deal with. Just my 2 cents worth.

Edited by Bob Deacon, 26 January 2010 - 03:34 PM.

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#5 circuitrider

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 04:01 PM

Someone recently gave this advice to a young minister -

"Son, when you get married be sure you pick out a workhorse and not a show horse."

For the price and investment you put into Bible software nowadays, you are entering a long term relationship when you purchase. I'll take the Workhorse, which Accordance definitely is!

I am very pleased with the present Accordance interface and functionality. However, I would personally be more excited about Accordance developers focusing on improving how Accordance Works than how it Looks.

Edited by circuitrider, 26 January 2010 - 08:34 PM.


#6 mikes

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:00 PM

On one hand, I think you're asking the people that likely use Accordance on an almost daily basis and visit the forums, answer questions, and have strong opinions leaning to things staying the same. Mine opinion is in line with all your more active forum participants: don't do it! What you have works! Don't break it to make it "pretty" to someone who just started a week ago.

To show just how intuitive it is, my senior, not-so-computer-savvy mom came over to babysit for us on Saturday night. I left my saved ESV Study Bible Workspace open for her to just play with. "Just put the verses you want to study up in this box and hit return." When we came back from the symphony, she had used Accordance to help with her BSF study. In that process, she used the Life Application Study Bible, ESV study bible, a number of parallel bible translations, a few commentaries, found value from instant details, and even accidentally did a dictionary lookup (although she didn't know what she had done).

Now for that "other hand" (I'm sure it must be that dastardly left hand!): I fear that we may become a bit too much like the WordPerfect users. We love our tool so much the way it is, that we make it too difficult for your to really innovate and grow your user base at a key time when you have both the competitive advantage and a surge in your prospects with the growth of mac usage. This may become acutely more visible if and when an apple tablet comes out that doesn't support carbon, but only cocoa. It would be a HUGE missed opportunity for Accordance. If it isn't the tablet, then it could be competition getting their act together, or something unforeseen. So ask some people who maybe aren't as loyal as we are. Maybe reach out to some of the people that use other software on other platforms that you know, respect, and represent who you want to sell green fields into with v9. Wow us!

Don't listen too much to us, we're here to stay. No, wait, please do continue to listen to us as you always have. Please continue to innovate and feel free to let the newbies vent and learn... maybe make it easier for them to see and unlock the value of what they have (thanks so much for the releasing the DVD training downloads, podcast and blog!) So please, don't hand over UI development to Pixelator's developers!

Thanks,

Mike
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#7 Paul Daunno

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:55 PM

I'm a fairly new user of Accordance (since last October) and primarily use it for personal Bible study. I'm actually quite pleased with the look and feel of it. I'm running 8.4.3. I don't know if this is possible or even feasible but if you could somehow implement themes that might be a good approach. That way if I want the default theme (as it is today), I can pick that. Maybe someone else prefers another theme and chooses that. Kind of like what's available for cell phones/blackberry's/etc. I'd personally rather the developers spend more time coming up with new ways for me to make the most of Accordance instead of making it "prettier".

-Paul
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#8 David Voth

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:59 PM

As someone who uses Accordance on an iBook making use of space is important. For the most part I have been able to develop workspaces that work, but there are some things that take up quite a bit of space that are always there, like the search box and section for selecting texts and tools. One doesn't always need them. Although I must add that I put my instant details overtop of the top section to make use of the space which has been working for me. Perhaps expand upon the "Slideshow" mode seeing it as a "fullscreen" mode that is developed for more than just doing presentations. I don't have any issue with the looks of the icons. My one suggestion for the toolbar would be to let a person customize the toolbar to just show things that one needs.

These are just some thoughts. I do want to say that I appreciate that you work hard to get things to work well for the people and I look forward to what is ahead.

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#9 RobM

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:52 AM

As I read the replies of those who want things to stay the same, I feel the exact same way. I love the way things are right now. I am very pleased with my workflow and how I utilize the UI to do my studies. But, even as I write, I remember a blog post that you (David) did last year (I think it was last year) in which you talked about the concept of computer programs (and mice) being intuitive. You noted that there is a difference between what is truly intuitive and what is made into a habit and thought to be intuitive. You argued that the Apple one button mouse is more intuitive than the two button mouse and then went on to argue that Accordance search syntax is intuitive while google search syntax is not. Is the current Accordance UI (excluding search syntax) intuitive or just learned?

Upon reading your initial entry to this forum thread, I opened Accordance and just looked at it. Not for long, but just for a moment. I don't have anything remarkable to suggest, but just a question. Why the Resource Palette? I realized that the majority of software programs do not have anything like it (correct me if I'm wrong). Whenever you want to open a file or whatever, you go through the toolbar along the top of the screen. I realized that Accordance does this partially; namely, you can open modules through the Amplify menu. But you can only do so when amplifying from a word or passage. Why not enable the user to open modules directly from the Tool bar without amplifying? If we could do that, we could remove the Resource palette (optionally or permanently) and have more screen space while also removing probably the busiest aspect of the Accordance UI. Furthermore, I also think that some users already get rid of the Resource palette in favor of the Library Window. But, interestingly, the Library Window resembles the Apple Finder Window. These users are setting up Accordance like other programs operate.

I know, I know. In my first paragraph I appealed to intuitiveness while in my second I appealed to what computer users have grown accustomed to :rolleyes: I don't know what the answer is. At any rate, what do you (David and other users) think about my idea of being able to open modules from the Tool bar? I know its nothing too major, but I'll keep thinking...

#10 William B

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:05 AM

What I think would be helpful is for it to run inside a box (dont know if thats the right term). You have the accordance window/box which the user can resize to any size they need (usual drag thing at bottom right). However in the box the user chooses what is active, what I mean it that they can add the library window, bible window, highlight window etc where they want them and at the size they want them all within the same window (complete flexability to change it to how we wish), this could perhaps be done in the 'view' option in the menu bar or something. These windows that we want in the accordance box we can resize and move to where we want them.

For me this has many advantages, first it keeps things tidy, and second it allows the user to create accordance to exactly what they need. I think we will all notice that what Im saying accordance already does, I think boxing it in some way would give it a better more cohesive look.

As many have said I have no real issue with how accordance looks, I dont for instance feel as strongly about changing it as some of the posters are.

#11 David Lang

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:45 PM

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far. It's certainly encouraging to hear that you're happy enough that you don't want us changing everything, and Mike's story about his mom was especially reassuring.

First, let me reassure you that we are not taking the let's start over from scratch approach that leads other developers to alienate much of their existing user base. The last thing we want to do is disrupt the workflow of our experienced users. Our goal is to streamline that workflow even further, while improving Accordance's aesthetic appeal and helping new users avoid common points of confusion.

Rob, I'm not sure what you mean by being able to open modules from the Tool bar at the top of the screen. Do you perhaps mean the menu bar? With respect to the Resource palette, it is possible to live without it. I even blogged about that today.

William, by "box" I'm assuming you mean a single window interface, sort of like iTunes or most of the other iLife apps. A single window interface has the advantage of sparing you having to manipulate multiple palettes, but it generally lacks flexibility. iTunes, for example, has certain areas for specific functions and you can't move those around somewhere else. The advantage of palettes is that you can put them wherever you want, and Accordance even lets you change the orientation of several of them. We're looking into possible best-of-both-worlds solutions.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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#12 R. Mansfield

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

David, your blog post today, "Life without the Resource Palette" got me to thinking about the discussion that's been going on here. I started to leave these thoughts in the comments section of that post, but since there's already a conversation going on here, I thought this might be a better place.

Your blog post got me to thinking about the way I use the resource palette. I always use mine horizontally on top of the screen, like a button bar in many standard applications. In fact, the only time I ever use the resource palette vertically is when I've led Accordance training seminars or given demos at ETS/SBL since vertical is the default layout which I assume most people use.

So here's a thought, and there are two parts to it...

(1) What if the resource palette in Accordance was changed from a floating palette to a permanent button bar. I can already hear the screams of protest from some users, but wait and hear me out. I realize that one of the issue that some folks wouldn't like this is that they'd lose screen real estate. But take a look at the button bar in iWork Pages. It can be entirely collapsed by hitting the little clear button (I forget its name, but it's in Finder windows, too) on the right of the Window.

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If the Accordance resource palette were integrated into the main window this way, it could be accessed or collapsed as needed.

(2) I also believe that what might be helpful in Accordance in order to gain easier access to features is an Inspector like that used in Pages and Keynote. I can just imagine how helpful it might be to have a search tab on the Inspector that features all the search commands, symbols, tags, etc. A lot of the features accessible primarily by the menus could be added to the inspector. There could also be individual tabs in the inspector for what's currently accessed via the highlighting, text, and character palettes.

And if someone didn't have room for the Inspector, it could be closed just as with iWork programs. Also, if someone wanted to keep highlighting and search commands visible at the same time, a second inspector window could be opened (a lot of folks don't realize that the iWork programs allow multiple copies of the Inspector to be opened at once)

What this would do is bring Accordance on par visually and functionally with Apple's own programs in the iWork suite and definitely make Accordance the most "Mac-like" Bible software available--not that it's not that already :-)

Edited by R. Mansfield, 27 January 2010 - 03:06 PM.

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#13 RobM

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 01:53 PM

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far. It's certainly encouraging to hear that you're happy enough that you don't want us changing everything, and Mike's story about his mom was especially reassuring.

First, let me reassure you that we are not taking the let's start over from scratch approach that leads other developers to alienate much of their existing user base. The last thing we want to do is disrupt the workflow of our experienced users. Our goal is to streamline that workflow even further, while improving Accordance's aesthetic appeal and helping new users avoid common points of confusion.

Rob, I'm not sure what you mean by being able to open modules from the Tool bar at the top of the screen. Do you perhaps mean the menu bar? With respect to the Resource palette, it is possible to live without it. I even blogged about that today.


David,
I am greatly encouraged that you all are not going to modify the entire Accordance interface from the ground up.

As for the resource palette, actually it is, in my opinion, impossible to live with out either the resource palette or the library window. The reason is you cannot open any module from the Menu bar (sorry about calling it the Tool bar in my previous post). You can only open a default text or tool, as you note in your blog. But I regularly access texts and tools that are not set as default. To open these I have to use the Resource palette or the Library window. I am thus required to have one of these open. It therefore takes up screen real estate. Now, my suggestion to enable the user to not use the resource palette or the library window is certainly not an important thing to me. I am happy with using the resource palette. But every now and again I like to change up how Accordance is arranged on my screen and that would be one more possible arrangement that I and others could use.

Also, I found R. Mansfield's suggestion about having a permanent, but hide-able, button bar interesting. I think I would like it. For times when I need to open another module I could do so easily. But I could also collapse it when doing work that doesn't require me to open any other module.

#14 circuitrider

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:09 PM

As mentioned by D.Voth I have also hoped for more operability in the slideshow mode.

As for getting rid of the Resource Palette - Would it be possible to add an "Auto-Hide" option that would work like the Mac's own Dock does? This would free up space but the Palette would still be available when needed.

Also, I wonder if Dave Lang would be willing to give a little more in depth tutorial on how to live without the Resource Palette for those who really, really want that extra space? Because at this point I don't if I could truly live without it, but the extra room would be great.

Circuitrider

#15 michael.michael

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 02:48 AM

Mr. Lang:

First: I'm utterly flabbergasted at OakTree's customer support-rapport THANK YOU!

Second: For me, the HOLY BIBLE is the main reason for using Accordance, obviously, just as you yourselves ("The Bible is Central") and other users have already pointed out that a clustered or unintuitive UI should not interfere with this main point.
In my opinion, Accordance does neither, the already existing Main Window helps me to keep completely focused on studying the HOLY BIBLE, as it should, without much interference or distractions (for that I thank you-all!); however, my request for a "UI overhaul" absolutely did not mean a complete user environment "overhaul" of the Main User Interface Window, but rather an extensible "polish" and "3D-looking attentiveness" to the already existing UI Window that we're using; hence, my requests for Core Image/Animation, OpenGL to be applied hither. The "archaic", "dull", "plain", "unattractive", "lackluster" "appearance" (as I'm sure you now figured out, understand) I was referring to applied specifically to the "graphics" of the UI Window and absolutely not to the icons only, etc.

I used Pixelmator as an example of the "polish" and slick gloss that I would like Accordance to become. More importantly, examples, as you wanted:
  • Take Pixelmator's tool set for example, you see the polish, the attention to detail of the icons (the pencil, the brush, the eye dropper, etc.)...I would like to see the same glossy polish applied to the up and down triangles on the main window for: "Vs", "Ch", & "Bk" and the font selection of AA: give these a 3D look, not the current plain 2D, where they appear I can touch them, as if they were a multi-gesture app I could click on with my finger.
  • Same for the main window, what I meant by "plain" refers to the 2D texture, how about offering the user an "option" to have a high-contrasted glossy 3D look that the user can switch to, or on/off, if he/she so chooses. Even better, I think, would be to make an "optional" UI that resembles an actual two-sided printed Holy Bible with multiple overlays, I'll try to get a couple of mock-ups of what I'm imagining when I can, I think you'll like these.
  • I was referring to the "Graph"/"Diagram" windows as well as the graphic interface for the Graphic "Construct Window", not to the Resources palette! Moving away from 2D to 3D and taking notes from Apple's Numbers will rectify this horrid deficiency!
  • Regarding "Atlas" 2.2: the maps look like drawings rather than realistic-looking maps. Rather, it would be nice to see 3.0 offer realistic Satellite/Hybrid (thinking Yahoo maps) and Terrain (thinking Google maps) images of the areas instead, this would be far more appealing to me.
  • Regarding "Timeline" 1.5: for the upcoming 2.0, more eye-popping, 3D visual charts (thinking of Apple's Numbers again, for clarification!) would be far more desirable and enjoyable than the current 2D look (the color legend at the top left window is deplorable for a Mac program: See here).
  • The User tool window under "My Highlight"...this also is in need of a serious update, as already explained.

Obviously from reading this exposition up to this point the request is focused primarily upon visual eye-candy, which I'll gladly pay for. I apologize for being so "vague" in my aforementioned request. I hope this has concurrently clarified what was actually being desired and, therefore, requested from OakTree; but if not, then please inform to me.

Gratefully yours & Happy New Year,

michael.




P.S.
1.The Hebrew and Greek fonts are very readable and legible...thanks OakTree for the thoughtfulness of details here!
2.It would be a great improvement if you would ADD MORE pictures, even videos, of the the modules you're trying to sell to us verses just narratives, PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSE!
3.I would greatly appreciate it if all e-modules of books resembled exactly the printed editions, i.e., the material is identical and; consequently, I am not missing ANY of the material as I AM RELYING UPON THE E-TEXT over against the printed text
(example: in the Gospels, the Greek IT HAS THE TITLES KATA MATOAION/MAPKON/AOYKON/IOANNHN, why are these not in the electronic texts? Another: can you
[OakTree] please join the critical apparatus to BHS as it appears exactly in the printed text? Shouldn't have to spend an extra $150 for Die Mac Stud.,
or any $ for that matter, to get the apparatus, as $70 for the printed already includes it...if that's the case then I'll stick with printed instead of
electronic)
Also, all notes, page numbers, etc. of the printed texts should be ACCURATELY included for various informational reasons. The point for me
purchasing the e-texts instead of print is: portability, search capabilities (hence no need for indexes/concordances), desk space, less back ache,
etc.
***Can the printed text(s) be scanned and electronically converted into e-text(s) w/o all the typos that are currently in some of the e-texts (an ex: Ross's Heb. Gram.)? Why should we pay for a module(s) that we ourselves need-have to report bugs of errors, typos, etc. that have been overlooked by you-all (unless of course you're giving it to us for free or at half cost)? This actually greatly discourages any kind of trust-reliance in an e-text over against a printed one!****


#16 RobM

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:42 AM

Michael,
I would like to go to bat for Accordance on some of these requests/objections:

You ask that the BHS apparatus be added to BHS-W4 and that we the customer not be charged for more than the print edition. There are several problems with this request.

First, and perhaps foremost, OakTree does not own the copyright for the critical apparatus. It is owned by Stuttgart and they have not allowed such a module to be produced on any platform. If you wish this to change, talk to Stuttgart. Also, it is Stuttgart who has said, "sell Die Mac Stud., for $150" not OakTree. OakTree doesn't have any control over this.

Second, BHS-W4 was not made by Accordance. It was produced and tagged by J. Alan Groves Center for Advance Biblical Research. Perhaps you could ask them to convince Stuttgart to release the apparatus to them.

Third, concerning price, we the customer are not simply buying an e-book that we can read on our computer screen. If this were the case, like you seem to object, why would we need Accordance? But we buy BHS-W4 for Accordance so that we can search it with all the amazing search capabilities of the Accordance program. The research of we the customers is thus launched forward beyond what any of our pre-technology predecessors could ever have done in a fraction of the time or even at all.

Concerning accuracy of the Accordance module of a print book. I agree that we the customer need a reliable version in Accordance for us to do meaningful research with or, with your example, learn Hebrew correctly. However, I don't think we should look down on the existing errors as ridiculous blunders. Have you ever seen one of the editable e-texts formatted to be Accordance modules? I have. They are incredibly complex. Your question about simply scanning in a printed text and electronically converting to e-text is not at all as simple as you seem to think it is or should be. There is a lot of extra code that is included in the e-text in order to allow the Accordance engine to properly incorporate it into the program with all its search functions. As for the quality of the e-text, pre-Accordance code, it is predominantly dependent on the publisher who published the book. My understanding is that for the vast majority of the e-books that are made into Accordance modules, the e-texts are made by the publisher and not OakTree. So in the case of Ross's grammar, I'm more inclined to blame Baker than OakTree. Some of these errors are not just in the e-text either, they are sometimes in the published print editions as well. Some of these errors have been caught by either Accordance users or OakTree staff and OakTree has fixed them. In those instance the Accordance module is the only correct edition for that given portion of the book.

As for fixing errors in Accordance modules, the Accordance staff have always been accommodating. In the recent COS update, several inter-module links were fixed that I personally had informed them of that they previously were unaware of. Furthermore, whenever they do fix errors and issue an update, those updates are always free.

Keep in mind, everything currently published, whether print or e-, is produced by human beings who both make errors and miss them in editorial revisions. Hopefully these errors can be kept to typographical errors, but occasionally significant errors slip through the cracks. You simply can't avoid that no matter what format of a given book you go with.

Yours,
-Robert

(begin edited material:)
Concerning page numbers, often times the e-texts sent to Accordance by the publishers do not have page numbers in them. These need to be added manually by opening the print version and reading through page by page and entering the page numbers: incredibly tedious. As a result, page numbers are often left out. But this is slowly (but surely) being rectified by OakTree via hiring non-OakTree people to add them. OakTree pays for these page numbers to be put in but they do not charge people for the update nor increase the price of the module for future buyers.

#17 DanG

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 11:44 AM

As mentioned by D.Voth I have also hoped for more operability in the slideshow mode.

As for getting rid of the Resource Palette - Would it be possible to add an "Auto-Hide" option that would work like the Mac's own Dock does? This would free up space but the Palette would still be available when needed.

Also, I wonder if Dave Lang would be willing to give a little more in depth tutorial on how to live without the Resource Palette for those who really, really want that extra space? Because at this point I don't if I could truly live without it, but the extra room would be great.

Circuitrider


So, here I am trying to live without the Resource Palette (I'm grateful for the extra space. It always seems like it's in the way to me.) as in David Lang's latest blog. Anyway, I'm trying to Define a Tool Set and spend 5 minutes looking for this command that I know is there somewhere! Finally, I check the Resource Palette and find it under the blue stack of books.

From the Help Menu, you get this description: "This dialog box opens when you choose Define Tool Set from the Tool Set pop-up menu in the Resource palette or the Search menu (or command-R) when a Tool window is in front."

My problem was that I was looking for the command with a text search window in front and so the Search menu said Define Range... (instead of Define Tool Set...) so I couldn't find it.

As part of the whole GUI discussion, I would ask that there be some other way to access this command. If I had been in a Tool tab, it would have been easy to find it, but in my particular case it was like trying to solve the rubic's cube when you're in a big hurry! Off the top of my head, it seems like a "Set Up" type of command should be accessible from Preferences of some menu that doesn't change based on what window is in front. Does that make any sense?

#18 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 02:24 PM

I kind of like Rick's suggestion about the Resource Palette as a button bar (actually, I think a number of applications call it a "tool bar"). I could see the Library Window set up like this as well. Users could then chose which one(s) to display. It would be even cooler if users could add their own custom tool bar with icons representing their favorite modules/actions/workspaces.

As to textured backgrounds, perhaps even with updated 3-D icons w/shadows, sure, why not?

However, as a person committed to studying the Bible, I can't tell you how heartening it is to see all these users write, "Keep the focus on the biblical text!"

We've got the greatest group of users in the world...
Blessings,
"Dr. J"

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#19 Morgan

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:30 PM

I've only been using Accordance for about a month, and really just started "diving in" with the tutorials last week. So far I couldn't be any more pleased with Accordance in every aspect I've touched so far. However, I've been a relatively efficient user of another Bible program ever since the Mac version was released. One major difference I've noticed in the "other" software is that the text of a book, commentary, lexicon, etc is more or less a tagged photocopy of the hard-print book. When I read a commentary, for example, it's like I'm looking at the page in a book rather than the "eText" I believe it's referred to in Accordance that adapts to the preferred fonts, sizes, etc set up by each user. Would this be a possibility as an option in future Accordance development, or is that a feature that contributes to the "sluggish" nature that other software is known for? Just a thought.

Morgan

Edited by Morgan, 03 February 2010 - 03:32 PM.


#20 David Lang

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 04:38 PM

Morgan, I'm not sure I understand what you're wanting us to change. I just opened the Bible Knowledge Commentary in Accordance and in the program I suspect you're referring to, and they looked identical. The fact that Accordance gives you the flexibility to change the appearance of the text (font, style, leading, etc.) is an enhancement not possible with paper.

In general, we do try to match the appearance of the print book as much as possible. Of course, we've added capabilities over the years (tables, images, etc.) which enable newer modules to more closely match the look of a print edition, so some older modules may therefore look less like the print work. There are also some cases where we have deliberately tried to improve on the appearance of the print book. For example, the print edition of BDB is nigh unreadable because the printers were trying to cram as much info on each page as possible. We took the time to break the text into paragraphs and provide added white space to improve readability. Our philosophy has always been that electronic texts should match the print as nearly as possible, yet should not be constrained by the limitations of print.

Perhaps the area where Accordance modules most differ from a print work is in the area of graphics. Right now we give you the option of viewing images at a variety of thumbnail sizes. We've had requests to allow for full-size images, and we do plan to add that in the future. In the meantime, you might want to set your preferences for Tool display to use the Large thumbnail size. (Frankly, I'm not sure why we didn't make that the default.)

Anyway, I hope this helps.
Sincerely,
David Lang
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http://www.accordancebible.com

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