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1. Why Accordance? 2. Why Accordance over Logos?


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#1 TJ Luoma

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 11:55 AM

Hello friends

It is an exciting time to be a student of the Bible who is also a Mac user! New versions of both Logos and Accordance have been released, and it sounds like both companies are readying new versions of their programs for iOS also.

I have reviewed both Accordance and Logos for TUAW.com, and most recently have had several people request a "comparison" post between the two programs. Since either one reflects a significant investment (and it's unlikely that many people will be able to maintain both), I can understand the reasons behind such a wish even if I am not sure one person can really make a good recommendation to another why their program is better than another. What's better: Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla or chocolate? Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word?

That said, these are two very different programs with different approaches (as should be obvious to anyone who has even launched both of them once and see how different the information is presented).

I asked the opposite question on the Logos Mac forum (Why Logos, why Logos over Accordance). I suspect that for many people here, Accordance may have been what was available for Mac when you needed Bible study software. The addition of Logos may not have had much effect on you. But I assume that most people have looked at both programs.

The first question is meant to be a Non Comparison question: "What is it that you really like about Accordance? What features do you find yourself using most often?"

The second question, for those who can answer it, is meant to be a comparison: "If you were starting out today, what would make you choose Accordance instead of Logos?"

It seems like many people often want to pigeonhole Accordance as being more for academic users. I'd be especially interested to hear from some non-academics who are using it on a regular basis.

Also, one of the things I hear most often about Logos is that it has a "much bigger library" than Accordance. Of course Mac users know that "more" doesn't always mean "better" since there are many more Windows programs than Mac ones, but that didn't keep us from using Mac. Are there gaps in Accordance's coverage, books (or types of books) that you wish were available, but aren't?

You can respond either by replying to this post, or by emailing me at luomat (at) gmail (dot) com.

It will probably be a few weeks before I will be able to write the article, so I hope many folks will have a chance to offer their input.

Thanks!

#2 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:12 PM

Fascinating question! You can be sure I'll be watching both forums for responses.
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#3 Justin Burt

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:54 PM

Like many other people I am sure, I switched to a Mac back in 2005 for Accordance. I had been a long time user of Quickverse and Bibleworks and was reevaluating that choice before heading to the mission field. I wasn't happy having two programs to do what I needed to do. Bibleworks had a good choice of Greek and Hebrew tools but lacked in the commentaries and Quickverse had commentaries but lacked solid Greek and Hebrew tools. So the choice was Accordance on the Mac or Logos on Windows. At the time, I saw Accordance as Bibleworks with commentaries and Logos more as a digital library. Since I wasn't interested in building a huge library, but just wanted the tools I would need, I went with Accordance.

Accordance 9 vs. Logos 4. I do own both. I have Scholar's Gold for Logos 4. The only reason that I have Logos is for the UBS Bible Handbooks for Translation work. As soon as Accordance gets these, I will be dumping Logos completely. IMHO, I find that Logos does not keep the Bible central. For example, you enter the a passage in the "Go" box and it takes you to a passage guide, exegetical guide, etc. So, as you look at the results (which Logos has done a great job with the UI here), it is nice to have a "jumping point" for study, but it keeps all your helps equal to the Bible. You can rearrange your display to make the Bible a bigger part of your screen, but it is still not the starting point for your study, the guide on the right side of your screen is. Accordance on the other hand, keeps the Bible central. From the way you do searches to the way you jump into your other tools. I believe, that alone is reason enough to choose Accordance over any other program except Bibleworks.

I hope some of this is helpful information, if not just ignore it! :)

Edited by Justin Burt, 04 October 2010 - 01:58 PM.

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#4 Fr. Rich

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:05 PM

I am a parish priest (Episcopalian) and not an academic. I believe that I am typical of many users who started life using Windows and later switched to the Mac. As a Windows only guy, I used Logos in its various versions. Upon switching to a Mac, I was thrilled to find Accordance and to see that it was a viable alternative for Mac users. It took some practice but now I find that for most of what I do, Accordance is easier to use. Today, I use Accordance more than Logos but I do use both. Why Accordance? Because for me, it is direct; I type in a reference, click go and there it is in my chosen Bible. If I want to compare versions, I can have multiple versions, including original language versions, parallel by using the drop down menu. Using tagged versions makes it simple to see how various translations have treated any given word. The resources or modules that I use most in addition to Bible translation are HALOT, BDAG and Comfort's text commentary. While I use Hermeneia and NIGTC and certain volumes of the WBC, they are definitely secondary. If I want to use a map or picture in my study or to illustrate something for my parish, the Accordance graphics programs are easy to use. Dr. J's podcasts on various aspects of Accordance are also a major draw for me. I also appreciate the world's best support that I receive from Accordance. Even when I have a problem on Friday afternoon or (once) on Saturday, I received immediate assistance. On the Saturday problem, Helen noticed it on a Forum page and called within minutes.

By way of comparison, I find Logos tech support to be spotty. The usual response on week ends is that I will have to wait until Monday to get a response. I have also experienced some very unhelpful responses from some Logos tech support people. While some have been really good, I find that Accordance is the one with consistently high quality tech support. True, Logos has more books and I own many of them. Maybe it's just me but I find reading books on a computer screen inferior to reading the old, low tech bound volume. One exception is that I really appreciate the Logos edition of Barth's Church Dogmatics. I use CD a lot and Logos makes it very easy to find what I'm looking for and, if I wish to use a quotation, it is convenient to cut and paste. On the other hand, I first came to know and love Barth's theology by reading the bound volumes.

I'll probably think of more later. When I do, I'll jump back in.
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#5 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:17 PM

I don't have, nor have I ever worked with Logos, so I can't answer question #2 for you, but I say something about why I chose Accordance.

-Designed for the Mac. I've been a Mac user since 1985, and wanted software that was written specifically for the Mac.
-Original Language Tools
-Ease of use
-the Bible as the central focus
-The ability to choose the translations I wanted. Back when I was purchasing Bible software for a Windows machine owned by the church I served, most of the Bible software companies required anyone who wanted the NRSV to choose one of their more expensive packages to get it. With the free Bible unlocks offered with the Libaray and Scholar's collections, this isn't an issue.
-Atlas and Timeline options
-Excellent customer service

As for the features I use the most:
-search/amplifying (for searching for other uses of a Greek or Hebrew word, primarily)
-User Tools
-User Notes
-Favorite Workspaces (and amplifying to them)

I have not yet upgraded to Accordance 9, but I have no doubt that when I do I will make extensive use of zones.

Lorinda

P.S. I'm a pastor, not a scholar per-se, although I do try to work with the original languages as much as possible, and Accordance makes that very easy to do. I've recently gone back to translating the pericope from which I preach each week, and Accordance has made that a much less time consuming task, hopefully without being too much of a crutch.

Edited by Lorinda H. M. Hoover, 04 October 2010 - 02:18 PM.

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#6 jfidel

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:26 PM

Both Logos and Accordance are excellent programs. I love Accordance for the attention to detail put into the programming. It just works. They are slower to adapt new technology, but when they do it is done elegantly.

I am a lay person that has no formal seminary training. Accordance is great for users of all skill and scholarly levels. True, many of the features may be more for scholarly study, but that does not make it exclusively for scholars.
However, I do not find that Accordance causes me to focus more on the Bible than Logos does. That is really user determined rather than software determined in my opinion. When I open either program, I know how and what I want to study. The software just lets me get to where I want faster.

I have been a Logos user much longer than an Accordance user, but really appreciate the strengths of both programs as well as the people behind both programs. I thank God for the hard work put into creating these wonderful tools that are available to us.

#7 RobM

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 04:26 PM

Answer to Question 1:

There are several things I love about Accordance:

1. The Bible is central. This is Accordance's mantra and they have executed extremely well.

2. user customization
3. User Customization
4. USER CUSTOMIZATION
The flexibility of the program to be arranged in ANY way I want is fantastic. The user can change the fonts (style, color, and size) of any text as well as of verse references. The user can arrange texts and tools as panes within tabs and now can arrange any kind of text and tool as zones in whatever configuration the user desires. I know this has been beneficial to me because I get tired of one configuration after a while and I like to tweak it to make for a more efficient and/or desirable set up.

5. User Files: The User Notes are great for writing notes on particular verses. The User Tools are fantastic with how flexible they are. I use these for ALL sorts of different kinds of studies. I'm in seminary and aspire to be an academic. I use User Tools exclusively for notes and data collection for every research project I do whether for Theology, NT, OT, or ANE studies. I also take class notes in them (for more topical courses; I use User Notes for exegesis courses).

6. The instantaneous speed of searching


Answer to Question 2:

When initially considering Bible software, I didn't take much time considering it... I just got Accordance (back at 6.4). About a year ago I considered getting Logos (when they started advertising their Mac platform) for their extensive list of sources. However, as I considered further and looked at their various sources that would be relevant to my interests, I realized that most of what I wanted, Accordance already offered. And the vast majority of the sources Logos offered that Accordance did not offer were sources I wouldn't want to spend money on anyway. I was interested in those sources, but not to own. For example, JSOTsupp series is one source they offer that is really cool, however, these studies are extremely specialized and are not useful except when studying the very particular topic that the given volume addresses. In short, Logos offerings, in my opinion, do not offer enough unique resources to attract me to them. Accordance, however, offers most everything I need and more importantly has an extremely efficient search engine to put all sorts of data at my fingertips.

#8 danzac

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:22 PM

The first question is meant to be a Non Comparison question: "What is it that you really like about Accordance? What features do you find yourself using most often?"

The second question, for those who can answer it, is meant to be a comparison: "If you were starting out today, what would make you choose Accordance instead of Logos?"


1. Accordance is so fast in its startup and searching that it is still my go to software (I have the scholar's pack for Logos too). I use Accordance for everything: preparing sermons- having the text and several commentaries open is great. For my academic work - full searching, top quality secondary resources, and original language packs are second to none. For teaching Greek and Hebrew - searching for words, and use the "details" to create word lists and flashcards for my students.
I also love that I have a lot of control over Accordance. One thing I despise about Logos is the amount of books that come in the library. I'm never going to open any of them, but they fill my searches, and I don't know how to get rid of them :-) No problem like that in Accordance.

2. My main academic mentor is a die-hard Mac and Accordance user, and that would probably lead me to Accordance (it is what did the first time). But if I were evaluating them myself right now, Accordance would still win out for its speed and ease of use. HOWEVER, Logos has a nicer UI and UI grabs the initial attention of the new user and probably grabs me more than other people. (see this thread for a UI discussion http://www.accordanc...l=&fromsearch=1) The speed with which Logos got an iPad/iPhone app out is also great, and I like their philosophy of one library for any platform you want.

I like having both, but Logos will always be what I go to only when Accordance doesn't have the module.

(edit)
Just to add a bit more - It is the "library" philosophy that makes Logos not as useful for me personally. That is its philosophy, it is a digital library and that's fine and dandy. Logos has a lot of power too, but it takes a lot of work to get to it. Accordance isn't about a library, its about usability.

Edited by danzac, 04 October 2010 - 08:30 PM.


#9 David Lang

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:34 PM

What's better: Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla or chocolate? Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word?


I have to ask: does anybody really believe vanilla is better than chocolate? ;)
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#10 R. Mansfield

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:36 PM

I have to ask: does anybody really believe vanilla is better than chocolate? ;)


My wife. Seriously. We can go into an ice cream shop, and she'll look at every flavor. But once she's asked what she wants, she says "Vanilla."

Every time.

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#11 RobM

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:44 PM

My wife. Seriously. We can go into an ice cream shop, and she'll look at every flavor. But once she's asked what she wants, she says "Vanilla."

Every time.


so actually.... I often do the same thing :rolleyes:

#12 danzac

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:05 PM

Coke. Chocolate. Pages.

#13 Dan Francis

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 01:08 AM

One thing I didn't see ( but it is late and I was reading fast, is the fact that Accordance will work on hardware 25 years old (it isn;t going to break records but it will work fine for the most part). You can;t even run the Logos 4 unless you have a Intel Mac, now I did purchase a new MacBook Pro mostly so I could run Logos 4, and ideally i would have happily used my Powerbook G4 till it died. Now Logos can't be faulted for doing it's first in house version exclusively in intel since it is a power hog. One might say the programers are lazy (anyone can move a ton of weight with tractor, it takes skill to design a mechanism to move a ton with your hands. The example breaks down a bit in the computer model, and Accordance may only support 68000 units because of Users using the BasiliskII emulator, but it still means that the core can run on most any mac you will find around. I bought Logos 1 for the mac and ran it happily on my Powerbook and allowed me to read their extensive library, but it did very little, the new program does a lot and runs ok on one the fastest macBook Pro you can buy today but there are numerous people out there left out because they haven't bought into the idea you need to replace a perfectly good computer because it;s not the latest. I also remember back in the early 1990s when Logos first announced it was coming to the mac... the ran into a problem and dropped the project right away. I think they have too much invested into mac now to let it die but I still wonder if things became difficult, would they let development cease or fall greatly behind the Windows side (it is already close to a year behind, but they are working hard to get caught up). Logos 4 still feels more Windows than I like (Logos 1, felt fairly mac like to me). Accordance is designed for Mac period. I won't be getting rid of Logos anytime soon, but i most assuredly would never get rid of Accordance, i use it and the numerous resources (many accordance only (comparing Logos/accord)). I can hardly wait to get the iphone APP, I know Logos has an iphone app, but it's not a good one, sort of like the logos widget, it's out there but you don;t really want to use it. I think anyone trying to get a feel comparison between Accordance and Logos should look at the ipad apps, while I haven't seen Accordance iPhone, I have confidence they will make a product I want to use.

-Dan <br>

#14 Boris Repschinski

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:16 AM

I am an academic user of both programs. Still in Windows days, I purchased a few resources for then Libronix (WBC, Liddell, BDAG, HALOT, ThDNT, Apostolic Fathers, OT Pseudepigrapha etc.). For this reason I continue to use Logos, not willing to pay more money in order to have access to these resources directly in Accordance as well. However, right now Logos is - at least on the Mac - not fully functional, so I think a comparison is not really fair. While Logos' interface is slick, it also is very very slow. Somehow I have the impression it gets bogged down by a lot of resources that I would never use at all, but that are thrown into the deal. My library in Logos now shows around 600 books - but very few of them I actually use. And if you get into morphological searches of the original languages, Logos needs a lot of work. I am certain they will get it right at some point, but that point is still some time in the future. Accordance impresses me with the ease and speed of original language searches, and that is what I need most.

BR
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#15 Bob Deacon

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:01 AM

I am a pastor who uses Bible study software primarily for sermon study and preparation. I have and use BOTH Logos and Accordance. I have used Logos for a number of years and have a modest library. I have Logos on my ipod touch as well. I purchased a Mac about a year ago and used Logos via Fusion. I upgraded to Logos 4 shortly after it was made available as a alpha product. I said all this to set the stage.It was within the last 6-7 months that I began to use Accordance.

Logos-SLOW! Both on the windows side and Mac side. Personally I feel as though it is seriously bloated. The current note making feature is seriously sub-standard. It is a resource hog. It does however have a great resource library and it has good eye-candy.

Accordance-Incredibly fast search capability. Very easy on computer resources. Note taking is much simpler and recalling notes is quicker. (you don't have to fumble through what could be an exhaustive list of notes) Accordance 9 has set the bar higher with zones and the much improved "search all" feature.

While it certainly took me a while to "warm up" to Accordance, its quickness in program execution, quickness in searching, and ease of making notes has made it my choice.

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#16 danzac

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 07:50 AM

However, right now Logos is - at least on the Mac - not fully functional, so I think a comparison is not really fair.


What functionality is missing. When this thread began they were in beta and announced that all features were implemented and were just working out bugs. It is now out of beta and shipping. It's a fine time to compare.

#17 mballai

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:12 AM

I have one of those coffee mugs with a saying "Drink Coffee. Do Stupid Things Faster With More Energy!" I've never been convinced that raw speed is a particularly noteworthy achievement when one is supposed to meditate on the Word day and night. If you know what you are doing with either program, you can do what you want in roughly the same amount of time. What's laudable about Logos 4 is that it displays resources for all of the categories that should be brought to bear on a passage. We have tunnel vision in our reflections--there's a reason to consider these things. So is it a case of the Bible not being central or do we appeal to our attention deficits in the matter?

Edited by mballai, 05 October 2010 - 10:14 AM.


#18 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:28 AM

I have one of those coffee mugs with a saying "Drink Coffee. Do Stupid Things Faster With More Energy!" I've never been convinced that raw speed is a particularly noteworthy achievement when one is supposed to meditate on the Word day and night. If you know what you are doing with either program, you can do what you want in roughly the same amount of time. What's laudable about Logos 4 is that it displays resources for all of the categories that should be brought to bear on a passage. We have tunnel vision in our reflections--there's a reason to consider these things. So is it a case of the Bible not being central or do we appeal to our attention deficits in the matter?


Hmmm..., I promised myself I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but here goes...

It's not so much about raw speed for me as it is efficiency. When a search is [virtually] immediate, it encourages me to explore more avenues of inquiry. I find it very distracting to sit and watch the "beachball of death" spinning when I am trying to pursue a thought. I wouldn't find the difference between a quarter-second and a full second all that noteworthy, but between a quarter-second and ten seconds? Yep. It would definitely interrupt my workflow. I don't think about Accordance when I am studying a text. I think about the text. I like it that way.
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#19 RobM

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:43 AM

Hmmm..., I promised myself I wasn't going to comment on this thread, but here goes...

It's not so much about raw speed for me as it is efficiency. When a search is [virtually] immediate, it encourages me to explore more avenues of inquiry. I find it very distracting to sit and watch the "beachball of death" spinning when I am trying to pursue a thought. I wouldn't find the difference between a quarter-second and a full second all that noteworthy, but between a quarter-second and ten seconds? Yep. It would definitely interrupt my workflow. I don't think about Accordance when I am studying a text. I think about the text. I like it that way.


I second this.

Computers and/or programs are most distracting (and annoying) when they are slow for whatever reason. Apple, and especially Accordance, has spoiled me. But if a certain speed/level of performance is possible, should I accept/expect anything less?

Edited by RobM, 05 October 2010 - 10:46 AM.


#20 R. Mansfield

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 10:49 AM

I have one of those coffee mugs with a saying "Drink Coffee. Do Stupid Things Faster With More Energy!" I've never been convinced that raw speed is a particularly noteworthy achievement when one is supposed to meditate on the Word day and night. If you know what you are doing with either program, you can do what you want in roughly the same amount of time. What's laudable about Logos 4 is that it displays resources for all of the categories that should be brought to bear on a passage. We have tunnel vision in our reflections--there's a reason to consider these things. So is it a case of the Bible not being central or do we appeal to our attention deficits in the matter?


A general comment not meant to cast aspersions at any particular platform:

Honestly, I don't always have the luxury of true meditation. Often I have a set amount of time for study--for instance, on average I spend about six hours preparing my Sunday School lesson, and I really don't have a lot more time than that. I often run dozens of searches in that time with Accordance, using multiple modules--both text and graphical--preparing my own notes and building Keynote slides. If I'm having to wait on content to display, my process becomes counter-productive. Speed isn't everything, and it's not an issue all the time, but it's very important, nonetheless. I also have limited amounts of time when working on my dissertation, for which I depend heavily upon Accordance. To me, every moment I'm having to wait on software to deliver results represents content not written down.

It's easy to spiritualize pokey (or resource intensive) software as meeting the need we all have to slow down (and I'm neither accusing you of doing that or denying the need most of us have to slow down), but at the same time, there's a fine line between that and wasting the time we've been given, too. I'm good enough at wasting time on my own. I don't need slow software to help me with that.

Rick Mansfield

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