I've been an Accordance user from the days it came out on floppies ... so long ago I can't actually remember the date. While I really do appreciate all the hard work put in by the Accordance people (well done to Helen et al), and they know of my steadfast support over the years, I do have some questions about Acc 10. I've paid for the upgrade — always happy to support the good folks at Acc — but after trying out 10 for a week or so, I've returned to Acc 9. So some comments from a real old-timer...
1. for me, the most important thing is actual text space. I'd love to see a user option for permanently disabling the new tool bar in preferences or something — I personally never use them since I prefer key combinations where possible and
it takes up precious screen space (one of the first things I do with MS Word is disable the ribbon etc.)
2. Palettes. I imagine there was considerable discussion about whether to integrate everything into the one window (philosophically and ideologically appealing) or not at the initial redesign discussions. But in my view the integration of palettes into the main window was not a good idea—in practice they take up too much space and in the case of the resource palette, are obtrusive.
a. Instant details: Under the old scheme, I needed only one instant details box no matter how many workspaces I had open (and I usually start with at least five when I launch). Furthermore, I could customize the box size and location to optimize my viewing of the text. Now I can reduce the depth of the window, but no longer as shallow as I used to have it, and I can do nothing about the length or position. Again, it's taking up too much space. Is there some way to get it out of the workspace, and get some of those old customizing abilities back?
b. Resource: this is the deal breaker. The old version could be moved anywhere, which for me meant way off to the right and out of the way of my texts. Now when I open it, it takes up a relatively huge amount of my window space (and it resists any attempt to minimize it further) and, being on the left hand side of the window, shunts all my texts over to the right — I can avoid that by closing it, but that only makes the resource less resourceful — and requires more keystrokes. This does not strike me as the polite behaviour of a resource; it's the dominating behaviour that MS Word is so well known for. I can of course set it to overlay which preserves my texts but then it insists on obscuring my main search box and main search text which is even worse. The old version, far more compact and unobtrusive, also allowed me to use buttons with drop down menus. I've spent hundreds of hours building up a series of Quickkeys routines that would enable me to launch a range of new windows by one keystroke — all of which are now broken (and I've just embarked on a year long sabbatical to finish a commentary; I neither have the time, nor the emotional energy to redo them given that under the new system they'll be more complex). With Acc 10 now I have to click on the arrow, and then find my text. If I want to filter (to remove the unwanted recently opened) I can't have texts and modules open at the same time (have you recently hired someone from Microsoft ... [smiley face]?) Seriously though, is there any way to get the resources palette out of the workspace and over to the right and out of the way, and reduced in size from the massive two inches wide and full length of the workspace to the 3/4s inch and compact version it used to be? (I really don't need to have the recently opened list pushing down the rest of the list, so that now I have to scroll down — added work — before I can get to the stuff I really want?)
I think what I'm trying to say is, philosophically, details/resource do not belong in the main window. I.e. Accordance is about access to the text.. the tools are aids; keep them distinct.
Let me repeat however, that I am and always have been a great fan of and outspoken advocate for Acc (as the folks there well know). And I appreciate, as always, the great work you continue to do, and the tremendous amount of effort you've put into 10. So please hear the above as a (I admit, somewhat impassioned — but that's because I'm a buy-in from a long time ago) friendly call (plea?) for amendment.
Rikk Watts (Prof of NT, Regent College)
Edited by Rikk, 03 September 2012 - 11:06 AM.