How is an Accordance Demo Like a Court of Law?
This past Saturday I co-taught an all-day Accordance training seminar in Palmyra, New Jersey (near Philadelphia). Our host, Pastor Wes Allen of Central Baptist Church, went above and beyond the call of duty and freed us from having to worry about nearly every logistical detail. (He even lent us his brand new iPad 2!) Wes somehow also found the energy to preach the next morning, and I'm hopeful he managed to get some well-earned rest Sunday afternoon.
Whenever I teach seminars, I joke that doing a software demonstration is a bit like being a lawyer. Just as a lawyer should never ask a question he doesn't already know the answer to, a demoer is unwise to show a search he isn't already certain will work. Unwise as it is, I inevitably do it several times during the course of every seminar I teach.
On Saturday, for example, I came up with an example of a FUZZY search which completely missed the verse I had in mind. Apparently my remembrance of the verse was exceptionally fuzzy! Fortunately, a sharp user helped bail me out with a version of the search that did work.
Thankfully, Accordance is so instantaneous when it comes to delivering search results that my occasional rabbit trails into searches I've never done before don't end up bogging down the entire seminar. That may be why I keep giving in to the temptation to try new things: in most cases they work, and where they don't, the results are delivered so fast it is easy to recover.
Our software designers are sticklers for writing fast, efficient code. They do it not so that you'll be wowed by Accordance's speed, but so that you won't ever have to think about it. When results are nearly instantaneous, that encourages you to try new things: to pose new questions and to explore new lines of thought. Knowing that, we work hard to keep the speed of the software from ever getting in your way.
After all, studying the Bible is nothing like being a lawyer: you're supposed to ask questions to which you do not already know the answer.