Releasing a new Accordance version to our beta-testers always inspires excitement and a little nervousness on our part. Rather than just throwing half-baked features at our testers and users, we work hard to get them right before anybody outside of Accordance staff ever sees them. If our beta-testers indicate that a new feature requires major tweaking, our planned release schedule may have to get pushed back. So we’re always hopeful that new features are essentially good to go.

By the time we sent 8.4 out to the beta-testers, we had already had numerous discussions about the new bibliographic citation feature. First, we had thought long and hard about the proper way to cite Accordance modules. Next we discussed how to handle those bits of bibliographic information which we could not reasonably extract, such as the names of article authors within a journal or dictionary. Should we leave some marker in the citation to remind you to add that information yourselves? Or should we just leave the author name out and give what we know is an incomplete citation? In the end we decided not to include any kind of marker for missing information, reasoning that academics and students would know they needed to add that info, while the pastor who just wants an easy way to cite his sources should not be forced to go back through all his citations to delete some kind of placeholder.

After having these discussions and making what we felt were the best decisions, we were therefore a little nervous about how the beta-testers would react. Would they agree with our decisions and like our implementation?

Any concerns we had were allayed when one of our beta-testers came back with this:

I can’t believe you’re not waiting till 9 for this!

Obviously, this tester felt the bibliographic citation feature was such a significant improvement that we would have been wise to save it for our next major upgrade. Why in the world would we give away a feature that might entice you to purchase an upgrade to Accordance 9?

While it may not make the most sense from a business standpoint, this is a feature our users have been waiting for and we wanted to make it available to you now. Besides, we’ve got such cool stuff in the works for version 9 that we’re confident you’ll want the upgrade. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the new bibliographic citation feature as much as our beta-testers!