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DimBimbleby
11-21-2008, 04:53 PM
Bibleworks, I want you to know that you lost my trust with Bibleworks 7. It's going to take more than "New Features, New Databases, and New Version!" to win it back. It's going to take a whole new approach to usability and quality control.

Regarding usability, I have just this advice. Play with Accordance. Find out why people love it. Emulate. Keep your crazy command-line based interface for users who like it, but offer something easier and sweeter on top. Oh, and by the way, if I delete the logic operator at the beginning of the line, don't put up a modal dialog box asking me what I want to do. If you don't know why that's bad interface design, welcome to the 1990's.

Regarding quality control, I offer one exhibit. Open up any biblical text in Bibleworks—English, Greek, Hebrew, doesn't matter. Place the mouse cursor just to the left of a character. Click the mouse button. Drag the mouse to the right. In every other program in the universe, this will select that character and all the characters to the right. Not Bibleworks. An ancient, neglected bug causes this maneuver to skip the first character. Let me just be clear: Bibleworks has a bug in selecting text. Selecting text, for crying out loud.

Do I want to pay $149.99 for the privilege of experiencing more of this kind of agony? No thanks. I'm stuck with Bibleworks 7 because I can't afford to switch to another program. But I'm not throwing good money after bad.

Michael Hanel
11-21-2008, 06:04 PM
Regarding quality control, I offer one exhibit. Open up any biblical text in Bibleworks—English, Greek, Hebrew, doesn't matter. Place the mouse cursor just to the left of a character. Click the mouse button. Drag the mouse to the right. In every other program in the universe, this will select that character and all the characters to the right. Not Bibleworks. An ancient, neglected bug causes this maneuver to skip the first character. Let me just be clear: Bibleworks has a bug in selecting text. Selecting text, for crying out loud.


Huh. Well I can't speak as to whether this happens in BW7, but I don't see any issue like this in BW8 at all.

MWMiles
11-21-2008, 06:15 PM
Regarding quality control, I offer one exhibit. Open up any biblical text in Bibleworks—English, Greek, Hebrew, doesn't matter. Place the mouse cursor just to the left of a character. Click the mouse button. Drag the mouse to the right. In every other program in the universe, this will select that character and all the characters to the right. Not Bibleworks. An ancient, neglected bug causes this maneuver to skip the first character. Let me just be clear: Bibleworks has a bug in selecting text. Selecting text, for crying out loud.

I run BibleWorks 7 under XP SP3 on my laptop and I don't have this problem. I also run it on this laptop with another harddrive that I swap in (these ThinkPads are nice) that has Windows Vista Ultimate on it and there's no problem there either. I use swappable hardrive trays on all of my desktops and BibleWorks 7 doesn't exhibit this problem under Windows 2000 Professional with SP4 and all of the current patches on those machines. I have another desktop that runs Vista Business, and guess what... no problem there either. Hmmmmm.

Mike

MWMiles
11-21-2008, 06:26 PM
Bibleworks, I want you to know that you lost my trust with Bibleworks 7. It's going to take more than "New Features, New Databases, and New Version!" to win it back. It's going to take a whole new approach to usability and quality control.

Regarding usability, I have just this advice. Play with Accordance. Find out why people love it. Emulate. Keep your crazy command-line based interface for users who like it, but offer something easier and sweeter on top. Oh, and by the way, if I delete the logic operator at the beginning of the line, don't put up a modal dialog box asking me what I want to do. If you don't know why that's bad interface design, welcome to the 1990's.

Regarding quality control, I offer one exhibit. Open up any biblical text in Bibleworks—English, Greek, Hebrew, doesn't matter. Place the mouse cursor just to the left of a character. Click the mouse button. Drag the mouse to the right. In every other program in the universe, this will select that character and all the characters to the right. Not Bibleworks. An ancient, neglected bug causes this maneuver to skip the first character. Let me just be clear: Bibleworks has a bug in selecting text. Selecting text, for crying out loud.

Do I want to pay $149.99 for the privilege of experiencing more of this kind of agony? No thanks. I'm stuck with Bibleworks 7 because I can't afford to switch to another program. But I'm not throwing good money after bad.

BTW, I wanted to welcome you to the forum as the newest member. If all of these issues were such a sore spot with you, why didn't you drop by sooner?

Just wondering...
Mike

DimBimbleby
11-21-2008, 06:42 PM
If all of these issues were such a sore spot with you, why didn't you drop by sooner?

When I started using BW7 three years ago, I kept a log of the bugs I encountered, posted them to the forums, and began sending reports directly to Bibleworks. They replied graciously, pointed me to updates, and assured me they were working on the bugs they didn't already have fixes for. A few bugs got fixed. Many, many, many didn't. Eventually I gave up. But as I mentioned before, I'm still using Bibleworks. No choice.

So I do understand the spirit of your reply, but I did drop by sooner.

As for an earlier reply, I confess I haven't tried BW7 on Vista. I've used it on four separate computers with various versions of XP. It may be that not everyone experiences this bug. But it can't be too unusual because it has happened for me over many versions and several installations.

MBushell
11-21-2008, 06:43 PM
Bibleworks, I want you to know that you lost my trust with Bibleworks 7.
I guess the number one rule in tech support is not to respond to angry customers in kind. I can say that I did a lot of the programming in BibleWorks and I do not have the problem you describe. I can also say that we have tens of thousands of happy customers and that I have never talked to anyone who used BibleWorks on a daily basis who did not love that pesky command line. It is optimized for speed and minimization of keystrokes. A couple of versions back we offered a more user friendly approach as an alternative. No one liked it except people that used the program rarely if at all. The command line, believe it or not, is the result of 17 years of trying alternatives and always coming back to what works best for people who use the program as a daily companion. I like the interface. If I didn't, I would change it. An awful lot of people agree. So I think you are being rather unfair. It it were a private e-mail I wouldn't respond at all. In a public forum though some response is worthwhile. The Bible says a man's good name should be defended. That applies to companies as well. With regard to the highlighting error, if you reported it to tech support, it never made it to me. I would recommend venting your anger there before venting it publicly for all sto see, just as a matter of common courtesy. You might actually get a resolution of the problem. It happens. I can honestly say that this problem has never been reported before. If it had reached me with concrete reproducible examples, it would be fixed.

I am sorry that you feel the way you do. Accordance is a good product. I know Roy and he is a good guy. If you purchased BibleWorks 7 directly from us contact tech support and we'll work out a refund of your purchase price, as an exception to our normal 30 day policy. Money is tight for us, as it is for all our users, but we don't want money from someone who thinks they've been cheated, even if we feel they are clearly wrong.

Soxfan23
11-21-2008, 07:00 PM
I've been using BW7 since it came out and I've never had a problem with what you're talking about (neither one of them). I think the command line is genius. A lot of things set Bibleworks apart from their competition, and for you not to recognize that is confusing. If you purchased Accordance and then added on everything that Bibleworks offers in their base package, you would be paying well over $1,000, but for Bibleworks you get it for a mere $350. This cannot be matched, anywhere, period. Once you get used to the search feature, they are a piece of cake.

The only thing you're going to get with Accordance (or Logos) that you don't get with BW is more of an electronic library (basically more books and references). However, this goes against the BW philosophy, one that many (if not most) tend to completely agree with. Why spend all kinds of money on books to read electronically when you're not guaranteed you will have them forever like hard-copy books? Also, it's just much easier to read in hard-copy.

The only thing I'd like to see BW do is offer some type of standard dictionary as an add-on module that is tagged to the text (the New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible would be sweet, as well as ABD or the IVP sets), as well as one or two more optional word dictionaries (NIDOTTE & NIDNTT). Reason being b/c these aren't books you read straight through and are just for reference (unlike commentaries, journals, or other books), which I think BW is built for. However, I don't even think they will do this b/c they like to keep the add-on modules at a minimum just because of their philosophy for electronic works (reference or not). Maybe my dreams will come true one day though ;)

On another note, it's really low of you to do this on a public forum on the day they release their latest version. It's actually quite sad and it causes me to question your character and intent. I think BW does not need to defend itself though. Thousands of happy customers is their evidence for a superb product.

Soxfan23
11-21-2008, 07:01 PM
Oh yeah, I would like to see the NA27 and WHS apparati included as well :)

jfidel
11-21-2008, 07:43 PM
Do I want to pay $149.99 for the privilege of experiencing more of this kind of agony? No thanks. I'm stuck with Bibleworks 7 because I can't afford to switch to another program. But I'm not throwing good money after bad.

Dimbimbleby, I do not work for BibleWorks. I think your comment overstates an issue that could have been easily resolved with one of the best customer support teams in the software business. Why don't you take them up on the refund that you should not be entitled to, as I will try and make up for it with my order and recommending the upgrade to many others. This is a great team of people that works for BibleWorks, which is why I will always recommend them to those interested in deeper biblical studies. While no software is perfect, this company always strives to be responsive to their customers and get it right. You are wrong in your analysis and strongly worded complaint.

John Fidel

MWMiles
11-21-2008, 07:49 PM
On another note, it's really low of you to do this on a public forum on the day they release their latest version. It's actually quite sad and it causes me to question your character and intent. I think BW does not need to defend itself though. Thousands of happy customers is their evidence for a superb product.

Your compass is in excellent working order.

:)

MBushell
11-21-2008, 08:08 PM
On another note, it's really low of you to do this on a public forum on the day they release their latest version. It's actually quite sad and it causes me to question your character and intent. I think BW does not need to defend itself though. Thousands of happy customers is their evidence for a superb product.
Thanks for the words of support. We have worked very hard on this release and are very proud (in a good way) of what we have been able to pull together - and in a very stressful climate financially. Complaints aired in this way are hurtful, whether they were intended to be or not. Over the years some of our strongest critics have become our strongest supporters. I just pray that will be the case here. We will try to get to the bottom of this users complaints and address them whether he remains a user or not.
On another note, we are looking at dictionaries, systematic theologies and one or two really good commentary sets. I would like to see Lange's and McClintock and Strong in the base package if we can swing the development costs. IDB would be great as a module and we have tried but the publisher has so far refused to license it to us. I don't want to start a discussion of possible additions, but just want to let you know that we want to stretch our paradigm a little without breaking it and without becoming an electronic library. So your suggestions are possible.
Mike

tfjern
11-21-2008, 08:38 PM
I have been with BibleWorks for over a decade, and there is no doubt it is one of the brightest, most trustworthy, and responsive (to customers' requests) software companies I've ever know. These are economically hard times, indeed, and I earnestly hope sales for this version will exceed all the others, sevenfold.

P.s.: It would be nice to have downloadable upgrades. That's how eager I am to get my hands on BWW 8.0.

MBushell
11-21-2008, 11:01 PM
Hi All,

I did some investigating and with the help of some other users found the highlighting problem. It works like this: if you place the mouse cursor to the left of the first character and drag right, it always works properly. I think most people do it that way. Hence few people saw (or complained about) the problem. If you place the cursor in the left half of the first character AND move the cursor quickly to the right, sometimes it misses the first character. Going slowly it seems to work OK. I don't really consider this a catastrophic bug. But it needed fixing.

I am not sure if the original complainant will see this, but the problem has been fixed in 7 and posted. I'll make sure it gets in the 8 executable. I do not know why or how this never got to the programmers. Maybe the guys in the office were just highlighting in a way that always worked for them. So they didn't know what to report. Even the description of the person registering a complaint here was wrong. As described there was no problem. Maybe it was represented incorrectly to tech support. In any case, I think it is ok now. We'll fix any reproducible bug brought to our attention (or give a good reason for not doing so). If anyone has an additiona problem aling these lines please report it to tech support and tell them I said to contact me directly.

God bless,
Mike

brian
11-22-2008, 01:00 AM
don't bash the original poster, this thread actually shows how much of a class act BibleWorks is...not only did they respond in the forum, they offered a refund AND fixed the bug that they were able to reproduce

that's hard to beat

...if only they offered a native mac version ;)

tcblack
11-22-2008, 07:58 AM
Indeed,
Michael has demonstrated once again grace under fire.

I will be upgrading as soon as I can eek out the change.

BW7 => BW8 Worth every penny to me.

Harold6
11-22-2008, 08:07 AM
You guys are the greatest! Be not discouraged by one or two disgruntled users. I have been blessed by your product for a number of years now. I have recommended your product to all of my ministerial and seminary friends. I started with BW6, upgraded to BW7 and will upgrade to BW8 as soon as it starts shipping!

Harold Miller, Jr.

MWMiles
11-22-2008, 09:34 AM
Hi All,

I did some investigating and with the help of some other users found the highlighting problem. It works like this: if you place the mouse cursor to the left of the first character and drag right, it always works properly. I think most people do it that way. Hence few people saw (or complained about) the problem. If you place the cursor in the left half of the first character AND move the cursor quickly to the right, sometimes it misses the first character. Going slowly it seems to work OK. I don't really consider this a catastrophic bug. But it needed fixing.

I am not sure if the original complainant will see this, but the problem has been fixed in 7 and posted. I'll make sure it gets in the 8 executable. I do not know why or how this never got to the programmers. Maybe the guys in the office were just highlighting in a way that always worked for them. So they didn't know what to report. Even the description of the person registering a complaint here was wrong. As described there was no problem. Maybe it was represented incorrectly to tech support. In any case, I think it is ok now. We'll fix any reproducible bug brought to our attention (or give a good reason for not doing so). If anyone has an additiona problem aling these lines please report it to tech support and tell them I said to contact me directly.

God bless,
Mike

....And they lived happily ever after. The End.



Actually, Thank YOU Michael. You're a real CAN DO type guy.

DimBimbleby
11-22-2008, 01:02 PM
Before I respond to this post, I just want to mention that someone mentioned earlier that Bibleworks offers far more in the way of texts and resources for the money than Accordance does. That is absolutely true, and a great reason to choose Bibleworks over Accordance. Truly.


I did some investigating and with the help of some other users found the highlighting problem. It works like this: if you place the mouse cursor to the left of the first character and drag right, it always works properly. I think most people do it that way. Hence few people saw (or complained about) the problem. If you place the cursor in the left half of the first character AND move the cursor quickly to the right, sometimes it misses the first character. Going slowly it seems to work OK. I don't really consider this a catastrophic bug. But it needed fixing.

I am not sure if the original complainant will see this, but the problem has been fixed in 7 and posted. I'll make sure it gets in the 8 executable.

This is excellent news! I'm going to try out the updated version in just a moment. Before I do, I just want to be very clear how easy this bug is to reproduce in the versions before today. The reason this is important to me is that I want everyone to understand why I have been so disappointed—to the point of losing trust—with BW7. I know thousands of people love it. But how many people are not here on these forums praising BW because they've been sent running by bugs like this one? And this is not the only such bug. Another one is that BW constantly forgets my Hebrew accent settings, so that I have to keep going in and reminding it to show accents. Another is that it crashes fairly frequently—not nearly so frequently as it used to, but frequently enough—and when it does, it sometimes forgets all my settings so that I have to remind it that BDAG is my favorite Greek lexicon, GentiumAlt is my favorite font, what English versions I like to use, etc. etc.

I'm thrilled that the selecting text bug has been identified and fixed. (It's interesting, though, that I didn't get nearly so generous a response when I reported this bug repeatedly three years ago.) And my goal is not to destroy Bibleworks. But if BW is going to remain competitive it's going to need less Yes-men and more aggressive testing, bug reporting, and fixing.

If you still think that comment is unfair, just try this. I want you to see that this bug is nothing like unusual or difficult to reproduce. Or maybe it is—try it on your system and let's see.

Open up, say, 1 Cor 2:6 in the NAU version. Frankly, any verse or version will work, but I want to make sure we're all seeing the same thing (or not). The text says, "Yet we do speak wisdom..." Now, place your mouse cursor so that it's right in the center of the 'w' in "wisdom." Hold down the LMB. You will notice that the text caret flashes just to the left of the 'w'. Now drag as slowly as you want to the right. You will select "isdom" but not the 'w'. That's a bug, and it causes me constantly to lose text when I copy and paste.

It doesn't just happen if you click in the center of letter, either. It will happen from anywhere in the letter, but the faster you drag the more text you'll skip. You can end up selecting just "om" out of wisdom if you drag fast enough.

I'm thrilled this has been fixed in the new update and in version 8. I'm thrilled that all of my fellow posters have never experienced this bug. But you can bet that thousands of users or potential users have experienced it. And when a program that is all about text fails to deal with text selection correctly, it's not a little bug. It's a worrisome bug, and it affects trust for the program. That's my point.

If Bibleworks want to continue to appeal to Bibleworks fans, ignore my ranting. If you want to appeal to a broader user base... well, don't.

I very much appreciate the offer of a refund. I will consider it. But there's a larger point here than my personal satisfaction. I truly am trying to help you see how you can be more competitive. Bibleworks has many, many things going for it, and I want to see it thrive. If you not only fix this bug, but recognize what it means for your overall bug reporting/fixing process, then I won't have to take a refund because you'll have won my trust again.

Two concrete suggestions:

(1) Put together a Bugzilla (or similar) database to make bug reporting and tracking public and immediate.

(2) Even better: make Bibleworks open source. Frankly—I'll be real frank—there's nothing algorithmic happening in Bibleworks that you should need to keep proprietary. Your real commodities are the indexed databases. Keep your data proprietary but expose your UI code to the world, and the thousand Bibleworks geeks out here (who love command lines and therefore probably have a high average level of code savvy) will fix bugs and add features like nobody's ever seen.

BigJayOneill
11-22-2008, 01:22 PM
BibleWorks = :)

DimBimbleby
11-22-2008, 01:30 PM
Huzzah! The text selection bug is fixed in the latest update to BW7. Boy that is a big improvement. I'm clicking-and-dragging all over the place like a kid on a pond that's just frozen over.

Adelphos
11-22-2008, 02:22 PM
Let me just be clear: Bibleworks has a bug in selecting text. Selecting text, for crying out loud.

You know, I was going to let this go, but perhaps it needs addressing.

I'm a hobbyist programmer in C, C++, Assembly and such, which means in general that I know enough to be dangerous.

But one thing I do know, or at least have a pretty good concept of, is the complexity of the programming necessary to facilitate all of the seemingly infinite number of options and display capabilities in the Browse Window in BW.

Without going into detail, I'll just note that the flexibility of fonts, verse ordering, display variation, text manipulation, search integration, and other attributes in the Browse Window is far more complex than what I've seen in Accordance or any other program, ESPECIALLY with the way it's integrated with all of the search featurs and component variables.

In addition, BW gives the user extraordinary control over the manipulation of the texts, one of those controls being that of highlighting and right-click searching on the selected text.

In order to make this work, and in order to make the Browse Window what it is, along with its innumerable and complex capabilities, the BW programmers had to basically invade the standard logic of the Windows OS and override it and thus assert their own control over many functions that Windows normally handles automatically. One of those functions is clearly in the way in which text is selected and collected. The BW programmers basically had to hard-code every jot and tittle of this capability, for the standard Windows internals are not even remotely up to the task.

Accordingly, to imply that a bug in selecting text is somehow a sub-par or amateurish mistake is a complete non-sequitur and merely demonstrates an ignorance of how complex BW truly is, as well as demonstrating a lack of understanding of how much raw power BW truly possesses.

spitzerpl
11-22-2008, 02:38 PM
As an eager beaver waiting for his first real task of Bibleworks (I used it a little a couple of years ago on a seminary computer...but its not worth counting) I'll throw in my two cents, which is all I can now afford anyway.

I must say that I am even more excited about receiving my product when someone with such a strong negative opinion uses this copying "glitch" as his main argument of complaint. Each of us places value in different things, and he's more then free to make this a deal breaker. But I've gotten very frustrated at MS Word from time to time when it tries to "guess" what I really wanted to highlight. I'm sure, as he has mentioned, that there are other things he is basing his decision on. As far as his other mentioned concerns go I cannot speak until I have used the software. However I am more confident looking forward since this is his issue to prove the point.

I'm also prepared to give BW 8 a grace period to work out some "here-and-there" bugs that will undoubtedly creep up. You (the original poster) mentioned bringing up this bug 3 years ago, which is right when BW 7 came out (Jan 25, 2006) I can guarantee you this was not the only bug reported. If I had just put out a new piece of software and I had a bunch of bug reports coming in, the highlighting problem would have gone way down the list, especially if one person was the only person reporting it.

Of course, I'm saying all of this only because I'm trying to get an honorary membership into that "We Love Bibleworks" fanclub you mentioned :-) I respect your opinion, and even value the comments you raised about the software.

MBushell
11-22-2008, 02:46 PM
Huzzah! The text selection bug is fixed in the latest update to BW7. Boy that is a big improvement. I'm clicking-and-dragging all over the place like a kid on a pond that's just frozen over.
I am glad you find the fix useful. I will remind you though that it is a bug which requires a certain way of copying to reproduce and one that not everyone follows. Most people either have not encountered the bug or weren't bothered enough by it to report it. We fix all bugs that are reproducible. If our tech support guys cannot reproduce a bug, which is usually because steps to reproduce it were not given clearly, it does not get to the programmers to fix. If a reproducible crash bug is reported it gets top priority and is almost always fixed within 24 hours of being reported. Some less important bugs are queued up to be fixed later if they do not affect basic functionality. But generally our response is much better than you will find in any of the big companies. Most users agree with that. I am sorry that you do not. I have asked Rick to locate all of your queries to tech support and he will report back to me on Monday with regard to how each was handled. But I am confident in the job that they do.
Some of your suggestions are helpful and we will take them to heart. But the manner in which they were offered in not helpful at all. What bothers me most about your post is the apparently vindictive nature of it. It is clearly designed to discourage sales of a new release at a time when most software companies (including us) are stressed financially because of the condition of the economy. You have said that you are trying to help. I don't read it that way at all. You are trying to hurt. We as a company, frankly, do not deserve that kind of treatment. We have served our customers sacrificially for 17 years, producing what many believe to be the best program of its kind available anywhere, and that in spite of any warts that remain. The vast majority of our users never experience crashes of any kind. When they do happen it is usually the result of a configuration setting that few people use (often added to satisfy the needs of a particular user) which has therefore had limited testing for impact on overall operations. And the vast majority of our users appreciate the fact that the good in BibleWorks far outweighs the bad, a thousand to one. It is difficult to produce a program as complex as this one with a tiny staff and limited budget for a small market, especially given the fact that we purposely avoid nickle and diming our customers to death with endless charges for modules. Sadly however, there are some who will see your nasty message and never find out how wonderful this package is, or what useful new additions have been made. To be perfectly honest there are a lot of things that I would rather do with my life than sit in front of a computer 16 hours a day. I have done it for the last 17 years only because the vast majority of ours users appreciate what we are trying to do. We try to win over those who don't, but it is at times a thankless and wearisome task. I frankly would rather you take us up on the offer of a refund. It is not open ended.

Postscript:
In another life I was a physicist and I still maintain my license to a very expensive symbolic math program called Mathematica. I just receive a new release (version 7) yesterday. Within 10 minutes of playing with it, just changing configuration settings, I had crashed it twice. But it is still one classy program, the best of its kind and one for which I am very thankful. I find the thought of there being no Mathematica rather sad. Happily, there are many people out there who feel the same way about our efforts here at BibleWorks.

Michael Hanel
11-22-2008, 04:13 PM
In order to make this work, and in order to make the Browse Window what it is, along with its innumerable and complex capabilities, the BW programmers had to basically invade the standard logic of the Windows OS and override it and thus assert their own control over many functions that Windows normally handles automatically. One of those functions is clearly in the way in which text is selected and collected. The BW programmers basically had to hard-code every jot and tittle of this capability, for the standard Windows internals are not even remotely up to the task.

I am not personally a programmer, but I think you are exactly right on this part. I am probably the #2 or #3 member of the BibleWorks fan club (this is my 1,001 post on these forums, I've helped start a BibleWorks blog, and I've been involved in a couple versions of beta-testing). If that offends you, please stop reading. But remarkably, I can still find things I dislike (or more mildly, wish were better) in BibleWorks. (However, there are *more* things I dislike about other Bible programs). One of these is that I wish Unicode were "built-in" to BibleWorks (and I know a lot of people wish this too). But the fact is that the way Windows handles Unicode has not yet reached a stable point so that it's possible to do that. The way BibleWorks handles lightning quick searching among other things has to do with how the databases function in Windows and if Windows hasn't yet decided how it's going to deal with Unicode, if BibleWorks functioned internally using only Unicode, the program would not work if Microsoft changed the way it works. So BW has a choice, it can take its chances and make everything Unicode, but then risk their program breaking if Microsoft makes more changes. OR it could use Unicode and completely change the way databases are searched. If they do this maybe they're not able to do lightning quick searches anymore. If they lose this, I think a lot MORE people would complain. OR, they keep using their fonts, but make Unicode exporting as efficient as possible. And this is what they've done. Now some people may disagree with this choice or wish that it were something different, but as far as I've heard from the programmers, the reason why they can't go all Unicode has little to do with their programming ability, but a lot to do with the Microsoft structure. That's why I think you're right on this point Adelphos, that most users don't realize how much programming goes into something we take for granted as a simple piece of technology.

tcblack
11-23-2008, 08:06 AM
(though the "similar phrase search" is gonna be freaking cool).
This is on of the features I'm anticipating the most. i could probably do manual searches based upon and's "." and or's "/" on the command line but this is built in and powerful and fast. The search it could do in 0.16 seconds i could do in several hours on my own with the command line.
Anticipation...

Adelphos
11-23-2008, 05:16 PM
In another life I was a physicist..

Now it all makes sense. I never could quite figure out how you developed your extradorinary programming skills. I even wondered at times if Michael Tan was your programming ghost writer, as it were, but now it all fits in. The knowledge you both possess in the field of programming and the biblical languages is quite impressive.

tcblack
11-23-2008, 09:36 PM
The knowledge you both possess in the field of programming and the biblical languages is quite impressive.
Definitely, any of those Bibleworks guys get a free cup of coffee around my place.

DimBimbleby
11-24-2008, 11:09 AM
Okay, so what I'm hearing is that software can crash frequently and still be great. It's okay for text selection to be broken because it's hard to get right. Hardly anybody ever notices the problem I pointed out because most people are very careful to put their cursor to the left of the character--despite the fact that they've been trained by Word, email, web browsers, and every other text-based Windows app that they can select more sloppily than that. And nobody here is bothered that Bibleworks throws up a modal dialog when you delete the first character of the command line. And Bibleworks is great and hard-working and deserving of all praise.

Huh.

Bibleworks, please hear this. You have the opportunity to remain dominant on the PC (at least). But you are isolated by a mutual admiration society on these forums. Your view of software is stuck in the 1990s. What if Accordance announced tomorrow that they were (1) making their software available on the PC; (2) offering a massive introductory discount that put them closer to your value in terms of texts-per-dollar; and (3) going around to seminary campuses offering side-by-side comparisons of the packages. What would happen to Biblework's market share? Please, please be honest here. Can't you see that your share would collapse? Yet relatively small adjustments to UI and development practice would make you truly competitive. You could even port to the Mac and begin winning market share there.

I've said my peace. Best wishes.

MWMiles
11-24-2008, 11:28 AM
Okay, so what I'm hearing is that software can crash frequently and still be great. It's okay for text selection to be broken because it's hard to get right. Hardly anybody ever notices the problem I pointed out because most people are very careful to put their cursor to the left of the character--despite the fact that they've been trained by Word, email, web browsers, and every other text-based Windows app that they can select more sloppily than that. And nobody here is bothered that Bibleworks throws up a modal dialog when you delete the first character of the command line. And Bibleworks is great and hard-working and deserving of all praise.

Huh.

Bibleworks, please hear this. You have the opportunity to remain dominant on the PC (at least). But you are isolated by a mutual admiration society on these forums. Your view of software is stuck in the 1990s. What if Accordance announced tomorrow that they were (1) making their software available on the PC; (2) offering a massive introductory discount that put them closer to your value in terms of texts-per-dollar; and (3) going around to seminary campuses offering side-by-side comparisons of the packages. What would happen to Biblework's market share? Please, please be honest here. Can't you see that your share would collapse? Yet relatively small adjustments to UI and development practice would make you truly competitive. You could even port to the Mac and begin winning market share there.

I've said my peace. Best wishes.

When you need a beta tester for your code, give me a holler.

SCSaunders
11-24-2008, 11:56 AM
Bibleworks, I want you to know that ... Hey Dim, do you think Jeff Wofford could do a better job at programming this software?

DimDimbleby (http://www.reddit.com/user/DimBimbleby/)
Jeff Wofford (http://www.jeffwofford.com/)

MBushell
11-24-2008, 12:07 PM
Okay, so what I'm hearing is that software can crash frequently and still be great. It's okay for text selection to be broken because it's hard to get right. Hardly anybody ever notices the problem I pointed out because most people are very careful to put their cursor to the left of the character--despite the fact that they've been trained by Word, email, web browsers, and every other text-based Windows app that they can select more sloppily than that. And nobody here is bothered that Bibleworks throws up a modal dialog when you delete the first character of the command line. And Bibleworks is great and hard-working and deserving of all praise.

Huh.

Bibleworks, please hear this. You have the opportunity to remain dominant on the PC (at least). But you are isolated by a mutual admiration society on these forums. Your view of software is stuck in the 1990s. What if Accordance announced tomorrow that they were (1) making their software available on the PC; (2) offering a massive introductory discount that put them closer to your value in terms of texts-per-dollar; and (3) going around to seminary campuses offering side-by-side comparisons of the packages. What would happen to Biblework's market share? Please, please be honest here. Can't you see that your share would collapse? Yet relatively small adjustments to UI and development practice would make you truly competitive. You could even port to the Mac and begin winning market share there.

I've said my peace. Best wishes.
You clearly hear what you want to hear. No one but you said BibleWorks crashes a lot. I said just the opposite and most users agree. Some infrequently-used combination of configuration settings (of which there are tens of thousands of combinations) may cause problems and they are fixed immediately when reproducible. Always! The command line popup was not a bug but a design decision which you just didn't happen to like (and in any case it was removed quite some time ago - probably at your request). The highlighting problem was fixed the first time it was brought to my attention (by you on this forum). With respect to Accordance, we are not in the least afraid of a side-by side comparison. But we don't live for market share. That is not why we are here. We are here to serve God and help our users with the best tools we can provide. If someone comes along that can do a better job of what we are trying to do and they don't try to bleed people dry financially, we'll quickly and I might add, happily, bow out. It would not bother me in the least if that happened as long as the needs of the church were being served in this area. As for the backwards, 1990's interface, the UI that we have now is the result of 17 years of interaction with our *users*. If you don't like it that is just fine. But others like it just fine because their input made it what it is. Don't do the majority of those who do like it the disservice of saying they are backwards and stuck in the 90's. You are welcome on this forum, but please, please, please go out and buy a Mac. Accordance is a great program. You'll be happier (albeit poorer). I would love to try to win you over, but I am just too busy now creating more features for you to dislike.

spitzerpl
11-24-2008, 12:46 PM
What if Accordance announced tomorrow that they were...

Then they would quickly go out of business and Bibleworks would gain more customers. While doing ministry, you still have to pay the bills. I acknowledge I'm speaking foolishly here because I have no idea what Accordance's financial situation is but I venture to guess that the reason Accordance hasn't announced such things is because Accordance is unable to do those things. And if Bibleworks were able to accomplish those things, and the other expectations you have laid on them, I have no doubt that they would. On your quest for perfect software, please tolerate those imperfect options available to you. If they are unusable to you no problem...crack open that paper Bible...PTL it is usable to all! You might want to also check out E-Sword or one of the other free programs out there. I'm sure they will do an adequate job of copying and pasting.

tcblack
11-24-2008, 01:19 PM
It should perhaps be noted that when Bibleworks does crash it offers up a dialog box asking about the best course of action by which to fix the apparent problem. A Similar box is accessible to starting the program while holding a SHIFT key down.
http://content.screencast.com/users/tcblack/folders/Jing/media/c70b29bf-9d87-433a-add2-e6ca430f1578/BW-startupfix.png

There are options to delete the ini file (When I've dealt with crashes in the past this has *always* fixed the problem.)
There are other options as well like reinstalling faulty fonts, rebuilding version data etc.

Two final comments:
1. Yes I can be chalked up to a BW fanboy. But I'll hastly add that it is only because they've earned it from me.
2. I use Bibleworks every single day (with only an occasional day off). It almost never crashes on me. and frankly hasn't crashed in multiple months. If I did a crash by crash comparison on my system, I'd say that Firefox, MS explorer, even MS live mesh have individually crashed with more frequency.

R Telfer
12-13-2008, 02:19 AM
Ooh, ooh! I didn't know about being able to hold the shift key down when starting. This is most helpful.

I am one of those rare people for whom BW frequently crashes. And on my XP laptop (but only on the XP laptop) I have problems with selecting text. It's annoying because I am often selecting text to put in the PowerPoint presentation for my class. Now I know I can update that computer and no longer deal with the annoyance. I like this forum!

Does anyone remember CDWord? It morphed into Hermeneutica, which morphed into Bibleworks 5, long, long ago. I'm dating myself.:) Can't wait for version 8.
Thanks for all the good work,
R Telfer

Matt Harmon
12-15-2008, 09:43 AM
If Microsoft products that have programming teams 100 times (and budgets to match) larger than the folks at Bibleworks cannot issue products that are bug-free, doesn't it seem just a tad unrealistic to expect a team of TWO programmers who must write software that depends upon that flawed Microsoft OS to produce a bug-free product?

If I may put it theologically, it seems some have an over-realized eschatology that expects a little too much "already" in a fallen world and does not appreciate the realities of the "not-yet." :)

And Michael, in addition to your hard work I appreciate the combination of grace and truth you have displayed in your interactions on this forum. I know that given your gifts you could work elsewhere and make A LOT more money, but you have chosen to serve God's people in a way that few can.

SCSaunders
12-15-2008, 09:52 AM
If Microsoft products that have programming teams 100 times (and budgets to match) larger than the folks at Bibleworks cannot issue products that are bug-free, doesn't it seem just a tad unrealistic to expect a team of TWO programmers who must write software that depends upon that flawed Microsoft OS to produce a bug-free product?

If I may put it theologically, it seems some have an over-realized eschatology that expects a little too much "already" in a fallen world and does not appreciate the realities of the "not-yet." :)

And Michael, in addition to your hard work I appreciate the combination of grace and truth you have displayed in your interactions on this forum. I know that given your gifts you could work elsewhere and make A LOT more money, but you have chosen to serve God's people in a way that few can.Bravo Matt! Bravo! Very, very well said. Excellent post.

SteveO
12-16-2008, 10:21 AM
Let me also add my "thanks" to those who have been pleased with BibleWorks. Years ago, I used another "Bible program" with the words "Windows" and "Bible" in the title :) but eventually came over to BW because of its superior value.

At any rate, in my full-time occupation, I work for a large software company based in Redmond, WA :) and specifically, I am on the team that produces a desktop productivity suite that contains programs a lot of you reading probably have open as you read this.

I can tell you that the quality of BW is amazing when I consider (as one person pointed out earlier in the thread) how limited their resources are. No modern software of any real complexity is free from bugs--and I mean LOTS of bugs. So the real issue is not bug free software vs bug-filled. It's what you DO about those bugs and how you deal with your customers (I know, I know, don't start flaming me :p).

Similarly, when your user base extends into the thousands and beyond, it becomes impossible to "please all the people, all the time" and so trade-offs are necessary. Sounds like the BW staff are doing all they can to make as many reasonable accommodations to user requests as they can without being yanked around willy-nilly. Additionally, many complaints from users actually have a solution in the existing software but users are just not aware. It may be more of a communication/education issue. As a quick for instance, it is interesting that 84% of the features that are requested for the product I work on, already exist in the product and have been there for at least one version! I'm willing to bet BW has a very similar experience.

At any rate, I think the BW have distinguished themselves in the quality of their product and the quality of their support.

Keep on keepin' on!

-steveO

Dale A. Brueggemann
12-16-2008, 10:25 AM
Looks like this threat started by a malcontent turned into another place to praise the software, personnel, and ethos. I had my hurrah too. Of course I'll be upgrading at that great price for that great value. It'll be this year's "buy" for sure.

Bennett B. Wethered
12-16-2008, 05:14 PM
I 'ditto' Dales's sentiments. From all I know of BW as a product (having owned them from 3.5 through 7), and the staff's response to problems or desires of customers, BibleWorks is a marvelous product, a great gift and tool from our Lord!

As I've titled this, the critique that launched this thread is, I think, unfair and unreasonable. The last few entries are praise, though, so future 'attaboys' should be on another thread, such as on Why I WILL be upgrading to Bibleworks 8 (for $149.99), on which I've cross-posted, so as to (hopefully) steer those who wish to praise BW, not bury it :), to a more appropriate thread.

technorev
07-15-2009, 12:48 PM
I guess the number one rule in tech support is not to respond to angry customers in kind. I can say that I did a lot of the programming in BibleWorks and I do not have the problem you describe. I can also say that we have tens of thousands of happy customers and that I have never talked to anyone who used BibleWorks on a daily basis who did not love that pesky command line. It is optimized for speed and minimization of keystrokes. A couple of versions back we offered a more user friendly approach as an alternative. No one liked it except people that used the program rarely if at all. The command line, believe it or not, is the result of 17 years of trying alternatives and always coming back to what works best for people who use the program as a daily companion. I like the interface. If I didn't, I would change it. An awful lot of people agree. So I think you are being rather unfair. It it were a private e-mail I wouldn't respond at all. In a public forum though some response is worthwhile. The Bible says a man's good name should be defended. That applies to companies as well. With regard to the highlighting error, if you reported it to tech support, it never made it to me. I would recommend venting your anger there before venting it publicly for all sto see, just as a matter of common courtesy. You might actually get a resolution of the problem. It happens. I can honestly say that this problem has never been reported before. If it had reached me with concrete reproducible examples, it would be fixed.

I am sorry that you feel the way you do. Accordance is a good product. I know Roy and he is a good guy. If you purchased BibleWorks 7 directly from us contact tech support and we'll work out a refund of your purchase price, as an exception to our normal 30 day policy. Money is tight for us, as it is for all our users, but we don't want money from someone who thinks they've been cheated, even if we feel they are clearly wrong.

I thought your response was powerful. I've always found it paradoxical that Christians would act in such a non Christ-honoring manner in a Christian environment. One can only imagine what kind of behavior is exhibited elsewhere. I thought your offer to refund the money was gracious and powerful at the same time. I have loved BWorks from the very beginning. I tell all my friends that it is the fastest search engine to be found anywhere. And I think I have all the electronic Bible programs for both PC and MAC. I pray you will be encouraged to continue providing for us all these great tools for knowing God's word. I just wish there was a module that would infuse in people the "how to apply the word's principles for daily living." It would be a hot seller-smile. By the way, is there a way in BWorks to highlight text and give it a different color? Thanks again for BWorks.

ISalzman
07-15-2009, 01:25 PM
BibleWorks = :)

"Bring back the Hartford Whalers }3"

Wow, haven't seen a "Bring back the Hartford Whalers" in a while! I surely remember the Whalers in the day (Ulf Samuelsson, Ron Francis, Kevin Dineen, Sylvain Tourgeon, Mike Liut, etc.). That was one exciting brand of hockey. Nevertheless, Carolina has become a great home for them. And they've even gone on to win the prize since then - Lord Stanley's Cup.

Go Pens! (Crosby, Malkin, et al)

SCSaunders
07-15-2009, 01:35 PM
.... By the way, is there a way in BWorks to highlight text and give it a different color? Thanks again for BWorks.

http://i30.tinypic.com/34f086c.png


http://i25.tinypic.com/30wqw7p.png

ISalzman
07-15-2009, 01:41 PM
If I may put it theologically, it seems some have an over-realized eschatology that expects a little too much "already" in a fallen world and does not appreciate the realities of the "not-yet." :)


Love your theological terms and analysis! Let's hear it for the "not yet!"