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Thread: Accordance verses bible works

  1. #11
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    Default Review of Tagged Greek Texts

    Let me address the criticisms of my review mentioned here.

    First, the review is a review of Accordance not BibleWorks, though I do put my review in a comparative context (as I do for all my reviews). As to Adelphos' criticisms concerning my website and the considerably greater attention I give to Accordance there, this is because OakTree has been generous in its provision of review copies. BibleWorks supplied me with a review copy of BW 5 but not BW 6 and so I never completed a full review of the latter. I do not provide extensive reviews of software for which I have not received a review copy. This is the same policy adopted by many review sites. End of story. I did recently receive a review copy of BW 7 though and I am very thankful to Jim Barr for that. Consequently, you can expect a thorough review of BibleWorks 7 on my site in the future.

    Now, concerning Mark's points... (and thank-you Mark for emailing me):

    (1) Regarding the display of the morphological search version, Mark has pointed out the option flag and I did overlook this. However, the point remains... the BNT and BNM are separate databases. It is impossible to search the BNT morphologically. On the other hand, in Accordance, the GNT-T basically combines the two. The GNT-T is a fully integrated module which you search and display together. Objectively, one is integrated, one is not. Subjectively, we may differ about which approach is better. As my review stresses the issue of user-friendliness, I believe the integrated module is simpler and easier to use. This is not an unreasonable conclusion (contra Adelphos) and I stand by the assertion. On the other hand though, there is no ability in Accordance to display the coded text (at least in the search window; you can ask Accordance to parse any text and display it as code) and this is arguably a disadvantage if there are people who genuinely make use of the coded text per se.

    (2) Regarding the command line, Mark misses my point as he himself has acknowledged in email correspondence with me on this issue. The fact is that BW 7 deletes the command line on a failed search while Accordance does not. I am well aware that BW 7 has a search history (as does Logos). The problem from my vantage point is that it requires an extra, unnecessary step to recover the failed search. I would rather have my failed search remain in the command line so that I could make the necessary changes right away. I have rarely found myself in a situation where I did not return to a failed search. At the very least, BW could add the option.

    As to Adelphos... I have made considerable arguments in favor of my position on the interface. My reviews are independent and I have no financial interest or stake in any of the companies. You may subjectively disagree with me and that is fine... indeed, do you regularly find that you otherwise agree with every product reviewer you ever read? I would think not. So, instead of impugning of my integrity as a reviewer, something I take very seriously, perhaps you could simply recognize that you have a subjectively different experience than I do with BibleWorks and Accordance.

    Incidentally, you mention Ruben... you'll notice we are co-bloggers at his site. He respects my work as I respect his. You'll also notice that he has several blog entries that draw attention to the ease-of-use of Accordance vis-a-vis BibleWorks too, notably on graphical searches. Indeed, though my opinion is certainly subjective, I'm struck that most Bible Software reviewers, who are independent of any of the companies and have extensive experience in all the products, essentially agree that at many points Accordance has the advantage on ease-of-use; it is only ever committed users of one or the other--like yourself--who mount objections on this point and try to then impugn reviewers who disagree with your self-evident bias. Unfortunately, users such as yourself seem to take this all very personally when, as reviewers, we are only interested in encouraging positive development in the field of Bible software generally. I believe, for one, that BibleWorks 7 is one of the best products on the market and I applaud the product on many counts but I also will not shy away from criticisms. Indeed, I am certain that the past criticisms of BW 5 and BW 6 by reviewers such as myself were an important reason for some of the changes made in BW 6 and 7 respectively. In all of my reviews, whether Accordance, BibleWorks, or Logos, I air a laundry list of criticisms because all of these products can improve significantly. At the same time, I praise each and in particular, my more extensive review of BW 7 to appear later this year will observe that BibleWorks is indeed very praiseworthy. I am, so far at least, quite impressed with the new version! Still, I will criticize it, especially where I see another product (whether Accordance or Logos) delivering something better.
    Last edited by anduril; 05-31-2006 at 02:56 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril
    indeed, do you regularly find that you otherwise agree with every product reviewer you ever read?
    No, but I don't pretend to review a product of which I'm ignorant of its capabilities.

    You apparently have no problem in that sphere.

    Fact is, I'm not qualified to even begin to write a review of BW, and I clearly know a lot more about BW than you do, and thus, A=B=C.

    Figure it out.

    If I were going to write a review of these programs, I would first apply myself to learning them inside out. Next, I would triple check my facts. Following that, I would submit my review to expert users in the products under my review. Following that, I would correct any errors made, as well as incorporate whatever I felt appropriate from their comments and suggestions. Then, after all that, I would re-submit my work to those same experts.

    That's the bare minimum for an objective review.

    You haven't even accomplished step 1.

    Accordingly, your review has no viability for anyone who is interested in the facts.

  3. #13
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    In writing my review, I did overlook the option flag but, in point of fact, both of my criticisms of BW that Mark has identified are essentially accurate. BNT and BNM are two databases; in Accordance the equivalent is one database. On the other point, Mark did not understand what I meant. My point was accurate and he acknowledges it. As Mark wrote to me, "I now understand what you mean about the failed searches. Yes, it does disappear, and it is in an extra keystroke or so to recover them." So, Adelphos, you are impugning me without evidence simply because you disagree subjectively with my opinion of the interface, even though you admit you have virtually no substantial experience with Accordance, relying on Ruben's reviews to that end.

    I am the Coordinator of Bible Software and Technology Reviews for RBL and an experienced reviewer. I used BW 5 quite extensively, having received a review copy of it. I did not use BW 6 much except to help users who had their own copy. I never received a review copy for myself and in any case was satisfied to wait until the next revision given my personal schedule. Consequently, I accept that I am no expert on BW 6, though I'm certain I can use it more effectively than many out there. Still, I never released a major review of BW 6 because I did not want to deal unfairly with a product that I did not use regularly as I now do BW 7. I have received no major complaints about unfairness or inaccuracy from BibleWorks as to my comments on their software. Indeed, BibleWorks graciously provided me with a review copy of BW 7, which I am presently using. I have had my review copy for about two weeks. It will undoubtedly take some time to become fully aware of its many options and consequently I have not released a review on BW 7 yet. My comments on BW 7 in the review of Accordance's morphologically tagged Greek texts are minimal and specific to the issues. They are all accurate but for a minor aspect of a point Mark has identified, which doesn't even invalidate the point of the criticism. As a human being, I think I am entitled to such a small inaccuracy, which I will correct in due course. If you see another inaccuracy, by all means, bring it to my attention and I will make a correction. But, at this point, you are simply being wildly unreasonable in your criticisms without even one specific example. Your comments are out of line and unsubstantiated.
    Last edited by anduril; 05-31-2006 at 03:48 PM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril
    But, at this point, you are simply being wildly unreasonable in your criticisms without even one specific example. Your comments are out of line and unsubstantiated.
    If we were talking about nuances within BW we could attribute that to merely overlooking the issue, or to human error, but when we're talking about the basics, the only thing that's out of line is your inflated view of your critical abilities.

    Unsubstantiated? As Mark demonstrated, you stated --

    "...requiring users to have two databases open in order to search with the latter and read with the former."

    False.

    "...preventing users from making minor corrections and running a modified search again quickly and easily without unnecessary hassle."

    False.

    As I said, both of these are basic.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 05-31-2006 at 04:08 PM.

  5. #15
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    I might also add, it bothers me that certain people get free BW software simply becasue they are labeled as a "reviewer" or what-have-you, while I and others have to pay for it, especially the modules, and especially when the "review" is inaccurate and superficial with the "reviewer" demonstrating an ignorance of even the basics of the program.

    I'll be happy to write a review and spread it all over the internet if I can get all the BW software free, and I'll even go a step further...

    I'll acutally learn the program inside out and do a genuine, critical, objective review.

  6. #16
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    No. Both points are not false, especially not the latter. You are not reading my posts are you?

    (1) BNT and BNM are two different databases. This is not changed by unchecking the option flags for the browser window and the search window. The option flags only address a minor aspect of my criticism and really do not invalidate it. Nevertheless, I agree that the wording of my review obscures this and so I will make a suitable correction when I am able in order to clarify this.

    (2) There is an unnecessary hassle that prevents users from making minor corrections to a search and running a modified search again quickly, especially in relation to Accordance. In BibleWorks, you need to have focus on the command line and then use the arrow key to go back to the failed search before you can make your minor corrections and run the modified search. In Accordance, you can make the corrections right away. Relatively speaking, therefore, my statement is accurate and Mark has accepted that.

    Clearly, you are rather intransigent character so I will trust I have clarified myself sufficiently for the sake of others in this forum and leave you to your unrelenting nature. Otherwise, thank-you to Mark for your helpful feedback and thank-you also to Ingo for calling attention to my review. I appreciate it and please, to everyone else, I welcome your comments. I am always open to suggestions and contrasting opinions.
    Last edited by anduril; 05-31-2006 at 04:49 PM.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril
    No. Both points are not false, especially not the latter. You are not reading my posts are you?
    The problem is, I am reading your posts, and the problem is, you apparently can't understand your own words. Looks like I'll have to explain your own assertion to you. Do you know what require means?

    "...requiring users to have two databases open in order to search with the latter and read with the former."

    False.

    I'll let the rest go, including the personal attacks, although I can see why you would make them seeing as how your reputation as a slovelnly reviewer has been exposed.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 05-31-2006 at 04:35 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    I might also add, it bothers me that certain people get free BW software simply becasue they are labeled as a "reviewer" or what-have-you, while I and others have to pay for it, especially the modules, and especially when the "review" is inaccurate and superficial with the "reviewer" demonstrating an ignorance of even the basics of the program.

    I'll be happy to write a review and spread it all over the internet if I can get all the BW software free, and I'll even go a step further...
    You have to publish your reviews Scott and then I imagine BibleWorks might be open to it, depending on the circulation of the publication and the availability of review copies. I received a review copy of BW 5 because I published multiple reviews in major national newsmagazines in Canada. I received BW 7 because I am a reviewer for the Review of Biblical Literature, the leading scholarly review of the Society of Biblical Literature, the largest scholarly association in biblical studies. My Internet reviews are a further service that I provide because I believe in the importance of computer technology for biblical studies. I try to give the software producers added value for the generosity they have showed me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    I'll acutally learn the program inside out and do a genuine, critical, objective review.
    This is what I do Scott. The review you read is not a review of BW 7. It is a review of Accordance's morphologically tagged Greek texts and it is one of the most thorough and substantive of its kind. So rarely do Bible Software reviewers actually look substantively at the nature of the morphological databases themselves.

    My comprehensive review of BW 7 will only come out after I have put BW 7 through its paces over the course of my ongoing research in professional biblical studies.

    If you have ever visited CNET or other major review sites, you will see that reviews are released in stages. Articles covering first impressions are released first; these are followed by datasheets; and, finally, after some time, a comprehensive review, which is then updated periodically to reflect new opinions shaped by ongoing developments in the marketplace. I follow this model.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    The problem is, I am reading your posts, and the problem is, you apparently can't understand your own words. Looks like I'll have to explain your own assertion to you. Do you know what require means?

    "...requiring users to have two databases open in order to search with the latter and read with the former."

    False.
    I have admitted to this mistake and agreed to post a correction. There is no more I can do than that. Moreover, this is relatively minor in the overall scheme of things. It does not justify your attempts to impugn my reputation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos
    I'll let the rest go, including the personal attacks, although I can see why you would make them seeing as how your reputation as a slovelnly reviewer has been exposed.
    It's you who made unjustified attacks on me. You have proved yourself intransigent in the face of my clarifications and willingness to make a correction. I encourage you, Scott, to find a place to publish a review and when you do, you will learn that oversights happen, especially with programs as complex as BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos. I am quite secure in my reputation as a reviewer; indeed, if I were not a good reviewer, I would not receive review copies nor have received my appointment at RBL.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril
    I have admitted to this mistake and agreed to post a correction.
    This is almost funny. In the previous post you asserted that it wasn't false, now you're admitting it is. Further, in your initial reponse, you not only attempted to justify your assertions, but you then reaffirmed them, saying, "the point remains" when the point was that it was not required to have both databases open. Had you just calmly admitted the error the first time the term "intransigent" wouldn't have come up, would it?

    As always, the real instransigence accuses the other of its own faults.

    Fine.

    In short, I didn't like your review, not for its conclusions, but for your lack of knowledge of BW, and your review doesn't even attempt objectivity.

    Personally, I wouldn't sign my name to any published work unless I had taken the bare minimum steps I outlined above, and even then, I would go further. I have this thing about accuracy.

    And yes, for the record, I am a published author in both the ABA and the CBA, novels mostly, and no, I have no interest in doing software reviews.

    Finally, as a published author myself -- and publishing novels in the ABA is whole lot harder than publishing in some magazine -- I'm not impressed by someone who waves the "publish" flag as some sort of trophy.

    Newspaper reporters screw up the facts habitually, nor can they -- generally speaking -- take correction. As a rule, they always attempt to justify their inaccuracies and shoddy investigative work. But they're basically untouchable, and the public has no clue that they're being presented with false or misleading information. Same with editors and such. Not all, of course, but more than enough.

    So if nothing else, perhaps this little skirmish will make your next review of BW 7 accurate and substantial.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 05-31-2006 at 05:02 PM.

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