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Thread: Why I won't be upgrading to Bibleworks 8 (not for $100+ anyway)

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DimBimbleby View Post
    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.

  2. #22

    Default Just one More Opinion

    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.

  3. #23
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    Default Final note on this

    Quote Originally Posted by DimBimbleby View Post
    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.
    Last edited by MBushell; 11-22-2008 at 03:49 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    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.
    Michael Hanel
    PhD candidate Classics Univ. of Cincinnati
    MDiv Concordia Seminary
    MA Classics Washington University
    Unofficial BibleWorks Blog
    LibraryThing!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobvenem View Post
    (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...

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBushell View Post
    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.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    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.

  8. #28
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    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.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DimBimbleby View Post
    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.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by DimBimbleby View Post
    Bibleworks, I want you to know that ...
    Hey Dim, do you think Jeff Wofford could do a better job at programming this software?

    DimDimbleby
    Jeff Wofford

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