I actually spent a good deal of time during the "beta phase" trying to get Windows 8 to work on my computer before I really knew much about it and finally got stopped by Secure Boot. When they came out with an "Upgrade Advisor" I ran it and it said that my machine wasn't compatible because of that. I have not seen much discussion about that in the reviews, etc., but I can't help but believe that this is what has stopped some people from upgrading. I'm sure that the next computer I get will have Windows 8 on it though so I'm glad you posted your experience.
I have an ASUS Droid table. It would be nice if BW10 would work on a Droid
In Bibleworks 10 I want to see interface changes that are focus on Accessibility with the intent to improve Visibility of features/content and end-user Flexibility in these regards. Something that is forward looking toward the various devices and places Bibleworks is uses and flexible enough to allow users to make changes without needing to wait for another product release.
My first version of Bibleworks was 3.5 and on every wish list thread I believe I requested layout/GUI changes. This time is no different. In fact I believe this time the MOST important change needs to happen in the Interface, not the features/content/tools. Bibleworks is so insanely deep and so exceedingly fast that adding a new translation here, a new reference there, a tool tweak there, doesn’t register very high on my wish list. Don’t get me wrong, there are great things that can be added to Bibleworks but if there was one area I believe needed improvement and that could quickly and easily prompt an upgrade it would be the interface.
This has always been one of my nitpicks. Going from my multi-display desktop to a smaller screen laptop always accented in my mind how Bibleworks was really designed with “old school” users at a desk on large, higher resolution screens in mind. It was usable on a laptop but best on a desktop (imo). Now that I am using Bibleworks on a wide screen laptop (i.e. not a tall screen) and high resolution but small (10 inch) tablet, primarily in landscape view (very tall, but narrow, screen!), these issues are glaring. The advances in user interfaces in the industry over the last decade has been staggering, and mostly beneficial for usability (especially new users), and I hope Bibleworks spends a lot of time looking into these areas. I will throw out some ideas below.
Ribbon-like Menu Interface. A ribbon interface may not be ideal, and Bibleworks may have a better idea for the interface, but I believe this should be considered. I know Microsoft’s ribbon is a love/hate feature for long time Office users (and I imagine long time Biblework’s users may have similar angst) but I believe there is something to be learned from this feature. Microsoft went with a ribbon for a number of reasons but most agree that as Office capabilities grew the Menu bar and sub-menus expanded, become more complex, and many features were obscured or hidden away. This required new users to spend substantial time digging to find basic features and it even resulted in seasoned users not knowing about great features buried deep within the menu hierarchy. The ribbon, for new users, allows quicker access and more exposure to the application.
Bibleworks has very similar design pressures: Bibleworks is robust, both in terms of tools, features, and content. This makes Bibleworks a great program. It also makes the program intimidating to many new users (based on reviews and discussion threads on other software forums) and often great features, tools, and content are overlooked due to the complexity of the program. Now that physical manuals are a thing of the past I personally believe that user interface and software guided workflow solutions are more important than ever. The software industry trend has been exceedingly focused on user interfaces and many times a good, clean, effective and efficient user interface that does all the core tasks better than the competition wins out over having more features with a less refined user interface.
Btw, the new tab that expands approach is a good way to save screen space and make the ribbon options only visible when needed.
Alt. example: “Context Rose.” This is more of an example than a recommendation (although it could work well if designed right). Way back in the day many programs used the Function Keys (F1-F12) as shortcuts. This was popular in strategy games and sims. But this has been phased out in games with a “Context Rose” which is a fancy way of saying when a key (e.g. ‘Q’) or button (e.g. Mouse Right) a context sensitive “ring” or “rose” appears with specific tasks that can be performed and the user then moves the mouse to the “petal” of the rose and selects the desired task. E.g.
Hover over the command line (search) would prompt a rose with: Change version, change range, search parameters (and, or, both, phrase, etc), copy results, open Hebrew/Greek keyboard, etc.
Hover over a highlighted word(s) in a verse would prompt a rose with: Search word(s), search lemma, related verse tool, TSK (X-refs), lexicon, browse passage context, etc.
This idea would actually work very well on the desktop (mouse) but also touch (finger) interfaces.
New layout interface—CSS / web-CMS inspired. Aside from the menu system I think the next big design issue is the ability to lay out the screen as desired. Bibleworks 9 made a big splash with the “4th column” but that, imo, was a stop gap for larger interface changes. The computing industry is moving very, very quickly and Bibleworks (imo) needs to have a flexible enough interface to meet the variety of devices and purposes the program is used for. On the processor side Intel just released Bay Trail and next year will see Airmont; basically low end x86/64 desktop class processors are in tablets now and will be in mobile phones soon. These devices are not only powerful but affordable (I just bought an HP Omni 10, more than ample hardware for Bibleworks, for $350). Mobile devices are often used in Portrait mode, instead of landscape, which is a big issue for Bibleworks—especially with 4 columns. Another issue is the resolution of these devices ranges from sub-HD (below 720p) to above Full HD (1080p+) and come in a variety of aspect ratios (16:9, 16:10, 4:3). Laptops and desktops almost all have very high resolution displays with wide aspects and many users have multiple displays.
For these reasons I don’t believe there is “a single solution” to meet all these design pressures.
My suggestion would be for an exceedingly flexible layout engine—think blocks or panels—that users could tweak to their heart’s content. This approach has been longstanding in the “web” world and has gained a lot of traction as the layout engine can adapt to different devices. The idea I have in mind is not unlike the Drupal CMS (or the like). The concept is simple: You have a basic frame, broken into fields, and each design unit of content is a “box” or “block”. The user can divide the “frame” by selecting the number and size of the horizontal top and bottom sections (header and footer) and then also select the number and width of columns (1,2,3,4,etc). So you have a frame divided up into a number of “fields”. The next part is “populating” the frame. Drupal has each unit of content, features, or tools defined as a “box”. These “box” can be (1) placed into any field and (2) Multiple “blocks” can be stacked in any field.
The end result is a flexible and fluid design platform that can be catered to meet a WIDE variety of user needs & abilities and would make Bibleworks exceedingly usable on an equally wide array of devices.
Bibleworks themselves would provide a number of “stock” layouts for new users. E.g. Bibleworks could offer 4 stock layouts. Two “Slim” layouts (one each for portrait and landscape) and two “Robust” (again, one each for portrait and landscape). The “Slim” layouts would be ideal for novice users and for lower resolution and/or small screens. The “Robust” layouts would be for power users and more robust sized displays. In “my” ideal world Bibleworks would do both a Ribbon-interface and user definable Block-layout – and the Ribbon-Interface would have 2 formats (Horizontal and Verticle).
These suggestions are not to say I don’t like Bibleworks—I believe the concept of the Left-to-Right workflow and use of tabs for frequently utilized sub-menus allows a LOT of power in a tight workflow. But my own personal opinion is the user interface could be simplified/streamlined significantly to make it friendly for new users and quicker at core tasks while customizable enough to be of even greater use to power users. Little things can make a huge difference (e.g. using a specific icon, like an “I” with a circle around it like (i) where all options and advanced features for a block are nested would go a LONG way to cleaning up the interface).
Another way Bibleworks could improve is presentation of current content or tools to quickly extract/summarize data and present it in a nice visual layout (e.g. Accordance breaks down stem usage nicely; Logos breaks down how a Hebrew word is translated into Greek nicely; etc). Some nice “report” features where such tasks can be auto-processed and output would be nice—and in a perfect world these sort of report/batch/output tasks could be user defined, stored, and recalled (e.g. saved as a user task).
I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with for Bibleworks 10—I am certain it will be great!
Examples of proposed layout schema below.
When I first looked at this post (in a thread that I thought a long time ago had passed its useful life-span), I kind of thought, "Ack, what now?" But as I read through it, I found a lot of food for thought. Thanks, Joshua. I certainly have no idea what the BW developers are thinking, but you do propose some creative ideas to take advantage of the variety of screens and platforms now available. I too find that I need a different layout on my laptop from my desktop, and if I had a tablet that would be yet a different story. Personally, I'm a layout-tinkerin' fool, and I'd love the chance to play around with this sort of thing. Anyway, thanks again for an interesting and thought-provoking post.
And a Merry Christmas to all here!
(FYI, I made a playlist on how to use BW8; and included in that playlist are the BW channel's own videos, too. But of course the interface is much richer, now.)
So: if we're really gonna go whole-hog with our wish lists, here's another idea. Back during BW4 days, you could SEPARATE THE COMPONENTS instead of being stuck with one window and all the components. Frankly, I hate ribbons, so don't want that idea Joshua posed, adopted. I hate the MS Office ribbon so much, I won't upgrade. Maybe it's okay for some, but it's a primary feature in Logos software, and the primary reason I'll never buy anything Logos. (I was stuck buying TDNT in Logos over a year ago because back then, no one else had it. But thankfully Accordance and others do now, see my TDNT video description in vimeo.com.)
So how to satisfy such different needs? MAKE BIBLEWORKS MODULAR AGAIN. Just allow the window components to be separated like BW4 did. The program already saves the last configuration you did (Option Flags allows that), so then everyone can be happy.
Oh: and PLEASE and THANK YOU for preserving the 4.0 style Search Limits dialogue box, still allowing us the Option Flag to preserve it. The new default search box is as unwieldy as it gets.
PS: after initially posting this, it dawned on me what a privilege it is to actually be able to TALK BIBLE and not worry about the other person's reaction. So here's a new slogan you'll recognize:
'BibleWorks software? About $350.
Being able to use and TALK about it? Priceless!'
Last edited by brainout; 12-24-2013 at 03:42 PM. Reason: "and THANK YOU", "PS" para, and "What I miss..now.)"
In BibleWorks 10 I would like to have:
1) The translation of the graphical interface of the program, so that a user can select a different language from English. (I am available to the translation of the graphical user interface in Italian language).
2) To be able to create a database/dictionary, personal dictionary as a new supported database, connected to the Greek Bibles as “The Lexicon and Dictionary Browser”. To be able to look up any word or entry in the Bible text. To be able to do wildcard searches on both the list of entries and on the entire text of the databases. To be able to search the body text for Greek and Hebrew words. To be able to copy selected text to the clipboard to insert in a word processor.
Last edited by pasquale; 12-30-2013 at 08:43 AM.
Hi, i would like to see the program, dictionaries, lexicons, maps, everything in Bibleworks 10 in Greek.
I'm just now installing and trying to use BW9. Astonishingly, the BW5 feature of being able to navigate from context to context is absent. When I search on 'context' in the Help contents, the word doesn't even exist???
In BW5, it was so handy to go to a verse, then just hit the back button for 'prior context' and be immediately back where one was. Or, to hit the forward button later, and go back to 'next context'. In BW9, there is nothing like that feature. It renders BW9 well nigh unusable for multiple verse comparison.
Now, if this feature was given another name, what is it? And if it was removed, PLEASE PUT IT BACK!
It's also distressing, how one cannot view the X-refs in but one version at a time. In BW5, if you had the Browse window in multiple-version mode, the X-refs would also show in that mode. Worse, the colors are bad. BW defaults to a white color when the selection is on a particular section (this sad fact is true for all the tabs), so I have to change my Windows 'selection' setting to a dark color, lest I not be able to read the BW tab entries selected, at all. In BW5, this was not the case.
So, I'll go back to BW5, and sparingly use BW9. Hopefully these things will be fixed in BW10.
If I understand brainout correctly, you can still go back to the previous verse. Above the command line, to the upper right of the 12 tabs for favorites are two buttons, a left-pointing arrow and a right-pointing arrow. If you click on the left-pointing arrow, your browse window goes to the previous verse you had been looking at, and you can keep going back to previous searches by continuing to click on the button. Then you may click on the right-pointing arrow to go back to the verse you left. My guess is that this is not called the "context" arrow, since most exegetes who hear the word "context" would think of verses surrounding the current verse, not previous verses we had searched. Does this help?