View Full Version : Logos 3 versus BibleWorks 7 is analogous to the vi versus emacs war

10-31-2006, 05:13 PM
I wanted to experience the BW's external links feature with Logos without buying an expensive Logos package. So I bought the Untimate Bible Reference Library for $18, then upgraded the installation to Libronix 3 from the Logos website.

While I was at it I thought I would do a little poking around under the hood and provide my $00.02 on the so-called Logos verses BW debate.

It is like comparing apples to oranges as they say. When I saw that Logos has a memory footprint that is 10 times that of BW, I thought of the old unix user's religious war: What is the better editor? Vi or Emacs?

I think that the analogy is applicable. Vi is small, fast, designed for minimal use of keystrokes, very usable once you get the hang of its modes, etc. Emacs is easier to learn at first, very extensible, does alot and is big and fat.

Logos is a nice program. If you are someone who uses a computer for browsing the web or reading email and you are not all that interested in original languages, then Logos is the program for you.

However, if you have an interest in learning/working with original languages and if you have even a hint of computer geekness, you will want BW hands down.

Don't get me wrong, BW is not hard to learn. Far too many software companies confuse "usability" with "easy to learn". Bibleworks is one of the most usable pieces of software I have ever encountered. It has one of the best help systems I have ever seen, both in discoverability of getting the help that you need as well as exceptionally lucid instructions. I found the Logos help system to lag far behind.

Logos is pretty much a content browser much like the internet explorer. In fact, it is the libronix "pluggable protocol" that allows other applications such as BW to have external linking. It is not so much that BW implements external linking as much as Libronix exposes the feature by registering its protocol with the Windows operating system. In fact, if you copy the command to link to Libronix from the external link dialog and replace the <book>, etc, with the replacement values, then paste it into the address bar of the explorer, it will spawn Logos.

The point is that Logos uses standard browser-like technology which is in a standard format. This is a good model actually, especially when you want to target the lowest common denominator in terms of marketing.

I read a comment on this forum that I thought describes Logos well - it is like a Christian Encarta. I think this sums it up well.

Bibleworks is more of a thoroughbred - built for speed and usability for the the specific task at hand - studying biblical text. There are basically two types of content - biblical texts and early church documents in different languages that are compiled in a propriatary database format (fast) and reference books (lexicons, grammars, dictionaries, commentary) that are in the HTML-help format, sort of like Logos. Bibleworks allows you to build your own versions of both of these formats with the Version Database Compiler and the Custom Module tool. A casual knowledge of a scripting language is helpful, but not necessary to create your own BW compatible content.

I have converted several hundred megabytes of content into the BW formats. Logos offers similar features with its Book Builder, but it is not free.

This last part is really what I think sets the two products apart. I do not criticize Logos for turning a profit. But I do laud the Bibleworks staff and its community for what I would describe as a labor of love. When you delve into the shortcut keys and all the numerous features of Bibleworks, you get a real sense that there is a passion to meet the needs of the customer. There seems also to be what one might call an open source community, there is a blog to a bunch of free content that the users of Bibleworks have labored on and have contributed to the community.

My conclusion, I do intend to use Logos for commentaries, I just bought the WBC. So I use BW as the primary source to study the text while driving Logos commentary navigation with the external links feature. It works great with a dual monitor system.

I was almost remiss to answer the obvious question that I raised at the beginning... what do I use, vi or emacs? Actually, neither. I use notepad :)


10-31-2006, 05:37 PM
I own and use both. My problem with Logos is speed. It is slow on both my 1.8 and 2.6 ghz systems.

10-31-2006, 08:23 PM
This discussion is ridiculous. Vi is the better editor! :)

Ken Neighoff
11-01-2006, 12:16 PM
The syntax search feature of the Logos 3 is a good feature. I have found the Greek syntax search interface easier to use than the one for Hebrew syntax search. I think this is because they have done more tutorials on the Greek text.

As was stated earlier in this thread, speed is the issue. While the speed factor is better in version 3 over version 2. So those are good times to go and get a cup of coffee, or get some reading done in a hard bound book. :)