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Paul Meiklejohn
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I appreciate that Accordance 14 is probably in the works.  However, I note that it's been almost 6 months since there was any significant update. One of the things that appealed to me when I first bought Accordance was how regular minor and major updates were released (every few months).  Even major numbered upgrades were being released about every 2 years.  I'm just looking for reassurance that Accordance is still being developed at the same rate as before, and if it has slowed down, if there is a reason for that?

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Most of the really good tools I have (saw, hammer, refrigerator, etc.) are pretty much the same as they have been for decades, or even longer. I've found, especially in software, that the adding of additional features often reduces the value and usefulness, while increasing the complexity. Maybe another route would be to introduce additional applications that complement and extend Accordance, rather than put more blade in the multi-tool. I'm not even suggesting this, but more is not always better, and often is significantly worse. 

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It's probably bad for business to talk about business. I don't know what (if any) differences have come with a change in ownership. It hasn't really been talked about here (to my knowledge).

 

What I have seen is that they had turnover in their app developers over the past few years. That makes it hard to keep a steady pace going.

They tried their best to keep parity with Windows/Mac releases, which hit a bump with the difficulty of doing dark mode on the Windows side

They're "secretly" working hard on development of a web app that will work for everyone.

While maybe not at the same speed as some companies, they continue to produce new content.

 

In other words, I don't see them being stagnant, but they certainly have faced some challenges and the work they do may look slower because they're working on several different code streams now as opposed to just the Mac version of a few years ago.

Edited by mhanel
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I guess @Paul Meiklejohn talks more about bug fixes. As he separates the development of 14. 

All I can say is. As I purchased Accordance, they claimed to be as bug free as possible. My bug report speaks another language.

I'm totally for new features. But with every feature new bugs are there, and it would be good to fix first old bugs before introducing new ones. 

But I know also, money comes with a new version and not by fixing bugs.

 

I would love to see bugs being solved in 13, before 14 comes out. 

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I agree on the bug fixes, but syncing is one of the biggest issues for me.  I don't think that will be addressed until 14 is released.  Last year, I was told they were aiming to have 14 released by end of the year and it just keeps getting pushed back.  We are about 5 months past the original date of Oct with no real update.  Accordance for android is even worse.  It hasn't had an update at all since August.  Love accordance but would like some updates and some features like notes on Android.

Edited by dmwebb6
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36 minutes ago, dmwebb6 said:

Last year, I was told they were aiming to have 14 released by end of the year and it just keeps getting pushed back. 

 

I don't remember anyone ever promising v. 14 to be released last Fall. In fact, I did everything I could to temper that expectation because it was not in our plans. I'll remind everyone that there were three years between versions 12 and 13.

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As per Fabian's point, is there much progress in fixing the bugs in the current version and getting an update with the fixes?

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5 minutes ago, Erhard said:

As per Fabian's point, is there much progress in fixing the bugs in the current version and getting an update with the fixes?

 

Yes, but I'm not a developer, so I do not know of any timetables. All I know is that work on the current version has not ceased.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, R. Mansfield said:

“I did everything I could to temper that expectation because it was not in our plans.”

Rick, I think that’s a fair reflection of how you managed requests for 14 snippets. 

Edited by Paul Meiklejohn
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Rick, you have tempered the expectation for Accordance 14. I should clarify that no one promised anything by the end of last year.  One webinar that I attended said to look for Accordance 14  in October.  I also  had to contact tech support repeatedly last year due to Dropbox issues.  I was told a couple of times that the aim was to get away from third party syncing by the end of last year or early this year.  Here is the exact quote: "Our plans are to rebuild the syncing process and involve only Accordance. Our plans are to completely remove Dropbox from the equation. They programmers are trying to get this done by around the end of the year or by early next year"  This is what I had reference to.   Not complaining just looking for an update.   Looking forward to 14 whenever it was released.  

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Thanks for the clarification. We have quite a few employees and not everyone is in the know about everything going on--including myself! There may have been some anticipation, even among Accordance staff, that v. 14 would be released this past Fall. I apologize for any confusion. This is a good example of why it's best not to promise dates until we are extremely certain about them.

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While I love the fact that Accordance has always provided regular updates, and even provided some new features between major releases (especially during the BibleWorks shutdown to make BibleWorks customers feel more at home with Accordance), I agree that I'd rather have an overall stable Bible study app versus a Bible study app that continually adds new features/bloat to the software just for the sake of adding new features on a schedule. When Accordance's largest competitor offered the "Now" subscription that added new features every six weeks, it became dizzy-confusing trying to keep up with the frequent new features, and I noticed an overall reduction in quality of the app until the developers finally hit the brakes on the feature additions. It's a similar issue I've found with "software as a service" and even with the way Microsoft and Apple have handled OS releases (hence over on my Linux machine, I'm running an LTS version of Linux in case I need a vacation from the "rapid release" world).

 

Developing for a wealth of platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS/iPadOS, Android, and possibly the web) also stretches development resources since developers need to develop across platforms instead of focusing on a single platform or two, as well as if customers expect feature pairity across all platforms, that stretches development resources even further. However, careful planning can ensure that developers are able to develop across major platforms without being stretched too thin. Even a really small Bible app developer such as e-Sword has been able to pull this off.

 

In the event I ever were on the Accordance marketing team (I'm not at the moment), I would regularly ask Accordance users the following questions, in this case, these are the questions I would ask users concerning an "Accordance 14":

 

1. What are three to five specific Bible study features that you do not have in Accordance today that would make your Bible study process easier in the event you were to upgrade to a future version of Accordance?

 

2. From that list of features, what are the top one or two features in which would absolutely convince you to purchase an upgrade for "Accordance 14"?

 

Answering those questions would help Accordance marketing be able to prioritize what specific features customers would actually pay for in a future upgrade to "Accordance 14", plus provide Accordance marketing with a list of features to consider for versions of Accordance beyond 14. Instead of simply adding features for the sake of adding features, collecting user feedback to determine what meaningful features actually improve a user's Bible study process and features a customer would actually pay for is a better use of development resources.

 

I'm glad to see that Accordance is remaining strong in the Bible study market, and I hope that Accordance users will continue to invest heavily in Accordance books and in future major releases of Accordance. Accordance is one of the few remaining major paid players in the Bible study market, and I want to see Accordance continue to thrive. While I've invested heavily in Accordance's major competitor as well over the years (since I've had to for some seminary classes), I don't want to see the Bible study market shrink down to a single option. Accordance still shines as a major option in the Bible study market and the premier competitor to the biggie out there. Accordance has a rich history and continues to thrive as an excellent source for scholars and pastors and has a rich quality of modules and features that make it a trusted choice of Bible study software.

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1 hour ago, Nathan Parker said:

While I love the fact that Accordance has always provided regular updates, and even provided some new features between major releases (especially during the BibleWorks shutdown to make BibleWorks customers feel more at home with Accordance), I agree that I'd rather have an overall stable Bible study app versus a Bible study app that continually adds new features/bloat to the software just for the sake of adding new features on a schedule. When Accordance's largest competitor offered the "Now" subscription that added new features every six weeks, it became dizzy-confusing trying to keep up with the frequent new features, and I noticed an overall reduction in quality of the app until the developers finally hit the brakes on the feature additions. It's a similar issue I've found with "software as a service" and even with the way Microsoft and Apple have handled OS releases (hence over on my Linux machine, I'm running an LTS version of Linux in case I need a vacation from the "rapid release" world).

 

Developing for a wealth of platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS/iPadOS, Android, and possibly the web) also stretches development resources since developers need to develop across platforms instead of focusing on a single platform or two, as well as if customers expect feature pairity across all platforms, that stretches development resources even further. However, careful planning can ensure that developers are able to develop across major platforms without being stretched too thin. Even a really small Bible app developer such as e-Sword has been able to pull this off.

 

In the event I ever were on the Accordance marketing team (I'm not at the moment), I would regularly ask Accordance users the following questions, in this case, these are the questions I would ask users concerning an "Accordance 14":

 

1. What are three to five specific Bible study features that you do not have in Accordance today that would make your Bible study process easier in the event you were to upgrade to a future version of Accordance?

 

2. From that list of features, what are the top one or two features in which would absolutely convince you to purchase an upgrade for "Accordance 14"?

 

Answering those questions would help Accordance marketing be able to prioritize what specific features customers would actually pay for in a future upgrade to "Accordance 14", plus provide Accordance marketing with a list of features to consider for versions of Accordance beyond 14. Instead of simply adding features for the sake of adding features, collecting user feedback to determine what meaningful features actually improve a user's Bible study process and features a customer would actually pay for is a better use of development resources.

 

I'm glad to see that Accordance is remaining strong in the Bible study market, and I hope that Accordance users will continue to invest heavily in Accordance books and in future major releases of Accordance. Accordance is one of the few remaining major paid players in the Bible study market, and I want to see Accordance continue to thrive. While I've invested heavily in Accordance's major competitor as well over the years (since I've had to for some seminary classes), I don't want to see the Bible study market shrink down to a single option. Accordance still shines as a major option in the Bible study market and the premier competitor to the biggie out there. Accordance has a rich history and continues to thrive as an excellent source for scholars and pastors and has a rich quality of modules and features that make it a trusted choice of Bible study software.

 

 

Well said. Thanks Nathan!

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Excellent reflections Nathan, Thank you.  

 

My original post was never meant to be controversial.  I am an avid user of Accordance and love its ease of use.  I appreciate that stability is more important that unstable updates.  My original question was a simple enquiry as to whether the same investment and time was being given to take things forward into the next season, both for fixing bugs and introducing new features.

 

Thanks everyone.

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Rick, in the webinar that was mentioned by @dmwebb6, in the chat box, I and others had asked about the chapter and verse selector that Bibleworks, Wordsearch and others have. The person administering the chat said that it would be part of Accordance 14. Joel downplayed it though when asked later. Do you know if this feature will be in Accordance 14? If so, are you able to share it? That is the one feature that I really miss and would be really helpful for those of us that are more mouse and visually orientated.

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The tablet / mobile apps have been in what I consider a somewhat immature state for quite some time.  There has been much talk about making them more first-class citizens in the Accordance family.   I have not looked at the time frame between when these apps saw a major update, and maybe COVID has impacted both my perception of time (and likely slowed development), but it feels like its been a pretty long time — an unusually long time.  This isn't helped by an expectation in software development that updates come out on a fairly rapid and regular cycle.  Software is very clearly not a hammer or a refrigerator, and is much more complex and not a mature product like those older tools.  It needs regular updates, fixes, and changes/features because we are still learning how to build good software.  That said, as someone in the software industry, I have an almost limitless amount of patience, particularly for a small company building great products (which I certainly place the Accordance folks).

 

That said — now I will say something that likely is controversial, even if I don't necessarily intend it to be:  my concern follows when there is a loud talk on whole new platforms like the web and Linux.  Everyone has their own needs, but these are completely new avenues and have never been areas that Accordance folks committed to support in their sales and advertising — unlike the products that many of us have purchased who do have clear expectations of commitment.  Now that I am hearing that Accordance is focusing resources on a web app, even if it's a completely different team, means that it is pulling resources/money/attention that could have potentially been used in moving the existing apps that we paid for forward with new feature releases and bug fixes.

 

Now, to be clear, the Accordance folks can make whatever business decision that they think makes the most sense for them and for their customers — and maybe they have decided web is the future (although, I don't want to be a part of that tech future! 😀) or that they believe they can do both web and native platforms concurrently in a successful manner.  I have (and will continue) to defend Accordance folks for being a small company doing great things with their Bible software and cutting them slack over larger organizations with larger profit motives — but just as many have spoken for new platforms, I am speaking for the existing platforms and a return to focus on the phone, tablet and computer.  I expect the response "we have not reduced our focus on these platforms" — but as always, actions speak louder than words.

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38 minutes ago, Erhard said:

Rick, in the webinar that was mentioned by @dmwebb6, in the chat box, I and others had asked about the chapter and verse selector that Bibleworks, Wordsearch and others have. The person administering the chat said that it would be part of Accordance 14. Joel downplayed it though when asked later. Do you know if this feature will be in Accordance 14? If so, are you able to share it? 

 

I know that has been discussed. I do not have confirmation that it is in the final cut (which may not even be final yet) for a v. 14 update. I personally believe this feature will be added. I don't know exactly when yet. 

 

13 minutes ago, Rich said:

...my concern follows when there is a loud talk on whole new platforms like the web and Linux....

 

To be clear, while there is ongoing work on a web version of Accordance--which is crucial especially for students in the military using government-owned computers and secondarily for platforms that we do not directly support (such as Chrome or Linux)--there are ZERO company-resources or personnel working on a Linux-based version of Accordance. There are a number of enthusiastic users who are working on a way to make Accordance for Windows work via WINE. The company itself does not see enough demand to provide material support for any such development at this time. At the most, I have said that if a stable version is developed, and I have confirmed this through my own testing off the clock, I would be happy to mention it on the blog and in social media the same as we do when someone creates corollary content for Accordance such as automation scripts or integration with other utilities. But we would not even be training our support staff on installing or maintaining Accordance in Linux. Any support for a Linux-based version of Accordance would have to remain strictly grassroots from other users. 

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Another accordance marketing decision and i accept its not as feature rich as the full fat version, but im constantly surprised that the ios version is still free (especially compared to a lot of the other apps i use which i have had to pay for and have slowly stopped working as the large market leading software companies have happily taken my money but not supported them on later ios versions, [ps nothing to do with bible software]). 
 

i for one would be happy to pay for the ios version especially if it helped achieve parity more quickly.

Edited by ukfraser
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ditto that - I am not the biggest fan of the iOS version but iPad is my mobile platform so more than happy to pay for better app - subscription is - if not liked - tolerated better on iOS and I would have no issue paying for Accordance development just as I do for Ulysses or Muse, etc.,

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On 3/7/2022 at 8:25 AM, R. Mansfield said:

I know that has been discussed. I do not have confirmation that it is in the final cut (which may not even be final yet) for a v. 14 update. I personally believe this feature will be added. I don't know exactly when yet. 

Thank you Rick. I am really looking forward to that. That would seem to be one of the most basic features of a Bible Software program.

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I also prefer @Fabian 's position. Instead of number 14 I would like to see bug-fixing and the fulfilling of the age-old promise to add tagged German texts plus the Hebrew Delitsch NT. My hairs got during the waiting period gray...... 🙂

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One difficulty of outright paying for an iOS app is all existing iOS users who have downloaded it would likely be "grandfathered" into the free version of it since Apple treats the initial download as the "purchase" (where I work now, when we had an iOS app, we gave the premium version away free for a week, so everyone who downloaded it during the week was able to receive a lifetime access to the premium version for free).

 

Accordance should still continue to give the base iOS app away free as they do now so that there is a free way to read Accordance modules on iOS (similar to how Accordance Lite for Windows/Mac is a free basic way to read Accordance modules on the desktop without paying for the full Accordance features included in the Starter Collection or Above).

 

Here's my feedback on a few things Accordance could do in terms of those users who wish to help fund additional development of the Accordance iOS app:

 

1. They could offer an in-app purchase option that allows the Accordance iOS user to help fund the development of the Accordance iOS app. A "Support Accordance iOS" option could be included, in which users could make a single purchase to help fund the development of Accordance for iOS (and possibly re-offer such an option occasionally when new major releases of Accordance for iOS are released). Only issue is Apple gets a chunk of the money.

 

2. They could offer an in-app purchase option similar to #1, but offer a handful of premium features for those who perform the in-app purchase. That way Accordance users still get all the critical functionality to read and study the Bible on iOS for free, but get access to a handful of premium features that would cost extra development resources to develop. Only issue again is Apple gets a chunk of the money.

 

3. In order not to deal with Apple getting a chunk of the money, Accordance could offer the ability to support Accordance for iOS through the Accordance Store. It could be a more generic "Support Accordance Mobile" that could go for development of both iOS and Android. It could possibly include some modules that could be downloaded into the mobile apps (maybe even some public domain modules already in Accordance format that would be useful in the mobile apps for devotional reading) as a "thank you" for supporting Accordance for mobile development.

 

In the meantime, my personal recommendation to Accordance iOS users wishing to continue to financially support Accordance:

 

1. Continue purchasing new major releases of Accordance for desktops. While Accordance isn't currently charging anything for the mobile app, continuing to invest in new versions of Accordance for desktop is always extra income for Accordance to help boost their overall development, and Accordance for desktop upgrades are so affordable as well!

 

2. Continue purchasing Accordance modules/books you need. Regular income from Accordance modules/book sales also helps provide Accordance with the extra income they need to boost development. One question that Accordance marketing would benefit them to ask Accordance users are: "What are the top five book/module purchases do you plan to purchase this year if the books/modules were to go on sale (provided the publisher would put them on sale)?

 

3. Continue recommending books/modules to Accordance to develop to help increase their overall sales. A question that Accordance marketing could ask that would benefit them are "What are the top five books/modules that you would purchase in Accordance this year that are not currently in Accordance yet if Accordance were to develop the books/modules?"

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  • 1 month later...

After copying Accordance from my Mac to a Windows Virtual Machine this week, there are two features I'd recommend for Accordance in future updates:

 

1. I believe Accordance on Windows uses Internet Explorer as the backend technology for its built-in web browser. I'd recommend moving that to something based on Chromium since Microsoft is finally starting to put IE out to pasture.

 

2. I'd like to see some form of "Migration Assistant" built into a future version of Accordance, similar to Apple's "Migration Assistant" on the Mac. I shut down my Dropbox account a while ago since I always had sync issues with Accordance with it, and the three-device free limit was an issue as while back (not so much now). So when I needed to manually migrate my Accordance files and preferences from my Mac to Windows, it was a bit painful to do it (but I finally got it done).

 

A "Migration Assistant" that can package up everything in Accordance (preferences, user files, library arrangement, workspaces, search groups, etc.) and migrate them to a new Accordance instance would be a huge time saver. Something that would work across Windows and Mac would be good. A couple of open-source technologies Accordance could possibly leverage could be rsync or FreeFileSync in building the backend to the Migration Assistant. Here are the three methods I'd like to see:

 

A. Eventually, cloud-based. My entire Accordance installation is backed up in the Accordance cloud, and I could sign into Accordance and pull everything down, similar to how Accordance's major competitor does it today. For cloud storage, I wouldn't recommend relying solely on AWS but look into some other cloud providers (maybe Rackspace, Rumble, etc., or even a smaller established company such as WebMate), since AWS has been booting some sites off their cloud systems. I'd definitely recommend Accordance pivoting away from Dropbox in the future, since it never did work too well for me as a reliable syncing option.

 

B. I'd also like to see a local network-based option where if I install Accordance on another machine on the local network, it could migrate my Accordance installation from one machine to the other over the local network, similar to how local syncing with mobile works today (Accordance could leverage Bonjour for this, which it does today for local syncing over mobile). Sometimes my Internet chokes when downloading massive amounts of books/media files (it does this with Accordance's major competitor as well), so a local network migration would be faster than a cloud restore. 

 

C. I'd also like to see an option where I could image my Accordance installation to a USB drive, then restore from the USB drive in a migration. This would be useful for a pastor who has a desktop both at home and at church and needs to migrate their Accordance installation from their home computer to their work computer. This would cover Accordance installations on computers that are not on the same local network.

 

In all instances, the user would need to verify their Accordance account to unlock their Accordance 13 installation and modules (to protect against copyright infringement), but a Migration Assistant would make it far easier to bring Accordance from one machine to another.

 

Thanks!

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On 3/7/2022 at 8:25 AM, R. Mansfield said:

I know that has been discussed. I do not have confirmation that it is in the final cut (which may not even be final yet) for a v. 14 update. I personally believe this feature will be added. I don't know exactly when yet. 

I should just mention regrading the chapter-verse selector. When I first tried Accordance, that was the main feature that I felt was missing and did not initially use Accordance much at all and pretty much wrote it off. I likely would not have purchased more resources if WS had not gone out of business and the crossover package was offered. I do wonder how many others have had a similar experience and gone to a different program.

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Erhard,

 

There are so many things that I love about Accordance that I wouldn’t switch to another program.

 

That being said, it irritates me to no end that there isn't a chapter and verse selector. So at least put me down as one who misses that feature from other programs. I don’t know how many times I’ve mistyped a chapter and verse reference or how many more times I was using my system Hebrew or Greek keyboard and started typing and had to backtrack; and either way, having to delete a reference before typing in a new one. I’m also usually reading something, with either an iPad or real book in one hand, so having to always put it down to type a verse on a keyboard is right up there as the most annoying feature in Accordance.

 

I do vaguely recall that Rick said there was a way to type the reference without having to delete the previous one. But even if I remembered and did it, it’s not as intuitive or as convenient as a chapter and verse selector.

 

Michel

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