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Why Libronix and Not Accordance

March 20th, 2008
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In my post on the Macintosh Alpha version of Libronix, which is now available for you to take a look at and try out, I made a comment about the program: Accordance. The company that produces Accordance sent me an e-mail, politely, but firmly, protesting my remark that with the advent of a Mac native version of Libronix, Accordance has been effectively left in the dust. I’d like to elaborate on why I’m convinced this is true.

First, Libronix is the largest provider of digital texts. There is simply nothing else like it out there. All major Christian publishers are using them as their platform of choice and there are literally hundreds of software titles out there.

Second, it offers very powerful original language research tools, which have been steadily improving over the years to the point where I believe it is on a level equal to anything else out there, or close enough to it that there is no reason to obtain alternative software packages like Accordance of BibleWorks.

Third, I obtained a copy of Accordance some while ago in order to have access to the writings of the Church Fathers for a project I was working on, and I was shocked at the clunky interface of Accordance, one that obviously has not been improved and kept up-to-date with the evolving Macintosh Interface. And, I was stunned by the lack of core functionality in Accordance when it comes to proper citation of texts when you copied from the program and pasted into your word processor.

Fourth, for Lutheran PC users, I believe Libronix is the platform of choice simply due to the fact that nowhere else can you obtain digital editions of Luther’s Works, the Concordia Electronic Theological Library, shortly Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, later in this year all the volumes of the Concordia Commentary volumes, and in the coming years even more volumes of Lutheran texts digitized, and this is just from Concordia Publishing House. Augsburg-Fortress and Northwestern are also both using Libronix exclusively. Simply put, there is no other resource remotely comparable to it for Lutheran theological research and study.

All these reasons combined, in my opinion, make the choice obvious: Libronix.

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  1. March 20th, 2008 at 07:25 | #1

    Hi Rev. McCain,
    Thanks for talking about this! I just wanted to share my $.02 worth. While I am also excited that Libronix is coming to the Mac platform, we had technical difficulties getting the Alpha installed and working. First, they include no texts for testing purposes, so you must use your original PC CD to get the encrypted texts. Not a big deal in the long run but a bit frustrating.
    McCain response:
    Suggest you join the Logos newsgroup devoted to the Mac version. Also, suggest you keep in mind precisely what you have right now: an Alpha version of the program, not even a Beta, but an Alpha. It’s rather remarkable to me that LOGOS has allowed us all to play with the Alpha version. That is indeed quite rare. I have the program up and running on my work computer. A guy named “Murray” posted how to do this on the newsgroup and then, in response to my request, posted a very detailed set of instructions on how to move your Parallels/PC installation o LOGOS over to a share folder from which the Mac alpha version can read the files. Worked for me.
    Second, when we talked to them about the alpha, they recommended that we stick with the PC version running on Parallels or VMWare. They told us NOT to use the alpha. We wondered why then, did they release it only to tell us it’s not good to use it?
    I am not so sure Accordence is doomed. Yes they don’t have as many texts as Libronix, but at the same time, they have a very stable product that works. The actual Bible software works well for the longtime mac users I know.

  2. March 20th, 2008 at 10:00 | #2

    Well, I think you are right in terms of the result, but I disagree with some of your assessments of Accordance.
    I’ve used Accordance for a couple years now, and I’ve used Libronix/Logos for about 10. I’ve frankly found that there is no comparison for ease of use, intuitiveness, search features, citations, and the like. I’m really baffled by the comment that Accordance hasn’t been kept up to date. I’ve really found just the opposite to be true. I’ve never been really happy with the Libronix interface. It works, but it just is not nearly as intuitive as I think it can and should be for a software package that goes through so many upgrades so often.
    Having said all of that, I am confident that you are right that Libronix will continue to dominate the book/research market. I have no idea what the market share Accordance and Bibleworks have, but I’m sure it will continue to shrink.

  3. Alex
    March 21st, 2008 at 19:47 | #3

    I hope you’re wrong about the demise of Accordance, simply because it would be bad for Libronix users. There’d be no competition to push Logos on like there is in the Windows world.
    Quickverse has Mac versions of their software, so there is room for niche players, although I recognise Accordance and Libronix will be competing for different space.
    I have used previous versions of Libronix (Logos) and BibleWorks and prefer Accordance to both, but not having experience with the most recent versions of Libronix so I’m interested to see what they come up with and whether it will warrant a switch or addition to my Bible software suite.

  4. Jeremy
    March 22nd, 2008 at 08:53 | #4

    Mr. (Dr.?) McCain,
    Would you be willing and able to outline an original language search that is possible in Logos but not in Accordance?
    McCain: I am sure Libronix would be happy to help you see the advantages of Libronix. I hope Accordance at least manages to offer their program in an Intel chip native version. That would improve it too. Blessed Easter to you.

  5. March 22nd, 2008 at 14:38 | #5

    I’ve read this with interest, as a long-time Windows user recently switched to Mac (at least at home). I have been using BibleWorks 7 for the last year, and find it to be phenomenal. I have a strong dislike for the Libronix interface; like Todd, I find it clunky and non-intuitive; I only use it for searching Luther’s Works. I’ve been thinking about getting Accordance, but I’ve invested a lot of money in BibleWorks and some modules. I appreciate your blogging about your experiences with these products and hope you will continue to do so.
    McCain response:
    Chris, I think you’ll like the Libronix Mac version. I have tried BibleWorks too, but felt as though I had to go get an advanced degree to figure it out. But at the end of the day, it really does come down to whatever floats your boat. I’d hang in there and wait for the full operational Libronix Mac version though before plunking down hard-earned coinage for Accordance. I tried it and could not stand it, it lacked even the most basic of functionality when it comes to quoting and referencing texts. Also, it is not written in native code to take advantage of the better and most recent Mac Intel processors. Bummer that!

  6. labrialumn
    March 29th, 2008 at 01:33 | #6

    It has been many years since I reviewed AcCordance for CT. It was at that time the very best program for doing your own lexical work. The others simply couldn’t even begin to compete.
    Libronix doesn’t work on Linux, (Neither does Gramcord/AcCordance). This is most unfortunate, as I prefer Linux, and free software is in the range of what is affordable for most in school or in the ministry.
    I wonder if the 400 year old texts are available via the Gutenberg Project, since they have long since fallen into the common domain (copyright laws not existing at that time as well).

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