Last Page Update: Jan 2006
Manufacturer: LOGOS Research Systems
Title: Logos Series X with Libronix Digital Library System (LDLS)
Version/Date: 2.1c (current January 2006)
Description: Logos has replaced their long-standing Logos Library System (LLS). The new software is called Logos Bible Software Series X, and uses the Libronix Digital Library System (LDLS). LDLS uses XML technology documents for better standardization with the Internet community, and the software makes extensive use of Microsoft Windows technologies. LDLS has been built from the ground up and is very powerful. LDLS is not just an update from LLS.
From the Libronix web site: "The Libronix Digital Library System was designed with the future in mind. Whenever possible data is stored in flexible, well-known formats like XML. When data needs to be protected for copyright management reasons it is still created, maintained, and stored in standard formats on the publisher's behalf; only the consumer deliverable is placed in the special, secured file format...The programmatic interfaces between code modules are the minimum required for speed and functionality. Many of the lowest-level code modules exchange XML within the system and communication between client software and Internet servers is through standard SOAP (XML) calls or ANSI Z39.50...When the system records a user's country of residence it does so according to the ISO 3166 standard; price lists for resources are stored with ISO 4217 currency codes; anytime a date or time is recorded it is stored in Universal Time Coordinated in the ISO 8601 format. All text in the Libronix DLS is stored in, or converted to, Unicode and tagged with a standard language code."
On the features side, LDLS incorporates what they call "automation add-in" modules, which provide advanced tools for searching and managing your libary. One of the featured improvements is "Enter Passage, Click Go!". You can enter a passage or topic, and the software automatically searches and opens all the applicable books in your libary to the correct page and article. Note that the downloadable version of LDLS only contains automation add-ins that provide functionality similar to the older LLS, thus, this review does not cover some of the advanced automation features available in the full versions.
LDLS can read all of your current LLS library files, so you can still use your current collection with the new reader. Your old LLS reader, of course, will not be able to read new libraries. Also, all of the features of LDLS will not be available when using LLS formatted files. Ideally, you should upgrade all of your LLS files to LDLS format.
This review was performed using the freely downloadable engine and a set of modules available from Thomas Neslon.
LDLS makes use of Microsoft Internet Explorer libraries, and may not be a good choice for slower computers, but performance was fine on my 700Mhz system.
Screen Capture (click to view):
1. Installation and Startup.
The LDLS engine was downloaded from the Logos web page. The sofware is huge (well over 20Megs) and even with a good connection, downloading can take a long time. Updates can be checked for and downloaded as well, and they also take a long time. If you plan to use LDLS, I would recommend purchasing either the automation upgrade CDs (for current users of Logos software), or one of the packages from either Logos or Thomas Nelson Publishers that will include the software on CD-ROM, along with modules and automation add-ins.
2. Interface evaluation:
LDLS uses a multi-window interface, allowing the user to have as many windows open as desired.
LDLS supports user workspaces. A workspace can be saved or loaded, including which resources were open, which links were active, and the window placement.
Window tools include the ability to cascade all windows, or tile them horizontally or vertically. I would have like to have seen a "smart window" capability that would automatically arrange windows in a combination of horizontal and vertical arrangements so that all windows can be seen in more of a grid arrangement rather than being limited to horizontal or vertical alignments.
A Table of Contents (TOC) window pane can be toggled on or off for each window view. The TOC window is a hierarchical listing of the contents of each modules, such as a listing of all the books and chapters for a Bible version. Contents can be quickly navigated using this tool. A locator pane can be toggled on or off at the top of each window. This shows where in the book the current view is at, such as "Genesis Chapter 1".
All window sizes can be fully adjusted, and windows can be shrunk to icons if you need them temporarily out of the way without closing the resource.
Some new windows can prevent working in the winodows behind them. For example, the search function opens a new window on top of the others. This window must be closed before you can work in the Bible View windows.
LDLS supports pop-up tooltips for Bible Verse references and for Strong's numbers. If the cursor is held over a highlighted verse reference, the text of that verse will be displayed in a pop-up window. For Strong's numbers, the word definition for that number is displayed.
There are many options settings. You can set the verse reference citation style. Startup can open to empty desktop, home page, my library, restore desktop to last session, or load a defined workspace. The interface can be set to play sounds, automatically arrange windows, and more. You can set defaults for notes and define resource paths, among many other options.
Logos offers a wealth of modules. I believe the number of modules available for LDLS from various publishers far outnumbers those for other products, even STEP products. LOGOS made a strong effort to make all modules available for the new software when it was released. The fact that LDLS can still read the LLS modules also means older libraries are not obsolete.
You can get modules for Logos from current authors, such as John McArthur, Charles Stanley, and others. Most Bible translations are available, including the NIV, NASB, and other licensed versions that are hard to find for many of the competitors.
LDLS is also very "commercial". By that I mean that you will find very few modules available for free on the Internet, and purchasing books one at a time can get very expensive. You are best off buying the largest package that you can afford at your initial purchase, assuming that you may want or need the other modules at a later date.
LDLS supports Strong's numbers. The numbers can be turned on or off in the display, which is handy for an uncluttered screen. Bible text is displayed in a paragraph format, and I did not find an abiltiy to view them in a verse by verse format. A "Bible text only" view is also available, in which Chapter headings are not displayed.
4. Module Linking:
New modules can be opened by going to My Library, and selecting another module from the list. The selected item will appear in a new window. Modules are listed more than once in the listing, to make them easier to find. For example, the New King James Version Bible may appear under "N" or under "Bibles".
A Parallel Bible Versions tool is provided that lets you view up to three Bible versions side by side. You can select any three Bible versions, and view single verses or entire chapters side by side. In this view, the passages are viewed in a verse by verse format, rather than in paragraph format.
There is also a Passage in All Versions tool to provide a column view of a passage in as many versions of the Bible as desired.
The version of LDLS that I tested does not have a parallel Gospels tool, but it is possible there will either be an automation add-in available for this, or that one of the package collections may include a harmony of the Gospels module.
The module linking in LDLS such as from Bible versions to commentaries and dictionaries can be user configured. I found the method used by LDLS a little more confusing than in some of the other programs, but the LDLS tool is very flexible. You can, for example, specify that any English word be linked to a dictionary, any any Greek word be linked to a lexicon. Also, you can specify which tool will be the default, such as which lexicon will open when a Greek or Hebrew word is looked up.
LDLS offers up to three concurrent window synchronization links. Each window can be set to synchronize with set A, B, C, or none. For example, you could set the KJV Bible and Matthew Henry's Commentary to set A, and the NKJV Bible and the JFB Commntary to B. When the KJV Bible is scrolled, the Matthew Henry commentary will synchronize, and when you scroll the NKJV Bible, the JFB Commentary will.
LDLS provides two search tools: a Basic Search and a Bible Search tool.
The Basic Search tool allows you to search one or more resources. You can search all resources, all open resources, or select an open module for searching. You can then enter the word, words, or phrase to search, and click the search button.
The Bible Search provides a few additional options. You can select to return Chapters or Sections, or Verses in the results list. You can also select a range from pre-set or a custom designed range.
The search entry is very powerful, but is not "user friendly". Rather than clicking on a toggle such as whole word search, you must use an operator such as nostem, and place the search terms in parenthesis, as in nostem(eat). While this is more difficult to get used to, especially for the novice user, it is also more powerful since you can combine operators in a single search. For example, to perform the eat AND meat test, I could enter: nostem(eat) AND meat. This will find occurances with only the exact word eat, but any variation of the word meat.
As mentioned above, the search tool supports topical searches by placing the topic operator before the search items, and enclosing the search items in parenthesis. For example, to search the topic kingdom, you would enter topic(kingdom) in the search box. Other operators include stemming, which finds all words with the same base (such as nation, nations, nationalism), and case insensitivity, which will find words regardless of capitals used in the spelling. There are several other operators as well, and you can read about them in the Logos tutorial on their web page.
There does not seem to be a tool to help you select words that are actually found in the Bible, which can be helpful for KJV searches since many terms are not what we are used to.
Proximity searches are available.
As mentioned above, topic searches are available through the topic operator. There is also a Topic Browser tool, designed specifically for searching topics within your reference modules.
Also, you can search on Data Types, such as verse references or page numbers. For example, a search on Data Type Bible in John 3:16 will find references to John 3:16, Jn 3:16 and John 3v16. There is also a Reference Browser tool, to aid you in finding references to particular Bible verses.
6. Search Results:
The top of the search results screen shows the number of total occurrences found, as well as the words that were searched for. Each verse is indicated in the left column, and a checkbox for each occurance is shown next to the verse reference. If multiple books were searched, this column indicates if the word exists in that book or not. To the right, is a single line showing the immediate context of the found sentences, with the searched for words in bold print.
You can click on a reference to view that verse in full context in the Bible View window, and you can also use the pop-up tooltips feature to view the verse.
An Export results to Verse List tool allows you to save found verses. The Verse List tool provides the capability to compile lists of verses on selected topics. You can add, delete, and sort verses as neded. You can load and save multiple verse lists.
7. Editing Features:
LDLS supports up to 9 bookmarks, and bookmarks can be set in any library module. This allows you to quickly go back to a marked portion of text.
Some LDLS Bible modules support the viewing of the words of Christ in red.
LDLS supports the standard Windows cut and paste functions, and you can also right click and copy an entire verse to the clipboard.
Print and print preview tools are available for printing from any resource.
The Notes feature in LDLS seems to support several types of notes in one Notes manager.
You can create notes based on a selection, on an article, on a reference, or on a general topic. All notes are listed in a Notes file, with a list of the note titles shown in the left window, and the content of a selected note in the right window.
Text can be selected and highlighted in one of 14 colors. The highlighted text can then have a selection note attached to it. A small "post-it" note will appear next to the selected text. Clicking this post-it will open the Notes page to that entry.
An article note will be associated with a Chapter or an article in a non-Bible library.
A reference note will be associated with a particular Bible verse.
In addition, notes can be added to the Notes listing with no particular linkage to a module. This is handy for topical studies, for example.
Full editing is provided in the notes tool, with bolding, justification, and even entry of verse reference links.
I did not note any capabilities for creating your own custom modules, such as your own Bible version or commentary. Since LDLS uses the XML data format, I would expect this could be a future possibility. In the meantime, the Notes feature can be used for custom modules.
8. Greek and Hebrew Tools:
Full support for Strong's Numbers and lexicons is supported. In addition, several modules are available that get deeper into the Greek and Hebrew languages, such as Diagrammatical Analysis. Also, some packages include additional plug-ins for the engine such as Morphological Filter, Verb River, and Lemma Report.
9. Multimedia support:
Graphics are supported in modules that provide them, such as maps.
10. Cost and support:
Availability: The "base" LDLS packages are:
Software Series X Christian Home Library $149.95
Software Series X Bible Study Library $249.95
Software Series X Pastor's Library $299.95
Software Series X Original Language Library $399.95
Software Series X Scholar's Library $599.95
Software Series X Scholar's Silver $999.95
See the Logos web page for content details. There are also many other content packages available for sale.
Download: You can also download the LDLS main program at no cost, just as you could LLS. The main difference is that LDLS is a HUGE download (well over 20 Megabytes) and you need a good Internet connection as well as Internet Explorer. If you download the program successully, you can try LDLS with your current LLS files before you buy. You can also download a set of free modules from Thomas Nelson (See http://www.thomasnelson.com)
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