12th September 2006
As one who has been wondering about the development of Logos Bible Software for Macintosh (see previous posts here and here), I wasn’t entirely surprised to receive an email from Bob Pritchett yesterday explaining the long delay.
As it turns out, it was a much larger project than they anticipated and they are not setting any (more) dates for its release just yet.
Here is the letter in full:
I am sorry for the length of time between updates about Logos for the Mac. I know it’s frustrating for all of you, and it is frustrating for us, too. Let me catch you up on some details of where we are now.
Logos has been developing Logos Bible Software for Microsoft Windows for 15 years. We know a lot about Windows, and over the years we’ve built a pretty powerful application with a very large code base.
Our developers are a very talented bunch, and I have every confidence that they could master programming for the Mac platform just as they have mastered programming for Windows. But a) we need to keep them developing our Windows application, and b) I know that there’s no substitute for years of experience on a platform. We want Logos for the Mac to be a first-class Mac application, and to reflect a deep understanding of — and love for — the Mac platform.
So we partnered with a third-party organization that specializes in Mac software development. They love the Mac and have years of experience building Mac applications. The plan was to have them do the bulk of the Mac development, working with our existing team to share code and expertise as needed.
The plan has worked fine, except that our partners dramatically underestimated the size and complexity of our code base and the time required to recreate it on the Mac.
I don’t want to point fingers or assign blame. Neither of us understood how big this project was.
The project is not in trouble, it is not undoable; it is just taking longer than we planned.
I wish I could tell you that I know when it is going to be done, but (as you can see) we’ve already been burned by announcing dates.
The two development teams exchange emails every day. Every week a progress report shows what code has been completed and tested, and the “percent done” keeps going up. Sometimes it takes less time than planned to complete a component, but sometimes a lot longer. We just don’t know.
Why haven’t we provided more screenshots or even video clips along the way?
The short answer is that the majority of the development work is “under the hood” and results in nothing to show visually.
For those who like technical details: the Libronix Digital Library System is actually a very large programming platform composed of hundreds of objects and interfaces that we code the reports and user interface against. The object model grew organically over the years, as we added features to the product. Today’s reports and features use the whole library, and to implement even one of them on the Mac requires having almost the entire library ported.
So the reason there aren’t many new screenshots is that we need to have this whole back-end library available in order to implement almost any report, and that’s the bulk of the coding. Once that back-end library is done, it is almost trivial to implement the reports that use it.
At the moment we have an application that runs, has a functioning “My Library” dialog, and reads and displays our existing electronic books correctly (and without modification). This is the hard part, and it’s done. What’s left is completing the port of the back-end object library. It’s not particularly hard, it’s just a lot of work. It _is_ very far along, but it needs to be 100% complete before we can show search results or run a Passage Guide. (And we won’t beta test without those things.)
Then we’ll test, polish, and ship.
I apologize for the delay, and for the lack of communication. I am not trying to put the blame on someone else. (That’s why I have said so little along the way.) I am just trying to explain why there isn’t much we can report or do, other than wait.
I will try to do a better job of reporting progress in the future and appreciate your continued patience.
President & CEO, Logos Bible Software