Wednesday, December 22, 2004

SESB Review @ TIC Talk

Sarah Lind, Editor of TIC Talk (Newsletter of the United Bible Societies Translation Information Clearinghouse), reviews Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible in the latest online edition. If you read my own review alongside hers, I think you will agree that they complement each other rather nicely. We both agree that the new material offered by SESB is good news indeed, and that there is quite a bit of room for improvement in future versions.

Some of her comments about the Help system reinforce my own feelings about it. Bible software companies in general should realize that good (read clear and comprehensive) online helps and printed manuals are key elements to a successful use of the software. Detailed examples of all the different search capabilities available are a must, IMO.

To write good helps may not be easy (it isn't) or cheap (it isn't), and it may delay the release date (it often does), but it's just something that has to be done. The more complex a program gets (and there are quite a few of them out there that could well be classified as "sophisticated"), the more necessary it becomes to have a full, trustworthy, user-friendly guide to help the user overcome the dreaded "learning curve." That's what I think, anyway.