October 2009 Archives

One Topic per Support Thread, Please

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Overall, we are liking the new forum/support system on our site.  We are quite a bit behind in answering questions, but at least we know pretty much where we stand and we only have to look in one place to see the queue.  And we have had feedback from a number of users who also seem to be liking the new system, as well.

But I would like to make one request: Please do not extend existing threads with questions that are not directly related to the title of the thread.

I know how easy it is to just hit Reply and say, "while I have your attention..." but this has two very negative effects:

First, it makes for long threads, which take a lot more time to scan through before we feel like we can answer the last message in the thread.  This just slows us down and means that support for other issues suffers.

Second, it means that when we look through the list of outstanding issues, we cannot tell what the subjects are without reading the entire thread.  The original topic might have been "migrating data from Sente 5"  but the new topic is "how tags work."  It is not hard to see how this makes support harder.  

Many users are already in the habit of starting new threads for new topics and we appreciate that.  Some others may read this and pause before writing "oh, and one other thing..." and we appreciate that.

For the others, this post is just something we can point to when we send out a reply to a change of topic with a request that a new thread be started.  It is hard to write that in a way that does not offend anyone, but we are not trying to be rude.  We are really just trying to keep up.


Sente 6 Released

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We are very pleased to announce the official release of Sente 6.0.  This new version includes a number of important enhancements, like:

  • Synchronized Libraries.   Sente 6 makes it easy to maintain multiple copies of a reference library, including attachments such as PDF files, on multiple computers.  This works well for users who regularly work on more than one computer.  Because permissions can be set differently on each copy, this feature is also useful for sharing a library with colleagues.
  • Hierarchical Reference Tagging.  Sente 6 makes it easy to assign and use tags on references.  And tags can be arranged hierarchically, in which case Sente will treat references with child tags as though they had also been assigned the parent tags.    This makes organizing a large research library much easier than it has ever been before.
  • PDF Markup.  This new version also includes PDF markup commands that can be used to highlight passages or other regions in a PDF file.  This information is synchronized along with the PDFs themselves, so the marked-up copy is available in any synchronized copy of the library almost immediately.
  • Hundreds of New Bibliography Formats.  This significantly increases the likelihood that the format someone needs is already built-in.

Along with the release of Sente 6 comes a new web site design and a new support system.

Sente 6 requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 or higher.

Sente 6 is a free upgrade for anyone who purchased a Sente 5 license on or after January 1, 2009.  Others can purchase an upgrade for $39.95 for a single user license.

If you purchased Sente 5 after January 1, 2009, Please send your Sente 5 license code to our upgrade address with the subject "Sente 6 Upgrade".  Processing upgrade requests may take us as long a 7 days -- we appreciate your patience.

If you purchased Sente 5 prior to January, 1, 2009, you can purchase the update for $39.95 -- see our Purchase page.

If you have a Sente 1, 2, 3 or 4 license, there is not a discount on the upgrade -- you will need to purchase a new license to run Sente 6.

Everyone who purchases a Sente 6 license (either as a new license, or an upgrade) will receive all updates in the 6.x line at no charge.

We would like to thank all of those who participated in the testing and evaluation of our early releases of Sente 6.  You contributions made a big difference in the final product. 


Sente 6: PDF Markup

We have just posted one of the final beta versions of Sente 6, including the last new feature for this release: PDF markup.

When you open a PDF in a single reference tab, you can highlight text or a region (just like previous versions) and you have the choice of:

1) creating a note from the selection (like earlier releases), or
2) highlighting the text selection (or boxing a region selection), or
3) doing both at once

This is obviously a limited subset of what Preview or Skim offer for PDF markup, but we suspect that these are among the most commonly used markup commands.

One of the nice aspects of doing the PDF markup in Sente is that, at least for PDF stored in the library bundle, the markup is synchronized across all copies of the library.  So if you have a synchronized library, any markup performed on any copy will automatically appear in all copies shortly thereafter.  (Because of the size of a PDF file, changes are synchronized only when the single-reference tab is closed; this helps limit the amount of data being sent back and forth between computers.)

The markup that Sente adds to a PDF is compatible with Preview, but not Skim.  (Skim uses a non-standard method for storing annotations on a PDF file.)

We think having attachments synchronized across computers is pretty cool, and replicating markup is, well, even cooler. Try out the beta and see what you think.


Sente 6: Public Beta Now Available

We are pleased to announce that the public beta of Sente 6.0 is now available for download.

Here are some of the highlights of Sente 6.0:

  • Sente 6 is "document-based" meaning that there is one main window per library.  We think this makes for a cleaner interface and it supports coming enhancements better than our old approach.
  • Libraries in Sente 6 are now single files (bundles, actually) that can be placed anywhere on your computer, like in your Documents folder.  Double-click the library in Finder and Sente will pop it open.
  • Attachments (PDFs and other files) can now be stored right in the library.  This eliminates the problems with links breaking when you, for example, move a library from one machine to another.  Copy a library to a thumb drive and you have all your references and PDFs.
  • Libraries can now be automatically synchronized across any number of computers, and this includes all attachments stored in the library.  And different copies of a library can have different permissions, so you can share a library with colleagues without giving them the ability to make changes.
  • Sente 6 supports reference tagging.  And tags are fully supported by Find, Browse and Smart Collection definition.
  • There is a new QuickTag palette that lets you quickly see which tags have been applied to one or more references, and assign and remove tags from any number of references with a single click.
  • Tags can be organized hierarchically.  References with more specific tags (i.e., more deeply nested tags) will be returned when searching for less specific (i.e., less deeply nested) tags.
  • Sente 6 automatically provides a number of built-in smart collections to support many common needs.  For example, there are folders for all recently added references, and all references with specific QuickTags, and all references with particular statuses.
  • There are hundreds of new bibliography styles based on CSL format definitions. And more will be added prior to the official release of 6.0.
  • There is a new, on-line user manual.  This is still being completed, but because it is on-line, you will always see the most up-to-date version when you click on Help > User's Guide.
We still have one or two important features that will be added prior to the official release of Sente 6.0, but we wanted to get this release out to everyone who has been wanting to try out the new design.

If you download the public beta, you will automatically obtain a demonstration license when you first launch the software.   We will be releasing the official version of Sente 6.0 prior to the expiration of these 30-day demos, and we will reset all demonstration licenses at that time.

NOTE: When running with a demonstration license, Sente limits the size of synchronized libraries to 50 references.  You will be able to create libraries of any size, but you will not be able to turn synchronization on for any library with more than 50 references.

We will be releasing updates to the beta regularly and using Sparkle to automatically update copies in the wild, so if you download the beta now, you will receive the updates as they become available.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new design.  


P.S. There are few items on our list that are not included in the first public beta.  These will be added in the coming days and made available through the automatic update mechanism.  These include:

  • Searches are not automatically updated.
  • Spotlight support for attachments is not active.
  • The manual is incomplete and the videos referenced within it are largely missing.