October 2011 Archives
Sente 6.5, Public Preview
We are excited to announce that we are making a preview release of Sente 6.5 available publicly for download on our site. We are not yet done with the work on Sente 6.5, but there are number of important changes that are done and the preview releases are generally good enough for daily use.
You are welcome to download the new preview release (instructions are provided further down in this message). You can run the preview on your existing Sente 6 library (although see below for details on this).
We will be producing a few more preview releases of Sente 6.5 before releasing 6.5.0. These will not be available through the automatic update mechanism in Sente, so please watch the blog for future announcements. (Better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed for the blog and learn about all Sente developments as they happen!)
If you do decide to try the preview releases, please let us know what you think (this is, after all, why we are making the previews public!). We have created a special category in our forum for Sente 6.5. Previews. You are welcome to browse through the existing threads there and to add new threads as appropriate. We would really like to hear from you as we are working on the last few items before we make Sente 6.5 official.
Who Should Run the Preview Releases?
Anyone can run the Sente 6.5 preview releases. If you are just trying Sente to see if it will suit your needs, you should definitely try the previews, because the new interface will soon be the standard Sente interface. If you are an existing Sente 6 user, you will probably want to give the previews a try as well. However, because you are likely to have a lot invested in your library already, please use normal caution (e.g., make a backup of your library) before trying the previews.
Many of the testers in the private preview program have largely switched to using nothing but the preview releases; they prefer the new interface and almost everything from Sente 6.2 is already in the 6.5 previews.
The bottom line is that the Sente 6.5 previews are solid and are very close to being released. There are a few items that are still missing from 6.2 (see below for details), and there are a few features that we are still working on adding. We are waiting to formally announce Sente 6.5 until this additional development has been completed. In the mean time, the previews are very usable (and a big improvement over 6.2, we think!).
There are a lot of changes in Sente 6.5, and more coming. Sente 6.5 is the best looking, most powerful and easiest to use version of Sente ever. Here are some of the most important changes.
New Main Window Design
The main window has been completely rewritten. Almost every aspect of the window has been updated. Some of the specific changes are listed later in this message.
New Window Layout Options
Sente 6.5 now lets you change the relative positioning of the reference list and the attachment view. This makes it possible to take advantage of the large, wide screens now found on many Macs.
Single Collection Tabs
Just as you can double-click on a reference in the reference list to have it opened in its own tab, in Sente 6.5 you can double click on a collection to have it open in its own tab. This lets you create tabs for, say, the collection of all references added in the last week, or all those with "To Be Read" status.
New Multiple-Line Reference List
There is a new option for displaying the references. This new design looks more like the list in Sente for iPad. The old grid-view is still there as an option.
New Reference Editor
The reference editor has been completely rewritten from the ground up. The new design is cleaner, simpler, and more functional. And it still throughly customizable so that you can see just the information you want.
Full Screen Mode (in Lion)
For people running OS X 10.7, Sente 6.5 supports the new full screen mode. This is a great way of working with Sente.
Compatibility with Word + EndNote
You can now exchange documents with users who are still using EndNote with Microsoft Word, including users running on Windows. You can open documents they send to you, make changes, including adding and editing citations, and send them the new document and they will be able to open and edit the document. The only requirement is that documents be stored in docx (not doc) format.
Sente now supports a new, streamlined file scanning process that eliminates the need to think in terms of input and output documents. When you use the scan-in-place option when scanning an open document, Sente will automatically replace the open document with the document resulting from the scan (after saving a copy of the original, of course). And, because the "rescannable" option is always used for the output format, you can just keep editing where you left off.
A Full User Manual
Sente 6.5 now includes a 300 page user manual, available as both a PDF and an epub file (for reading in iBooks). The manual is not yet complete, but the current draft is available for download (see below).
We are still working on a new remaining items that we would like to finish before we officially release Sente 6.5.0. Some of these items are new, some are features that are present in Sente 6.2, but which have not yet been replaced for 6.5.
Here are some of the items present in Sente 6.2, but still missing in the Sente 6.5 previews:
- Autolink setup and access. We are changing the interface to autolinks and the changes are not yet complete.
- Configuration of output "gestures" (e.g., copy/paste, drag and drop, etc.). Again, we are changing the way this is handled (in 6.2 it is handled through the Format menu) and the changes are not yet complete.
- Manual data entry during the QuickAdd process.
- Bibliography format editor does not current see custom reference types.
Compatible with Sente 6.2
Sente 6.5 is largely compatible with Sente 6.2. This means that you can open your library in Sente 6.5, add or edit reference, and then return to Sente 6.2 and your changes will be there. There are differences in the way the two versions handle preferences and library setup, so some of these changes will not translate back and forth between the two versions. (For example, if you define a new custom reference type in 6.5, that type will not be available in 6.2; although references of that type will remain visible in both versions.)
In general, we would recommend making a copy of your Sente library for your initial testing of the Sente 6.5. previews. This will let you make changes freely in the copy without changing your official library. Then, if you think that you would like to use the previews for actual work, delete the copy of the library and open the main copy in the preview. Even though there are very few incompatibilities between the two versions, if you need to switch back and forth frequently, you are likely to find the small issues frustrating over time.
You should NEVER run Sente 6.2 and Sente 6.5 at the same time.
Sente 6.5 requires Mac OS X 10.6.7 or higher. (Note that this is a change from Sente 6.2, which can be run under 10.5.)
Sente 6.5 will be a free upgrade to everyone with a Sente 6 license. People with licenses to Sente 5 or earlier can purchase an upgrade to Sente 6 for $39.95 on our site.
Downloading and Installing the Preview
The first public preview of Sente 6.5 can be downloaded here:
All previews of Sente 6.5 use the same license codes as Sente 6.2, so if you have a Sente 6 license, you can run the previews without restriction.
The current draft of the user manual, in both PDF and epub formats, can be downloaded here:
If you download the epub version by clicking on the link above on an iPad, you should be given the opportunity to add the manual to iBooks.
We want to hear your thoughts about the preview releases. We have created a dedicated forum on our site for the previews.
You are welcome to post your thoughts, complaints, requests, etc. related to these preview in that forum. It will remain public until sometime after the official release of Sente 6.5.0.
Sente 6.5.0 Official
We are still working toward the official release of Sente 6.5.0. We are planning on adding a few more features, and we will be cleaning up some remain details on what we have already done. In addition, depending on the feedback we receive during the preview period, we may modify the definition of the official release a bit.
In the absence of significant changes to our plans for 6.5, we expect the official release to happen later this Fall. Sorry we cannot be more precise at this time.
Until Sente 6.5.0 is out, many users will be able to switch to the preview releases for most, if not all, of their daily work. We will try to make each successive preview stable and useful (although, of course, you should take reasonable precautions, like making sure that you always have a good backup copy of your library).
Please note that you will NOT be automatically informed about new previews. You will only learn about new previews through our web site, and in particular, our blog. So, please add our blog to your RSS reader -- we really do not post that frequently, so you will probably not find the volume of posts annoying!