is Sente abandoned?

Sente has been my favorite reference manger for the last couple of years. It has the most elegant reading interface; the annotation and quotation features are incomparable to any other PDF reader, let alone reference manger. I enjoyed every bit of the time I spend with Sente. Importing reference data, and downloading PDF files alongside, has never been as great. Unlike any other reference manager both in windows and mac environment (I have tried many of them), Sente allows downloading references from a very wide variety of sources. Its targeted browsing has been of utmost service for me. I really love how the application is designed; how it all is implemented. Sente is extremely well-crafted application; much better than Papers and Bookends in many aspects.

But, unfortunately, there is no update of any kind from Thirdstreetsoftware for the last few days. They shut down the blog, and stop replying emails. There are also some internal rummers that Sente might not bee see developments. I am truly worried if Sente is vanishing into nonexistence; all the time I spend on organizing my library; all the annotations and notes I made….I don’t know how to live without it. Very sad part of proprietary software;  the end is always ugly.

It also makes me wonder what kind of person would develop such a polished application for years; and ultimately abandon it. They have been developing it for IOS quite recently. There should be something seriously wrong!




30 thoughts on “is Sente abandoned?

  1. I am going to be devastated if this is true. Sente is such a central part of my workflow, and I wouldn’t have any idea how to transfer my current system to another reference manager.

    • Yah, It really sucks. I have been trying to migrate my reference to Bookends in the weekends. I manage to move most of my references, after a lot of pain. But, I am again worried if Bookends is going to by my reference manger because it totally sucks at downloading PDF

  2. Papers3 is still work in progress / beta. I tried to import my Sente library with tags to no avail. Papers3 does not import tags (from Sente), nor keywords (from Endnote). Papers2 does import EndNote keywords. I imported my Sente via EndNote XML import in Papers2 (with tags now keywords). I then attempted to import the Papers2 library with keywords in Papers3–it does not work. Papers3 does not import Papers2 keywords???!!!

    Papers3 seems to be a development dead-end too. ReadCube does not seem to be developing Papers3, except for known bugs. They are slowly developing ReadCube, but ReadCube still does not import Papers3 library (and tagging is a premium feature). Puzzling, to say the least?!

    Back to Sente.

    I wish Sente were sold to Devonthink to create a complete research tool (QDA with structured reference management). Sente would manage the structured reference database while notes would be managed in the DTP database with link to the Sente ref. records and a shared keywords/tags library.

    There is still the platform issue. I need to run it on my Mac but also my work PC.

    Back to Papers/ReadCube?

    • Erratum: Keywords were imported from Papers2 to Papers3… But not assigned to any reference. You’d have to re-tagged each reference with the imported keywords.

      I noticed some (slow) functional integration between ReadCube and Papers. ReadCube is not yet fully functional (where is the trash folder?) but has a few advanced features I have longed for, i.e. the ability to filter and search notes as any other reference records. But for whatever reason notes can’t be hash-tagged.

      Work in progress.

  3. As of this weekend Sente is not synching. The connection shows as Offline(Retry). Makes me wonder if this is it for Sente! Anybody now what is going on?

        • I just discovered this blog while searching the web to see if I was the only one suffering with an ‘offline’ Sente. I guess not. I’ve been using the software for many years and, like everyone else, I’m really sad to see it go. And sadder to have to find a replacement. I’ve read some of the Papers 3 discussion but haven’t seen anything posted recently. I’m a Mac user that needs to sync a large library across several machines. The most important features for me are PDF management and citation manatglement. I never really used the reader in Sente, so that’s not a big issue. Given that, what would you good folks recommend? Papers? Bookends? Looking forward to your thoughts.

          • My recommendation is generally Bookends. I have also seen recently many people migrating from Papers to Bookends. Bookends is very solid reference mananger. But, I am not sure about the sync thought. I don’t think the syncing in BE is such robust. You can always store the reference database in Dropbox and open them in different times. That needs some care as corruptions of the database could follow.

            • Thanks for the suggestion. I started to lean that way myself. One last question. I know it’s quite expensive, but how does EndNote stack up against Bookends? If price were not an issue, should I consider that instead. Or do you think that Bookends is still the better way to go. Thanks again!

              • For my test, BE is much supperior than Endnote. I myself never worried about the price. BE has some automotion tools really, to automatically insert reference data. Furthermore, the support in BE is amazing.

                And, I am not sure if the references with the attachments and tags of Sente can be exported to Endnote. BE has been updating for accommodating the Sente migrants.

                  • Quick follow up for those who might also be thinking of switching from Sente to BE. I’ve been playing with BE a bit today; exporting references from Sente, scanning cited docs, etc. And thus far have been very impressed. I thought it was going to be very feature-poor compared to Sente but that doesn’t seem to the be the case. Most importantly, it seems intuitive and fairly powerful. Again, this is my opinion after only several hours of toying with it so I’m sure I’ll discover annoyances and limitations as well. But I’ve definitely decided that this will be my Sente replacement.

                    • Thank you for reporting with your experience. Yes, I think BE is really great app—except I sometimes miss the annotation/quotation(comment) feature of Sente.

    • yas, we have been emailing Micheal for over a year now. At first, he said he will be fixing issues: then, stop responding at all. It has been already very clear to many of us–when the shut down the blog–that the end of sente is near.

      • Well, this morning it is synching again! Time to shore things up and move to something else…

        I am strongly considering bookends, but collaborate a lot with others on windows systems. Anybody have experience with sharing references between bookends and other managers such as refworks, endnote and mendeley? A common task would be to send or receive a set of references.

        • That is not problem for BE. I export a batch of references to my Jabref library everday. It has a formatting system in BE. You can configure it to export in a certain manner: like in Bibtex format or Endnote format. Then, export (copy paste like simple workflow is also possible) and send that. But, to the best effect, it is best if you are exporting to the same template–like Bibtex format or Endnote format–because you don’t have to reconfigure every time you want to send some references.

  4. It’s really sad to see Sente go. Such a wonderful piece of software. The last few days of looking into Endnote X8 make me depressed. How can they survive, and Sente is dying? Sad!

  5. What I wish is that if they are truly abandoning it, the developers of Sente would at least enable something like iCloud syncing so that we have an ongoing solution for that. Or maybe sell the program to someone else who is willing to update and maintain it. Anything but just abandoning it and leaving our synced libraries in limbo. Sente to me isn’t just a references manager, but the best way I know to read and take notes on my iPad. I’m really, really sad to see it being abandoned this way.

      • I am trying to contact Michael, but he does not answer. I am trying to install Sente on a new PC but the sync server is out. Does anyone know any workaround for that? Bookends is good, but let’s be clear: still far away from Sente…

        • The only thing I can think of is manually moving your database (which should include all your attachments in it) from your old computer to your new one and then opening them with Sente. You might need to place it in an identical folder hierarchy so its pointers to attachments don’t break. The app still seems to recognize that I’m registered with it, even though the sync servers themselves are down. So that might work. But you won’t be able to easily go back and forth between the machines, and forget doing anything between an iPad and a Mac for now.

          • Depending on how many files, you could merge them in Mendeley which is free. I had about 300 files and I exported each one from Sente with annotations to a watch folder and Mendeley easily upload each file and added a reference automatically.

  6. This is disgusting! I was wondering why my Sente was acting up and just realized their site is down. Shame on Michael Cinkosky ! I never got an email or any type of notification that they were shutting down. Did anyone get some sort of email? All I’ve read is that they just started to shut things down. His Facebook pages seems like life is fine. So unprofessional, at least leave the forum up so users can help each other.

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