Paperpile development progress


#18

While I agree others may be overreacting in declaring Paperpile ‘dead’, to on the other hand describe ongoing development as ‘active’ seems hardly fitting - the changelog you linked to shows only the most minor of changes since March 2018, amounting to little more than style updates and minor bugfixes.

Communication from the developers has also been severely lacking - looking at Stefan’s activity on the forum shows only one comment in May, and before that just a handful of responses to queries in February. The Android private beta was begun in November 2016, and shows no signs of being released any time soon - Stefan commented in early February that major new versions of the mobile apps were on the way, but it’s now more than three months later and we are yet to hear anything further about this (ditto for the much-requested Word plugin). The brief amounts of communication we do receive from the dev team indicate development is ongoing, but the shear paucity of clear communication from them hardly instills confidence in the future of Paperpile.

I love Paperpile, and it’s so far the best reference manager I’ve found, but the total lack of adequate communication from the development team as to what, precisely, I’ve bought into here is certainly making me consider searching for greener pastures - I’ve continued my subscription to the service on the grounds that development would continue, and we would receive the long-awaited mobile apps that were promised. But they’ve still not arrived, and without any indication from the developers as to what the status of the app’s development is (and what their future plans are for Paperpile more broadly), it’s hard to continue giving them the benefit of the doubt.

A consistent trend throughout responses to forum posts is a frustration with the lack of adequate communication from the development team, and I count myself among those who feel this way. If this doesn’t change in the near future, I think it might be time to move on to another app.


#19

Hey guys. I’ve been busy and not following the forum daily for a while. I’m sorry for that and seeing this thread here is of course a shock.

Short answer: We invest more time and money on Paperpile development than ever before.

I apologize that our communication was not great here on the forum. I hope I can spend more time here again at some point but at the moment things are hectic (see below). Dzemila our new community manager will be here in the future to answer your questions. However, it took also some time for her to learn about the details of our product and our roadmap. That explains the window where this forum was not monitored as it should have been.

I spent the past months growing our team to implement your feature suggestions from this forum. Our goal is to get as much done as possible as fast as possible. Unfortunately that’s not always possible with small incremental updates. Better search, syncing with mobile apps and a Word plugin (and in the future a paperpile app) that works offline requires a new server infrastructure and a major new system architecture. That takes time but I’m sure it will pay off in the future as we can move faster once this transition is done.

I’ll ask my team to quickly introduce themselves and tell you what the have been working on for the past months. We have a distributed team and literally work around the clock on these features. There is no scenario whatsoever in which we will not ship those features on which we have invested so much time and effort.

All I can do is ask you once again for your patience. I’m really happy about the progress. Unfortunately it will take until we deploy the new architecture and servers that we can share this progress with you.


Using paperpile with Microsoft Word
Full text search in PDFs
#20

Hi, I’m Aravind.
I’ve just started this week. I am working majorly on user interfaces. I initially started work on enabling notes and annotations from the PDF’s come to the main app. Currently, I am working on some UI for an improved Chrome popup to import papers. It will allow you to select folders and labels, and also to add notes directly when you import a paper. How cool is that! :smile:


#21

Hi folks, I’m Jason and I’ve been with Paperpile since 2016. Some of you might know me from this forum or from the in-app support chat. I have been working on some big improvements to our PDF annotator: it is faster, has shape annotations, syncs in realtime with the mobile app, and supports more kinds of PDFs. Some of this is also related to being able to bring the annotations into Paperpile, as Aravind mentioned.

I also work on the Word plugin with Jozsef, Stefan, and Nic. I implemented the code our plugin uses on the Word side to read and change the document, as well as the code which communicates with the desktop app. Compared to other companies, we decided to go a more traditional route using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to write our Word plugin - this makes sure it is as fast as possible and can make the changes to the documents we desire (sneak peek: if you use a footnote style, it can add the footnote for you and bring you back to the text afterwards so you can keep typing).

While working on the new stuff is fun, I also work on the web-app and chrome extension - especially on the regular updates we do to make sure that reference imports and PDF downloads work for the 1000s of publisher pages we support.


#22

Hi guys, I think it’s totally awesome that the developers are chiming in to give us users a taste of what’s to come. You’d never see that with a mega-trillion $$$ company (too bad). Jason, if I might be so bold, I was wondering if it ever might be possible that PP will to support other article-delivering platforms (such as American Psychological Association’s psycnet http://psycnet.apa.org). It would be very cool to have an ‘add-to-PP’ button and to upload papers directly from the website (the same interface as google scholar). Thanks for your thoughts.


#23

Wow. I am so happy to hear from Stephan and others. As I’ve said before, I want Paperpile to fully work. There isn’t a better product there, or else I’d simply leave and stop harassing these folks on the forum . However, a full product, in my opinion means that you can add papers to your database from mobile, and ideally that mobile google docs works with Paperpile. I’m even (personally) willing to give up Word. And I’ve paid, and will continue to pay. But I argue that part of the subscription model in software is that by making periodic payments that development also proceeds more uniformly. I think that I was within my rights to suggest that it appeared to be slowing down, and I don’t think I’m the lone person who thought that way. I’ve gotten several colleagues to switch over to Paperpile, BTW.


#24

Hi all! I work at Paperpile as a Node.js Software Engineer. As a developer-by-nature it was a bit hard to find a reason to take active part on the forum - I will try to do better!

Let me share some of the stuff I work on. The core of my job is to work closely with Stefan to implement, set up and release the new Node.js based infrastructure. Node.js ecosystem not only makes it easier to find new team members, it will also enable the team to implement new features and release fast without breaking stuff. The new infrastructure provides a backend for the new Mobile app, the new PDF annotator and it allows us to do some cool stuff like seamlessly incorporating annotations from 3rd party PDF annotators and more.

As a teaser I think I can share that I also work with Andreas and Stefan on a secret project, which is for now - well - secret.

Jirka


Full text search in PDFs
#25

Hey guys!

I’m Dzemila, Community Manager at Paperpile. Just like Jason, some of you might already know me from the in-app support chat. I’m afraid I don’t have any awesome features that I’m working on that I can share here – I’m not a developer. :blush: But I’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing thousands of your responses to our Mobile app and Word Plugin questions to a) understand the product better and b) make sure we don’t miss out on any feature requests.

Well equipped with all the new knowledge I’ve gained, I will be here to answer your questions and contribute to discussions in the forum going forward.


#26

In general, you can use the Paperpile “P” button in the Chrome toolbar to add papers from publisher’s pages. It will show a green triangle if it thinks there’s an article on the page (). This currently works on the individual search result pages on psycnet. Getting that to work on psycnet was actually kind of tricky since the website doesn’t load full pages - it loads a scaffolding and adds the paper data later. This is also why it may be difficult to add our buttons to the search results page on psycnet - most other search result pages tell us where to go look for the metadata and we can just go to those pages and get the data for you, but for psycnet it is not so simple. In any case, I will look into it.


#27

Hey Aravind. I could not wait to use the features your are working on.

I posted a feature request relevant to the Chrome popup several days ago, which is about using the popup to search within library and open PDF for viewing. I would appreciate if you and your team could consider supporting this feature.


#28

Hi All!

I’m József (Jozsef is also all right :wink:) and I’m one of the new developers expanding the awesome Paperpile engineering team, currently working together with Stefan and Jason on the Word plugin. My responsibilities are including things like making the add-in install and work seamlessly on both Mac and Windows with feature parity and automatic version updates, adding offline capability - so you can query your library from Word without internet access. Then there are some benefits of the new back-end infrastructure that can be transferred to the plugin. One example is real time synchronization between devices and platforms will include Word too.

To join in with teasing I also have a secret side project that will bring you a lot of fun for sure, but only after the plugin is out there and proves to be what you needed.

I would also like to say a few words about my personal experience joining the team. I started a few months ago and as a newcomer to a company previously unknown to me I had my initial doubts which I think is natural in a remote setup. We have to get included first, invest in each other and trust that the other party will keep it’s promises in the end. Paperpile and the people behind the name so far proved to be very reliable as an employer, being fair, helping me in every way possible and that -for me- shows their commitment to the development and future of the product. I wanted to be open about this as I think it’s something that can indicate the plans and attitude of the company fairly well.

Talk again soon,
József


#29

Hi, Jason, when I use the PP toolbar icon on the search results, I get a PP record of type website, with the title psycnet and url of the page. e.g., http://psycnet.apa.org/search/results?id=cca0e0ca-dab8-8246-f47d-cfe26b856e3c

that’s not a paper.

When I use the PP toolbar icon on a single psychnet record/paper, I get the following errors:

  • title APA PsycNET
  • pdf - not found

I see what you mean about the article itself - neither the html or the pdf is on the first page. Funny the source for the search results looks almost identical to the single article page…


#30

Hey everyone,

I’m Carlos, those of you participating in the mobile beta may know me already, either from the forum or from the support messaging app. My work revolves mostly around the Android and iOS applications, as such, I would like to give you an overview of all the changes we’re making to these apps.

To start, the biggest change you’ll see in the upcoming version is a much more optimised sync operation. This is where most people have experienced issues with the current beta, and we believe it to be a key area that needs to work as efficiently and as reliably as possible, so in order to make sure that happens and that the issues people were having with the sync are properly addressed, we decided to rewrite it from scratch and have it use our new server infrastructure from the start.

By doing so, it allowed us to improve on many things, one of which was the way PDF annotations are synced, making it possible to have near-realtime syncs with our web based annotator and only transfer incremental changes. We’ve also added support for the Apple Pencil and added new annotation tools to our PDF annotator.

The mobile app is also not read-only anymore, you can now organise your library, create/update labels and folders and define them as “offline”, to keep specific parts of your library always synced on your device.

We’re working really hard on this, and we hope we can share it with you soon.


Android private beta (old)
#31

To be clear, I have tested it to work on the individual search result pages - their urls start with “http://psycnet.apa.org/search/display?id=” and you get to these by clicking on a title in the search results screen. I have seen the import on those pages fail on occasion, so if that happens, just delete the reference, refresh the search result page, and try again. I will do more testing on APA when we next update our crawlers.


#32

thank you Jason. It seems to only work sometimes on the individual pages. Here are some that I found did not work for me:

Hornyak, Lynne (Sum 2002). 13-15. APA Division 30, Society of Psychological Hypnosis. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e300282004-007 - no PDF

Wallace, C. E. (2015). Electronic health records: A graduate student’s experience. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3(2), 179-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cpp0000098 - no/partial metadata

Rados, Carol; US Department of Health and Human Services; Food and Drug Administration (Mar 2006). US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA). http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e494542006-002 - no metadata, no/partial PDF

Holloway, Jennifer Daw (Jan 2004). American Psychological Association (APA), Governance Affairs Office. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/e519922012-003 - no PDF, partial metadata


#33

Hey Stefan: I’m going to rename this thread to one more closely resembling the original title. It appears that suggesting that your product is dead is the only way to get your attention. This is sort of a joke. You once again promised something (an update to the serve by the last Sunday in June. Maybe you meant June 2019?


#34

We released a major update to our infrastructure and PDF annotator on June 23rd and a follow-up update on July 4th. You can see these in our changelog.

We will release updates to the mobile app betas when we are satisfied with their functioning on the new infrastructure.


#35
  1. Please read my post again you are referring to. We did exactly what I mentioned there: June 17 we switched out all database servers; June 24 we put the new application servers powering the mobile backend in production and released the public beta of our PDF viewer (which already uses those servers). Our mobile app beta is already with a few selected customers.
  2. That’s enough. I kindly ask you to leave this forum and never post here again. You will understand that I cannot let you keep insulting me or my team. We’ve reviewed all your past posts carefully and found that their abusive nature is unacceptable. So please let us do our work and have a civil discussion on our forum with the rest of the community.

#36

Not sure where to comment on this but the changelog seems to have a duplicated entry (August 6 is duplicated twice- see the copy/paste below).

Thought you guys may want to know.

Best

Heuristicmed

October 5th 2018
Data import
Updated metadata import for SSRN, Elsevier, Environmental Health Perspective, Academia.edu, Los Angeles Times, and European Mathematical Society.
Data export
BibTeX export for “Presentations” now includes event name and location.
Google Docs integration
Fix spurious duplicates that occured when sections were copied and pasted from other Google Docs documents.
Update all styles to the latest versions from the Citation Style Language (CSL) repository (79 new or changed styles).

August 6th 2018
iOS and Android (private beta)
Fixed a bug that made sync fail when a reference was “auto-updated” in the webapp.
Avoid app crash when file download fails.
Fixed problem with folder/label dialog not showing check marks correctly.

August 28th 2018
Data import
Updated metadata import for Semantic Scholar, Washington Post, and Springer.
Google Docs integration
Fix links in bibliography.
Update all styles to the latest versions from the Citation Style Language (CSL) repository (38 new or changed styles).

August 6th 2018
iOS and Android (private beta)
Fixed a bug that made sync fail when a reference was “auto-updated” in the webapp.
Avoid app crash when file download fails.
Fixed problem with folder/label dialog not showing check marks correctly.

August 2nd 2018
General
Restrict access to Google Docs reference pages: The overview page listing all references in a Google Doc can now only be accessed via the Paperpile menu (‘View all references’) or the sidebar add-on.
Paperpile for iOS and Android (private beta)
Access your library on your mobile device
View all your references and PDFs on phones and tablets
Navigate quickly using folders, labels and stars
Search for specific references
Organize your library
Add references to folders and labels (via toolbar button or swipe left gesture)
Manage folders and labels (create, rename, change color, remove)
Read and annotate PDFs
Read your papers in a fast PDF viewer optimized for mobile devices
Add comments
Highlight and underline text in multiple colors
Mark-up figures and tables with arrows, rectangles and oval shapes
Add text directly to the PDF
Draw and write anything on your PDF with the pencil tool
Full support for the Apple Pencil
Works together with our new PDF annotator for the web (also in beta)
Sync and Offline
Automatically sync all your data and PDF annotations across devices
Access all your references when offline
Choose which PDFs you store on your device
Set folders or labels as “offline” to download all PDFs automatically to your device
Clear PDF files from your device to save space.
Data import
Updated metadata and/or PDF import for Nature Publishing Group, Ingenta Connect, IWA Publishing, Microbiology Society, World Scientific, Wikipedia, and ResearchGate.
Google Docs integration
Update all styles to the latest versions from the Citation Style Language (CSL) repository (43 new or changed styles).
PDF viewer (beta)
Various bug fixes and stability improvements including margin sizing for the page-width zoom and the Full Screen keyboard shortcut on macOS.


#37

Oops! We copy the previous entry when filling in the new one so we don’t have to recreate all the formatting manually. Looks like we copied two entries by mistake :upside_down_face: