MarginNote Status update?

Dear @Support-Team, @Lanco_Support-Team, @Edward_Support-Team,

Following up on these threads:

Several months have passed.

(1) When is the next version of MN 3 expected? Will this include the fixes for capturing italics and handling hyphenation (e.g., as previewed in MN 3.6.16003)? Could Cmd-I be added as a shortcut key for italics?

(2) How about better support for folders and categories, per the feedback given by @jprint about a year ago?

(3) How about support for correct PDF page numbers?

(4) How about a resolution to the issue with PDFs being exported flattened, as described by @xurc?

(5) Last September, @Lanco_Support-Team mentioned that documentation for the MN plugin was being translated into English. What’s the status of this?

(6) How about MarginNote 4? What features should we expect? ETA?

(7) What about MarginSketch? Is it a different app from MN 4? If so, what’s the difference, exactly?

Thanks!

5 Likes

Hard to overstate how much I agree with all of the points & questions raised here.

I’ve had to suspend my use of MN given the lack of communication. Sure hope they can address the things raised here so I can return to use it.

3 Likes

Hello

1. The italics problem is not fixable, as no such information is stored in the text layer of the PDF file. The shortcuts for italics on the Mac will probably be fixed in the very near future.

2. Yeah, it is currently very confusing, but we are still discussing the data structures of the folder system.

3. Known issue, I will bring this to the attention of the developers.

4. We are currently considering third party PDF engines to add support for this feature. As we were previously busy with the release of MarginNote 3.7, this worked kind of stopped half-way. We are unsure how well this will go, but we will try our best.

5. No status yet. I will check with Lanco to see if the documentation needs translation, and if so, I may translate it.

6. I assume you are refering to the next generation of MarginNote, which may not be called MarginNote 4. it is still in the very early shape of developing. As for now, there is not much info to update about this product.

7. MarginSketch is an internal experimental app. The gestures feature that are explored and tested in the App has been implemented and delivered in MarginNote 3.7.

Kind Regards,
MarginNote-Sushi
Support Team

Sorry, it seems you misunderstood my message. I know that PDF text doesn’t represent italics, and so that’s not what I was asking for. In any case, it seems that support for italics has been fixed in the latest update of MN, so I thank your team for that.

Please let us know your plans and timetable for the plugin documentation and next version of MN.

Thanks.

Hello

The Beta Version of the API doc is here: http://docs.test.marginnote.cn/en/

I have no idea when the next version will be released. We are still on the very early stages of development.

Kind Regards,
MarginNote-Sushi
Support Team

@Sushi_Support-Team,

Thanks for your message. I looked at the Plugin API doc. It’s a good start, though right now this is essentially code comments with highlighting, not yet documentation.

You could include explanations of behavior, clarification of expected parameters, and code examples for all public functions.

Thanks again.

EDIT: I probably should add that I was kind of expecting something more concrete about your plans to address known issues mentioned above. A lot of time has passed, many messages have been posted on this forum, and given the lack of communication from your team it’s unclear if any of these issues with MN will ever be fixed.

As was noted in another thread, other vendors may offer better solutions. Personally, I am no longer really expecting anything more from MN.

Hello

Hi! I agree that it's very premature version. As I am not the developer, I will talk to them about this issue.

Kind Regards,
MarginNote-Sushi
Support Team

Regarding point #3, above (broken page numbering), please see this comment on another thread:

@Sushi_Support-Team,

BTW, it looks like MN stores mind map elements in a Microsoft Access format database (.mdb files in ~/Library/Containers/QReader.MarginStudyMac/Data/Library/Application Support/QReader.MarginNoteMac).

Is that really how it works on macOS?

EDIT: Please ignore. Looking inside, I see that it’s a binary plist.

Hello support (@Sushi_Support-Team) ,

I think MarginNote is an excellent tool for use in my academic work. Please forward my thanks to the developers for their continued commitment to making MarginNote a wonderful app to work with. It must be a huge job to do considering the number of suggestions for improvement from us all! :sweat_smile:

I read many blogs and forums before deciding to purchase MarginNote. One thing that all the blogs and forums said about MarginNote was its " … lack of ability to play well with other apps". They were referring to MarginNote export which does not allow the work done in MarginNote to be shared with other apps. This is the same issue that was pointed out by @jprint here in item number 3.

Therefore, if a critical feature for improvement could be suggested it would be this one - to have MarginNote export more friendly with other apps.

What do you think?

1 Like

@Sushi_Support-Team,

I agree with everything that @Darren noted, above. Better support for exporting to other apps is badly needed. To reiterate what @jprint already noted a year ago: MarginNote needs PDF export with proper annotations, RTF for notes, OmniOutliner, etc.

The current “solution” seems to be that we are to supposed to figure out the undocumented plugin API and write the export code ourselves. I have asked you about documentation for the plugin API, and am still waiting for a response.

Can you give a clear delivery date for completed (i.e., not beta) API documentation? Have you contracted with a technical writer who is a native English speaker to review and edit the API documentation? I hope you will understand that a native check by an experienced technical writer is pretty much a requirement for usable API documentation, and that your team will take a serious, professional attitude towards this.

To be honest, though, I don’t see what your team now proposes is a workable solution for most users. I do not think it is reasonable to ask that we users write our own code for export, and especially not when your team won’t even give us a clear statement about the API documentation. Moreover, is it possible to export PDF files with proper annotations using the plugin API? This is not clear to me. Can you clarify this?

I hope you will give these issues some serious thought and that your team might make a real commitment to give export features higher priority.

One solution would be that your team writes several plugins to get things started, and then we users can modify the code to write our own custom export plugins. That might work, but you will need to make it a priority. You could start by delivering a plugin to export PDF with correct annotations. How about it? If PDF files with proper annotations cannot be generated from the plugin API, you may need to add this to the core MarginNote app.

Right now, I think I can speak for some of the others who have posted about export functionality, that we don’t have a solution in view. Your team has made some vague noises about this, the plugin API was promised, but still nothing is really concrete.

Unfortunately, this situation is somehow very familiar.

There used to be a pretty good app called Sente that was in many ways similar to MarginNote. Have you heard of it?

Just like MarginNote, Sente had nice features for marking up PDFs, through it primarily served as a reference manager. Just like MarginNote, it did not follow the PDF spec for annotations, but instead held all the annotations in a SQL database, and just like MarginNote, it didn’t have working support for exporting PDFs or PDF annotations. Furthermore, just like MarginNote, the users asked many times for improved export, and as with MarginNote the developers of Sente never gave these requests any priority. There was a pattern of poor communication, and then the Sente developers then started lying to the customers about the status of the app. The support staff stopped responding to posts on the forum. A year or so later, the company disappeared, and the users were abandoned, trying to figure out how to migrate their PDF notes to other applications.

This week, @chai46 posted on this forum that s/he felt “cheated of my money and forcefully trapped with a product that doesn’t show any interest to integrate with the greater world of other applications and pdf readers”.

Given the lack of communication and commitment from your team to come up with a workable solution to the problems with export, I can perfectly understand @chai46’s message.

I would hate to see MarginNote go the way of Sente.

In any case, it’s up to you and your team to clearly communicate your plans, and make some commitments about the future.

6 Likes

Ditto all of that (what @mobo said) , and then some.

Hello

Thanks for the suggestions and criticisms.

Just to let you know that we are very aware of the PDF export problem, and I have talked with the developers several times. The current mechanism is that MarginNote uses the graphics card to render the PDF export, and we know that this is an issue. We are still on the hunt for PDF engines that would allow better rendering of PDFs and support for the integration with the common PDF standard. Sorry that we do not support this for now, but I am almost definite that we will support the common standard in the future (most likely the next major version of MarginNote).

As to the API document, I admit that a lot needs to be done there. It has kind of been paused last year after the Chinese draft was finished, so... I will raise this issue up again in the team.

For now, rest assured that we are steadily improving and trying to address the many issues of the app, I am confident that we will keep maintaining this app, and we would love to keep in touch with the community.

Kind Regards,
MarginNote-Sushi
Support Team

1 Like

@Sushi_Support-Team,

Thanks for the update. Please let us know what feedback you get from your team about moving forward on the API documentation, specifically w.r.t. my questions, above.

1 Like

I have just checked with the team, and we are working on hiring technical positions to help push forward the writing of the API document.