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I’m concerned

Qiqqa updates not happening as frequently as before

Qiqqa used release updates very frequently. This has stopped. Would be good to understand planned releases, whether this is a phase of consolidation, or a symptom of a broken business model.
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  • Hi Andrew - thank you for voicing your concern about the decreasing frequency of Qiqqa releases.

    First and foremost, we can assure you that since the outset, Qiqqa has been built to be a completely sustainable business model.  Rather than being born of a venture capitalist dream of making millions, Qiqqa grew out of a labour of love of a few PhD candidates who just needed a better tool for the task of writing great papers and theses.  This means that everything about Qiqqa is sustainable forever: our web server farms don't cost very much and our PDF storage farm costs are *decreasing* every quarter, despite the constant adding of terabytes of PDFs, and are pretty much covered by top-up library fees.  So quite literally, all the revenues we receive from Premium and Premium+ subscriptions are monies that provide a reasonable income to the people behind Qiqqa.  There is no debt.  There are no hungry investors needing to squeeze the equity stone.  There are no hordes of programmers needing to write code for the sake of a salary.

    Secondly, a lot of the work we have been doing is behind the scenes in the sister products of Qiqqa.  (1) bibtexsearch.com, which drives the BibTeX Sniffer to automatically find metadata for your PDFs, is growing by millions of records every month.  (2) datacopia.com, which you can use to visualise your PDF tables in Qiqqa is improving constantly.  And (3) omnipatents.com is pushing the boundaries of the artificial intelligence that we use to drive Qiqqa's Expedition.  We will eventually be ploughing those advances back into Expedition itself.  (4) web.qiqqa.com now lets you sync and read your PDFs on mac/ios/android/linux machines.  And lastly, (5) pdfhighlights.com lets you quickly summarise PDFs that you have perhaps highlighted in other software on other devices.

    We continue to check the feedback reports that flow in from the Qiqqa community to see if there are any bugs that need addressing, but we are glad to say that the Windows Qiqqa Client is in a very stable place.  We also know that adding more and more features can sometimes detract from the core awesomeness that has got us this far in the first place...

    To this end, don't worry about the frequency of releases.  They will come when we have something awesome to put into them!  And don't worry about the longevity of Qiqqa.  It will stand the test of time.  :)

    And thanks again for your feedback and support.  It is how Qiqqa has always been moulded.

    Cheers,
    Jimme, Founder and CEO, Qiqqa.com
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  • That is reassuring.

    One thing that I would like to see is some more advanced search tools. My library is getting big and though I can search on keywords, tags, authors etc. a more sophisticated search dashboard would help me. Maybe all I need is a thorough search tutorial.
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  • 1
    Its nice to see someone from Qiqqa responding to the many posts -- after several weeks of silence from you guys, over here. I wondered if you'd all quit.
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  • I was getting concerned as well... worry that the product might be abandoned. Good info in this message, I wasn't aware of some of these other projects.
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  • I keep having to switch between v75 and v77. v77 is better for bibtex, but v75 is better for moving large amounts of files between libraries. What are you working on for v78?
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  • Qiqqa v78 is fresh off the press.  Bundle Libraries are the most significant addition, among other minor additions and fixes.
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  • 3
    I recently emailed Qiqqa asking whether it was still being developed & got a response & was going to reply on email but think it's probably more beneficial to the community to have these chats collaboratively, thus, Qiqqa's response:

    "Currently we are not adding many new features to Qiqqa. We are very wary of adding features for the sake of adding features. And we already get a lot of feedback that Qiqqa is quite a complex product to learn and use...
    We still do the occasional bug fix though"

    Reply & discussion: It was heartening/reassuring to read Jimme's reply in this thread above, but the content & subtext of the email concerns me:

    Features for features' sake: While I'm sure some proposed feature additions / tweaks / bugfixes are lower priority, surely nobody is proposing things that won't be beneficial in terms of using the product, i.e. features for features' sake.

    Qiqqa is a complex product to use: this is somewhat a fair criticism but I'd argue that there's a learning curve for all such programs (hence why many unis have 'learn to use endnote' lectures, for example). But more pertinently: fixing bugs, changing UI behaviour to make it intuitive, or adding advanced settings options, will not make Qiqqa harder to learn for newbies nor confuse seasoned users: quite the opposite.

    The more I became accustomed to Qiqqa - and the more I filed bug reports and tweak suggestions to address unintuitive behaviour - the less I felt comfortable recommending the product to peers. I assume most people's loyalty to their reference manager of choice is very high, because the benefits of switching to alternative software are A: not guaranteed, and B: long term, whereas the cost of switching is guaranteed and high and short term, i.e. you probably have to spend days or even weeks learning the new software and sorting tags etc.. Thus: as customers, unless things become unbearable, we're here to stay. Subsequently, it's disheartening to hear that "the occasional bug fix" is the extent to which the product is improving. I'm not posting all this just to grill y'all. I like Qiqqa and am enthusiastic about it, and have bought premium for the last 2 years almost entirely because I want to support you guys. But my understanding was that that money is going towards further development of the product.

    Since I've been using Qiqqa (~4 years) I've personally created 42 questions, bug reports & feature suggestions. Removing the simple questions, duplicates, and solved bugs/suggestions, let's conservatively say there are now 20 outstanding bugs or UI improvements filed by me alone, and another ~15 that I'm following but didn't file, so 35 total that I'm aware of / affect me. Some of these are - IMHO - constantly detrimental to the user experience, and have not been addressed in three years.

    It's great to see you guys posting here and I really think the community would appreciate more of it, especially along the lines of what is being developed / improved. IMO a better/more transparent triaging & bugfixing site would be beneficial (e.g. bugzilla & others) but it's impractical to move from getsatisfaction given how much is now on here. Subsequently, how about something like a quarterly progress email, with some ability for users to propose existing issues to be worked on in the next available development time, and then allow us to vote on a shortlist of the proposals? One proposal/vote per person, using surveymonkey or something. And obviously with you guys having final say given that user desire doesn't account for technical difficulty or development time.
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    • I really want to like Mendeley (or even ReadCube), I really do. So, I install them, play around, and delete them missing some of the features I've come to rely on in Qiqqa (like the bibtex sniffer). But the more I fight the program, the more time I spend hunting for a more suitable replacement...and the less I do studying. I'm really hoping we hear from Qiqqa soon.
    • I agree with you
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  • I have a number of outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved as well. Thanks for a solid summary, Dez.
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  • I’m anxious
    1
    Looking through the posts, it looks like it's been about 10 months since anyone's heard from Qiqqa and that was about years old bug issues. Is this product still being supported? Just starting a PhD program here and if I need to switch to a program that has active support, if not as powerful as Qiqqa (could be). I need to do it now. Very concerned over here!!!
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  • I’m sad
    Happy one year anniversary of the last time anyone has heard from the Qiqqa development team. Or, in software years, happy bicentennial.
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  • No, I'm still using Qiqqa. At this point I'm sort of stuck with it with all the work already invested and there are some features that are just must haves (OCR, full search). It does do the job for the most part, but the glitches are maddening. If I were to start over, I'd probably switch to ReadCube. They have one of the best Android apps I've seen out there and their interface is clean. The only problem with their program is their citation plug-in. It's sort of limited, possibly because it's still in beta. They have great customer service though. When I was fiddling with it and had questions, they emailed me back same day with very detailed (i.e. not generic) responses. My second favorite would probably be Mendeley. It has a very solid interface, but (like ReadCube) no OCR capabilities and limited search functionality. Their notation management was also a little clunky.
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  • Holy smokes! A Qiqqa update posted today! So hoping they fixed bugs...
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  • ...and no, they didn't as far as I can tell. Still just as glitchy as always. But hey, after a year, they were able to add 3 or 4 really...really minor features. So, hurrah?
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  • 2
    It's a very poor strategy to build a large user base then abandon development while milking an annuity from those who are effectively locked-in.

    I stopped paying subscriptions to Qiqqa.
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  • I’m EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED IN THE LACK OF SUPPORT....
    1
    After supporting Qiqqa for years, I will not continue with my premium subscription. The program is too buggy, and no fixes have been made in a very-very long time. Qiqqa was great, now it is just good, borderline meh, heading towards bad. It is a real shame (;_;).
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    • I have tried a great many reference managers over the years, but I keep coming back to Zotero (this is my go-to reference manager now).

      I started using Zotero concurrently with Qiqqa about 3 years ago, because I like the import feature. I simply click on a button within chrome (using an extension) and the article or webpage is pulled directly into the program along with the relevant citation data. If you have a folder of pdfs you can perform a "Retrieve Metadata for PDFs" (similar to Qiqqa) that uses Google Scholar and other sources. It really shines in this area IMHO e.g. Wikipedia's citation manager (Citoid) is based on a Zotero installation that runs silently on their servers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltEL-...). I also like that I can pay a flat yearly fee for unlimited online storage/backup of my library (which is quite large). This also allows me to send downloadable links of references to people, and it integrates nicely with Wordpress too i.e. https://wordpress.org/plugins/zotpress/. Unfortunately, the search feature is not as good as in Qiqqa, but its user community is very active (longevity looks good). If you are interested, there is a good playlist on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

      I have also been keeping my eye on Paperpile and Readcube. However, Paperpile does not have a working Microsoft Word add-in yet (they are working on it, with limited user testing started late 2016), and Readcube which I really wanted to like and did not i.e. it was going to be too much work to migrate and maintain IMHO.

      Zotero may not be for everyone, depending on specifics, but for personal use I love it. It makes me want to learn how to program so that I can contribute - it's open source :) I have become a big fan lately due to experiences like Qiqqa :/
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  • 1
    I use Readcube concurrently with Qiqqa. Readcube let's you search for new references and tell at once whether they are in your database. Like others, I have had to roll back to Qiqqa 77 because the later versions choke on large libraries. Also like others, I am getting nervous. Anyone been working on exporting Qiqqa to other systems? I have a lot of work in keyworking and annotations that I would hate to lose.
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  • 2
    Looking around, no other package has the range of features that Qiqqa has. James Jardine, who owns Quantisle, is a serial entrepreneur. He is constantly looking at new ways of doing things.

    Thanks to him, we have Qiqqa but I doubt he has the resources/manpower (and perhaps the will) to take Qiqqa to the next level. Qiqqa is competing in a crowded space. Given Jimme has a choice between maintaining Qiqqa and chasing other, possibly more, lucrative dreams, I suspect this is as good as it will ever get.

    As he says on his LinkedIn page, he is making reasonable money from Qiqqa subscriptions and can invest time in his newest venture Jammelot.
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  • I’m sad, anxious, confused, frustrated
    1
    That is useful information, thanks. The problem I have is that the last two versions - 78&79 - are broken, they do not work with large libraries. He should withdraw those from distribution to save problems with the users. The worry with any orphan product is that some windows update in the future will break it, leaving the users without a working product. He would better protect his income stream by stabilizing Qiqqa and telling people what is going on. Qiqqa has more than enough features - frankly, too many - but the users with large libraries who are buying the extra spaces really just want a stable version.
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  • Just curious - I don't have a "large" library in the sense that I've seen Qiqqa choke on it. What exactly does one see when Qiqqa breaks?
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  • It is subtle, which is maddening. Find references does not find all of your references, and other search functions also fail. You cannot find articles you know you have, and rebuilding the indexes does not work. I do not know if this progressive or a step function. I just noticed it when my library hit about 10 gigs/5200 articles. It might have been malfunctioning before that and I did not notice. 77 seems to be fine. I could be happy with 77 indefinitely, but my fear is that at some point I will find it will not sync because Qiqqa is out of business, or one of the endless Windows updates will kill it and there will be no fix. I am exploring how to port things to Zotero and what features this will cost me.
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  • I am finding articles I know exist not showing up in searches. I will go back to v.77. Thanks for the heads up on that one.
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  • 1
    Thanks for the reply. The references have always been flaky for me, even on small sets. I think this has been related to problems with OCR and scraping an article's bibliography. It would be nice if we could use Science Citation Index and other similar to generate the cross references.

    As far as the indexing and search abilities, I wonder if that could be related to different versions of the Lucene software. Hard to know with closed source. However, it is clear that the Lucene that ships with Qiqqa is pretty old, consistent with the idea the Qiqqa is stabilizing at a performance level "good enough" to keep the subscriptions flowing.
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  • 1
    Signs of life every 6 months would be appreciated. I don't have any complaints, except for the uncertainty of wondering whether this will go under when a Windows 10 update kills my access.
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  • 2
    It's so frustrating that Qiqqa has completley disowned this amazing product. I am hoping that together as a community we can revive Qiqqa and it's amazing features. Please check out my post below regarding a new Qiqqa proposal:
    https://getsatisfaction.com/qiqqa/top...
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  • 3
    I am not sure whether it is an orphan yet, but it would be nice to get some parental guidance in 2017.
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  • 1
    I moved out and chose Zotero. Finally, I prefer a small set of robust basic features I can rely on rather than a a heap of cosmetic make-up that falls apart. Good luck to the community!
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  • I agree that Qiqqa is already on a mature face and it is not needed to update the program in such a regular basis. With that being said, there are tons of areas of opportunity derived from the evolution of the main clients that Qiqqa has. With this, I refer to the fact that there are thousands of researchers that don't rely solely on PC (as perhaps used to be before). Now, we tend to use interchangeably PC and Mac based on the specialized programs that we need to use. So, Qiqqa should keep up with that versatility and focus on providing finally a Mac version.
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