I wanted to give you a little update on where I currently stand with my app development and what's missing for an alpha release:
I've recently worked on PDF import and drag & drop. I.e., you can drag PDFs onto the app icon (or the Files filter column) to import them. If the app is specified in Papers 3 as the default PDF reader, you can also just double click a PDF in your Papers 3 library to import or open it in my app.
Drag and drop also works within the app, e.g. you can drag some notes onto a keyword to assign that keyword to all dragged notes (same goes for labels & citekeys). Or go the other way and drag notes, keywords, labels or citekeys into a note's text which will insert clickable links to these elements. Dragging these elements out of the app should also perform meaningful things.
I'm currently working on the search features. You can already restrict a search to certain sections of a note (title, quotation, label, keywords, publication, etc), and search terms now get highlighted accordingly in the note editor:
In addition, I'd like to allow for Google-like searches (i.e., perform an `AND` query for multiple space-delimited search terms, and recognize quoted terms as "literal text"). Searching by rating already allows for less/greater-than and negated or range searches.
Now, I know what you're thinking: this is all fine, but when can I try it myself? Unfortunately, app development almost always takes longer than expected, and my app is no exception. Until now, I wanted to have a public alpha version ready for testing. I'm still not there yet, so what's missing?
1. A good first-run experience. Getting started with my app may still be quite confusing. E.g., on first launch, I need to ensure proper positioning of all subviews and provide meaningful defaults (e.g., for the labels). Also, I plan to offer an intro document with notes explaining the app.
2. Testing on macOS High Sierra. Starting with macOS 10.12 (Sierra) Apple has replaced its PDFKit framework with a new implementation which has had lots of issues. W.r.t. PDFKit issues, things have improved slightly on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) but there's still PDF-related issues with my app on High Sierra which I have to try to address or work around. For these reasons, I'll also try to keep my app compatible with macOS 10.11 (El Capitan) which still has the old PDFKit framework and where PDF display is working w/o major issues.
3. Fix major bugs. Yes, there are bugs, of course, and I'm trying to fix as many as possible before a public alpha version gets released.
4. Further work on the initial feature set so that the app is minimally useful. Initially, the app will only feature a very rudimentary feature set. But what's there, should hopefully work and be useful already. One area I still need/want to work on is basic import/export capabilities (esp. from/to scriptable apps like Papers 3, BibDesk, Skim, DEVONthink, Evernote and OmniOutliner). Import is especially important to get started easily. In addition, I'd like to offer automatic export of notes to text files right from the start, but this also hasn't been done yet.
That's it for now. I hope to have more news until end of the year. But, at this stage, I unfortunately won't be able to promise anything more concrete.
Thanks for your interest & understanding!