All your favourite software engineers, now in pictures

flickrleyWe now have a Mendeley Photostream on Flickr where you can follow all of our exploits. First up: Our geektastic Christmas party which started at the go-kart racing track and ended in a no-holds-barred Rockband session at our office.

Moreover, pictures from my recent US tour giving talks and Mendeley demos at Drexel University, Princeton, NYU, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and MIT.


Keyboard Wars

As a software engineer who spends the vast majority of each day sat at a computer a good keyboard is very important to me. I’m sure it is the same with many people who spend a lot of time typing. It’s certainly the case for the other Mendeley developers:

The Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 keyboard, favoured by many of the Mendeley developers

Some have the latest and greatest Microsoft ergonomic keyboards, others have fancy Logitech cordless keyboards that tell you how many keystrokes you’ve entered per day and all sorts of other useless statistics. One even has a keyboard that lights up in blue, red, purple or white!

Unfortunately until recently I was using the basic Dell keyboard that comes free with every Dell computer. Not a terrible keyboard by any standard, but certainly not in the same league as the Microsoft and Logitech keyboards that my colleagues were using. I was jealous! And I was worried that my inferior keyboard might be hindering my programmer productivity. This was Keyboard Wars, and it was time to get serious!

I trawled the web looking for the king of all keyboards. After reading lots of reviews I finally decided upon the Logitech DiNovo keyboard for Notebooks. I’ve no idea why the keyboard is marketed as “for notebooks”, as it works perfectly well with desktops too. There is also a DiNovo EDGE model which is supposed to be superior, but the lack of a numpad ruled it out for me.

My keyboard arrived a few months ago, and I absolutely love it. I couldn’t say for certain that my productivity has improved, but typing is certainly much more pleasurable now. And if I ever need to do a quick calculation I can press the “calculator” button, which instantly brings up the calculator application! That’s a feature I certainly didn’t have on my old Dell keyboard.

I don’t think there is a better keyboard in the whole of the Universe! Some of my colleagues disagree of course, saying they “don’t like the laptop like feel of it”, or that fact that “it’s not ergonomic”. It sounds like jealousy to me, because I’ve clearly won the Keyboard Wars!


The Logitech DiNovo for Notebooks. The best keyboard in the Universe? I think so!

Mendeley Desktop v0.6.1 released

This release is mainly a bug-fix release fixing the following problems:

  • Fixed various problems with synchronisation
  • Fixed automatic file-renaming
  • Fixed interface freezes during folder monitoring and file import
  • Fixed DOI lookup during automatic data extraction of PDFs
  • Fixed duplicate file import
  • Fixed filters view (bottom left of screen) showing all entries instead of entries specific to a group
  • Fixed File -> Export only exporting the last selected document instead of all selected documents
  • Fixed problems with migrating databases from Mendeley v0.5.9
  • Reduced pauses when working with folder monitoring tab in Preferences dialog
  • Created installation packages for Ubuntu and other distributions
  • Fixed various interface glitches
  • Improved tagging


  • If your library contains more than around 10,000 documents (including references) you might get an error while syncing. The local
    functionality of the client will continue to work.

Notes when updating from v0.5.9:

  • Windows only: After running the auto-update the actual installer starts when trying to run Mendeley again. After you have installed v0.6.0 Mendeley Desktop will be the new starting point.

Thanks a lot for all your feedback. If you experience any further problems please visit our feedback forum and we will try to help.

An external perspective

On my current US tour, I made a stop at Providence last weekend to meet up with Brandon King. Brandon is a neuroscience grad student at Brown University and has been one of our earliest users – his constant feedback has been tremendously helpful to us in improving Mendeley. He was also nice enough to introduce me to Frank Kellerman at Brown University’s library, who then invited me to do a demo of Mendeley yesterday morning (I like to think it went rather well).

Besides spending a few hours just talking about our mutual research interests (Brandon does fascinating stuff with Brain-Computer Interfaces), we also discussed the current state of things at Mendeley, as well as our plans for the future. In case you’re interested, here’s his write-up!

Thanks for your feedback – Mendeley Desktop v.0.6.1 is coming soon

Thanks a lot for your feedback and bug reports for our latest Mendeley release! Since we’re still in early beta and actually having done an almost complete re-write of Mendeley Desktop this is extremely helpful and highly appreciated.

Just to give you an update on the current status: Most of the problems you reported for v.0.6.0 are already fixed for the upcoming release which is due next week. We will continue testing this week to make sure we fix the majority of current bugs – especially with synchronisation and responsiveness.

Just some more notes about the current status:

  • Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to include the PDF preview in the Windows versions of Mendeley Desktop. This feature is only removed temporarily while we’re working on including a better cross-platform solution.
  • The automated DOI lookup during import isn’t working at the moment. This might look like the quality of the metadata extraction has decreased, but this is currently being reviewed and will be available in v.0.6.1 again.
  • Synchronisation has some problems with malformed XML data due to invalid characters in local databases. This is fixed for v.0.6.1.
  • Mendeley Desktop freezes when importing a folder. This is fixed – everything related to the import will be done in different threads in the update.
  • Opening the settings dialog on Windows takes a long time. This has been optimized for v.0.6.1 and should be a lot quicker and more responsive.

In case you encounter additional bugs please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help. You can check further bug reports and feature requests in our feedback forum.

Mendeley 0.6 Released… phew!

Right… just so Vic has something to show around when he’s over in the US. 🙂 We were hoping to release in November but December 1st is a nice date as well.

Some important issues we should mention:

  • Windows only: After running the auto-update the actual installer starts when trying to run Mendeley again. After you have installed v0.6 Mendeley Desktop will be the new starting point.
  • This is a required update – due to the extensive changes old clients will not operate with the online features from now on. If you experience any problems with migrating your data, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will try to fix it.
  • Currently filters are displayed for all your documents no matter what group you’re in. This will be fixed asap.

Apart from the new interface much of the code has been rewritten for this version, making it quicker, simpler to use, and easier to maintain. Many old bugs were fixed in this new version, but we’re still in beta and might have introduced some new issues, sorry. To help keep track of these issues we’ve introduced UserVoice – our new feedback system, which can be accessed through the feedback button on Mendeley Web or the help menu in Mendeley Desktop.

Aside from many bug-fixes these are the main changes:

  • New cross-platform interface
  • Simplified back-up and optimized synchronization
  • Improved import and folder monitoring
  • Improved table view
  • Proxy support
  • Encrypted data transfer
  • Better performance and lower memory usage
  • Possibility to import in groups directly
  • Auto-complete now for authors, journals, tags, keywords, editors, translators, publishers, city

You can sign up and download Mendeley Desktop here.


LabTimes: Web 2.0 for Science – A Conversation with Yours Truly

The current issue of LabTimes, a printed news magazine for the European Life Sciences, contains a 3-page conversation with yours truly, plus a boyishly handsome, yet slightly awkward glamour shot photo of me at my hectically cleaned-up beautiful desk.

It’s a nice interview, with one caveat: There’s a mistake in the opening paragraph. While we use Open Source tools for development, and occasionally contribute code to these tools, Mendeley itself is not Open Source (although that’s an option for the future).

You can download the interview in PDF format here.