Zotero Standalone installation ?

Dear list,

Since it seems possible to install Zotero Standalone along a (current 2.0.9) Zotero installation in Firefox (by synchronizing through the Zotero Website)x, I downloaded the X86_64 binary, installed it in its own directory and started the "zotero" executable.

Zotero started, a .zotero directory was created in my home directory. I configured my personal account setup in the "Sync" panel of the "Preference" pop-up window (I had to copy the "cert_override.txt" file from my Firefox directory in order to be able to use my WebDAV repository), and tried to synchronize.

To no avail. the spinning icon went on spinning and spinning, the zotero.sqlite file stayed solidly at it's initial size (about 800 kB IRC). Not much network traffic, as far as I could tell

Did I miss an installation step ?

Sincerely yours,
  • Initial synchronization can take a long time these days. You can speed it up by copying the contents of your Zotero 2.0.9 data directory to the .zotero directory, or completely avoid it by upgrading your Zotero for Firefox to the 2.1 beta and pointing both the Firefox and Standalone Zoteros at a single data directory (in which case they can't be used simultaneously).
  • Dear ajlyon,

    Now using zotero for *real* research work, I'd rather void messing with my (and my colleagues') database with alpha (Standalone) or even beta (2.1) software. That's why I'd rather keep two separate copies of my database, and therefore would like to synchronize through the Web site.

    By the way, I already tried synchronizing for a whole night. To no avail.

    But I'll try to copy my curent database to the Standalone directory...

    Thank you for your anwser. I'll keep you posted on my "copy" attempts.
  • The "copy" attempt didn't work : Standalone does not seem to be able to convert a 2.0.9-formatted database to 2.1 format.

    Is there an utility available ?
  • Really? Try trashing your .zotero completely, then creating a new directory, say Zotero_Standalone_Test. Copy the entire contents of your 2.0.9 data directory there and open Standalone. When it opens, select the Zotero_Standalone_Test directory as the data directory.

    Standalone should be able to upgrade the database.
  • No way.

    I copied the entire zotero directory of my Firefox profile to my desktop, destroyed .zotero and started Standlone (which created a new ".zotero"). Went to "Preferences"==>"Advanced", choose a custom directory and pointed it to the desktop subdirectory (which I renamaed "ZoteroData" to avoid confusion). Zotero asked to restart, which I did. When restarting, it gave me a dialog box titled "Incompatible Database Verstion", stating that "The currently selected data directory is not compatible with Zotero Standalone, which can share a database only with Zotero for Firefox 2.1b3 or later.

    Upgrade to the latest version of Zotero for Firefox first or select a different data directory for use with Zotero Standalone."
    and offering me three terms to an alternative : "Quit", "Custom Data Directory", and "Use Default". No luck in either case.

    We are, I'm afraid, at the end of this rope... The only solution I can see is to back up my Zotero directory, in another place (say Backup1), install Zotero Firefox beta 2.1b4 (?), which will convert the database in-place, backup this *new* data directory to some stable place (au Backup2), uninstall Zotero Firefox Beta, reinstall 2.0.9 and restore Backup1 in its right place ; Backup2 could then be used as Stndalona dta directory. Pfhew...

    Unles someone has had the presence of mind to create some standalone conversion utility, I'm SOL, Im afraid... And, BTW, this conversion utility, which DOES exst in Zotero Firefox 2.1 should have been part of Standalone ...

    Other ideas ?
  • Well that's silly. In most ways, the standalone code is identical to the standard Zotero code, and this is a surprising an probably unintentional omission. Perhaps this can be sorted out in a future Standalone release-- otherwise your best option is to create a duplicate Firefox profile and upgrade it to 2.1, then have Standalone use that directory.
  • The omission is intentional. Standalone can't upgrade a 2.0.9 database because there is a locking issue that could prevent Standalone from properly recognizing that a 2.0.9 database is in use, leading to serious data corruption.
  • Ok-- I even remember seeing that one on the Mozilla bugs that affect Zotero list. I'll add something about this to the documentation if I can remember how to log in to edit docs (why can't there be a login link?).

    For now, the easiest and safest way to avoid the massive sync is to upgrade a duplicate Firefox profile and copy from there: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/managing profiles
  • Aieeee ! I can't upgrade even a dummy profile to 2.1 beta : being on Debian Squeeze (testing), I use Iceweasel, which is Firefox 3.5.16 under the hood, and will stay there until Squeeze release (whose date is unknown to mere mortals...). And I'm somewhat reluctant to grab unstable (Sid) packages : I've been bitten by such pranks (more than once)...

    So i's either a standalone update utility, a network sync (bloody unlikely, it seems) or no Standalone at all.

    I'll try a network sync once more tonight. If some kind soul sees a hanging sync for my account, I'd be glad to know what blocks it...

    Thank you all for your efforts !
  • Can't you install Firefox 3.6 itself?
  • I'd rather not mess with a (mostly) successful system...
  • Given the constraints on your environment, it sounds like a bit of hands-on practice with installing and configuring a Firefox instance that runs in place (i.e. without fully installing it) might be a good use of time at some point (when you can spare the time and the waters are calm).
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