slowness -- Zotero use making FF hang

I'm finding that almost any little thing I try to do with Zotero makes firefox hang for several seconds. I previously reported a problem with adding new tags. I've also seen this problem when adding new references, trying to open the preferences menu, and other things that should be straightforward. It's gotten so bad that I'm considering switching browsers and trying to use the BETA version; but worse than that it means that I'm making A LOT less use of Zotero than I have in the past. I'm using FF 7.0, if that makes a difference.

Here's an example, which I submitted to Zotero's Server: D605060743.
What I was trying to do is add an article to Zotero, using the icon in the navigation bar, and I've got it set up to automatically grab the pdf also.
  • What is that debug output supposed to demonstrate? It pretty much just shows Zotero saving an item and performing full-text indexing on the PDF. You can disable full-text indexing (and optionally clear the current full-text index, which might make Zotero much faster on a slower computer or with a very large library) from the Search pane of the Zotero preferences by setting the max values to 0. We'll likely be speeding up full-text indexing in a (relatively near) future build.

    A large number of automatic tags might also slow certain Zotero operations down.
  • I don't know. I'm not a programmer. When I've had a similar problem of slowness in the past, I was asked to provide a debug output.

    This was just one of several occasions today where I encountered slowness, and I tried to replicate it after turning on the log. I figured someone who knows how to read these things would be able to see where the problem was.

    It seems, in this case that you're saying it's just slow - and unavoidably so - running a normal operation. That's unfortunate. Thanks for the instructions of how to turn off indexing. I did not know that that could make things so slow, so I'll definitely turn that off.

    However, this is not the only feature I've used that has created slowness/hanging, so you'll understand why I thought this was a symptom of a larger problem.
  • So, is it possible to disable full-text indexing on pdfs only, or does one have to do it for everything?
  • You can set just the max PDF pages setting to 0, but it's a shared index, so if it's just a very large index (which you can see from the Search pane) then adding a snapshot would also be slow unless you clear the index and start from scratch. You could also remove the PDF indexing tools from your Zotero data directory (the pdftotext and pdfinfo files) and then rebuild the index, which would leave just your HTML snapshots indexed. How effective this would all be depends on how many HTML snapshots you have, how many PDFs you have, how many items you have, and how fast your computer is.

    We're planning to switch to a new indexing system in the version after 3.0.
  • In any case, the things that have the potential to slow down Zotero the most are automatic tags (which you can disable from the General pane of the prefs, though there's currently no easy way to clear existing ones) and the full-text index. Otherwise all operations should really be quite fast unless you have a huge number of items.
  • Thanks. I do have automatic tags disabled already. I'll try removing the PDF indexing tools and redoing the index, and see if that makes any difference.

    I guess it's possible I have a huge number of items. What's huge? How would I count my number of items?
  • For number of items see here:
    huge is >10,000, but what affects performance obviously depends on your computer.
  • Well, with attachments and notes included, I'm approaching 10,000 but am not yet over it. I guess I need to figure out some way to split my database into multiple databases or something.
  • edited October 19, 2011
    Some people have way over 10,000 items with no problems. You really don't want to split it into multiple databases—it would make everything (particularly syncing) much more complicated. Clearing your full-text index would be the place to start. You should also make sure you don't have a large number of automatic tags left over from before you turned the setting off.
  • And, obviously, if you use Zotero Standalone then Zotero would have no effect on the rest of Firefox.
  • Just a comment: I've had the same problem as theoria since upgrading Firefox to version 7 (and now 8). Zotero hangs, I get a beach ball, it becomes slow. My library isn't huge and I have the latest, greatest iMac, so hardware isn't an issue.

    I just switched the same library over to Zotero Standalone which is very fast and stable, so something seems to be going on between Zotero and Firefox.
  • loorung: You don't really provide any information for us to go on. We'd need a Debug ID for a slow operation.
  • Yes, sorry. I wasn't too concerned about getting it debugged or fixed as I much prefer standalone, which I'm using exclusively.

    It was more a recommendation to try standalone if having problems with Zotero/Firefox.

    It's nothing major, just slower (particularly as an app tab), with an occasional hang.

    The Debug ID is D1780874964
  • I am also finding zotero in firefox frustratingly slow. For example, there is ~5 second pause for each field that I update (e.g. an author's initial).

    I will try getting rid of the indexing, but ideally I would like to be able to search my PDFs so would preferably keep zotero.

    Any other speeding up tips would be great.


    Version info: Zotero 3.0.3, Firefox 10.0.2, Windows 7, Reasonably fast 3 GHz RAM laptop.
  • carhogg: Start a new thread and provide a Debug ID for a slow operation.
Sign In or Register to comment.