File synchronisation with FTP-Server

Since I am experiencing troubles with the WebDAV server of my cloud provider, I suggest that synchronisation is offered also with an FTP-Server, which probably is less prone to troubles and easier to troubleshoot.
  • Not saying that this wouldn't be a useful feature, but FTP is incredibly finicky to get right for a client. FTP is widely available, but the protocol is much less well specified than WebDAV. WebDAV is actually easier to troubleshoot, as there's a formal spec plus a test tool that tells you whether a server behaves according to it. There's no such thing for FTP, which means Zotero would be on the hook to find out why FTP server X as configured by party Y doesn't work when connected by client Z[1], and I reckon they'd rather not play that game.

    Now, Cloud Storage sync to stuff like dropbox or Google Drive, that would be another matter entirely... but a lot of work to do nonetheless.

    [1] your firewall might not allow active connections for example, and if the server supports passive, the client you test with may or may not fall back to use that. In turn, the firewall you are subject to may refuse to serve certain outgoing ports that passive mode picks at random (literally, that's in the spec), and your server may or may not keep offering new random ports until it works (because that isn't in the spec). It'd be hell on earth for the Zotero devs to figure out what's going on between your PC and the FTP server you're trying to connect. These problems don't exist (or are at least easier to detect without specialized tools) for WebDAV; I certainly wouldn't even try to diagnose such problems without having remote access to your desktop. And this is just one of many problems they'd have with FTP.
  • Thank You for explaining. I had got the impression from a comment in another forum, that troubleshooting webdav was more of a problem than troubleshooting FTP, which apparently was an incorrect statement. So I will have to try to sort out the problems I have with syncing. The problem is on my webdav server providers's side but unfortunetly they are not very efficient/willing to solve it up to now. I am already considering to terminate the service and buy from another provider but am still hesitating because shoveling up all my data through a slow ADSL upload again will be a pain in the neck and last quite some time.
  • I've never tested it myself, but might be able to move files between services without them passing through your connection. I think they also offer a webdav emulation over existing web services, so maybe that just works.
  • Thanks for the suggestion. Server in the USA is not an option for me any more for personal stuff. My present provider had the advantage that I could choose the country where the server is located so I chose the country I am living in, i.e. Austria. But maybe it's an illusion that my data are any more private here.....
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