Zotero 5.0 Beta

  • The first 5.0 beta release anniversary is one month away :) I hope the developers will provide 5.0 full public release by June 10!
  • I've been using the beta since it was announced and began using it as the only version soon thereafter. It satisfies my needs quite well. That said, I see no reason to rush this. Clearly, with almost 200 revisions, there has been a need to make adjustments to get everything working for everyone. I can understand getting all the wrinkles ironed out before 5.0 final. Hopefully, there will be little need for multiple 5.0.x versions as the beta path has been long and thorough.

    Those of us who need the extra features use the beta. As far as i am concerned it has been at gold for many weeks. Reading the posts on this forum, though, I've noticed that there are fringe issues that led to minor problems with some operating system versions and browser combinations. Beta users who have less computer knowledge and confidence have reported problems -- thus UI changes have been made.

    My observation is that there have been several things external to Zotero that have occurred that have had impact on Zotero and adjustments were required to keep Zotero in perfect compliance. Some of this seems to be related to getting each of the connectors to have identical capabilities. While these final tweaks are being made it appears that other things are being done such as the multi-language translations. Maybe some of the delay is preparing the online documentation for the new version.

    Zotero 5 beta works well with the plug-ins I need. Are there widely used plug-ins that as yet are not Zotrro-5-ready?
  • "That said, I see no reason to rush this." I can't wait for having only the standalone version and one similar add-on on all browsers. That will simplify documentation and user support.
    In my opinion, bugs are not the only problems with software, sometimes version fragmentation can lead to a lot of problems. Especially with users with low technical skills that can manage a crash but not choosing between "standalone" or not, multiple documentation, different plugin version and so on. Right now we are in one of the worst positions: multiple packaging, multiple add-on, multiple version... So yes let's rush.
  • There are reasons to rush. Among others there are people who give training in bibliography management. For them the situation when Zotero could suddenly be updated (brining a lot of new features) in rather unpleasant. I guess the developers of plug-ins are in a someway similar situation.
  • edited May 10, 2017
    @gagarine "Right now we are in one of the worst positions: multiple packaging, multiple add-on, multiple version" is not entirely correct. The beta is what it is - only for those who want to test/experience what's next, so can't really include that in the multiple count.

    @vladislav I do not fully understand how rushing will help with training. It seems the other way around - sufficient beta period and good documentation should help with training when the full public release happens. More so with plug-in developers, who get sufficient time to code a new version of the plug-in and be ready to go when the full public release happens.

    Not saying we need to be in beta longer, just respecting the decision of the developers to wait and fix some more bugs and finish documentation.
  • I don't think the beta should be pushed out before devs are confident there are no significant bugs left. Zotero users are not going to take too kindly to a botched roll-out, often relying on Zotero as a key part of their research. I'm not sure where gagarine provides support for Zotero, but I'm pretty confident I can speak for the dozens of librarians and others supporting Zotero that I'm in touch with that they'd much rather have the beta and the dual Standalone/Firefox setup a couple of months longer than having to deal with broken updates, broken documents, or even lost data among their patrons.

    That said, it would be helpful to get a clearer sense of timing -- I completely understand that you can't give us a firm ETA before you think the beta is ready, but even something in the form of "we will announce the release here 2 weeks before it occurs" would be very helpful -- say in the form of a feature-frozen RC release.

    I have seen a lot of questions, both here and on other channels, including a slew of e-mails from librarians, wondering whether to install/support/recommend the beta or the current version and the thought that you could prepare a workshop on 4.0 and then have 5.0 appear "overnight" (even if initially update is optional) isn't great.
  • @adamsmith thank you very much for the answer. It summarizes as well as explains gagarine;s and my own fillings about "rushing". A feature-frozen RC release would be a great solution.
  • edited May 12, 2017
    Like a dissertation, there's something to be said for "done" over "perfect." There are IT teams and policies which would be OK with release software being installed on university systems (no one imagines anything to be "bug-free," as long as there is no issues with security implications) but balk at anything with the word "beta" attached to it.
  • Hello.

    The addon zotero-better-biblatex is not compatible with Zotero v5.0
    Please add compatibility for it.
  • @juanpide es el desarrollador del complemento el que tiene que hacerlo. Si te vas a su página de github verás que está en ello, pero requiere tiempo. De todos modos el exportador bibtex que trae incluido Zotero está bastante bien, pruébalo en la beta, lo único que falta son las exportaciones automáticas.
  • Hi guys. I think one mistake was made: to suggest that an update was near, which creates expectations. I recall that in January I was writing a paper and stressed for the update: on the one hand it was needed as MacOS didn't accept saving annotations to open pdf's and I was reluctant to move folders manually (ultimately I did it), on the other hand I suspected the update could screw up the work flow, more so because I export to bibtex and then add automatic shorthand names in jabref to use in Latex, as I suppose most people do. I felt like a pigeon scanning this forum for changes to the beta, rather because I like Zotero than out of dislike, but still it takes a bit long since the first announcement of the major update.
  • We are far away from having something like "Duke Nukem Forever", don't we?

    Things work fine for me with the actual Zotero 4.

    I will be happy to work with Zotero 5.X when it is published. Things have to grow, and growing takes time, as it is always.
  • I have got a question. Since i read the file structure (pdf/article etc. storage) will be different:
    I currently use Zotfile with the option to store files at a user-specified place/folder - so the other ones working with me (2 people - but im the one working with references) can easily find a pdf article they may need on our server.

    So: if i understand right in Zotero 5 this will be the "normal" storage methode. Will my current structure work with Zotero 5 - means: update from Zotero 4 to 5 - taking over the file structure - or may this cause problems and i would somehow have to recreate the "normal" current structure - without zotfile and the specific folder?

    Btw: thx for the great work. I tried used some other reference managers - but always came back to zotero - and not only because im an open source fan.
  • So: if i understand right in Zotero 5 this will be the "normal" storage methode.
    No, the file structure does not change for Zotero 5. Only the specific location of the data directory.
    Linked files -- via ZotFile and otherwise -- are entirely unaffected by this, so you'll be able to keep doing exactly what you are doing now without any issues.
  • As I understand it I will HAVE to use Standalone and not the Firefox browser version in future with v 5? How long will I be able to use the old version, as I very rarely use Standalone? Why can't we have both, instead of forcing those who prefer it to use in Firefox? Will we loose the direct download for PDF's?
  • How long will I be able to use the old version
    Not quite clear, but not terribly long; maybe 3-6months and without guarantee for bugfixes
    Why can't we have both, instead of forcing those who prefer it to use in Firefox?
    Because changes in what Firefox allows add-ons to do make it literally impossible to provide the Firefox-only version. (Note that you will still be able to use Firefox with Zotero; it'll just be via a connector the same way it currently works with Chrome&Safari)
    Will we loose the direct download for PDF's?
    No. This has always worked in Standalone and recent changes in the connectors mean it should work just as well as with the Firefox add-on.
  • I may be hallucinating, but I think we've lost the Merge Duplicates option outside of the Duplicate Items folder. I miss it.
  • edited June 7, 2017
  • @kdb_research: Fixed in 207/208, available now.
  • So much for being offered a change to upgrade to the v 5 connector in Firefox! I hope and pray I will have a chance to backup my huge Library at home. I turned off the automatic updates.
  • @creik -- not sure what you're referring to. The 5.0 version hasn't been pushed out to anyone on the regular release at all and when it will be it will initially be opt-in.
  • edited June 7, 2017
    Also, this doesn't have anything to do with backups — updating to the new Firefox connector won't touch your data.

    But you will need to install the standalone Zotero client (4.0 or 5.0) to continue using the full version of Zotero once we push out the new Firefox connector. We'll have a blog post with more details up soon, but as adamsmith says, the full version of Zotero for Firefox literally can't run on upcoming versions of Firefox, because Mozilla removed the extension architecture on which it's based. Nearly all browsing-related functionality from Zotero for Firefox has been added to the new connectors.

    As for prompting, we'll be prompting existing Standalone users for the 4.0 -> 5.0 upgrade. Mozilla doesn't provide a way to prompt for extension updates, but the old version would just be disabled in an upcoming Firefox update anyway, and the new version doesn't touch your data. I would strongly discourage turning off any automatic updates. Running an outdated browser is extremely unsafe.
  • (If you really can't install the standalone client in the near future, you can stay on Firefox 52 ESR for a while with extension updates disabled. That could get you to mid-2018 locally (until Firefox 52 ESR support is dropped), though 4.0 syncing won't continue to work for that long.)
  • When I opened Firefox today, my Z icon at the bottom of my screen had moved to the tool bar and it no longer opened Zotero in the browser anymore. I didn't click on anything to get the extension. When I went into my Add-ons, Zotero Connector 5.0.3 was listed and not the browser version. I have turned off the automatic updates for Zotero not Firefox.
    So why did I get this today?
  • edited June 7, 2017
    Only way that would have happened is if you had the beta version of Zotero installed -- that used to exist as a Firefox version and that would indeed have gotten transferred to the connector without warning.

    Edit: though "Z icon at the bottom of my Screen" -- that hasn't been there for something like 2 years, so that's a bit confusing.
  • Only way that would have happened is if you had the beta version of Zotero installed
    No, even that's not the case. No Zotero for Firefox versions have been auto-updated to the connector. We literally haven't set up scripts to change the 4.0 stable and beta update manifests:


    The only way @creik would have the connector is by installing it from this thread, the 5.0 page, or the download page (where it's now the default version in the Standalone section).
  • (But just to be very clear, existing Zotero for Firefox users will be auto-updated to the new connector soon, as explained above. But that hasn't happened yet.)
  • The "Z" does still show up in the status bar for those who have the popular extension Status-4-Evar installed. It is still working fine for me, in Firefox 53.0.3.
  • Any estimate for 5.0 release yet? Even something vague, like "this summer" or "next year", would be helpful to those of us who need to plan for the change.
  • I got it back by uninstalling the connector and re-installing the Firefox version. I have the popular extension "Status-4-Evar installed" and am able to split the icon from the Z and still have the latter in the status bar.
This discussion has been closed.