What are prop or zip files in Webdav?

Hello,

I uploaded my local files to a webdav server. I get .prop and .zip files on the server whereas I was expecting the same files as on my local computer. What are these files and how can I use them?

Thank you
  • edited March 26, 2009
    The local files are zipped when uploaded to save space and to reduce the number of files, which speeds up the syncing. The .prop file contains some metadata on the zip file (http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/4398/unexpected-status-codes/?Focus=18931#Comment_18931). You can of course look into the zip files, but there have been some requests to disable zipping to make it easier to browse through the files in the WebDAV storage location.
  • I downloaded 1 zip and associated prop file but I do not see how I can use such files. How can I see them or recreate the original files?
  • It isn't clear to me what you are trying to do. If you want to just use the WebDAV syncing functionality from withing Zotero, you can treat all those files as a blackbox: syncing will just work if you give another client your WebDAV address & user/pass.

    If you are a developer who is trying to use these files outside of zotero, refer to the source for chrome/content/zotero/xpcom/storage.js

    The name of the zip file is the same as the name of the subdirectory under your zotero storage directory. The names of files inside the zip file are base64-encoded.
  • I thought that the storage server was some sort of backup for my notes in Zotero so my question is: how can I use this backup? But maybe I completely misunderstand the use of the storage server.

    I must say that I am not sure to understand the difference between the Webdav storage server and the Zotero Sync server...
  • Neither sync component is meant for a true backup. For backups, refer to FAQ#1:
    http://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_data#how_do_i_back_up_my_zotero_library
    Backing up will protect you from changes you might accidentally make and against changes from malware, etc. Syncing will happily mirror most changes, whether you actually wanted them to be made or not. It is useful if you use Zotero on multiple computers or want to share the same Zotero data between different firefox profiles, etc. It does protect against certain kinds of data loss (e.g. if you are starting from scratch & have no real backup, you can download the last set of data that was pushed to the sync servers by putting the same information in the sync preferences as you had originally put.). Again: using either service from within zotero does not require or benefit from you knowing what is going on behind the scenes or interacting with the servers from outside of zotero (such as by downloading the zip files manually).

    The Zotero sync server syncronizes your database (which, as the link above states, includes your item data, notes, and tags). Your WebDAV server stores the contents of your storage directory--these are attached files: pdfs and webpage snapshots.
  • Thank you for the explanation. These concepts are not so easy to grasp.

    For web pages, I noticed is that the Zotero Sync Server only stores the link to the page and not the page itself. If the page changes or is deleted, the link becomes useless.

    So what is the primary use of the Webdav sync server? How can I use it on different computers or on a mobile device?
  • WebDAV sync allows you to access attachments (PDFs, web snapshots, etc.) from Zotero on multiple computers. Since the files are zipped (and the filenames encoded to work around a Mozilla bug), you can't access them directly, however.

    We'll likely be offering uncompressed file syncing in the near future, which will allow you to access attachments via the website or mobile devices.
  • Are their any updates on the possibility to sync uncompressed files? I think that would be a very useful option because it would allow the user to access the pdf directly!
  • edited August 8, 2010
    My understanding is that the compression is actually connected to the way WebDAV works. If you use Zotero file storage, you do have direct access to the pdfs. I believe that's what Dan is referring to in the post above.
  • okay, I see. And is it possible to access the Zotero file storage from other applications. Can I, for example, mount the Zotero storage folder?
  • No, you can't mount the Zotero storage folder.

    However, I think that the compression is _not_ in fact necessary, and that Zotero could still eventually move away from it for WebDAV clients. Dan may have insight to offer here, but the filename encoding issues in Firefox that made it a must are due to be solved soon, if they haven't already.
  • Hello,

    We are using a local webdav server to store a group library which seems to become very big. To directly access the files through WEBDAV connection to the server would be very useful, as sometimes you could need a resource and cannot just install zotero on a public machine, as to say.

    So, as Dan mentioned on an earlier note, how far are we from uncompressed file syncing?

    I appreciate your attention.
  • there are something news about this issue?
    i set webdav on my nas (tonidoplug) but i also have .prop .zip.
    i want to use this folder to have a store of my pdf but also the zip files are strange file
  • edited August 8, 2012
    Please don't make multiple posts: developers read every post, so there's no need. Further, your "issue" is not realy related to this thread. Zotero stores your PDFs in some of those ZIP files. That you're able to see PDFs on another machine shows that the sync is working as designed. Zotero does not store uncompressed PDFs on your server.

    (EDITed with a bit more info after your reposts in other thread and a followup were deleted)
  • ddl: Start a separate thread and describe what you want to accomplish with your setup.

    Prop files contain metadata that is needed for syncing. ZIP files contain the actual attachment files with base 64 encoded file names. Both are meant to be accessed only by Zotero.
  • "We'll likely be offering uncompressed file syncing in the near future, which will allow you to access attachments via the website or mobile devices. "

    Any news about that feature? Is 6 years something around the near future ;)
  • Pretty sure that Dan's comment was referring not to WebDAV but to Zotero File Storage, which wasn't in place back then and does allow you both of those options.
    I'm not aware of any plans to offer uncompressed WebDAV storage
  • Uncompressed WebDAV option would not be a bad thing. If the storage is the same layout for WebDAV and for local then I could use WebDav on some devices (e.g. mobile) and local that is mirrored via a cloud service (e.g. on the PC).

    Another example: I was using local linked to a cloud storage directory. When I try to get WebDAV working I need to duplicate all the files in the cloud storage.

    An option to disable the WebDAV optimisations and just have storage use the same layout might not be too hard?
  • Any news about that feature?
    It would be really nice to have the possibility to disable zip/prop-optimisations.
  • I would love this feature too
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