Batch: Change information of a field for many items

I'm trying to change some information in certain fields of the items stored. Let's see filling out (the same) publication for many items. I wonder if there is an easy way to change them in one shot like a batch or something? Thanks in advance.
  • @Gracile
    Thanks a lot buddy. btw, do I have to download firefox to use it or I just install it in Zotero like any other add-ons?
  • I'm not sure that ExecuteJS could work in Standalone, indeed.
  • @gracile I tried to look it up but didn't find anything useful. Please forgive me that I'm not a programmer. Could you pls tell me that how to use it? Are there any more detailed instructions you can offer? Should I open somewhere in Firefox? How could I use the add-on and run the code?
  • Last I checked, ExecuteJS didn't work in Zotero Standalone.
  • @bwiernik You mean I can use it in Z standalone or it simply just doesn't work (i.e. unable to batch edit)? Are there any instructions for its usage?
  • You cannot use ExecuteJS to do do batch editing or other JavaScript functions in Zotero Standalone. If you have Zotero for Firefox installed, you can load ExecuteJS in Firefox and run commands to Zotero through the JavaScript API. It's not user friendly at all, unfortunately, and this option will stop working when Zotero 5.0 is released (when only Standalone will be available).
  • @bwiernik thanks for the clarification. I have actually read a lot of request and discussions about batch editing, and some of them appear to be even from years ago. I'm just curious if the batch editing will come to Zotero Standalone since users are just told that it's planned for a long time.
  • Batch editing Zoteor Standalone is definitely planned. I'm not a developer, so I can't promise any sort of ETA on when it will be implemented.
  • @liqianjv :
    @dstillman wrote in 2015 : "Batch editing is the first priority after the new types and fields, FWIW.", i.e. not before Zotero 5.2
  • Questions from someone with no real knowledge of CSL and Zotero development infrastructure or progress: Is introduction of new types and fields not dependent upon a waiting for CSL revisions? Wouldn't batch editing of existing fields not have that built-in delay?
  • about 90% of needed changes don't require any CSL changes (e.g. adding DOI to more item types, adding item types like data that already exist in CSL, etc.). For the rest, either we're going to be fast enough in CSL to update the schema (which is fairly trivial for just adding variables and types) or it'll wait for the next set of revisions: with the new sync infrastructure, there's no reason we need to make all field changes in one swoop anymore.
  • That said, field changes require the 4.x branches to be cut off from sync, so there is some delay there. Depending on how the 5.0 transition goes, devs may well be able to work on batch editing during that time -- there's no reason field changes and batch editing can't both be in 5.1
  • ...new sync infrastructure... Ah, I hadn't realized that. I was worried that new types would be delayed by differing philosophies among the players in the csl community.
  • edited March 2, 2017
    I was worried that new types would be delayed by differing philosophies among the players in the csl community.
    For my part, I don't have as much time as I used to have in my younger days to dedicate to CSL development (both because I have less time to spare, and because maintaining the "styles" repo nowadays takes a significant bite out of that spare time). Currently my main goals are:

    * Finish triaging and summarizing (https://github.com/citation-style-language/zotero-bits/issues/73) the current outstanding issues reported to the zotero-bits repository, so Dan has a clear overview of which issues have a clear consensus and can be quickly implemented once we move beyond Zotero 5.0. Some issues still lack a clearly defined need or consensus solution, so feedback on the issues there is welcome (preferably on the issue pages, not the summary page). As @adamsmith said, most of these issues don't actually require CSL changes, or have already been addressed (some of the issues predate CSL 1.0.1).
    * Concerning the changes that do require a new CSL release: I'd like to develop a new development process for CSL that is more open, better documented, and is less hands-on for me. In the old days, I did a lot of prep work with e.g. Frank behind the scenes, and we quite heavily relied on the xbiblio-devel mailing list for public discussions. Going forward, I'd like to move discussions away from the mailing list onto GitHub, and start using proposals for non-trivial changes (like those being used for Apple's Swift: https://github.com/apple/swift-evolution). There are also some more practical considerations I still haven't figured out yet (e.g. how to best keep a changelog for CSL, how to best make corrections over multiple CSL versions in Git, whether we should create or designate a "headquarters" GitHub repo as a focal point for development, or whether we should just keep using the existing set of repos), determining a proper release schedule [we e.g. need to give downstream CSL processors and tools a heads up before dropping a release], and how to best determine consensus for CSL changes).

    Anyway, in short, like @adamsmith I expect that we'll first work with the Zotero devs to implement the changes that don't require CSL changes for one of the post-5.0 releases, and then we'll see where to go from there.
  • Just a follow-up to this post: can you confirm that there is no new workaround to batch edit items in 5.0?
  • Only using python and PyZotero
  • Hello from the future!
  • Yep, hi from the future here too :)

    Anyone more familiar with the internals could provide some perspective on current status and if there are any fundamental blockers to get this done? I.e. if there was some non-expert/starting Zotero developer, is this sth that they could take upon?
  • Definitely not for a beginner -- given that a principal challenge for this isn't as much the code to batch edit (a lot of that already exists: https://www.zotero.org/support/dev/client_coding/javascript_api ) but to create a useful and intuitive UI/UX for that, this is almost certainly something the core-dev team will need to build.

    I don't think there are any blockers as such.
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