Can't access WebDAV files from PaperShip or

This discussion was created from comments split from: File Sync over WebDAV to
  • I'm also having trouble with WebDAV syncing. I use box and I can see that the files are on box (I've downloaded the .zip files and peaked inside), but they are not available for download to my iPad (using either zotfile or Papership). I also can't access them via loging in to Any solutions out there?
  • edited March 23, 2017
    You can't access WebDAV-stored files through, since doesn't have access to the WebDAV server. (We don't upload your WebDAV credentials, for obvious reasons.) I'm afraid we can't help with PaperShip issues.

    Files Not Syncing explains the basic troubleshooting steps in terms of Zotero and the WebDAV server, though.
  • You cannot sync from Papership to Zotero if you use your own WebDAV storage because Papership is not further developed or maintained anymore. The Company that created Papership was bought by Elsevier who is estimated as one of the great limiters of free flow of scientific knowledge in the web. They have in my opinion no serious interest to support a free tool like Zotero since they have their own commercial mendeley product.

    Papership sync relies on the fact that former Zotero version left behind a text file named lastsync.txt in the root of the zotero storage. If it is not present Papership simply refuses to sync.

    Unfortunately Zotero does not use the lastsync.txt approach anymore and unfortunately also removes the file if present during some sync operations.

    Temporary Workaround (currently needs repetition)

    As a temporary workaround you can create a file lastsync.txt manually in the root of the zotero folder in your WebDAV storage. This requires access via a WebDAV client or a terminal. For non admin users the direct login into the storage via WebDAV Client (e.g. the free Cyberduck) ist often the only way. Since the directory may contain a lot of data accessing it via a graphical client can be cumbersome or impossible. So if you are able to use a coomandline interface, you can save a lot of time and automate it if you want.

    The usual terminal command to create an empty file or modify the date of an existing one is ``touch``.

    1. login into your WebDAV storage
    2. cd into your ../zotero/ directory that contains the entries and the zipped archives of the snapshots
    3. issue the command ``touch ./lastsync.txt``
    4. Shutdown the papership app on iOS by slipping it out of the app overview.
    5. Restart Papership
    6. Initiate a new sync by dragging down

    The sync should now work again until the lastsync.txt is gone again

    @dstillman is there a chance to get an option in the Zotero preferences to restore that legacy behaviour on demand? If not ist it possible for an addon to factor that out of the main code?
  • Update: I actually guess that Papership stores the modification date of that lastsync.txt file and compares it to the current one. If the date does not differ, it is too lazy to sync.

    I figured this out because my initial sync after the touch of the lastsync.txt file was successful. The subsequent one tooks forever without progress again.

    After touching the lastsync.txt file again, the sync works again for one single time.
  • Papership was actually just updated a few days ago, although change log only says bug fix.
    Hopefully they will address this or the official ios app would release soon.
  • For me the Papership iOS Sync via WEBDAV worked well after the mentioned App update and without further tricks on the server for 2 month.

    Unless I have now a current pending sync issue from Zotero Standalone to since some days. I wote a related report for it. No idea if related. Need to investigate deeper.

    Need to check if this is stopping the Papership Sync since 3 days.
    Due to I expect Papership does only reads on my side (I added nothing on iOS) I guess the issue is not related to Papership, but may block further syncs.
  • update: The Papership "Verify Server" Action still relies on a proper updated timestamp in ``lastsync.txt`` (see above). Today verificaion failed until ``lastsync.txt`` was touched again on the WebDAV Server. This did not mend the general sync failure of Papership related to other errors in the sync state that seems to blocks the sync of Papership.
  • As described by @dstillman in his response to Zotero finally self healed the sync. After that Papership WebDAV sync works again without further touch of the lastsync.txt file.
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