ZotDroid - A Zotero Client for Android

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  • Next version is out! 0.6

    @cjb @LiborA @"Jon Rubin" this should be relevant to your interests.

    The initial bug on first load I think I've caught and fixed.

    But most importantly, this version adds pagination and partial loading. Essentially, the first 100 items of any collection are pulled into the list and into memory. If you scroll off the bottom, zotdroid will grab another 100 for you.

    This has reduced the initial startup time a little but there's still work to be done. A lot of optimisation needs to happen at this step. It differs from device to device to android version to version so it's tricky. However, with a bit of luck, I think I can improve it. The most important thing is that it is now isolated and has a dialog box around it.

    I'd love it if these folks with large collections could please give this a try. I won't lie, there are likely a few more bugs in it, because this was a BIG refactor but I think I'm on the right lines.

    One thing that is annoying is that when new items are loaded, the list goes right back to the top again which sucks! Thats next on the list to fix.

    Thanks again for all your help! Hopefully I can get back to my research and actually use this app to read some things before my supervisor tells me off! :)
  • Hi, the start spent about 30 sec. Great. Unfortunately, the app crash very often with error message about stop of application. The time gap before the next page of items is loaded looks like the freeze od app.
  • It crashes on startup here. I'll wipe it and reinstall to see if this makes any difference.
  • @fmuro that might actually help because the underlying database has had to change. I've noticed that it's best to remove the application and the database completely. I've added support for multiple authors as well. I suspect this might have been too much in one go.

    @LiborA thanks for testing - I'd like people with large collections to really give this a proper spin. I want it to work for as many folk as possible.

    It was quite a large refactor and a big change and I did rush out 0.6 a little quickly, so this week, I'll be spending some time tidying it all up and ironing out these bugs. I'm hoping 0.7 will see most of them away, and hopefully tagging support. No doubt that will involve another database change.

    Cheers!

    Ben
  • Clean install.
    First sync took a long time (didn't time it, but about 15 minutes).
    Crashed immediately on getting to 100% (or might have been a bit before that).


  • On re-launch: "Initialising database. please wait" for a long long time.
    Checking back later: some items displayed (oldest).
    Scrolling down, the app freezes and crashes.
  • @cjb at first that sounded like the old version.

    "initialising database" only loads 100 items. Shouldn't take too long at all, so thats certainly odd. Initial sync with the zotero servers can take a while, that one is out of my hands.

    Which device are you using by the way?

    I think I'll re-order to put in the newest first.
  • Hi, I uninstalled Zotroid 0.5, installed 0.6 and it does start up much faster. However, selecting a folder causes it to hang, then crash, so can't use it at the moment.
    If I need to uninstall and wipe it before reinstalling, where is the Zotdroid database, because I browsed to the Zotdroid folder and there's nothing in it.
  • @onidaito it crashes on startup even after erasing data and reinstalling.
  • Hello everyone!
    0.7 Release is out! It's been a busy week as my research is hitting a rather interesting point so I've not had much time to work on ZotDroid but never fear!

    I've tested this on two Virtual Devices and my real Android Nexus 10 and I've haven't had a crash yet but I'm sure some folks will be able to make it break. I suspect the more recent versions of Android are less forgiving so I'll be sure to test these next week.

    Do please give it a look. I think it should support these of you with the larger libraries. Mine is up to 1100 items so it's not at the heavy end. I hear that the largest users are around the 8000 mark.

    At some point the SQLite database that underpins this might begin to suffer. I notice the long startup time is due to loading the data from the DB. I'll keep looking at that.

    Next thing will be annotation through notes I think. It's the last *big* thing I need to do. After that more metadata and search / organise options I think.
  • Still crashing on startup here.
  • @fmuro can you provide me with a bit more information please? Android version, device and what not? I've only seen this bug rarely and in previous versions. Would be nice to get it nailed.
  • Sure, it's android 6 on an honor 7.
  • The start is OK for me, there are still delays in a reaction of Zotdroid. But I found a bug. When you use the search function, then the results on the first page are OK, but on the second page are items, which do not contain the searched word.
  • It also crashes at startup for me.
    Android 6.01 on a galaxy tab SM-T700
    As recommended, I unistalled previous version, then installed v 0.7
  • There's a common theme here - Android Marshmallow. I shall add it to my test list.
    @LiborA thanks - that's a good find.
    @warguelles thanks for letting me know. I suspect Android 6 is being a bit more picky.
  • Ok folks, here is a minor update for you, version 0.71.

    @fmuro @warguelles turns out I was right! Marshmallow is protecting you against writes to the SDCard. I was still saving performance data on bootup (the graph for initialisation I posted before). Removing this fixes the crash. Good one to notice.

    @LiborA I think I have that bug fixed. I'll keep my eyes peeled for more.

    Cheers all!
  • @OniDaito I can confirm that 0.71 doesn't crash on startup. The database syncs slowly for the first time (I have almost 7000 items), but it seems to sync correctly and it doesn't hang while syncing, unlike in previous versions. I can also confirm that the bug in searches seems to be fixed.

    Some bugs I have detected:

    After syncing, I can unfold items in the first page, but if I load additional items and try to unfold any of them, the app crashes.

    I haven't been able to get my webdav connection working. I'd suggest to add a "test webdav connection" option in the webdav settings. This may help to test different urls faster.

    When I open a collection withing my library, it never shows all items (sometimes even no items at all) even if I refresh.

    Something small: when in "settings" main menu, the arrow <- on the top bar doesn't work to go back to the items list. I can go back by clicking on the android bar though.

    I'm very, very grateful for your work. I even hope you can get some support from the Zotero developers since what you're doing is really important and mainstream to enhance this tool. I'll use it on my phone, which is not a main tool in my research, so in my case it's not that basic at this moment, but I can think of tons of colleagues migrating to Zotero if they can get your app in their tablets. I can even imagine my university purchasing institutional support in the future if this app is available.

    Thanks!
  • @fmuro thanks for the feedback and the kind words. As I mentioned before I'm working on my degree at the moment so I don't have as much time as I'd like to commit to Zotero, so progress is slow going and basic errors occur. Nevertheless, I am grateful for everyone's patience. Android is a hard platform to develop for, thanks to all the devices and versions.

    The crash on the scrolldown-pagination is worrying. That does not occur on several versions I've looked at so I'll test it more there.

    There is a webdav test - it's in the right hand main menu but really it should be in the preferences section. It may not actually be possible to do this inside the confines of Android Dev but it might work. It would be better.

    The return arrow thing is a real pain! It's an on/off bug and has been there for ages. I need to sort it out.

    Hopefully I'll get chance at the end of this week to get a few more bugs ironed out. I'd like to get some basic annotation support if I can - notes and tags ideally. The idea being is zotdroid is more for reading and jotting down notes on the go, rather than mass sorting.

    When you talk about the time syncing, there are two areas here. The first is when you hit 'reset and sync' or 'sync' for the first time. This goes over the web so theres little I can do to make that faster. The other is the 'initializing database' bit when Zotero boots up. Presumably, it's the former you mean when it's slow loading?
  • @OniDaito it seems as ZotDroid cant search in author field. It is very important for me. In a lot of cases I do not remember the title of document but I remember the author. I would like also see authors when I show an info about the item. Thanks for your work.
  • @LiborA I did add author search as the default and multiple separate authors. That should work in search but I'll double check.

    At the moment I'm working on syncing local changes back to the zotero server which is a big change. So far ZotDroid just pulls changes from the server but actually sending them back correctly is a big deal. Hopefully I can get tag support out early next week. I've had a lot of research to do so it's been a bit slow.

    I'll make sure authors works properly. I'm actually concerned that I'm running out of screen real-estate to put all the options in! I'd like to add more search options but I'm not too sure where best to put them.
  • Next version 0.8 is now out.

    The main feature is the first of the two editing functions - the add and removal of tags. I'll be working on notes next (which is harder as there's lots of html editing and the like).

    I'd caution everyone to be careful with this release for now because the app can now make changes to your zotero library. It's only with tags at the moment (so nothing too major), but it does seem to work ok, as far as my testing goes.

    I'm beginning to run out of space to put things, such as ordering options (something we need), search by tags only (or indeed search options). Any suggestions are more than welcome!

    Cheers

    Ben
  • This version does not start for me. It crashed one sec after opening.
  • I had to do clean installation, but currently the Zotdroid crash during database initialization again and again.
  • @LiborA you are on android 6.0 correct?
  • No, on android 4.4.2
  • Ok, I'll test on that and see if I can find the problem. Do uninstall any previous versions though as this one includes a database upgrade.
  • I have tested on that version - sadly I cannot reproduce the crash. I would assume that an older version of the database must have existed and is not compatible with the latest application. Android tends to leave older files around so newer versions of the code can use these settings and data.
  • OK there are my steps
    1. Uninstall of Zotdroid
    2. Install Zotdroid
    3. Link Zotdroid with my account
    4. Synchronization of the database
    - Zotdroid is crashed after 100 percent of synchronization
    5. Open Zotdroid
    - Zotdroid is crashed
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