Storage via dropbox/etc?

I already pay for storage via dropbox. Could Zotero use the dropbox API to store it's files?
  • no, sorry. For personal libraries, you can use ZotFile to move files to Dropbox & sync them that way, but Zotero's file storage does more than just sync files, so Dropbox isn't a replacement.
  • Is it possible to have Zotero's local cache of attachments stored in dropbox? Would there be problems if Zotero is then running on several computers using the same dropbox folder? (they woulnd't be used simultaneously, but may be running simultaneously)
  • > Zotero's file storage does more than just sync files,

    It looks like it uses a SQL database. I understand syncing is an issue, but Dropbox doesn’t Dropbox have a function that pauses syncing while files are uploaded? And couldn’t you avoid race conditions by surrounding the function call with sleep functions?
  • edited January 10, 2018
    When it comes to race conditions, I think dropbox isn't going to be bug-free without significant extra effort (eg: small hidden lock files). But if you're not actually interacting with zotero on two computers simultaneosly, it seems quite likely that race conditions won't be the issue. The problem is more about process state being stored in a file: unless the file name has something specific to the running instance, you'd end up with inconsistency between the state as seen in the file and the actual state of a running process. I've seen this in other applications. I'd not put Zotero's local cache in dropbox (that's the sql part - pretty likely not to work afaik), but instruct Zotero to store attachment files in dropbox. This, I think, is likely to work. It's even quite unlikely to suffer from race conditions except in rare and quite unusual situations.
  • edited January 10, 2018
    You could symlink the ‘storage’ folder in your Zotero data directory to a folder in Dropbox (disable file syncing in Zotero if you do this). That should not cause any issues.

    For your personal My Library, you can also use the Zotfile plugin to move and organize attachment files in a Dropbox folder (this won’t work for files in a Group library).

    See https://www.zotero.org/support/sync#alternative_syncing_solutions
  • Awesome, that's exactly what I was after. Thanks! Another great advantage to this is that annotations on attached pdf's are synced also (:

    I had been looking at options to access dropbox via webdav (there's "DropDav" at $5/month, "CloudHQ" at €118/year (or free with free dropbox) and a github repo "Perlence/dropbox-via-webdav" that's 3 years inactive).
  • Any changes or annotations you make to PDFs are synced using any sync method, including native Zotero syncing.
  • @bwiernik Are you sure? Does Zotero watch locally stored files and sync them whenever they are changed? I once did some experiments, and as I recall, it didn't happen. Certainly not for annotations from Skim, which reside in a text file next to the pdf, but I'm pretty sure I tried embedded annotations also and zotero didn't notice that the pdf had changed. On other machines, the annotations weren't present.
  • Correct, Skim annotations don't sync, but yes, Zotero is aware of file modification times for other attachments and those should (and do) sync.
  • And the reason Skim modifications don’t sync is because they don’t make any changes to the file itself, it only to an extended properties file that Skim uses. Skim in general doesn’t play well with other tools.
  • Ah, ok. My confusion. After my experiments, a actually switched to using acrobat for my annotations (which save in the file). fwiw skim CAN embed annotations, but it's fiddly and not so good as part of a workflow.
    Hmm.. fwiwf.. Not sure how connected you guys are to zotero file storage, but the reason I'm looking into this now is that my 2gb paid storage is nearly full and it feels a bit wrong to pay an extra $40 for more when I've a terrabyte to fill up on Dropbox. I don't know how the economics of that works for you guys (you clearly don't have the scale advantage of Dropbox), but with a lower price I'd be happy to pay a bit more...
  • my 2gb paid storage is nearly full and it feels a bit wrong to pay an extra $40 for more when I've a terrabyte to fill up on Dropbox. I don't know how the economics of that works for you guys (you clearly don't have the scale advantage of Dropbox), but with a lower price I'd be happy to pay a bit more...
    To my knowledge, the financials of developing and operating Zotero have never been made public, but there have been some statements that Zotero File Storage subscriptions cover a significant portion of the overall project costs such as developer salaries. So while it may feel like you're paying double for online storage (if you e.g. already have a Dropbox subscription), your Zotero File Storage subscription helps keep the Zotero project healthy and sustainable.
  • edited 8 days ago
    Found this explainer on how to do it:
    https://remembereverything.org/syncing-zotero-with-dropbox-and-several-computers/

    They give the example with Windows 7. For Mac computers with the default configuration you can:
    0. Close Zotero!
    1. Make a Zotero folder in your Dropbox folder
    2. Move the storage folder from your home directory Zotero folder to the Dropbox Zotero folder
    3. Use the ln -s command in Terminal to create a symlink

    On the command line:
    mkdir ~/Dropbox/Zotero
    mv ~/Zotero/storage ~/Dropbox/Zotero/
    ln -s ~Dropbox/Zotero/storage ~/Zotero/storage
  • ps be sure Zotero is closed before you do that!
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