Zotero Safari Extension not working with new OS beta 10.14

I just upgraded to the beta version of 10.14 (Mojave) and it will not longer allow the Zotero extension saying that it's "unsafe" and has to be updated/reviewed in the Safari App Gallery. Even using a manual install won't work. So if you're thinking of upgrading to Beta, beware!
  • We haven't tested with Mojave yet, but what's the exact message you're getting?
  • edited June 9, 2018
    Ah. From https://developer.apple.com/safari/whats-new/:
    Removed Support for Developer-signed .safariextz Safari Extensions

    Support for developer-signed .safariextz Safari Extensions in Safari 12 on macOS has been removed. They no longer appear in Safari preferences and cannot be enabled. On first launch users will receive a warning notification and these extension will not load.
    Deprecated .safariextz-style Safari Extensions

    Support for .safariextz-style Safari Extensions installed from the Safari Extensions Gallery is deprecated with Safari 12 on macOS. Submissions to the Safari Extensions Gallery will no longer be accepted after December 2018. Developers are encouraged to transition to Safari App Extensions.
    So that's going to be the end of the Safari connector, at least in the short term.

    A Safari App Extension is only possible if you have an app distributed through the Mac App Store, which isn't currently a possibility for Zotero for technical reasons. And I believe you can't really have apps with no functionality that are only used to distributed Safari extensions, though we'll look into how flexible Apple's guidelines are there.

    So, we're going to have to think about this, and we'll post back if we have any updates. For now, if you use the Safari connector, you indeed will want to avoid 10.14 Safari 12.
  • Hi,
    I just wanted to post this issue here; meanwhile, I found that it has been addressed earlier. I was wondering whether it is possible to only publish the "extension" on the App Store, instead of the whole Zotero app?
  • Allow me to interject that this is an Apple policy change that affects many programs that interact with Safari. This is not limited to Zotero. Further, Apple has policies that make the placement of Zotero connectors, extensions, etc. on their Store difficult -- not the least of which is that there can be a lengthy interval between submission and acceptance. For things that are frequently updated or improved (like Zotero's extensions) the Apple-based delays make impractical getting users to have the current versions of Zotero connection software. My hope is that Apple will realize the problems created by this new policy and will find a way to keep the policy 's security benefit but allow external softwareto interact with Safari.
  • I was wondering whether it is possible to only publish the "extension" on the App Store, instead of the whole Zotero app?
    @aliakhavan89: No. I address that in my post above.
  • I used to work at Apple as Program Manager working on launches, I'm going to forward this post to one of the managers overseeing the beta. Not sure if it will help anything, but at least they'll have a heads up, as it will be an even larger issue with the official Mojave launch.
  • Thanks, @GinaGottardo. (It's also worth mentioning that the current error message is totally inappropriate. This is a policy change on Apple's part. Extensions using their previous framework — which work the same as extensions in Chrome and Firefox — didn't suddenly become unsafe.)

    I've updated my post above. This affects Safari 12, which will be available for Sierra and High Sierra as well, so it's not just 10.14. We'll update the download page when viewed with Safari 12 to remove the Safari connector as an option.

    Looking into this a bit more, even if we were able to distribute a Safari App Extension, which we can't currently, it would likely be much more limited: no dynamic save icon, I think no RIS/BibTeX interception or proxy redirection (which is already more limited in Safari), more limited interaction between the connector and Zotero for things like updating the collection chooser, and probably various other things going forward.

    (Zotero aside, this change will also mean the end of any Safari extension not linked to an app, unless Apple makes it possible to distribute these new-style extensions another way.)
  • There do appear to be at least several Mac Apps that only exist to create a Safari extension, so that seems at least possible:
  • Yeah, so the guidelines say “should include some functionality, such as help screens and settings interfaces where possible”, which seems somewhat contradictory (is a help screen "functionality"?) but ultimately does seem to allow fairly empty container apps.

    In our case, I'm pretty sure we'd need to reimplement at least the entire preferences system in the native app, and possibly more, just to end up with a much more limited extension than in Chrome and Firefox. I don't really see us doing that. I think it's much more likely that we'll just update the bookmarklet, since that would allow you to do most of what you'd be able to do with the new Safari extension anyway.
  • That would also make trying to save from mobile devices more pleasant
  • Does this mean that if I do not upgrade to 10.14 or Safari 12 (is Safari 12 automatically included in 10.14?), I should continue to use Zotero as usual?
    Thank you.
  • I think that -- worst case scenario -- it would mean using Chrome or Firefox as your browser for scholarly research. I work in a Mac shop. We, however, use Firefox or Chrome for looking at publisher websites or databases. I prefer Firefox because of the keyboard commands, others like Chrome better. In my opinion, Firefox or Chrome have always interacted better with Zotero than Safari.
  • @nschct: Once 10.14 and Safari 12 are released this fall, you'll want to upgrade at least to Safari 12. Apple doesn't put out security updates for previous Safari versions, and using a browser that's not receiving security updates is incredibly dangerous. So you won't be able to use the Zotero Connector in Safari after that point. We'll also stop updating the Safari connector then, since no one should be using a compatible version of Safari any longer.

    You can use the Zotero bookmarklet (which we'll be improving) in Safari 12 or, as DWL says, switch to Firefox or Chrome for a better experience (which is already the case, because the current Safari extension framework is already more limited).
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