about Zotfile

[i am not sure what to do to have this post to go into the zotfile thread]
i discovered that if one uses Zotfile to change the Data folder, after that the files attached to the items are not copied when one copies the items from a collection to another one or to a group.
i think that there should be a warning message clearly stating this when the user attempts to change the default data directory.

as far as i can see, at least on OSX, the usefulness of the change is that of having the attachments in a folder easily reachable and not inside the system folder "library".
but this ease of use has a much heavier counterbalance in the fact of not being able to copy as a whole the items with their attachments. so probably the normal user shouldn't be enabled to change in Zotfile the data directory.
could it be instead an option which can be changed only from the "config editor"?
  • edited April 10, 2019
    This isn't really about ZotFile. The issue is just that linked files aren't currently supported in groups and Zotero doesn't automatically convert linked files to stored files when copying attachments to groups. It probably should do the latter, so I've created an issue for that.

    A couple other clarifications:

    1) The "data directory" is where the Zotero database and stored files are stored. That's not something you set in ZotFile. There's a setting in ZotFile where you can tell it to move new files to a given folder — which I assume is what you're referring to — and that folder should generally be the same as the "Linked Attachment Base Directory" setting in Zotero so that you can open those linked files on other computers that might have a different path to the same files. But that's different from the data directory. It's also the whole point of ZotFile, so it's not something that would be hidden.

    2) In current versions of Zotero, nothing should be within the Library folder. If you're using Zotero 5 and your data directory is within Library, you should move it to the new default location, which is "Zotero" in your home directory, and point Zotero at that.
  • hi dstillman,
    thank you for the clarification about linked files (nevertheless i think the user should be clearly informed of this implication when s/he eventually chooses the location with Zotfile - that is that linked files are not automatically convert linked files to stored files when copying attachments to groups).

    about 1) you explained the matter very well. i end understanding that what i did erroneously with Zotfile could (can) be done the right way by setting a custom "Linked Attachment Base Directory"

    about 2) me wrong, my data directory (preferences, files and folders) is the default one (users/[myname]/zotero). so being it not inside Library, for the lay user there is one reason less to move the data directory using Zotfile.

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