Watchfolder variation - symlinks and local sync only

After having read threads about the (infamous) watch folder functionality, looked in different sections, tried many things in zotero desktop and mendeley, I understood there are couples of issues and you should use zotweb for best results. But if I may I would still ask a related question with a local and symbolic links variation.

Could zotero (plugin extended) watch a local folder connecting only through symlinks? Or to put it differently: could I sync locale folders with different file formats in my locale zotero bib? I insist on the local and the symlinks aspects the question, it is not the same situation often described including cloud sync full formatted files if I understood it correctly.

So far, I managed to do it as an importation move. Simply by greencross adding a folder, then pick every filetype displayed, and finally choose "links" instead of copy. It maintains my folder tree strucutre using collections of the zotero side. It is perfect. But then comes the question of automation/sync/watch for when I add new files.

My guess is you can do it through general preferences and zotfiles preferences, with the base folders location, and the two other zotfile file location. Then I got lost...

More Usecase:
- I work outside zotero with windows folders system
- From south America region where only a few use paid services
- I only cloud sync metadatas for public/group collections so it stays low on storage. Then people look for it by their own, add it or not in their own workflow. And we exchange and write through all the others possibilities available out there.
- Data back-up on regular basis, including hdd, usb keys. Bibliography is split on free cloud storage services but I do not want to use it in my main workflow

- I do not want to use any 3rd party cloud service, including zotero storage. Was about to jump for the pcloud lifetime subscription until I saw a recent reddit thread that led me to a "keep it as much local" policy (#localisgoodenough) Working locale is enough to read, anotated, quote, write. Only then I encrypt, share, store, send, using cloud storages or whatever canal as much as I like to do.
- If you prefer, any cloud service is considered to me as a second layer, and every click or operations necessary to share things is considered acceptable. I do not mind looking for metadatas afterward neither manual edit.
- I receive other documents in various forma - pdf-mp3-mp4/text/image/video etc from mail and class platforms (moodles)

1. A teacher put a new folder with documents in the moodle platform
2. There are pdfs, scans of a book chapter, screencapture of a statistic table in jpg, and a short mp4 webcast.
3. I put all that on my local/user/bibliography/mastersocio/seminarDurkheim
4. New material added every week.
5. While this, I also have to look up peereviewed article, newsarticle, youtubevideo, social media post for analisis.
A. I received a mail and want to respond adding a file without wondering where is it. Sticking to hard/local ensure me I could use the same filetree without my mind being split in cloud and local options. The core is local, rest is monthly-weekly back-ups.

Trying to clarify, this would correspond to a local synchronisation using symlinks toward my local file-tree system.

Thanks for your help!
  • It's not going to happen in Zotero. ZotFile used to have something close to a watchfolder, but that never worked particularly well and was discontinued even before ZotFile's developer significantly reduced his efforts in developing the add-on.

    That also means it's likely possible with some effort in an add-on (likely more so if that add-on focuses on a particular OS), but it's not going to be trivial and I'm not aware of anyone who has done any work on this.

    (FWIW, I don't understand what the whole cloud issue has to do with this; all discussions of watch folders I'm aware of are about local files, and Zotero file storage doesn't have anything to do with importing files either; that's just about syncing)
  • True I think it needs more work on my side as I am probably missing some issue here. I will continue from the folder import plugin. Thank you for the reply adamsmith
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