Beta creating duplicate annotations by a save

It's obvious now that Zotero beta has its own annotation layer sitting on top of the PDF. Annotations weren't showing up on icloud, so I exported the PDF and saved it on top of the original PDF. This created duplicated annotations. I understand this custom layer is probably for performance and strategic purposes, considering sync freemium model... it's just not the direction the open-access/markdown/open-source crowd is going. Highly suggest considering a move back to working directly with the PDF such that other readers can use the annotations without needing an export or needing the proprietary mobile app. The beta app is promising, especially the annotations linking to their source sentence. If it's that good, people will buy it... especially if it implements what Zotfile figured out to get back to the page without a proprietary layer.
  • "Obvious now"? It was documented in our initial announcement four months ago:

    "Annotations are stored in the Zotero database, not in the PDF file, which allows for much more advanced functionality as well as fast syncing. The File menu contains a new option to export PDFs, which will convert any Zotero annotations into standard annotations in the exported file."
    probably for performance and strategic purposes, considering sync freemium model
    This has nothing whatsoever to do with storage subscriptions. Zotero is a lot more than a dedicated PDF reader, and there's functionality we want to offer that's not supported by standard PDF annotations (e.g., tagging of annotations). Storing annotations in the DB also allows for much faster syncing and processing, will make it possible to view and edit annotations in contexts where it wouldn't otherwise be possible (e.g., the web library), and avoids conflicts and lost data when one or more people are editing annotations on multiple devices, which has always been a major limitation of PDFs in Zotero.

    If you don't care about any of that, there's nothing stopping you from continuing to use an external PDF reader as you've always been able to. But it will be just as limited as it's always been.

    We've said previously that it may be possible in the future to migrate annotations between the DB and a file in your library in a way that avoids duplicates and conflicts.
  • Your reasoning is logical. And, understood you've said/warned things before. I'm sure others have seen those announcements/posts you mentioned. My feedback is based on the perspective of a new user not very entrenched in the forum and announcements. If that new user/customer profile isn't a target, and their impressions aren't useful to where you are in development, no problem with me. What is concerning is the defensiveness, and apologies if my post sounds ungrateful. Open-source developers deserve much more slack and understanding. My intent is simply to help... albeit not very useful/welcome.
  • We're happy for feedback, but your first post here accused us of making a major design decision based on what will make the most money when it has nothing to do with that. Of course we're going to be defensive.

    If you're wondering why something works the way it does or wish it would work differently, just ask.
  • You obviously care a lot and deserve accuracy on the reasons why you made well-considered choices. You've clarified those explicitly. It wasn't fair for me to assume that revenue played any part into those choices, which you clarified had nothing to do with revenue.

    The assumption was based on my belief that revenue *should* be a factor in all choices--it's what keeps the lights on. "Factor in all choices" is very different than "the sole focus" of choice. "Sole focus" wasn't my wording or intention: "I understand this custom layer is probably for performance and strategic purposes, considering sync freemium model". However, I could see how there seemed to be a linkage in my wording and apologies for not proofreading.

    I maintain caution that if a future user cannot seamlessly open the same document from other apps (without an export/conversion), they're going to get the wrong impression. They're going to falsely assimilate it to other apps' "locked in" tactics... again, however inaccurate that is, they're not going to read the forums/reasoning to clarify or even give opportunity to clarify in a post such as this.

    I respect your informed designed choices far beyond my insight, that they are for sound technical and moral reasoning, and that the trade-offs were considered. Please reconsider. Again, apologies for not anticipating my wording could sound like an accusation of only revenue focus--we know that's not true. Wishing you and the team best of luck.

    PS With all the extra time you have (joke), also consider a separate feedback space for beta testers. This forum may be too permanent for something so temporary as "beta".
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