Zotero startup & hanging problem

edited 14 days ago
I'm having problems with Zotero 6.0.8 running on a 2021 14" MacBook Pro w/ a M1 Max processor, 32GB of RAM, and running MacOS Monterey 12.4.

There are two problems, which I suspect are interrelated:

1. If I restart the computer, Zotero runs for a while. Then, say the next day, if I try to start Zotero, the Zotero icon bounces for a long while, after which it stops and nothing happens. It doesn't even open a window.

2. I've been experimenting with Obsidian and Matthew Myers' obsidian-zotero-integration plugin. It allows one to use Zotero's Desktop Connector to access Zotero's database in order to create in Obsidian notes: citations, bibliography entries, and template-controlled bibliographic information (including, according to the template, annotations from pdf files attached to the retrieved Zotero reference). I've used it successfully to do all these things, but after doing so for a time (maybe several hours), the Connector just hangs when used; I enter text to search for a reference, but the Connector's "pinwheel" just keeps spinning.

I suspect that whatever is causing Zotero to stop opening up after a while is also causing the Connector to hang after a while.

Restarting the computer seems to solve these problems, but only for a short time. (Maybe a day.)

What's the best way to troubleshoot this?
  • edited 14 days ago
    to use Zotero's Desktop Connector
    Note that the Obsidian plugin isn't called the "Zotero Desktop Connector" anymore, and certainly was never called "Zotero's Desktop Connector", since we had nothing to do with it. The "Zotero Connector" refers to our official browser extensions for saving to Zotero, and that's what people are going to assume you're talking about if you use the term "Connector". We asked the developer of the Obsidian plugin to rename it to "Obsidian Zotero Integration" to avoid this sort of confusion.

    The first step in debugging this would be disabling all third-party extensions in Zotero. If you can still reproduce the problem of it not starting properly, start it from the command line with terminal logging enabled and email the output to support@zotero.org with a link to this thread. You can also look for a crash log in the Console app, using the timestamps for reference.
  • edited 13 days ago
    I did refer to the plugin by the name the developer has on its Github page: "obsidian-zotero-integration plugin." In its documentation, he uses "Zotero Desktop Connector" to refer to the text box dialog used for searching for Zotero references. Looking at Zotero's own documentation (for LibreOffice Writer in this case), I now see Zotero's own documentation refers to this as "the citation dialog."

    Sorry for any confusion, but I came by it honestly. ;(

    Thanks for the debugging tips. I'll give it them a try.

    I'm currently working on a template for the Obsidian-Zotero-Integration plugin. For a time I'll be able to disable all third-party plugins. But when I start working on a template that deals with PDF annotations, I may have to activate Zotfile. We'll see.

    Once that's done, I'll have to return Zotero to its former status. I presume the proper procedure is to enable one third-party extension at a time, test Zotero for stability, and then go onto the next extension. Correct?
  • he uses "Zotero Desktop Connector" to refer to the text box dialog used for searching for Zotero references
    No, that was the name of the plugin — it wasn't a reference to the citation dialog. (The first screenshot shows the tab named after the plugin. The second one shows available commands, preceded by the name of the plugin and a colon.) The screenshots just haven't been updated to reflect the new name.
    I presume the proper procedure is to enable one third-party extension at a time, test Zotero for stability, and then go onto the next extension.
    You can, or you can enable half at a time, and if the error persists, disable half of the half you enabled, etc.
  • edited 13 days ago
    he uses "Zotero Desktop Connector" to refer to the text box dialog used for searching for Zotero references
    No, that was the name of the plugin — it wasn't a reference to the citation dialog. (The first screenshot shows the tab named after the plugin. The second one shows available commands, preceded by the name of the plugin and a colon.) The screenshots just haven't been updated to reflect the new name.
    Oh, now I see what you're getting at. I was unfamiliar with the earlier name. Because of this, when I saw the term, "Zotero Desktop Connector," I assumed it referred to the text dialog box shown immediately below the screenshot of a window where "Zotero Desktop Connector" appears four times.

    Also, thanks for reminding me of the bifurcation strategy for isolating the problem.

    BTW, as I went to disable my extensions, I think I may have found the problem. Before I upgraded to Zotero 6, I thought I updated all installed extensions to the latest version. But one plug-in, "Zotero Date From Last Modified," was not up to date. Looking at its Github page, I see the most recent round of modifications were to make the extension compatible with Zotero 6. This may have been the source of the problem; we shall see.
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