Annotation/Highlights Downgrade in 3.0.1?!

In the change log for 3.0.1 I see this pearl:
"Note that annotation/highlight functionality is no longer maintained, annotations and highlights do not sync, and use of those features is discouraged."

What?! Could someone comment on this? This is a killer feature of Zotero. Downgrading seems like a real lost opportunity here.
  • This has been the case for a while - it's not a downgrade technically (the annotations have never synced and the feature hasn't been maintained since early 2.1 versions at least).

    I don't know the entire rationale behind ceasing to support this, but a major factor is that the current annotation approach doesn't allow syncing.

    The hope is to replace this with something more robust in the medium term.
  • Right—this is a warning of what has been the state of things for years, not any new policy. We mentioned this in the changelog because there was an annotations bug in 3.0 (fixed in 3.0.1) that occurred because the annotations code is no longer tested. We also can't guarantee the complete long-term preservation of annotations—we would at least migrate annotations to the attachment's embedded note, but we can't guarantee that positional information will be preserved, so the fewer people using annotations the better (and I think relatively few people are—anyone who's been syncing over the last few years presumably isn't).

    This feature was never heavily used, the interface isn't very good, and we can't really justify maintaining our own implementation of it. If there's a third-party annotation system that we can integrate (and, ideally, if someone wanted to work to integrate it), we could consider that, and if that ever happened maybe existing annotations could be migrated with positional information intact. But better support for PDF annotations, which many more people use, is a much higher priority.
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