Zotero 5.0 Beta

  • Zotero 5.0 is designed to sync with 4.0 clients, though there's always the chance of unforeseen problems with a change this large. But we have various tests to ensure compatibility, and there are almost certainly beta users in libraries with 4.0 users.

    Note that we will be shutting off 4.0 syncing a few months after 5.0 is released, at least for libraries with 5.0 users, because that's the only way we can make long-awaited changes to the Zotero data model. The exact timeframe will depend on how quickly people upgrade to 5.0 and the stability of cross-version syncing.
    I would like to encourage you to take your time with the Zotero 5.0 release
    Oh, I think we've pretty well accomplished that…
  • Oh, I think we've pretty well accomplished that…
    Indeed! Could you tell us if there are still some blockers which prevent you to release Zotero 5.0? Is it related to this list? Are there other reasons? I have no doubt that it's wise and reasonable to wait (if it's not to fix those issues), but would be happy to know!
  • We've made a major change in the latest beta in response to feedback on My Publications. My Publications is no longer a separate library and is now integrated into My Library, which means you can drag items into it like you would to any other collection, and changes you make to item metadata anywhere in your library affect My Publications too. Previously, you either ended up with the same items in both libraries or had to delete your publications from My Library after dragging.

    It's also now much easier to adjust the public visibility of child items in My Publications. You can still choose whether to include files and notes when dragging the parent item, but since you're now simply adding the original item, all child items will show up in the My Publications view, with those that aren't shown publicly in gray. You can change an item's visibility by clicking a new button in the right-hand pane. New child items you add are not shown in My Publications by default, so you don't have to worry about accidentally exposing something.

    If you've already added items to My Publications, those items will be automatically migrated to My Library. Unfortunately we don't have a good way of automatically merging those, so if you didn't delete the original items in My Library you'll end up with duplicates and will need to merge those. You may also get a sync error until you upgrade, though other libraries should continue to sync. Sorry for the inconvenience on both counts.

    Thanks for the feedback on this feature, and let me know if you have any questions on this change.
  • Could you tell us if there are still some blockers which prevent you to release Zotero 5.0?
    @Gracile: This My Publications update was one of the last big changes we wanted to make before 5.0 Final. Stay tuned!
  • edited April 17, 2017
    @dstillman Thanks, this is much better. I deleted everything in "My Publications" and then installed the latest Beta and re-added to "My Publications". I noticed an issue: I have 7 journal articles in my local "My Publications" but the online version shows only 5 of them: https://www.zotero.org/gurdas
    I am not sure if this is a new thing or just that my previous page has not updated.
  • @gurdas: If you think something isn't syncing to My Publications correctly, can you create a new thread with more info?
  • Sorry for the paranoia. This may be covered in a FAQ (I haven't searched), so again apologies if this is covered elsewhere...

    I use Zotero within a corporate environment. I do not have any administrative privileges, and therefore use Portable Firefox with the Zotero plugin, as we cannot install any additional software onto these machines.

    Are the planned changes going to break this? If so, is there any way I can freeze my system configuration and versions in order to prevent any updates from occurring?
  • Since 5.0 only exists as a Standalone program (with browser connectors), it will definitely not work the way you're currently using it.
    I'm not sure if there is a way to run Standalone from USB (this is on Windows?).
    Zotero will not auto-update to version 5.0, but eventually version 4 will be cut off from syncing and in the longer run you'll start to miss out on other crucial fixes and updates (in addition to not being able to upgrade portable Firefox), so while this will buy you another 9-12 month, maybe, it won't be a viable solution for the long run, sorry.
  • Thank you for the update. It is as I feared.

    I suspect that for many, this will be significant problem. There is no way my organisation will permit the installation of 'Zotero Standalone'. Therefore, this will need to be packaged as a Portable App before I (and others) can use it. (This is in the NHS, where I work).

    Staying with Firefox Portable will also prevent me from using 'Standalone' at home - since eventually I can see that the database structures will diverge enough to become incompatible with each other - so I will have to downgrade at home.
  • (FWIW, this is due to Firefox changes; Zotero would probably have preferred keeping a Firefox add-on version. It's just not going to be possible technically).

    I would strongly advise against keeping an outdated version of Firefox on your home computer. If you do, you should assume that everything you do on that browser -- including anything on a supposedly "secure" connection like online banking -- is public information.
  • Agreed!

    Hence the value of designing 'Zotero Standalone' to be packaged and/or installed on any system without requiring System Administrator privileges.
  • FWIW, I installed zotero 5.0 beta 2 days ago on a computer without administrative privilege (windows 7). The installer propose by default an installation in the profile directory.
  • Firefox 52 ESR which will be replaced quite a long while after the release of Zotero 5.0. I understand that Zotero 4 will be replaced by v5.0 with the usual update mechanism in Firefox.

    We will be running FF 52 ESR as long as possible and we won't switch to standard Firefox.

    So, I wonder whether Firefox 52 ESR will work with Zotero 5.0 standalone or will I have to use a different webbrowser with standalone?

  • Yes, the Firefox connector for Zotero -- distinct from the full add-on for Firefox -- works in FF52 (both with Standalone 4 and 5, btw.).
    Also, at least initially, the Zotero 4-->5 update is _not_ automatic but will only happen if/when a user agrees on a prompt.
  • I understand that Zotero 4 will be replaced by v5.0 with the usual update mechanism in Firefox.
    To clarify, Zotero 4.0 for Firefox will be replaced with the new Zotero Connector for Firefox — and that will happen automatically, but you can use that with Zotero Standalone 4.0 if you're not ready for 5.0. If you're using Zotero Standalone 4.0, you'll be prompted for when to upgrade to 5.0.
  • Okay—thanks again for your quick reply! So I don't have to worry about the transition process. — I'm looking forward to version 5! :)
  • As WhitePJ and Mjules discussed, in some professional settings the user doesn't have administrative privileges (which is no problem with the Firefox Add-in).

    Would it be possible to additionally provide a self-contained version of Zotero 5.0 which runs without administrative privilege (and still connects to the Firefox/Chrome Zotero Connector)?

    Mjules mentioned that he/she could install zotero 5.0 beta 2 without administrative privilege (windows 7) in the profile directory......

    I think this would resolve headaches of (many) Zotero users in professional environments.
  • amc
    edited May 4, 2017
    As someone who has to go to IT every time I need to install software, I'll echo the hope for a version that doesn't require administrator privileges. I'm currently using 4.0.29 and haven't been able to get that updated. And I'm always behind because by the time I can get IT to update the software, a new version comes out soon thereafter. I used to solve this by using the Firefox add-on version with Portable Firefox, but that's no longer a viable solution.
  • Hi,
    When I sync (upload a file or download), there was a progress bar that shows the progress and the remaining ration near the yellow turning circle. At Zotero 5 Beta, there is not this progress bar and it is not good :/ Could you add it again.
    Thank you.
  • Hi,
    Thank you very much for adding to Zotero which Library is updated feature. It is a great help. But I think you should add one more feature for it. That is when we chose which library will be updated, we should also choose all the attachments will be synced at any time or as needed. Now this feature is missing and I think it will be very helpful for us.
    Thank you
  • Just to echo what some others have said, I'd also usually need to contact IT to install software at the uni I work at. However, I could install Zotero 5 beta without administrator privileges - I'd be very grateful if this was not changed, as otherwise it will be very difficult for me to create group folders to share resources and references with colleagues and students (this is because Zotero is not installed on computers here by default).

    Thanks very much for the continued hard work in making Zotero 5, too; I'll look forward to the 5.0 release!
  • However, I could install Zotero 5 beta without administrator privileges - I'd be very grateful if this was not changed
    Yeah, this of course wouldn't be changed if it works now. I'm not sure what the talk is above about needing administrator privileges, given that @Mjules said they were able to install it without administrator privileges.
  • I don't know about installing version 4 without admin privileges, because I had IT do it. But every time I open Zotero now I get a pop-up dialog that says, "A recommended update is available, but you do not have permission to install it. To update automatically, modify the Zotero program directory to be writeable by your user account." I have tried to upgrade both to the latest 4.x version and the latest 5.x beta, and neither works. Perhaps initial installation works but upgrading doesn't?
  • @ amc: It sounds like your IT installed Version 4 with administrator privileges, and the Plug-In tries to get privileges again to get installed...

    I think you can't solve this without your IT.
  • Forgot to mention that this is on standalone. I abandoned the full plugin a while back, knowing its days were numbered.
  • It's always going to be possible to use an admin account to install software in a way that it can't be updated by regular users, so there's really nothing Zotero can do about that part as HThole says.

    I can confirm that just installing 5.0 beta on a fairly locked down Windows environment does work. It prompts for admin login and then installs locally if you don't provide it. You could just try what happens if you do that. Make sure you have a back-up of your database, but I can't really see much going wrong.
  • Any update on a release date for 5.0?
  • @adamsmith , I'm glad to know users without administrative priviledges will be able to install Zotero Standalone 5.0. Once there as a portable app (https://portableapps.com/node/36565), but it hasn't seen an update in ages.
  • Hello, I was wondering if a release date for new version could be told ?

    Thanks :)
This discussion has been closed.