New PDF annotations: inclusion into Zotero RDF export and import

Thank you very much for the awesome new PDF annotation features. I have a very basic question/feature request, namely the inclusion/support of the new annotations in Zotero RDF exports/imports. I am one of the few remaining users of Sente (long discontinued), which used the same approach as the new Zotero annotation feature. With a Zotero RDF mapping, I could write XSLT that allows to move all data from Sente to Zotero. Export as part of Zotero RDF, which, to my knowledge, is the most complete export format, would help in every scenario that involves moving data from Zotero to another application.
  • Note that Zotero writes annotations as standard PDF annotations to PDFs on export, which is the envisioned way of data transfer, which would (since Zotero is able to also read those annotations) allow for round-trip.
    I don't know if there are any plans to add the annotations to an output format other than the API, but it'd both be a lot of work and make exports massively larger, both of which seem problematic, so I'd be surprised.
  • Dear Adam,
    Sorry for the late reply and thank you very much for your response, which clarifies the issue somewhat. I am not sure I would completely sign up for this envisioned way of data transfer by way of embedding annotations into the PDF upon export. Let me explain why:

    1. If annotations are transferred between multiple Zotero libraries via embedding in the PDF they will not be editable in the target library as opposed to the source library. Quite commonly, however, I will want to further edit my notes with comments, tags etc. (i.e. all the new and awesome features of the built-in Zotero viewer).
    2. There is no clean PDF in the target Zotero library for sharing with others without additional processing of the PDF.
    3. Very different from these issues is my approach of moving references into Zotero from another reference manager (Sente) by means of user-generated Zotero RDF. If the annotations were included in Zotero RDF, I could transform the Sente XML, which does included annotations to PDF, accordingly.
  • 1. Native PDF annotations are extractable/readable by Zotero, so you can, indeed further edit them.
    2. I think dstillman has mentioned that they're thinking about ways to allow "extract & remove" for native pdf annotations, which would take care of this concern.
    3. Is the only significant use case left, and if you're looking at a scripting solution anyway, it's not clear that going through the API vs. a static output file is actually worse.
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