what is "background export"?


Exporting the library to the "bib" file, the "background export" is selected as default. What is "background export" and how does it differentiate the "keep updated"?

  • edited March 18, 2023
    That's a Better BibTeX option, not a Zotero option.
  • Okay. Thanks for your kind reply.
  • edited March 20, 2023
    BBT exports take relatively long compared to stock bibtex epxorts. Regular Zotero exports happen on the so-called "foreground", meaning for the duration of any export Zotero cannot do anything else -- the UI will freeze, Word cannot communicate with Zotero etc. Background exports happen in the background and do not burden Zotero operation.

    For this reason, keep-updated exports are always done in the background, because it would result in frequent UI freezes otherwise; if you check "keep updated", BBT will also check "background" and disable the option so you can't turn it off.

    For regular one-off exports, there are pros and cons to background exports. The default is background. For large exports, you'll want background, for a few items it can sometimes be faster to do foreground, although I suspect the difference is hardly noticeable. The main reason I keep foreground export available is that BBT background exports are a kludge that are not really supported in Zotero, so in case it breaks I want normal exports to be available.
  • Thanks for your detailed explanaiton. I know now.
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