OpenOffice plug-in too slow

I found that the OpenOffice plug-in works fine until the number of references exceeds about 100 (but it starts already getting slow beyond 50). Currently, I am writing on a review with approximately 400 references which turned out to be impossible. OpenOffice even asks me whether to interrupt the script since it is evidently hanging. I had to chop up the document and work with individual sections. But after reassembly I now get the following error message: Inadmissable value or data type overflow. In addition, the debug window opens highlighting the follwing line

mTagStart(nTagIndex) = Len(sResultText)

Although 400 references may be an extreme case I think that most documents can easily end up with more than 50 references. Therefore, it would be highly desirable to enhance performance.

Just in case this is not a Zotero/plug-in issue: I am using OpenOffice 2.3 and firefox as delivered with Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. The Zotero plug-in version is 1.0.2, the version of the OpenOffice plug-in is also up to date.
  • edited January 29, 2008
    I can confirm the same thing.

    References become painfully slow to add after 50. After adding 20-30 citations the memory usage of firefox explodes from 60-70MB of RAM usage up to 280+MB. Restarting Firefox does help, but it is a nuisance.

    I have the same config as Spunky but running on windows. I only have OOo and firefox open during editing and both apps become very slow with responses.
  • Although 400 references may be an extreme case I think that most documents can easily end up with more than 50 references. Therefore, it would be highly desirable to enhance performance.
    I agree. I've not yet used Zotero with an extensive manuscript so cannot confirm the same behavior, but from my perspective, the script needs to work efficiently with everything up to a large book with hundreds of references.

    I'd guess the same problem applies to Word, BTW, since both plug-ins use mostly the same (VBA) code. If that's a general problem, perhaps there's a need to rethink the design a bit.
  • I can confirm the same slowness/hanging problem with a high number of references in Word. I am currently finishing my dissertation and completing the notes with ZOtero is excrutiatingly slow: I often get the "interrupt script" dialog box and have to restart firefox. Is there anything that can be done to speed up the plug-in? I love Zotero and recently uninstalled Endnote, but Endnote really does win out on handling a high number of references (200+). Any advice/help would be hugely appreciated!!
  • Obviously this is a problem that needs to be fixed, but in the meantime, would it be feasible to split the chapters into separate files, and only assemble them at the very end?
  • That is in fact how I managed to finish my review. However, it only works for author-year citation style and you still end up with the problem of ambiguity sometimes.
  • How is there s problem of ambiguity? In the separate documents, yes, but when you assemble them those should get resolved.
  • another test to give more information on that issue.

    previously, i had open another discussion (
    because, at the beginning, i thought it was not a performance issue but a bug in a string variable definition, but in fact it's the same issue.

    I've splitted my document in 3 parts. zotero is now working on each one.

    i've tried to read the oo macro to understand the situation around the code mTagStart(nTagIndex) = Len(sResultText) and to display the content of the string stext and sResultText.

    in fact, to add a citation, this string contains the whole bibliography ?

    In my case 324 citations, with often quite 200 chars... that's quite 60000 char , and the max for a string seems to be 65535 in oo macro... ?

    perhaps this can help to avoid the bug,

    to solve performance issue... the question could be, when adding a citation, why a loop on the whole bibliography string ?

  • Here another confirmation about above-mentioned issue (Windows XP, Zotero and Zotero OOo plugin 1.0.3.) and vote to get this solved ;-). Adding references to an OOo document become indeed painfully slow after the document contains about 50 or more citations, while in my case with 100+ it becomes almost unbearable. I did notice the very sharp increase in memory usage of Firefox too.
  • bdarcus,

    The script responsible for update of the bibliography does not run through any more. Therefore, you have to resolve all conflicts manually.
  • FYI, there's been some discussion of this on the dev list. The problem has been identified, and I expect it will get fixed.
  • The question is 'when'?
    Hopefully it is a high priority that will be resolved in the next release.
  • The question is 'when'?
    Hopefully it is a high priority that will be resolved in the next release.
    There's already been a checkin on the dev branch that should speed up processing of citations in both Word and OOo. Feedback appreciated from anyone who wants to help test (though please remember that dev builds should be used only for testing and only with copies of Zotero data directories and Word/OOo documents).

    There may be additional OOo-specific issues not addressed by that patch.
  • I am using Windows Vista and plug-in Word 2007 and was having this problem after about 50 citations. I downloaded the checkin update (2304) and imported it in. Now the citations are much, much faster. This update has been a big improvement! I look forward to the final release. If you have not tried this I highly recommend it. I have no idea what else might be impacted, but it has fixed the speed issue. Thanks Dan!
  • @Dan Stillman

    I tested the latest development xpi (1.03r2333), it's a bit faster now.

    But it' still (neither with the development xpi nor the stable xpi) not possible to insert a bibliography (or to do a refresh if there is a bibliography in the document) if there are many references (in my case ~212 references). I get the same error message as "spunky":
    "Inadmissable value or data type overflow". In addition, the debug window opens highlighting the follwing line

    mTagStart(nTagIndex) = Len(sResultText)

    I searched the trac ticket database but did not find any related ticket.

    I really would like to have a bibliography in my document. It is possible to fix this bug?

    Thanx, Gregor
  • Ticket created for the overflow error. We'll look into it. Thanks.
  • @Dan

    Thank you, Gregor
  • I'm glad others are having this problem. I have short document in Word 2007 (10 pp) with about 30 endnotes and it's going very slowly. I looked at the checkin recommended above, but it looks very technical. Any recommendations for the short term for someone who's not a computer whiz?

  • I'm in pretty much the same situation as @ksnewuser (though I'm using Word 2003, SP2) on WinXP (SP2). My FF memory footprint gets too large very very quickly.

    Any word on when this'll be released? I love zotero, and have been recommending it all over the place, but am frustrated by this problem...

    Thank you!
  • zotero team...,

    i suppose u are working hard on next release, but.... i think we are several working with zotero on large document and waiting for a fix...

    If u have not a complete solution, a fix solving the "mTagStart(nTagIndex) = Len(sResultText)" error even if it's still slow would be appreciate...

    i'm in the last step writing a document with 250 references... Let us know if u will propose something in the next weeks. If no, i will have to manage the biblio manually...

  • Though the zotero integration is still a bit slow, I find it greatly speeds up in giant documents if you delete the bibliography. You can just insert the bibliography when you're done, anyways.
  • I see that Zotero is getting slower with more references input.
    I guess this might be a question of indexing pdfs.

    How can I see whether there are references that bog Zotero down ?

    Is there a list of recommendations for having Zotero run smoothly ?
  • @ftr Your mention of PDF's throws me for a loop. Are you talking about slowing down OO or Firefox? If you are talking about OO the new plugin for Zotero 1.5 should resolve a lot of these issues. If your talking about Firefox please take this to another thread, and mention how many items you have and the version of Zotero you are running.
  • I'm writing my thesis using word 2007 on Windows XP with the latest word plugin and zotero versions and inserting references became painfully slow after a certain point.
    I made a copy of the thesis with the bibliography so far, renamed it, deleted the bibliography and now have no problem. I hope adding the huge bibliography later won't be problematic. Aside from this issue, I like Zotero and can't wait for the web-based version to become available.
  • For what it's worth, I've tried the Zotero plugins on my Macbook (10.5.7, 2.2ghz, 4GB ram) on the same document. The Word 2008 and NeoOffice (3, patch 3) plugins work fairly well but the OpenOffice (3.1) is slow beyond belief. The Word document was saved as *.doc whereas the other one was *.odt. Not sure what to make of this, but I was happy to see that Neo worked well enough. I prefer OO but it was unusable with the Zotero plugin (although this seems a recent problem--didn't notice it before).

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