Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

A place to discuss Bookends for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
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Serge
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by Serge »

We're considering the idea of possibly adding the ability to add and sync Zotero databases in Bookends for iOS. This would be a Pro (subscription) feature that would allow working with your Zotero library plus having many features BOT provides for adding and editing references like: online search, barcode scan, Siri Shortcuts, PDF Annotating, local smart groups, etc.

Zotero will have their own iOS app soon, so maybe our integration will not cover all features but just some subset useful for Bookends users. Before exploring this further, we wanted to get a sense from our users if this is something they would like to see. Please provide feedback here, pro or con, about whether this is something you'd find useful.

iandol
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Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by iandol »

Although I don't use Zotero for any of my personal work, it is still the best way to collaborate with others and so I personally would use this. I really dislike Zotero's lacklustre interface, and would love to be able to manage my database using Bookends iOS.

What I'd love even more was if iOS could be a "bridge" from Desktop Bookends to an online Zotero. That way I could use desktop bookends to sync to iOS, and those changes to be reflected in the Zotero database, but I'm not sure what the feasibility of this bridge-mode may be. But you have made something indistinguishable from magic in your sync between desktop and iOS bookends, I am still regularly amazed at how smooth and reliable the sync is!

Serge
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by Serge »

Iandol, we agree that the idea of some “bridge” between Bookends and Zotero libraries looks interesting. Some type of data migration of course, I’m not sure that it can be done 1:1 because of a few conceptual differences in data storage.

iandol
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Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by iandol »

Thanks for thinking about it, I understand this is a challenging technical problem (most companies that deal with syncing have teams of hundreds of developers like Google, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft etc.). I personally would still benefit from a BE-iOS ⬄ Zotero sync, and I hope it would help more users use Bookends on iOS.

If you can get Zotero working, then I assume other possible targets could grow the BE user base: Endnote would be the other "big" target (endnote iOS app was so incredibly dire when I tried it, its unbelievable how such a large corporation can authorise such poor software to be released), but suspect they do not provide an API. Mendeley seems to be growing as well, which IMO is another cynical corporate tool to try to grab social market share.

DrJJWMac
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Location: south east USA

Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by DrJJWMac »

I will hope to dump Mendeley, primarily because it is dropping its iOS client. My team uses Windows. I need a replacement. Zotero has been recommended on Mac Power Users. Having Bookends to manage my own library (not in Zotero) and my team's library (in Zotero) as separate entities would be wonderful. I would not have to switch to yet another reference manager.

--
JJW

joao
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:23 am

Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by joao »

Personally I have no interest in syncing Bookends iOS with Zotero.
Bookends for Mac syncing with Zotero would be more interesting though. Which brings me to my next point.

At the moment I would hope efforts be directed at improving the Mac - iOS syncing mechanism, before any thoughts into Zotero take place, as this would affect that as well. The main issue---correct me if this has changed---is that if you sync Bookends groups to iOS (which you have to due to the storage limitations of the iPad or max file size limitations of iOS syncing), this is only an additive syncing. If one removes references from a group in Bookends, this does not carry on to iOS and the space is not freed. I have to delete the entire Bookends iOS library every once in a while to free up space on the iPad.

It is nice to know however that Bookends interacts with other standards and programs. The lack of such integration is what stopped me from acquiring Mellel for instance (no bibtex support).

Best,

Joao

Jon
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Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by Jon »

I don't understand your point --when a reference is removed from a group on the Mac it should be removed from the group on iOS after sync -- you're saying it's not?

More importantly, this has no affect on the size of the library. Remove a reference from a group on the Mac does NOT remove it from the library. Only id of the reference is removed from the group, and that's only a few bytes.

Jon
Sonny Software

joao
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:23 am

Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by joao »

Hi Jon,
I was referring to the storage taken by attachments on the iPad when syncing specific groups. It has been discussed on this thread: https://sonnysoftware.com/phpBB3/viewto ... pad#p14873

Perhaps it's different now (?), but it used to be that attachments synced (through wifi group syncing) to Bookends iOS were not removed from the iPad during subsequent syncs once a particular reference was removed from the group.

Jon
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Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by Jon »

Removed from the *group* or removed from the "database"?

As for when a PDF is removed from the iOS device, Serge will have to comment.

Jon
Sonny Software

joao
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:23 am

Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by joao »

Jon wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:59 am
Removed from the *group* or removed from the "database"?
Removed from the group. The idea is to have a 'reading list' group or groups, syncing their attachments to the iPad. Once annotation / reading is finished, I remove them from the group (not the database). Ideally, they would then stop syncing to the iPad and the space taken up by the attachments on the iPad would be freed. Of course nothing changes on the Mac.

Back on topic, I would see syncing with Zotero a good thing, but I would only have use for it on the macOS version. I use the iPad purely as a reading device. It would be great if it meant that bibtex syncing was also possible.

Jon
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Re: Is there any interest in syncing Bookends for iOS with Zotero?

Post by Jon »

Removing a reference from a group won't remove it from the device (or the Mac if that's where you're using Bookends), and I can't imagine a scenario in which we would ever do that. Either the reference has an attachment or not, the fact that it's in a group (or not) doesn't factor into it.

As for syncing Bookends on Mac with Zotero, that's not being considered at the moment. But since Bookends Macs syncs with Bookends iOS, I suspect it would amount to the same thing.

Jon
Sonny Software

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