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On 08/16/2012 06:29 AM, Anthony Easthope wrote:
Its not essential to have the zotero server as part of it although that
is a nice feature. [...]

IMO such features are essential, and an important part of why you'd use
Zotero. I wish their server component evolves into a federated,
open-data, FLOSS solution, though. That's something where the TDF can
have influence on the Zotero project. Of course this isn't to say this
should block such discussion, but keeping in line with LibreOffice
context (FLOSS), such goals are possible to influence and reach.

Such features/server dependency are the default, so it's always on for
users doing research - they are always part of a group, and share
references among them. In that sense it's essential. Users won't notice
how this ties them to Zotero's infrastructure until their reference
database grows, which confronts them to buying storage. The current
Zotero implementation is pre-configured to use their server which
includes document storage and social features implemented in a web
front-end. The document-storage part can be configured to use other
servers, not so for the other features.

Let's not minimize this. Here are a few reasons why the server+social
component side should be free, open source:
- Anyone could setup their own (important in large deployments/ gov't /
schools / etc where bandwidth usage and owning your data matters)
- Zotero's own servers wouldn't need to scale up to such deployments or
even work fully w/o Internet access
- Zotero's pricing for storage may not fit every deployment's audience
- Implementing local storage/sync on a server is not trivial for
end-users. Not using sync at all is not a clear alternative.
- Zotero's clients may at some time stop offering third-party storage
options altogether
- Zotero's servers are a single point of failure which won't help
adoption when they fail
- Zotero could add "local installation / support" to their offering, or
even certify "service providers". Competition among such providers would
indirectly help LibO adoption.

If anyone is going to Zotero with a proposal for collaboration with
TDF/LibO, I wish they ask/mention the above.

If I can be of any assistance in such discussions, I'll gladly make time.


Fabian Rodriguez


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