Workflow for working with an Android tablet

I recently bought a new Android tablet. Now, I can read all the papers on the tablet and even create nice annotations using Xodo.
I synchronize the PDFs and .bib files using a git repo, I already had since using Jabref. I do this on Android using Termux and Termux-Widget for some easier push/pull.
Unfortunately, there seems to be not much applications which can handle biblatex files on Android.
I summarized my results regarding Android apps already here: https://github.com/JabRef/www.jabref.org/issues/90
Library works great but is has one big disadvantage: you can not edit the biblatex file, especially not the read status, stars or comments.
So the big question is: is there any good method of reading and annotating all the pdfs on android, then push it via git and then adding read status/comments/ranking on the PC later? Okay - usually the PC is not far from where I’m but what if I read like 10 articles?

So there are some ideas: You could read the git log and search for all the changed files in the biblatex file. Then I could write a script which adds the read status and asks for a rating and comment. This could also add keywords and move to groups etc. But I think this does not scale too well.
The best would be an Android application which can do this for you, but I already heard that there are plans for JabRef on Android but nothing concrete.
So maybe there are other Android apps which I havn’t looked at, or other ideas how to manage this transition?

I finally got gradle building working with Library and also patched a few things: https://github.com/reox/library/tree/gradlify
I already hacked in the read status and the ranking, and also added some tablet layout, which condenses the view a little bit.

Are there any keen android developers who want to take the Library source and enhance it into a JabRef compatible tool?
The main things which are missing are probably: A nice tree view of the groups; showing comments, abstract and tags; be able to add comments, read status, ranking, tags, …

I’ve no experience with this, but it should be possible to bring JabRef directly to android using https://gluonhq.com/products/mobile/javafxports/

Definitely sounds interesting! But my Android dev foo is not so advanced, that I would try to port everything over :wink:

I added a few more nice things to Library: The relevance and priority fields are now in there as well. But the code I wrote looks quite ugly… Last time I wrote something in Java is now years ago :smiley:

Have you checked to see if the original dev is still working on Library? Their last commit was in 2018 it seems

It does not look like he is still working on it.

Oh wow, it has been some time… I wanted to give some feedback here, maybe its interesting for someone…
Back then, I started to fix some bugs with the library android app and put them into my fork: GitHub - reox/library: Library: BibTeX on Android
I also changed the buildsystem to gradle, but it was harder than expected to get it running on debian…

The app can now use the readstatus, rating and priority field from JabRef.
I use my own build version since then. However, there are a few bugs in the code. For example, the list does not reload correctly sometimes.
It is not perfect, but at least I can read the papers on my tablet and sync changes to the PDF back using git.
I would like to have a sidebar which shows the group tree but I could not get it to work correctly.

if anyone is interested in implementing something like that or wants to fix some bugs, you can use my fork.

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@reox Cool that you got it to work. Regarding groups: JabRef’s Group parser is located here:

any news regarding updating my read list while using android tablet?

I wonder maybe it’s possible for zotero to use the same bib file as jabref, and then I can use zotero app for android, so the zotero on the pc will be only the “middleman” for using android
what do you think?
or the zotero will ruin the file ?

Hey @lidans5 :slight_smile:

You can import your .bib file into zotero and if zotero offers support to update the readlist on your android tablet (I don’t know if zotero can do that) that might be a solution to your problem, although this is a very static and not flexible solution, because for every change in Jabref, you would need to import this change into Zotero again. Zotero does not use .bib as standard file system as far as i am aware. They use sqlite files as database instead.

Maybe a proper sync with Zotero would be possible if you changed your Jabref setup to use a SQL database as well. Ideally, you could then access this database file with both Zotero: and Jabref. See here how to use a sql database with Jabref. I say ideally, because i am not sure if Zotero supports accessing remote sql databases.

wow, it’s seems so complicated, I’m only trying to see my current reading list on my tablet :grimacing:

With my patched version of Library, you can load a bibtex file and open the attached files.
I use git to sync between tablet and PC, which works good enough for me.
While Library can view the file, it can not edit it though. Thus, I have to mark them read on the PC later on…