Paperpile stops working for a moderately large document

I’ve been using paperpile to work on a moderately large document (110 references at the moment), which is shared across several collaborators using Paperpile to insert and manage references.

What happened is citation insertion stopped working for me (I have popup when trying to insert, but search never finishes). “Format document” does not work (nothing happens). Bunch of blank pages after references list. Overall slowdown of performance (navigating the document is affected).

Tried refreshing the page, restarting Chrome. No effect. Disappointed.

Now it is working again. The problem is intermittent. Any hints/workarounds how to make it more reliable?

There are several independent points in your post:

  • We are still investigating the performance issue and the empty pages bug.
  • The problem that you could not lookup papers in your library suggests some network error. I’ve checked your account but I could not find anything unusual so it really seems it was just some intermittent network failure. We try to set reasonable timeouts and error messages telling you that something is wrong whenever possible but we can’t catch everything.
  • The error when trying to format the document can be explained that the Google AppScript service was not available at the moment. That is what our logs say. The actual formatting of the document happens on Google’s servers which we don’t control. In your case they just returned an empty response. Typically it comes back with an error message when something is wrong. In this case it was just empty. So it could have been some network issues also here which is consistent with the problem above.

We’ll announce some news regarding the Docs integration soon which should solve some of these issues.

Stefan, it does not work again, trying to insert a reference, and no response.

There is a somewhat related feature request about offline use of paperpile. I guess if the database was available locally, I would not have to deal with the server timeouts.

Our servers are up and running. There is definitely no outage on our side. We see requests coming in from other users just fine.

We have not seen this issue before. I also don’t see any errors in the logs which could hint to what’s going wrong for you.

If it keeps coming up can you contact us via the in app messaging system or so that I can try to debug further? Sorry for the trouble.

I had a lot of off-forum communication related to this issue with Stefan. He has been very understanding and helpful in debugging it. Unfortunately, we have not been able to nail it down, but I wanted to give thumbs up to paperpile for responsiveness and customer service. I know how difficult it is to debug an intermittent bug you can’t reproduce…

I do hope you guys improve the performance issues soon, and maybe this particular issue will resolve itself as a side-effect.