[OS X TeX] Bibliography programs and Unicode?

Adam Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Tue Feb 15 23:37:00 CET 2005

Hi Roger,
On Tuesday, February 15, 2005, at 01:30PM, Roger Hart <rhart at mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
>So what I suppose I'm looking for in a bibliography program is the 
>1) A utility to download records using Unicode  (so I don't have to 
>type them in), with filters supporting a variety of  formats (such as 
>MARC) and databases (especially WorldCat), that would work through 
>proxies, and save in BibTeX format.
>2) A utility to manage Unicode records in BibTeX format, perhaps such 
>as BibDesk.  I did try BibDesk, and it seemed to have some problems 
>with Unicode, for example in the Author field.

We've done some work recently on Unicode support, but it's still in the experimental stage.  What problems did you have, specifically?  One possibility that I can think of is that BibTeX expects authors to be separated by "and", regardless of the language.

Presumably you're also using XeTeX, right?

>3) A version or extension of BibTeX that works with Unicode and 
>supports all the various BibTeX packages, such as natbib, etc., and 
>different styles, such as chicagoa, elsart-harvard, etc.

There is an 8-bit BibTeX in existence, and it supports the standard packages AFAIK.  I think the main thing it buys you is correct sorting of accented characters in some (most?) cases.

>I did try to read through past messages on this list, but I failed to 
>find anything satisfactory.  I would very much appreciate any 
>suggestions to any one of these three problems.

BibTeX 1.0 might solve some of these problems, but it seems to be vaporware at this point.  There are a few other initiatives aimed at creating Unicode-compatible bibliography standards, but most of them are fairly small.  You might contact Bruce D'Arcus, who used to post here a few years ago; his blog is at <http://netapps.muohio.edu/blogs/darcusb/darcusb/>, and he's done considerable investigation of this topic.

Adam Maxwell
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