[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?

Matthias Damm macplanet at macnews.de
Wed May 18 18:00:11 CEST 2005


>> I see BibDesk has reached the 1.0RC1 stage, but as far as I can  
>> tell it still doesn't support cross references.  This makes it  
>> unusable for me, because (like many others, I suspect) I have  
>> large bibliography files organized to avoid duplication of  
>> information when several articles are from the same collection.
> Just to be clear: BibDesk supports items with the crossref field  
> just fine.  You can add it, edit it, and save it.

This is true in the sense that BibDesk in fact does not break  
anything in a .bib file containing crossrefs.

However there are two or three problems with crossrefs which make it  
(at least) uncomfortable to work with crossrefs:

- The Title/Booktitle problem.
Crossrefs will not reference to the correct title of the referenced  
book or whatever if the book's title is given only in the Title, but  
not in the Booktitle field.
Of course you can easily fill out the booktitle field manually, but  
it was much nicer if BibDesk could copy the content of the Title  
field to Booktitle automatically for types like book, proceedings etc.

- The sorting problem.
Crossrefs work only if the referenced items appear after the  
referencing items in the .bib file.
This means that in the moment if you have a .bib file like


(with the Inbooks referencing to the Book), only the first Inbook  
will work, the second one will not. (see ch. 13.2.5 in the Companion)

There is also a problem with the preview, which of course does not  
show referenced items at the moment.

While full crossref support (i.e. BibDesk showing the referenced  
information automatically etc.) was nice but not necessary, the items  
mentioned above, especially the sorting problem, imho are crucial and  
will cause some problems for everybody using crossrefs!

I am not sure how the sorting could be done easily, but (as I had  
already suggested) perhaps it is possible to add a field which  
contains information about the desired sort order, such as giving all  
Inbooks a smaller number than the Books etc.
After that, Bibtool could do the sorting quite easily, and perhaps  
even could be called by BibDesk.

> Nothing has been done, or will be done for version 1, because we  
> (the developers) have no clear idea of what people who use this  
> feature want.  It's unfortunate that BibDesk is unusable for you,  
> although I know a number of people (myself included) who are using  
> BibDesk with large files.
> If anyone has suggestions for crossref, please note them in this  
> RFE to we can track the issue  <http://sourceforge.net/tracker/ 
> index.php?func=detail&aid=1175264&group_id=61487&atid=497426>.

Done ...


Matthias Damm
mad at macpla.net
PGP key: http://macpla.net/MatthiasDamm.asc
PGP fingerprint: CED3 6074 7F7D 3148 C6F3  DFF2 05FF 3A0B 0D12 4D41

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