[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?

Matthias Damm macplanet at macnews.de
Wed May 18 19:31:42 CEST 2005

Am 18.05.2005 um 18:50 schrieb Adam Maxwell:

> In BibDesk, you can start enter the fields that are unique to a  
> particular entry, then drag and drop the parent crossref'd entry  
> onto the editor window; this will overwrite the empty fields.  So  
> the savings in data entry isn't a compelling argument for me,  
> especially since this makes your file more readable, portable, and  
> immune to sorting problems.

This is nice, definitely, but still: Crossrefs are not just something  
that makes managing your .bib file easier, but they are a BibTeX  
feature. I would not like to lose the feature which automatically  
puts referencing and referenced items to the bibliography (see my  
answer to Cifton).

I can absolutely understand your "don't waste time to implement  
something nobody will use" point.

And, as I had pointed out before, it is possible to use BibDesk with  
crossrefs reasonably well. (The sorting problem is partly solved if  
you enter the referenced item (i.e. the book) before the referencing  
item (the inbook); since BibDesk seems to append new items to the top  
of the file, this automatically causes the items to appear in the  
correct order.

>> Per Matthias's comment about sort order:  Since cross-references make
>> the dependencies explicit, it would be feasible to automatically sort
>> so that referenced items appear after referencing items (assuming no
>> cycles in the referencing graph).
> I think sorting is the most challenging part of the problem,  
> really; you're suggesting that BibDesk do something that BibTeX  
> itself can't do!  I appreciate the discussion and comments.  Curt,  
> if you could add yours to the RFE, I'd appreciate it.

BibTeX can't, but tools like Bibtool can.

Unfortunately nobody from the developers has commented on my idea to  
simply provide Bibtool with the information it needs to perform the  
If I see this correctly, it was enough, if some "CrossrefSearchOrder  
= x" line could be appended to each item in the .bib file, with x  
being 1 for all inbook, incollection and inproceedings items, and 2  
for each book, proceedings etc. items.

Wouldn't that be a rather minor change?
If BibTeX could even call Bibtool with the appropriate options on the  
file, this would solve the problem in a rather simple way, imho.  
(Bibtool is available as an i-Installer package, so you can assume it  
to be or get installed on every MacOS X system.)

If the Title/Booktitle problem was solved as well, I personally was  
totally happy ...


Matthias Damm
mad at macpla.net
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