[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?

Michael McCracken michael_mccracken at mac.com
Wed May 18 23:30:39 CEST 2005

On May 18, 2005, at 1:36 PM, Joseph C. Slater wrote:

> On May 18, 2005, at 12:50 PM, Adam Maxwell wrote:
>> On Wednesday, May 18, 2005, at 09:15AM, Curtis Clifton  
>> <curt.clifton at mac.com> wrote:
>>> On May 18, 2005, at 9:26 AM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:
>> I think a key point here is "...before BibDesk came along...," and  
>> part of what I'd like to establish is that this is a feature that  
>> would be used.  For instance, we (mainly Mike) just spent a /lot/  
>> of time implementing macro support, which people on this list  
>> griped about, but we haven't heard any feedback on it.  So either  
>> a) it rocks, we did it completely right or b) no one uses it.
> Um, cool. I'm going to start using it. To be honest, you guys are  
> adding features faster than I've found time to keep learning them.  
> I'm just utterly amazed by it. I've found this with a lot of the  
> other apps as well, but lately bibdesk is leading the pack in  
> adding features that I haven't found out/discovered yet.

I have found that there are at least a few features that nobody  
really knows about, except for me - certainly some of the various  
drag and drop features, and Adam's fantastic autocompletion plugin  
for Cocoa text editors. We're familiar since we wrote them, but if  
there are features that aren't well known, I'd be interested to hear  
suggestions of how to improve that situation.

Perhaps just a list-wide note:

WARNING - BibDesk may be more useful than it appears.

> I think people who weren't waiting on a feature will trickle into  
> using it. Bibdesk has so far exceeded what my original expectations  
> were. Honestly, I didn't see the point when you started. I could  
> edit the file fine in an editor supporting bib files. A GUI would  
> just slow me down. OK, now I feel like a fool. It's an awesome  
> tool, and getting better faster than I can often keep up with.  
> (It's that darned day job. How do you guys find time to do the work  
> of programming!).
> Looking over macros,  I think the answer is a). It's simple, and  
> highly functional.

Thanks! Glad to hear it is useful.

>> See the dilemma?  Honestly, I'm starting to think it's better to  
>> ignore people who say an app is useless unless it has feature X.
>> 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.
> Really cool. I'm seeing the usefulness of crossref, though. This  
> amateur will need some training before he'd ready, though.
>>> Another advantage is that a data entry mistake in something like the
>>> name of the conference only needs to be corrected in one place,  
>>> instead
>>> of 6.
>> This argument is reasonable, and I also know that people have pre- 
>> BibDesk bib files with lots of crossrefs which they need to   
>> maintain.  We've targeted some type of crossref support for a  
>> future version, but a discussion like this is needed to flesh out  
>> what it will look like.
> Here's an idea from someone who can't/won't do any of the work, so  
> if it's junk, ignore it. I haven't a clue what effort would be  
> needed to implement it.
> What if cross refs could be handled as sub-cells inside the main  
> entry (not quite the same as the way it appears the actual .bib  
> file is written). e.g., in the main window for a bib file, the bib  
> entry is for the proceedings. But, when you open it up, there is  
> some kind of GUI for adding crossref items. Maybe a pull down menu  
> listing them, or another window (like the main bib window) listing  
> them (probably the easiest, since the code would likely be  
> similar). Essentially, treat the bib file as a hierarchical  
> database. You would need a button of some sort to turn a bib item  
> into a crossref item (fields would be copied to the "reffed" item)  
> and the display window would show the common fields, with a new  
> listing of the crossreffed items that can be selected and edited  
> individually.
> Again, since I'm not programming this (what century do you want  
> it?), don't take this as a request as much as a suggested logical  
> GUI for doing this.

Thanks for the suggestion - I've added it to the tracker item so we  
don't lose it.


     Michael McCracken
     michael_mccracken at mac.com

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