[OS X TeX] Who is using biblatex?

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Tue Nov 30 05:14:10 CET 2010

On 30.11.2010, at 04:19, Alan Munn wrote:

> On Nov 29, 2010, at 9:56 PM, Alan T Litchfield wrote:
>> Hi Alan
>> On 30/11/2010, at 3:46 PM, Alan Munn wrote:
>>> Hi, I've been gradually moving to biblatex over the past couple of years.  I haven't found any direct incompatibilities with bib files, but my needs are pretty pedestrian, so maybe there are weird reference types that I'm unaware of.  Biblatex does add a bunch of fields, but the standard ones are all there, so I think you only need to add new field types on an as-needed basis.
>>> Have you tried taking an existing document and just using biblatex-apa to do the references?
>>> Alan
>> That is the general impression I am getting and that moving possibly provides greater advantages in the long term.
> Yes, I think so too.
>> I am actually looking at a specific document that includes sound and motion picture references which are not handled well by bibtex styles. It is these that have prompted me to look at biblatex.
> I don't know if Simon Spiegel is still reading this list, but he writes about film, and has been using biblatex for a long time now.    If he's still reading he might comment.

He is reading this. ;)

I've been using biblatex since about version 0.3 and I've just finished my second book which makes heavy use of it. To make this short: As long as there isn't a very specific reason why you have to use traditional bibtex, switch to biblatex – the sooner the better. Biblatex is so much more capable than traditional bibtex, there's really little reason not to use it. It's not only the additional fields, it's also the fact that everyone with average knowledge of LaTeX can easily adapt his own style (something which has been almost impossible with traditional bibtex) and that many of the traditional limitations of bibtex simply don't exist anymore with biblatex. Also, biblatex's manual is simply superb.

As for sound and film references: It does of course depend on your needs whether the available styles are good enough for you. But even if they're not, the big plus of biblatex is that you can easily adapt an existing style to your specific needs (I can send you my style, but since it's heavily geared toward German speaking academia, it might be of little use for you).

Also, if you use biblatex, it's better not to use bibtex (the program) or bibtex8 respectively, but biber to do the sorting. It handles UTF8, doesn't know the memory limitations of bibtex and is the way biblatex will go in the future. A ready-to-use binary for OSX can be downloaded here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/biblatex-biber/files/biblatex-biber/current/binaries/OSX_Intel/biber.tar.gz/download


Simon Spiegel
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