[OS X TeX] Bibliography management

Joseph Wright joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk
Sun Dec 28 22:58:12 CET 2014

On 28/12/2014 21:47, Simon Spiegel wrote:
>> On 28.12.2014, at 20:43, Joseph Wright <joseph.wright at morningstar2.co.uk> wrote:
>> On 28/12/2014 19:35, Simon Spiegel wrote:
>>>> On 28.12.2014, at 20:23, Joseph Wright <joseph.wright at MORNINGSTAR2.CO.UK> wrote:
>>>> On 28/12/2014 19:18, Simon Spiegel wrote:
>>>>> Looking beyond BibTeX, there are now a bunch of tools which use the Citation Style Language (CSL). CSL is a very powerful open standard which is, among others, supported by Papers, Zotero and Mendeley (the latter two are free). While not as powerful as biblatex/biber, it is quite versatile, has a lot of traction among developers, offers a lot of ready-made styles and is supported by many WYSIYWG-apps. Unfortunately, there is no LaTeX implementation of CSL, although this could definitely be done. This means that people who want to use Zotero et al. together with LaTeX will end up exporting BibTeX.
>>>> With my 'LaTeX3' hat on, I've been wondering about how one might tackle
>>>> to competing desires to have a way of describing bibliography styles in
>>>> a simple form and of allowing the complex set-ups needed in some subject
>>>> areas. Off-topic for the current discussion, but this is certainly
>>>> something worth further consideration. (In a LaTeX context, the idea of
>>>> being able to alter the style 'in the doc' is worthwhile, but that
>>>> imposes some requirements on how things can be described.)
>>> Not really an answer to your question, but while I see little chance of biber/biblatex entering the world of WYSIYWG applications, a (Lua)LaTeX implementation of CSL would be something extremely useful IMO. It would, for the first time, allow to have one solution – datawise and stylewise – which would really work across all platforms (and there are tools for CSL which allow style creation without digging into code). To be honest, I'm really surprised that no one has yet tried to implement this; especially since Bruce d'Arcus, the original creator of CSL, was talking about this right from the beginning.
>>> Simon
>> CSL isn't quite what I had in mind. It's not really the sort of thing
>> one could imagine dropping in to a preamble to customise something in
>> the way many people need to ('I need the style of X except that ...').
>> However, like I said, one for another list and needing some careful thought!
> Sorry for dragging this on, but I'm not really sure why you would need such a thing when full-fledged solutions already exist. Fact is bibliography styles quickly become quite complex; on the other hand, while both CSL and biblatex require some time to get a grip on, neither of them is wizardry. So I really don't see the point if yet another solution which will, especially if it can't match modern solutions and is LaTeX-only in the end. We already had plenty of those.
> Simon

Most people's requirement to customise are quite simple, often one entry
type and one minor change. Look for example at EndNote, which uses a
simple 'human readable' format which might for example look a bit like

  Title, Authors, [, Publisher], **Year**

(It's a GUI, so not that easy to show here.) If all you need to do is
something like 'I need to include the title for PhD theses' (a recent
requirement for someone at work using EndNote) then an interface like
this as a 'front end' form, if perhaps backed by a richer 'programmers'
version, looks attractive.

As I say, one for another list and requiring some careful thought first.
(I've not done anything like enough thinking to even scratch the surface
of potential issues.)
Joseph Wright

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