[texhax] BibTeX and its limitations

Jan Eden lists at jan-eden.de
Mon Nov 17 16:28:03 CET 2003

Hi Richard,

overall, BibTeX is a great tool for keeping track of your references across different publications/papers. The output format is highly configurable using tools like custom-bib.  I never had a problem saving any reference in my .bib database.

If you followed the discussion on another TeX-related list (MacOS-X-Tex), though, you will have read about a problem I had recently. I tried to change the appearance of the bibliography header in the text (have it as a numbered \subsubsection in LaTeX instead of an unnumbered \section).

This is a much more complicated than I expected since the respective function is not easily changed. I finally retreated to using the bibentry package (which takes some of BibTeX's advantages, while adding much flexibility).



Richard wrote:

>I am currently a final year BSc(Hons) Computer Science student at
>Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.  For my final year dissertation, I
>am  researching the problems associated with the BibTeX standard for
>bibliographic data and developing an RDF based data format for
>bibliographic data, which would overcome these problems.
>As a user of BibTex:
>Do you have any experiences of where BibTeX is cumbersome to use
>and/or inaccurate?
>Are there any references that BibTeX does not handle very well?
>Are there any other problems that you have come across?
>More information on this project is available at
>http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ceerdl/Dissertation. A current copy of the
>'work in progress' is also available.  Please do feel free to email me
>with any suggestions or othere relevant information.  Any
>contributions will, of course, be acknowledged.
>Richard Lennox
How many Microsoft engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. They just redefine "dark" as the new standard.

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