[texhax] BibTeX and its limitations

Jan Eden lists at jan-eden.de
Mon Nov 17 17:48:27 CET 2003

Robin Fairbairns wrote:

>> 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. 
>the biggest worry i see for bibtex in the near future is the need for
>multilingual and multicultural entries.  i'm surprised jan (with a
>german address) has not been bothered by the difficulty one encounters
>when trying to enter \" into a bibtex string, but just \" isn't good
I use inputenc all the time, having both my .tex and .bib files utf-8 encoded. Never had any problem with Umlauten since then. 

>bibtex needs to free itself of its belief in 7-bit encoding, it needs
>to learn to sort in more than just american, and so on.  (i know 8-bit
>versions of bibtex are available; i don't know of any sorting
>mechanism other than english, and i don't know how one might deal with
>more than one 8-bit character set in a bibtex database, let alone any
>unicode set.)

>> 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). 
>aren't these latex issues, rather than bibtex issues?
You're right. It is just that these are the only BibTeX-related issues I remember.


Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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