[OS X TeX] BibTeX Questions.
Adam R. Maxwell
amaxwell at mac.com
Sun Jan 9 19:08:55 EST 2005
On Jan 9, 2005, at 15:04, Simon Spiegel wrote:
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> On 09.01.2005, at 23:52, Stephan Hochhaus wrote:
>> Am 09.01.2005 um 17:54 schrieb Adam R. Maxwell:
>>> Okay, to satisfy my curiosity, how should BibDesk handle required
>>> fields? I'm so used to BD that JabRef is hard to use, but there's
>>> always room for improvement.
>> BibDesk does a great job at making data entry simple and
>> straightforward. However, a newbie will most likely not know which
>> fields are required and which are optional with bibtex or a certain
>> bst style. BibDesk highlights the names of fields that are mandatory
>> in red, but I came across some issues when changing the entry type a
>> couple of times and the updating of the required fields indicator in
>> former versions (I don't think this is an issue with the latest
>> version anymore).
Yes, this used to be messed up. The remaining issues exist basically
to avoid data loss if a field doesn't exist in the new type.
>> The one thing where JabRef semi-"shines" in data entry is when it
>> comes to the identification of the mandatory fields. There are some
>> tabs that will only show you "required fields", "optional fields" and
>> "general fields". This is very helpful when you're starting your
>> journey through BibTeX but it somewhat slows you down when you
>> already know what you are doing. So I think JabRef makes the learning
>> phase a bit easier but later on it rather slows you down.
Interesting. I suppose we could hide optional fields, but in my
experience, most of the optional fields really aren't optional.
> Actually, I think this is very annoying. When I started using
> LaTeX/BibTeX I went with jurabib right from the beginning. Now jurabib
> has lots of special fields which other styles don't use but which make
> it very powerful. Any decision by the app what fields are required or
> optional is pretty pointless IMO when you use jurabib (I don't know
> about other styles).
BibDesk uses the required/optional fields definitions provided in
btxdoc.dvi by Oren Patashnik (the author of BibTeX) for BibTeX types.
Other types are probably defined however the original requester
suggested; as Simon notes, the usefulness of the "required/optional"
definition is largely dependent on a particular .bst.
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