[OS X TeX] use of bibtex

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Sun Jul 3 08:45:04 EDT 2005

On 3 Jul 2005, at 8:58, Thomas A. Schmitz wrote:

> this is as much a philosophical a question as a technical, but  
> since there are so many users of bibtex here, this might be a good  
> place to get help.
> I am thinking about setting up something like a database for my  
> bibliographic stuff. The bibtex format seems like a not too bad  
> choice since it's very structured, and you can put your own  
> comments into one field. So my fist philosophical question is: does  
> that sound like a feasible idea, is bibtex a good tool for this.

The bibtex .bib format is a complex format, and _not_ easy to parse  
(outside of bibtex itself). For portability, you're probably better  
off using an XML-format (although mathematical constructs in titles  
and other fields become _much_ harder). The Library of Congress has a  
standard that seems a good choice: http://www.loc.gov/standards/mods/  
and there are tools out there that convert various bibliographic  
formats into one another, using MODS as an intermediate: http:// 
www.scripps.edu/~cdputnam/software/bibutils/bibutils.html You may  
also be interested in http://refbase.sourceforge.net/ (never used it  
myself though).

> 1. Can you pretty-print/typeset an entire bibtex-database INCLUDING  
> the comments?

yes. Play with "tex makebst", and use \nocite{*} in a simple document.

> 2. I constantly print bibliograhpies for certain topics (for the  
> students in my classes). Is there a convenient way to choose the  
> entries froma bibtex file and print them in the form of a  
> bibliography?

I think you can with bibtool, but I don't have an example ready for  
you. It is probably easiest to split the bibliography into topical  
bits, and select from there (print a whole one at once).

> 3. Is there any hope that bibtex will support utf-8 in the future?

It seems bibtex 1.00 will arrive RSN (search the usenet archives on  
Google to find the post, sometime this last spring). And bibtex8  
should be enough, but sorting names with characters from various  
scripts is tricky (to say the least), and how far the support will go  
I don't know.

--------------------- Info ---------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
           & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Post: <mailto:MacOSX-TeX at email.esm.psu.edu>

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list