[OS X TeX] BibDesk and CrossRefs

Norm Gall gall at spookyhill.net
Sun Jul 31 11:13:45 EDT 2005

On 30-Jul-05, at 10:10 hrs, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:

> On Jul 30, 2005, at 19:17, Jon Hanson wrote:
>>>> I finally have a bibtex database that has a large number of entries
>>>> that are candidates for using the crossref feature, but I am having
>>>> a bit of trouble understanding how BibDesk 1.1.2 deals with
>>>> automatically copying information into the child entry.
>>> < snip >
>>> Well, it seems that I was doing something wrong, but I have no idea
>>> what it was. the title is being copied correctly into booktitle when
>>> I create a book and creating the child copies correctly.
>>> I deleted my preferences before and it still did not work correctly.
>>> I logged out then in after deleting the prefs and it works  
>>> correctly.
>>> Corrupted prefs, I guess.

>> You are not crazy!  This is the same phenomenon that I posted  
>> about a few weeks ago. See the digests of July 2-4.  In short,  
>> like me, the only thing that you did "wrong" was that you created  
>> a child record from a parent that did not have a Booktitle field.   
>> Apparently, due to the way BibTeX operates, it has always been  
>> necessary to enter Booktitle in any book record that you use as a  
>> parent.
>> With the preferences that you have set, BibDesk will copy Title  
>> down to Booktitle when you create a *new* book record, but it will  
>> not add Booktitle, if missing, to an existing book record when you  
>> create a child from it.
> That is correct, and this is the intended behavior (according to  
> the developer who implemented it).  He says that we only add the  
> Booktitle to the potential parent when its Title field is changed;  
> observing all the possible ways a relation could change would cause  
> a massive slowdown.

This all makes sense with respect to what I have seen here... I had  
missed the previous discussion.

I just reviewed the archives and I cannot find an explanation why the  
developer doesn't simply map title -> booktitle. Why create a dummy  
field in the parent? The 'linked' information displayed when looking  
at a child's record isn't from the child at all, but from the parent.  
The whole idea of a crossref in bibtex is to bring the information  
missing from the child's entry from the parent's entry. The booktitle  
of a child is the title of the parent.


"No man was ever taken to hell by a woman unless he already had a
ticket in his pocket, or at  least had been fooling around with  
-- Archie Goodwin  

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