[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?
curt.clifton at mac.com
Wed May 18 12:13:58 EDT 2005
On May 18, 2005, at 9:26 AM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:
>> (or what it should do, for that matter.).
> We are confused about that as well :). I'm curious as to what
> advantage (real or perceived) crossrefs have over filling out all
> fields of an entry.
Imagine that you need to put 6 different papers from a conference
proceedings in your bib file. With cross references you can create a
single entry carrying all the general information for the proceedings
(conference name, location, month, year, publisher, series, volume,
number, editor, ...). Then the entries for each paper only need the
paper title, authors, page numbers, and the cross-reference. This can
be a significant savings in data entry. This was especially true
before BibDesk came along with its automatic completion of entries.
Another advantage is that a data entry mistake in something like the
name of the conference only needs to be corrected in one place, instead
It seems to me that if an entry has a cross reference, then the data in
the referenced entry should appear in the editing window for the
referencing entry but shouldn't be editable there. Perhaps a small
arrow icon could appear next to the non-editable field. Clicking this
icon would open the referenced entry for editing. Maybe dragging one
entry onto the edit window for another could be used to establish a
cross reference. Searches should show the entries that would match if
the cross-referenced data were in-lined.
I don't know the precise semantics of cross references. For example,
what happens if an entry contains a booktitle, but also has a cross
reference to a book entry? Does BibTeX use the booktitle from the
original entry, or does it use the title from the cross-referenced
Per Matthias's comment about sort order: Since cross-references make
the dependencies explicit, it would be feasible to automatically sort
so that referenced items appear after referencing items (assuming no
cycles in the referencing graph).
Curtis Clifton, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University
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