[OS X TeX] Crossrefs in BibDesk?
curt.clifton at mac.com
Wed May 18 15:50:23 EDT 2005
On May 18, 2005, at 11:50 AM, Adam Maxwell wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 18, 2005, at 09:15AM, Curtis Clifton
> <curt.clifton at mac.com> wrote:
>> … This can
>> be a significant savings in data entry. This was especially true
>> before BibDesk came along with its automatic completion of entries.
> I think a key point here is "...before BibDesk came along...," and
> part of what I'd like to establish is that this is a feature that
> would be used. For instance, we (mainly Mike) just spent a /lot/ of
> time implementing macro support, which people on this list griped
> about, but we haven't heard any feedback on it. So either a) it
> rocks, we did it completely right or b) no one uses it. See the
Having done open source development myself, I certainly understand the
dilemma. Just for the record regarding macro support: it rocks. I use
macros regularly now. Thanks!
> Honestly, I'm starting to think it's better to ignore people who say
> an app is useless unless it has feature X.
You might be right about that. If someone is refusing to use an app
based on missing feature X, then they probably haven't realized that
features Y and Z are also missing. So fixing X just initiates tail
chasing. On the other hand, many people have massive existing bib
files that act as a barrier to entry. The research group I belong to
has many thousands of entries in the shared bib files. These files
heavily use macros and cross references. I finally decided several
months ago, given that BibDesk was so much better than the other
options, to just start a new bib file and migrate items from the shared
files to my personal bib file as needed. Macro support has made this
> …I think sorting is the most challenging part of the problem, really;
> you're suggesting that BibDesk do something that BibTeX itself can't
Sure, but BibDesk does lots of things that BibTeX can't do. I haven't
dug into the source code yet, but I suspect having the entire bib file
sucked into an object model should make the sorting fairly easy,
especially since transitive cross-refs aren't allow. One pass over the
set of elements would yield the subset that serve as targets for
cross-references. The file emitter could just save this subset for
output after the other entries.
Please note that I don't intend here to cast any aspersions if no one
decides to take this on. "Theoretically easy" does not equal
"practically easy"---let alone interesting, fun, or motivating for a
volunteer coder. Maybe I'll have time to work on a patch after my
dissertation is done (6 weeks!). As much benefit as I've gotten from
BibDesk, I really should try to give something back.
> I appreciate the discussion and comments. Curt, if you could add
> yours to the RFE, I'd appreciate it.
Curtis Clifton, PhD Candidate
Dept. of Computer Science, Iowa State University
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