[OS X TeX] Papers or BibDesk?

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Thu Apr 26 17:25:39 EDT 2007

On 26.04.2007, at 22:28, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Are some people here familiar with Papers:
> <http://mekentosj.com/papers/>
> I heard about it for the first time today, through its mention at  
> MacNN:
> <http://www.macnn.com/articles/07/04/26/papers.reaches.version.10/>
> The first paragraph of its presentation rings a bell, as it  
> describes exactly the situation I'm in:
>> Do you have dozens of PDF files from your favorite scientific  
>> articles scattered on your harddrive? Do you also try to  
>> desperately organize them by renaming and archiving them in  
>> folders? But like the piles of printed articles on your desk, you  
>> can't keep up with all the new papers you download, and despite  
>> all your efforts it has become impossible to find that one article.
> However, from what I had read here I had understood BibDesk offers  
> already, for free and in a BibTeX-compatible way, the functionality  
> provided by Papers. Is this statement correct (I'm not using  
> Bibdesk yet)? Are there users of BibDesk and/or Papers, who could  
> clarify this.

I'll post what I already wrote in a similar thread in BibDesk users  
mailing list. It was about the beta, but not much has changed:

I had a look at Paper and decided that it was useless in its current
incarnation for my workflow. In my understand its mainly geared
towards PubMed papers and while it offers bibtex import/export this
seems tacked on and not really integrated.

Some problems I had:

- The only external sources available is PubMed which is useless for me.
- Not enough document types. While there are types like
"incollection", everything seems geared towards journal articles. For
example, for "incollection" there's no editor field (but there is an
issue and pmid field which makes no sense). There is no possibility
of adding your fields which is one of the great things about BibDesk/
BibTeX (the prefs which are currently empty give a hint that this
might become more flexible).
- When importing bibtex and exporting it again (which is necessary
for using the data with LaTeX), the bibtex data got all screwed up
and became basically unusable.

I agree that the UI is nice, but ATM the whole app seems to be geared
too much towards journal articles and PubMed. It's not really meant
for other sources which makes it pretty useless for humanities. I'm
sure there workflows where this fits in, but mine is not among them.


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