[OS X TeX] OT: low-tech bibliographic hyperlinking

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed May 2 13:30:57 EDT 2007

Le 2 mai 07 à 18:50, Simon Spiegel a écrit :

> Why don't you just use bibtex and biblatex? Much easier and more  
> versatile.

Just a reluctance (and material difficulty) to invest several days  
learning to use new tools and customizing them to suit specific  
needs, when for any particular project I can get what I need in half  
a day of handwork say.

For example, imagine I need to cite three papers:

Kistovich & Chashechkin 1992
Kistovich & Chashehckin 1993
Kistovich & Chashehckin 1998

in the precise form (Kistovich & Chashechkin 1992, 1993, 1998), with  
"Kistovich & Chashehckin 1992" a hyperlink to Kistovich & Chashechkin  
(1992) in the list of references, "1993" a hyperlink to Kistovich &  
Chashehckin (1993) in that list, and "1998" a hyperlink to Kistovich  
& Chashehckin (1998) in that list. I'm sure getting exactly that with  
BibTeX would be problematic.

Or imagine you want to follow rules such that each paper with three  
authors is cited with the names of all three authors on first  
occurrence, and with the first author followed by "et al." on all  
subsequent occurrences. Or even worse: all papers with four authors  
or more are cited in the form first author et al.; this implies that  
two papers with four authors or more, published the same year and  
with same first author must have additional letters "a" and "b" added  
automatically to their year of publication, so that they are cited as  
"First author et al. (2000a, b)".

All this I get can get tediously but easily when doing things  
manually. Using BibTeX and specific LaTeX packages, I imagine this is  
also possible, but I fear it would take hours of doc studying then  
customization. Being always in a rush, I'm reluctant to do that.

And I've also that reluctance to rely on external packages (i.e.  
those not in latex/base) when avoidable: these packages may at any  
time be discontinued by their authors, or incompatible changes may be  
introduced in any new version, or superior packages may be introduced  
at any time leading you to invest time again learning a new syntax,  
converting your old files, and so forth. I prefer stability and  
working with the same limited set of tools, and invest time learning  
to use these tools to their maximum and push them to their limits.

But you're certainly right that I should at least give a closer look  
to BibTeX and all the bibliography-related packages. When time allows...

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