[OS X TeX] Papers or BibDesk?

Simon Spiegel simon at simifilm.ch
Mon May 7 10:23:50 EDT 2007

On 26.04.2007, at 23:25, Simon Spiegel wrote:

> 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.

Version 1.0.2 is out. Although the release notes claim that BibTeX  
handling has been improved, BibTeX data still is screwed up when  
importing it and exporting it again. For example, the editor field in  
incollection entries doesn't survive. Unfortunately, this make the  
app useless for BibTeX/LaTeX.

Simon Spiegel
Steinhaldenstr. 50
8002 Zürich

Telephon: ++41 44 451 5334
Mobophon: ++41 76 459 60 39


"Was soll aus mir mal werden, wenn ich mal nicht mehr bin?" Robert  

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