BibTeX futures

Those people on the LaTeX-L list will have spotted a pretty important mail today: bibtex futures: url, doi, ?, posted by Karl Berry.

The key questions raised there are focussed in two areas: whether the core BibTeX .bst files should support url and doi data (and if so how), and whether any efforts should be made to support Unicode data. These are important questions, and I’d encourage everyone to take a look, and to contribute. If anyone wants points raising, but is not subscribed to the list, drop me a mail or leave a comment and I’ll forward it.

3 thoughts on “BibTeX futures

  1. Most important drawback of bibtext is that it does not properly support unicode. For example, bibtex fails to convert lowcase cyrillic letters to uppercase and back if a database prepared in unicode.

    • @kia That of course was raised in the original post: as I’ve said in my own reply, Unicode is complex. Case changing, at least in a language-neutral way, is doable I’m sure if all of the internals were made UTF-8-compliant. However, it’s sorting that is more tricky.

  2. I already wrote that on the LaTeX3 mailing list: While updates to BibTeX would be a good thing in principle, I think the actual consequences would be almost non-existant.

    I highly doubt that any additions to BibTeX would really change anything. People who need fields like URL or DOI in their work, have long ago either chosen .bst styles which support them or changed to BibTeX replacements like biber/biblatex.

    As for the BibTeX data which is available from various different sources and databases – I highly doubt that an update to BibTeX would have any influence on them. Many of them already support URL et al. and if they don’t, I doubt that they would alter their behaviour because of changes to BibTeX.

    In my opinion, this comes much too late have any noticeable effect.

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