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[Groff] refer question

From: Peter Schaffter
Subject: [Groff] refer question
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 23:22:08 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i


I've begun work on adding refer capabilities to mom.  Using the ms
refer module as a starting point, I'm setting mom up to use MLA
bibliographic rules.

It's going well, but I've encountered a small (and I do mean small)
snag.  MLA rules state that when you have two authors, a comma
should come after the first author's first name, before "and", like

    Blow, Joe, and John Doe

By default, refer produces

    Blow, Joe and John Doe

I'm wondering if anyone knows a way around this, short of changing

    string join_authors_exactly_two = " and ";

assertion to

    string join_authors_exactly_two = ", and ";

I'd prefer to state without equivocation in the mom documentation
that mom produces MLA-conformant bibliographic references.  I can't
do that if the comma is missing, and I do not want to suggest to
mom users that they patch and recompile refer.  A lot of mom users
are newbies to groff and GNU software; recompiling could well be
perceived as a major stumbling block.

BTW--I don't myself like the comma one bit, but MLA rules are MLA
rules, and they are, comma excepted, the ones most suited to mom's
original target users.

While I'm on the subject, what I intend to do is set up a toggle
macro, .REF, for inputting references, with two control macros,
.REF_TO_FOOTNOTES and .REF_TO_ENDNOTES to determine where the
references go.  The control macros would obviate the need to do
something like


Instead, a user will just do

    .REF END

Additionally, I'll create a separate macro, .BIBLIO, for the
generation of standalone bibliography pages (of the "further
reading" variety).

I think that covers the main places refer would be used in a
document.  Can anyone think of a use I've missed?

Peter Schaffter
  Author of _The Schumann Proof_ (RendezVous Press, Canada)

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