[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [O] Citation syntax: Underscore MUST(?) be allowed in cite keys?

From: Thomas S. Dye
Subject: Re: [O] Citation syntax: Underscore MUST(?) be allowed in cite keys?
Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2015 16:29:14 -1000

Aloha Richard,

Richard Lawrence <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi Tom and all,
> address@hidden (Thomas S. Dye) writes:
>> As I see it, the choice boils down to the relative benefit of citation
>> shortcuts vs. the limitation of requiring authors to configure the
>> citation manager so it doesn't produce a key ending in punctuation (or
>> your solution that uses different regexps for full citations and
>> shortcuts).
> Yes, that's my understanding of the situation.  I would just add that it
> may not even be *possible* to configure how some citation managers
> generate keys.  So if there are citation managers that put punctuation
> at the end of keys in `normal' cases, that's something serious to
> consider.
> Another variable to keep in mind here is that we don't have to
> `bless'/support every citation manager.  If a citation manager puts
> punctuation at the end of keys, and doesn't allow configuring that
> behavior or makes it difficult, that's a reason not to bless it, in my
> opinion.  But my opinion probably shouldn't count for much on this
> point, because I don't use a citation manager myself (I use org-bibtex),
> and I write my own keys.

Oh my.  This is a lot to keep in your head as a bibliographic database
grows.  The one I've created with my colleagues over the last two
decades has more than 5,000 entries.

> What citation managers are people on this list actually using?  It would
> be very helpful to get an idea of what is actually needed before we make
> any changes to the syntax of keys.
>> Richard and Stefan both see keys ending in punctuation marks as corner
>> cases, so the burden imposed on the author to configure the citation
>> manager is relatively infrequent.  
> Yes, that is my sense.  At any rate, I would like to see clear examples
> that are not corner cases before we throw out the shortcut syntax,
> because I personally think it is useful and readable.  A large number of
> my own citations could be handled by just the shortcut syntax, I think,
> so I'd be sad to see it go away without good reason.
>> At this point I think the benefit of citation shortcuts is relatively
>> modest and the limitation of requiring authors to ensure keys don't end
>> in punctuation potentially onerous.  On balance, I think strong
>> consideration should be given to the option of not using shortcuts.
> I don't disagree, but I think there is an empirical question that needs
> to be answered here: within the keys people actually use, how many do
> not conform to the syntax?  Of those that don't, do they represent
> `normal' cases or not?

A good friend of mine is a military historian who writes books
describing how the Army habitually plans to fight the last war over
again, then has to adapt hurriedly when the next war turns out to be
different.  It strikes me that basing core features of the citation
syntax on the software users happen to be using today is a bit like
this--at some point the design of the system will prove unprepared for
new developments.

I think Vaidheeswaran C's example of a citation scraped off the internet
with Zotero should carry a lot of weight.  This kind of thing is bound
to happen more and more as authors increasingly harvest citation
information on-line (my generation typically looks on this with horror,
but we'll be swept aside).

I kind of like Rasmus' idea to make the citation insertion routines
aware of punctuation and use a full citation where a shortcut would
introduce ambiguities.

Of course, an old-schooler like me will eventually complain about
wanting a variable =org-citation-always-full= that I can set non-nil.

All the best,

Thomas S. Dye

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]