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Re: [O] Org citations, CSL and citeproc-el

From: Tory S. Anderson
Subject: Re: [O] Org citations, CSL and citeproc-el
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2018 10:02:06 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/25.3 (gnu/linux)

Just a second on this; it's a fantastic and useful idea.
Richard Lawrence <address@hidden> writes:

Dear Simonyi,

Simonyi András <address@hidden> writes:

a few days ago I've released the first public version of citeproc-el (https://github.com/andras-simonyi/citeproc-el), a CSL 1.01 citation processor library for Emacs.

Wow! I don't know if you are aware, but we had discussed the possibility of building something like this on the list a few years back. At the time it seemed like a lot more work than anyone was willing to do, and so the effort stalled. Thanks so much for working on this -- it looks like you've done a ton of work!

The resulting link syntax is rather cumbersome so I'd like to ask your opinion about introducing an alternative org-mode citation syntax that handles all of these elements. One option would be to use something very similar to pandoc's citation syntax (which I tried to follow as much as possible in the cite link descriptions of citeproc-orgref).

We had a (very) long discussion about implementing a new citation syntax for Org in the spring of 2015. Most of it took place in February and March; see:

https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2015-03/threads.html And here is how I summarized the state of that discussion in June:


The upshot was that we came to agreement on quite a few points about what citation syntax should look like, and those points have been implemented in Org syntax in the wip-cite branch of the Org repo. (This branch is now long out of date and at the very least in need of a rebase onto current master, I suspect.) It would be really great to get things moving again. Using your code to provide citation processing during Org export for the syntax that's already been implemented would be the place to start.

There are other aspects of the syntax we agreed on that are not implemented yet; as I recall, the idea was to get a minimal agreeable subset working, and then add to it based on real-world experience and feedback.

A more general question I'd like to raise how (or whether) you see citeproc-el's (and CSL's) potential place in the org-mode ecosystem. There are a lot of directions which the further development could take (BibLaTeX support, citeproc-YAML bibliographies, CSL editing and CSL extensions etc.) and I'd be grateful to receive your input on which ones I should focus on.

Here's my two cents on this. From what I recall about the discussion (it's hard to believe it's already been almost three years...), I would focus on two things:

1) BibLaTeX support. Most Org users who want citation support want it primarily for LaTeX export, and BibLaTeX provides a good model of what we should try to achieve in Org citation support.

2) org-bibtex support. Org-bibtex is a library that represents citation data via Org's property syntax. Some people use this and it would be great to have it integrated with the new citation syntax and export. That would provide an end-to-end citation solution that is completely native to Org and Emacs. Again, thanks for jump-starting this effort! I look forward to contributing to it this spring.

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