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Re: Expanding how the new cite syntax is used to include cross-reference

From: John Kitchin
Subject: Re: Expanding how the new cite syntax is used to include cross-references - thoughts?
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2021 10:13:47 -0400
User-agent: mu4e 1.6.0; emacs 28.0.50

"Bruce D'Arcus" <bdarcus@gmail.com> writes:

> Here's a recent subthread on this question:
> https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-orgmode/2021-07/msg00233.html
> At the end of that discussion, my argument against using citations for
> cross-references:
> 1. Cross-references are not citations, neither conceptually, nor in
> software implementations. In LaTeX, MS Word, Libre office, InDesign,
> etc, cross-references are handled differently than citations. There,
> they are typed internal links. You can get a sense of how this works
> in this tutorial for Word, which includes a list of cross-reference
> types, and so hints at the range of things people need to internally
> reference:
> https://www.customguide.com/word/how-to-cross-reference-in-word
> 2. As John and Joost noted on that thread, because they're different,
> they raise a range of implementation questions, most notably for me
> what org-cite processors are supposed to do with these citations that
> are not citations. As it is now, the user would just get errors and/or
> unexpected output.

This is also the case with org-ref links, if you haven't installed or
loaded org-ref.

> On Wed, Aug 11, 2021 at 1:28 AM Tom Gillespie <tgbugs@gmail.com> wrote:
> ...
>> Actually, having written this now, I think that both solutions have
>> their own use cases. Org cite is clearly about providing evidence for,
>> or a scholarly reference for something, and critically it can embed
>> some metadata about that reference in the document as a citation or
>> perhaps as an excerpt (and extension of what org-ref does now when the
>> cursor is over a reference?). Regular links do not provide any way to
>> embed metadata within the document, they are purely pointers.
> Right, which is what a cross-reference is.
> It's just there needs to be some way to distinguish among types of
> targets, I think.

At the risk of repeating myself, I don't think this is true. There needs
to be a way to distinguish among styles of cross-references, just like
there is for citations, and for the same reason: different contexts
require different styles. In citations, you might want to see the year,
author, number, or some combination of those, and there are different
styles for those that all use the same key.

In cross-references, you might want to see a figure/table number, and
these may be styled differently than an equation. You might also want
the page number a label is on, or the name of a section. In MS Word, it
is even possible to use the caption of a figure or table. These are just
different styles to use on a label.

As I have thought about this more, the line between citations and
cross-references has blurred. In org-ref, they were handled the same
way, with org-links (although each link had its own export function).
For both cites and refs, the links are just pointers, and in both cases
it is possible for them to point to things within the same document.
Even in LaTeX, when we submit a manuscript, the citation references are
embedded in a standalone tex file, so every link is to an internal

The line blurs even further if you use something like org-bibtex, with
entries in the same document. Then, you can make a cross-reference to a
heading, or a citation reference to a reference entry.

>> I think it would be a mistake to use up equation/eq and table/tbl or
>> figure/fig prefixes for references that are internal to org, because it 
>> implicitly
>> limits/collides with the #+link: keyword.
> Is there a workaround for this somehow, or an alternative that gets
> the same thing in the end?

> Bruce

Professor John Kitchin
Doherty Hall A207F
Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Pronouns: he/him/his

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