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org-cite styles as flags (idea)

From: Max Nikulin
Subject: org-cite styles as flags (idea)
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2022 19:34:37 +0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.7.0


In a recent thread it was discussed that currently style selection is not always obvious:

John Kitchin. citations: org-cite vs org-ref 3.0.
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 13:00:40 -0400. m24k3jnq0k.fsf@andrew.cmu.edu">https://list.orgmode.org/m24k3jnq0k.fsf@andrew.cmu.edu

[cite/na/b:@key] or [cite/noauthor/bare:@key] to mean \citeyear{key}?

Why wouldn't it be \citetitle? or \citeurl, or \citedate? or even,

I get it, you can define [cite/noauthor/year:] or even [cite/year:] or
[cite/y:] and even [cite/citeyear:] to get the command in there, and
something for each of those other ones. Maybe even the documented
convention will change to some other potentially mnemonic form.

It seems, no backends uses hierarchy of substyles. Please, correct me, I may be wrong since I was BibTeX user and have not tried BibLaTeX.

I have an idea to consider each component started from slash as independent boolean flags (or constraints), so they can be reordered

   /author/bare/caps = /caps/bare/author

For citeproc.el it is a natural mapping since e.g. noauthor is implemented as a value of suppress-author parameter. For BibTeX commands it may be described as set of properties, so the code discards ones inconsistent with provided criteria. E.g. (:bare t :author nil :noauthor t :full nil) for \citeyear, :caps does not matter.

As at was suggested earlier, /year modifier existing in oc-csl should be implemented for oc-natbib.

[cite/author/noauthor:...] should generate a warning as an impossible combination and fallback to defaults.

The origin of the proposal is the following part of the discussion:

Bruce D'Arcus, Tue, 29 Mar 2022 12:14:03 -0400
On Tue, Mar 29, 2022 at 11:23 AM Max Nikulin wrote:

It seems modifiers are set of boolean flags (positive "year" or negative
"suppress-author") in citeproc.el, set of values in natbib, and a kind
of hierarchy in org-cite. From my point of view, set of constrains
(flags) is the most general variant in this list.

I think that's right, and is how it's represented in a GUI app like
Zotero. But that's not so convenient in a plain text format.

I may easily miss something important making such idea broken. At least it looks like a backward-compatible change if old /caps-full is mapped to new /caps/full (or /full/caps).

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