[Top][All Lists]

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

Re: [Groff] refer question

From: Jorgen Grahn
Subject: Re: [Groff] refer question
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 10:23:24 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/

On Fri Apr  1 23:42:51 2005, address@hidden wrote:
> On 01-Apr-05 Peter Schaffter wrote:
> > 
> > In contemporary North American bibliographies, about five
> > styles are "standard", though by no means the only ones used:
> > 
> >     AMA      (American Medical Association)
> >     APA      (American Psychological Association)
> >     MLA      (Modern Language Association)
> >     Turabian (from Kate Turabian's _A Manual for Writers of Term
> > Papers,
> >               Theses, and Dissertations_)
> >     Chicago  (The Chicago Manual of Style)
> > 
> > The Modern Language Association has been around for well over a
> > century, which gives their dicta concerning style considerable
> > clout, though, as with other styles, no official standing.

Thanks. I was aware of APA and Chicago and a number of others from back when
I used to write articles (LaTeX+BibTeX). I didn't recall MLA, so I assumed 
it was a new initiative.

> I understand that the MLA style is the general "norm" for
> publications in the Humanities, to the extent that many
> Humanities journals either strongly recommend it or insist
> on it.

Humanities probably drives the evolution in this area; you refer to a lot of
works and you need to do it correctly. In my areas (ornithology and botany,
and most things pubished in swedish) the norm seems to be variations of the
Chicago style.

> JAMA. There are so many! One of the principal merits of
> specialised bibliography programs is that they can be
> configured (using a syntax-like "style file") to adhere
> to a specified standard.
> This is one reason I've never much liked using {g|t}roffs
> "refer". While it has the feature that you can set up a
> database using standard tags, and refer to items in this
> in various natural ways in your text, it is distinctly
> inflexible when it comes to changing style.
> This is not helped by the fact that the implementation
> of the formatting is done by specialised macros in whatever
> macro package you happen to be using.

This is my view of refer, too. But it wouldn't surprise me if, when you look
into it like Peter S has done, you find it isn't too bad after all. I have
been too lazy to do that,

> In the end I switched to a different approach, based on
> Tim Budd's 'bib' program, a preprocessor for troff, which
> you can configure using "style files". But this seems to
> have disappeared from public view since some time ago.

I looked into bib some time ago (and I think I reported on it here). To

- The bib sources are available if you look around (from the comp.sources
  archives, I think).
- They are from the early 1980s. It will take some work to fix them up so
  they compile and run on a modern machine. I gave it a few hours, got part
  of the way, and gave up.

I still have a hobby project ("prefer") which is intended to be a refer
replacement with bib-like syntax. The good thing is that it doesn't need
macro support. The bad thing is that the only style it will support,
initially, is whatever my brother wants for his book ...


  // Jörgen Grahn       "Koka lopplummer, bada Ross, loppor borta."
\X/ <address@hidden>                                   -- Jonas

reply via email to

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