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Re: Long file names in Dired


From: Rasmus
Subject: Re: Long file names in Dired
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:19:22 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden> writes:

>>> I. HATE. BIBTEX. WITH. A. PASSION.
>>> [...]
>>
>> I find the format OK.  I can't imagine a vastly superior format for
>> metadata...
>
> 1. Multiple authors are separated with the five-character string
> " and ".

I type quickly enough for this not to bother me.  Perhaps ";" would be
better, but for the sake of comparability I can live with " and ".  OTOH
it may make human parsing more easy when reading the bib file.

> Can you imagine a more stupid idea?  What if you want to quote
> an anonymous report whose author field should say "National Aeronautics
> and Space Administration"?  Yes, you /can/ quote the " and ", but this
> shouldn't be even needed.

Author = {{National Aeronautics and Space Administration}}

> 2. BibTeX separates the author name into (at most) four components,
> called "first", "last", "von" and "jr".  No support for: Chinese names
> (not fitting into this format)e and names in some other languages (I'm
> forgetting now which ones).

Another flaw is the auto-guessing of names e.g. for three names one must
use "last, first middle" vs "first last" or "last, first" for two names.

> 3. What about alphabetic sorting in various languages?

This is orthogonal to the format.  I believe Biber reads unicode.

> 4. Since BibTeX is aimed (after all) at a typesetting system, what about
> diferent hyphenation patterns?  Imagine an article written in Polish,
> citing a paper by a German (so the name should be hyphenated differently
> than the rest of the document), the paper being in English, and
> published by an Italian university.  Where's support for that (i.e.,
> language field for the author, title etc.)?

Biblatex will read language field.  I don't know how it uses it.  In any
case, that's orthogonal to the bibtex format as a "database".

> (Not to mention several authors from various langauge backgrounds.)

If there's a name you can't type, I guess it's the fault of unicode.

> 5. What about all these funny characters not found in English, and in
> particular sorting using them?  (See the docs for the xindy indexing
> tool for examples of nontrivial problems regarding locale-aware
> sorting.)

This is a flaw with the bibtex program.  Biber is better.

BTW: Emacs 24 can't do local-aware sorting (but string-collate-lessp is in
25).  This would suggest to me that it's a nontrivial problem.

> 6. What about custom citation styles?  Have you seen the syntax of the
> bst files?  If yes, you know the pain, and if not, you'd better not look
> at them, for your own good...

Yes.  I used to use custombib or whatever it was called to generate bst
files.  Pain.

Again, this is orthogonal to the bibtex file-format.

> 7. BibTeX is not really "case-sensitive" or "case-insensitive", it's
> "case-destroying".  IOW, /you have to quote capital letters in titles/
> so that BibTeX doesn't convert them to lowercase.

I think you can use: {{}}.

> BTW, BibLaTeX addresses (AFAIK) problems 3, 5, 6 and 7.

Would 3 not be biber?  For 4 perhaps you can use the langid field (pp. 24
in the "texdoc biblatex" in TL14).  I don't know if it's as extensive as
you need.

> The amsrefs package addresses problems 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7.

I don't know it.  The AMS math packages are good quality.

> Again: nice, and thanks for the tips.  But still, BibTeX is a wrong tool
> for that.

I'm using the *format*, not the binary "bibtex".  Biber is good, and via
reftex Emacs has good support for the bibtex format.

> Note that no BibTeX based solution helps /if I want to be able to move
> files between directories/.

In the above system you'd move *folders* rather than files.  An entry is a
container (folder) of:

   {metadata, article, notes, data/program}

You could have that in a single file (tar), but why bother?

—Rasmus

-- 
And when I’m finished thinking, I have to die a lot





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