Jakob Voss wrote:
a) BibTeX

Can I vote against BibTex, please?

At the core of BibTeX is a language called 'BST' or that's the file extension used, which is as close as it comes to a name.

This is an entirely undocumented language written to work on a patchily documented format. It's stack-based (not unlike PostScript), with special operation(s) to manipulate names based on deep assumptions about names and the ways they are formatted. These assumptions, by and large, hold for the personal names of North American English speakers (but I seem to recall is unable to correctly format the name of the President of the USA due to his title). The further you move from names of North American English speakers, the more they break (non-ASCII characters, eastern order names, complex titles, non-"standard" capitalisation, etc, etc, etc).

BST is non-recursive, attempting to execute recursive functions gives the error "Curse on you, wizard, before you recurse on me." Yes, the BST interpreter does refer to users as "wizards," which seems less cool after the first 12 hours of debugging.

Users have adapted to BibTeX by using an experimental approach---tinkering with the BibTeX entries until they 'look right,' which in most cases involves cramming everything into what BibTeX thinks of as the surname, because BibTex never omits or initialises the surname.

If we're going to use a bibliographic framework, please, please, please don't make it BibTeX.

Stuart Yeates
http://www.nzetc.org/       New Zealand Electronic Text Centre
http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/     Institutional Repository

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