Hi all,

Aaron Ecay <aarone...@gmail.com> writes:

> Hi Nicolas,
> Thanks for writing this up.  It is important to think about, and
> ultimately solve, all the issues you raise.

Yes, thanks for this, Nicolas!  

> 2015ko urriak 25an, Nicolas Goaziou-ek idatzi zuen:
>> ** Citations
>> Development apparently stopped for some reason. We have a citation
>> syntax for Org in wip-cite and some work done in wip-cite-awe and
>> probably elsewhere.
>> I think we could at least provide features defined in Org Ref using the
>> new syntax (minus hydra/helm related functions).
>> We don't need a silver bullet. Just something with a non-empty user
>> base, and extensible. In any case, the work done so far shouldn't be
>> wasted.
> I was working on this rather intensively at one time, but I had to stop
> because other aspects of life intruded.  I have just been coming back
> towards a situation where I can imagine myself having some (still small,
> but non-zero) chunks of time to devote to working on org.  So I hope I
> will be able to pick this back up, but (regrettably) I’m not able to
> make any promises.
> Based on my recollection, here’s what the problems were when I stopped:
> - The only “off the shelf”-capable citation processing library that we
>   found last time is in Haskell, which introduced some difficulties for
>   distributing the resulting tool.  I know some projects
>   (e.g. git-annex) are written in Haskell and distributed as static
>   binaries for windows/mac/linux/etc.  We’d need to figure out how to do
>   this, or find another citation processing library in an
>   easier-to-distribute language.

Yes, this is my understanding, too.  In particular, there does not seem
to be an Elisp CSL library, and it would be a lot of work to write one.

The other CSL library that looks complete and usable is citeproc-js; but
like the Haskell library (pandoc-citeproc) it would need to be wrapped
somehow so that it can talk with Org.

It should be relatively straightforward for someone who knows Javascript
to write such a wrapper, if anyone wants to work on that.  But this does
not really solve the problem with distribution.  Either of the
off-the-shelf CSL libraries will require both a wrapper and a platform
for building/installing/running the wrapper and library as a complete
external tool.

> (I should say, all the work on the external tool was done by Richard
> Lawrence; I worked on the exporter for the citation syntax including
> the interface with an external tool.)

The tool I was working on is here:

The branch of Org that it needs is here:

At the moment, it supports single- and multiple-work citations in inline
styles (e.g. Chicago/Harvard type citations, and I think also styles
that use numbered references to the bibliography).  It doesn't presently
work with note-based styles, and making it work will require some
modifications on the Org side.  Specifically, the Org side will have to
get a bit smarter about how it inserts the formatted citations into the
document (Org needs to understand them as footnotes so that they get
correctly numbered, etc. amongst other non-citation footnotes).

> - There is a difference between citations as done by latex/bibtex/etc.,
>   and those done in every other format (handled through CSL).  Assuming
>   latex users want to keep their native processing rather than
>   delegating to CSL, we need to solve the myriad small inconsistencies
>   between these two tools.  I think this is an area where it’s important
>   to get things right: users of citations generally have exacting
>   requirements.  “Approximately Chicago-style” or “almost MLA” aren’t
>   worth anything.

I guess I would just add that it is not clear how much we need to solve
here, at least in the short term.  I can't remember whether we found any
concrete examples of needs people have that BibLaTeX can handle but
CSL cannot, or vice versa.  Anyway, there is a core set of citation
features that both types of backends handle readily, and I think it
would be a big win to have these accessible via a common syntax in Org.
No silver bullets is indeed the maxim to keep in mind.

> (I should also say, if someone else is interested in working on this
> please don’t hesitate to jump right in.  I will help you however I can!)

I also want to echo this.  I don't really have much time to work on this
myself right now (trying to get the ol' dissertation finished this year)
but I will help out however I can.


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