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Subject: Re: [docbook] Correct markup for "et al" in biblioref


On Tue, 2008-06-17 at 23:18 +0200, Markus Hoenicka wrote:
> Hi,
> two thoughts:
> 1) your question suggests that you're about to confuse markup with
> presentation.
That's exactly my concern; the markup I included in my email abuses the
DocBook personname tag because "et al" is not a person's name. It's a
pretty mild abuse (I suppose et al does represent several people who
have names:), but I'm hoping someone has run into this and has a good
clean suggestion.
> If you do not want the author list to appear in full in
> your bibliography listing, you may be better off tweaking the
> stylesheets rather than massaging the data.
There is code in the standard stylesheets that will handle the "et al"
in long lists (it's part of the ISO690 support).  If I just put the 17
names in and use that code, I would get both the visual effect and
correct markup.  But, I would like to be able to indicate "et al"
explicitly for those cases where I don't have all the names (or the
patience to code all of the names:).
> Of course there are
> cases where you don't have the full author list in the first place. In
> that case your markup may be as good as it gets.
That could be, but I hope someone on the list will have a suggestion
that will work better than what I have so far.
> 2) author lists have an implicit logic, at least in science. The first
> author (in the order listed on the publication) is usually the one who
> has contributed most (blood and sweat), whereas the last one is
> usually the one who was responsible, who tutored the first author, or
> who happened to be the department head. Picking the first one sorted
> alphabetically may break these implicit rules.
Good point; I actually chose the first name on the list, which happened
to be sorted alphabetically. But you're right, I should really pick
whichever one was first in the source, regardless.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Dick Hamilton

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