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Subject: OpenDocument - suggested tweaks for bibliography format

I continue to review the OpenDocument format.  I _love_ the
fact that the bibliography database is part of the document
standard itself.  This is an absolute delight for those of us
who really try to properly cite our sources, and is a REAL
improvement from typical GUI word processing document formats.

Still, there's nothing that can't be improved on. If it's not
too late, here are some minor tweaks/improvements to
consider for the bibliography format:

*  In section 7.1.4, Bibliography Index Mark, and again in 7.12.5
   under Bibliography data field indicator,
   there is a "month" and "year" for the document,
   but no "day".   I suggest adding a "day" attribute.
   Presumably these are the publication dates.
* When referencing an on-line resource, most citation
   standards require that you report not just the URL but
   the retrieved-by date (which is NOT the same as the
   publish date).  I suggest adding the attributes
   retrieved-year, retrieved-month, and retrieved-day.
* There's a lot of duplication between 7.12.5 and 7.1.4 and 14.9.3;
   can a single attribute be defined for use in all of them?
   This is more a slight simplification of the spec than anything
   real to implementors, but I thought I'd mention it.
*  For author there is a simple "text:author", which I presume
    is to be repeated for each author.  I suggest adding a note
    that "some attributes, particularly 'author', may be repeated
    more than once for a given citation."
* Unfortunately, human names are more complex.
   I don't see how a system that sorts by last name, but
   lists "all later authors" by giving their names as "last name last"
   works well with the information given here, without at least some sort
   of convention.  I'm GUESSING this is the intended convention,
   and if it is, I suggest that you note it:
   'Names are normally entered as 'LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME MIDDLENAME"
   such naming conventions apply.'
   All of this really only
   addresses Western-style naming conventions.
   Alternatively, consider having a more complex "name" attribute
   that can handle alternative names.  But at least note where
   there's a convention for the data, so it can be expressed.

* In 14.9.3, bibilography configuration, doesn't seem to acknowledge
   that there are two kinds of in-line citations: citations not used as
   nouns, and citations used as nouns. Let me show the difference:
   - There are over six billion people on Earth [Countemup 2004].
   - Countemup [2004] reports that there are over six billion people on Earth.
   It'd be a great idea to be able to mark individual citations as being
   of the "noun" form, and then be able to control its formatting separately.

None of these are so earth-shattering that they're worth holding up
the OpenDocument schedule.  But it'd be especially easy to add
the fields day, retrieved-year, retrieved-month, and retrieved-day,
though, so they're at least worth it I think.  The rest would be
great to handle, but if not, they are something that can be considered
for future revisions.

--- David A. Wheeler

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