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Subject: Re: [office-comment] OpenDocument - suggested tweaks for bibliography format

David A. Wheeler scripsit:

> * 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.

IMHO (and I've worked on the problem for some years), all attempts to structure
names so that they work correctly across cultures (and with scholarship being
international now, the problem comes up repeatedly) just don't work.  

	Western Europeans and their cultural descendants put surnames
		last for display, first for sorting.
	Hungarians put surnames first for all purposes, at least
		in the Hungarian language.
	Chinese also put surnames first, and often retain this
		convention when mentioned in other languages.
	Icelanders (mostly) have no surnames, only given-names and
		patronymics, and use given+patronymic for both sorting
		and display.
	Indonesians mostly have only one name.

I think the only universal answer is to represent full names in two ways:
a display version and a sort version.  One could do this with markup as

	<name><part key='2'>John</part> <part key='1'>Cowan</part></name>

but I don't think it's really worthwhile:

	<name sortAs='Cowan, John'>John Cowan</name>

is probably more appropriate despite the duplication of content.

John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  www.ccil.org/~cowan  www.reutershealth.com
"In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side
with the giants on whose shoulders we stand."
        --Gerald Holton

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