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Subject: data templating (and citations)


As many of you know, I've been trying to upgrade the ODF support for  
citations. There are three aspects of this: the citation field, the  
bibliographic metadata, and the configuration of the output formatting.

I'd like to address the last here. Currently, a bibliographic entry is  
configured like this in ODF:

text:bibliography-type="conference" text:style-name="Bibliography 1">
      <text:index-entry-span>: </text:index-entry-span>
      <text:index-entry-span>, </text:index-entry-span>
      <text:index-entry-span>, </text:index-entry-span>

There are a few problems with this approach, and they mostly center on  
the fact that it presumes the data will be there, and there is no  
conditional logic. If there is no title, for example, there will be a  
spurious comma. Likewise, if the entries get sorted by author-date and  
there is no author, stuff breaks (the entry is sorted incorrectly, and  
the citation will be wrong). Finally, the system was never designed to  
consider note-based or author-date style citations, which are really  
common across the social sciences and humanities.

To get around these limitations, I created a new citation style  
language (CSL), which is independent of any particular document format.  
It's now starting to be picked up by other projects, and is even used  
with an MS Word plug-in now.

Here's an example of a CSL file:


It's quite a bit more complex than what is in ODF, but about as simple  
as it can be to still support these styles.

So my question is, how shall we deal with this issue?

I see two options:

1)  use CSL for configuration (either blessed by the ODF TC, or not)

2)  adapt the logic of CSL to the existing ODF templating and  
bibliography configuration system

The thing is, templating of this sort will likely be generally useful  
for the custom metadata stuff we're working on. But simple data fields  
are often a little too simple.

Any opinions?


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