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[whatwg] on bibtex-in-html5

From: James Graham <jgraham@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 18:05:28 +0200
Message-ID: <4A254DC8.6020105@opera.com>
Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
> So exactly what is the process by which this gets resolved? Is there one?

Hixie will respond to substantive emails sent to this list at some 
point. However there are some hundreds of outstanding emails (see [1]) 
so the responses can take a while. If you have a pressing deadline that 
would benefit from your issue being addressed sooner, I suggest you talk 
to Hixie about it.

FWIW I have a few general thoughts about the bibtex section which may or 
may not be interesting:

1) It seems like this and similar sections (bibtex, vCard, iCalendar) 
could be productively split out of the main spec into separate normative 
documents, since they are rather self-contained and have rather obvious 
interest for communities who are unlikely to find them at present or to 
be interested in the rest of the spec. Although the drag and drop stuff 
being dependent on them does mean that you'd need some circular references.

2) For the bibliographic data the most important issues that I see are 
ease of use and ease of export. Although I am not attached to the bibtex 
format per-se I would be extremely disappointed if a different, harder 
to author, format were used. Formats that are flexible but rarely used 
are less useful overall than more limited formats with ubiquitous 
deployment. In addition formats that are hard to use make it more likely 
that people will make accidental mistakes, so decreasing the reliability 
of the data and devaluing tools that consume the data.

Although I don't think we have to use bibtex as the basis for the 
format, I do think a canonical mapping to bibtex is a requirement. 
Obviously this reflects my background in the physical sciences but, at 
least in that field LaTeX and, by association, bibtex are overwhelmingly 
popular. I am well aware that the situation in other fields is different 
but without clean, high fidelity, bibtex export (at least to the extend 
required to support common citation patterns within the physical 
sciences) the format will lose out on a large audience with a higher 
than average number of potential early adopters.

[1] http://www.whatwg.org/issues/data.html

> 
> On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 10:17 AM, Bruce D'Arcus <bdarcus at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, May 23, 2009 at 5:35 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>>
>> ...
>>
>>> I agree that BibTeX is suboptimal. But what should we use instead?
>> As I've suggested:
>>
>> 1) use Dublin Core.
>>
>> This gives you the basic critical properties: literals for titles and
>> dates, and relations for versions, part/containers, contributors,
>> subjects.
>>
>> You then have a consistent and general way to represent (HTML)
>> documents and embedded references to other documents, etc. (citation
>> references). This would cover the most important areas that BibTeX
>> covers.
>>
>> 2) this goes far, but you're then left with a few missing pieces for citations:
>>
>> a. more specific contributors (like editors and translators)
>> b. identifiers (there's dc:identifier, but no way to explicitly denote
>> that it's a doi, isbn, issn, etc.)
>> c. what I call "locators"; volume, issue, pages, etc.
>> d. types (book, article, patent, etc.)
>>
>> If there's some consensus on this basic way forward, we can talk about
>> details on 2.
>>
>> Bruce
>>
Received on Tuesday, 2 June 2009 09:05:28 UTC

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