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[whatwg] on bibtex-in-html5

From: <simon@simifilm.ch>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 14:20:34 +0200 (CEST)
Message-ID: <20090610122035.76B71180B12FD@dd16206.kasserver.com>
> > | 1. BibTeX is designed for the sciences, that typically only cite
> > | ?? ??secondary academic literature. It is thus inadequate for, nor widely
> > | ?? ??used, in many fields outside of the sciences: the humanities and law
> > | ?? ??being quite obvious examples. For this reason, BibTeX cannot by
> > | ?? ??default adequately represent even the use cases Ian has identified.
> > | ?? ??For example, there are many citations on Wikipedia that can only be
> > | ?? ??represented using effectively useless types such as "misc" and which
> > | ?? ??require new properties to be invented.
> >
> > We will probably have to increase the coverage in due course, yes.
> > However, we should verify that the mechanism works in principle before
> > investing the time to extend the vocabulary.
> 
> No; you should drop this proposal and move it to an experimental annex.
> 
> If you do insist, against all reason, in pushing forward with this
> without modification, then I suggest you explain how this process of
> extension will work. If, as I suspect, it'll be another case of a
> centralized authority (you; who have admitted you really know nothing
> about this space), then that's a deal-breaker from my perspective.

Related to this I want to remark some things on a more general level: We currently experience major changes in the world of bibliographic software. At least, this is how I experience it. After years of limited and/or closed formats and models like BibTeX or Endnote we finally see new models like CSL or biblatex emerging which try to learn from the lessons from the past. Of course, I do not know how things will evolve, but looking at the success of solutions like Zotero I think it's not so bold to say that things will change quite a bit in the coming years.

And then we have HTML5, an emerging standard which is now getting support by the newest and latest browsers. I do know even less how HTML5 will evolve, what impact it will have on the web. But it's probably fair to say that widespread adoption of HTML5 will not happen overnight.

Honestly, I really don't get why a coming web standard should support a bibliographic standard which is obviously outdated. The fact that BibTeX is widely used is really a non argument, because if we follow this logic we wont have any development. By the same logic you should avoid something like <video> ? after all, there isn't any support for it *yet*. If HTML5 wants to be forward-looking, it certainly shouldn't adopt a twenty years old standard but should instead try to support something new which is really up to date and has chance if being useful in the future.

simon
Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 05:20:34 UTC

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