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Re: [AUCTeX-devel] amsrefs support in reftex

From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX-devel] amsrefs support in reftex
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 2015 09:43:22 +0200

On 2015-10-16, at 09:01, Tassilo Horn <address@hidden> wrote:

> Mosè Giordano <address@hidden> writes:
>>> So, my question is: Where should I start reading reftex's code to be
>>> able to start working on amsrefs support?
>> Your help would be very welcome.
> Yes, absolutely!


(BTW, that doesn't mean that I'm no longer critical of the FSF.
Admittedly, I'm /less/ critical now than before, though it is still
/much/ critical.  But this is a separate topic.)

>> I'm not familiar with amsrefs.  What kind of features if offers?  How
>> do you plan to add support in RefTeX?
> I don't know it, too, but I assume that it is similar to other
> enhancements to the normal reference system like cleveref or varioref.
> So I'd grep the sources for "vref" and "cref" to see how their support
> is implemented and then do the analogous stuff for amsrefs.


Amsrefs is a (sort of) replacement for Bib(La)TeX.  Unlike those tools,
it is written completely in TeX.  The disadvantage of amsrefs is that it
can't sort entries - you have to take care of that manually.  The
advantage is that you program the bibliographic style completely in TeX,
e.g. in yur preamble (and in an easy way, though not as powerful as
BibLaTeX), so you can have everything (article, bib style and bib
entries) in a single file.  (Defining custom field and entry types is
also very easy, all within LaTeX.)

Also, it has some nice things compared to Bib(La)TeX, like no stupid
"\and" with authors - you just repeat the author field.  So
a bibliographic entry in amsrefs might look like this:

    author={Aronszajn, N.},
    author={Panitchpakdi, P.},
    title={Extension of uniformly continuous transformations
      and hyperconvex metric spaces},
    journal={Pacific J.~Math},

(Also, amsrefs /can/ read BibTeX-style entries, but I do not see the
point of using worse syntax.)

This means that (most probably) I should look into reftex-cite.el, in
particular the parts which (a) look for files with the bibliography and
(b) extract info from them.  But where are they and how do they work...?

(Ah, one more thing: amsrefs /can/ use the "separate database file"
setup, like Bib(La)TeX, and extract only the cited references from
there.  Another advantage is that that file can be a complete LaTeX
document, which produces a pdf with a catalogue of all the papers you
have, for instance.  Of course, the entries there should be sorted -
amsrefs won't do that.)

> Bye,
> Tassilo


Marcin Borkowski
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Adam Mickiewicz University

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