Re: a bibtex file that I cannot load into citeline

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <stefanom_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2008 12:41:56 -0400

Enrico Silterra wrote:
> I don't actually use bibtex -- so this problem is probably from
> something mucked up
> in the bib file produced by refworks.
> Anyway, I don't actually get any errors, but I cannot load this file
> of about 680 references.
> this is a file where every character over 127 has been deleted --
> it was created from
> --
> which I assume could not be loaded because it contains ISO-LATIN1
> instead of utf-8.
> Anyway, I would appreciate some guidance as to how to get this cite-lined.
> Rick


congrats, you managed to hit 3 bugs with one single attempt :-)

First of all, you're correct assuming that non-ASCII chars cannot be in
BibTeX (they have to be escaped in using TeX escape codes) and the
parser will fail if they are present. Since this is a very common error
among BibTeX exporters, we did think of creating a 'pre-processor' in
citeline that would do this kind of transformation for you... but this
works only and exclusively if the encoding used in the various strings
is uniform and this is hardly the case.

Second, the BibTeX entries generated here appear ill formed, for example:

        author={Thomas M. Achenbach},
        title={Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 and 1991 Profile},
        publisher={University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry},
        address={Burlington, VT},
        note={Actual Instrument Common citation}

note how the curly brackets need to match and there is an additional one
at the end of the item! Our bibtex parser doesn't really like that.

So I went ahead replaced all instances of "}\n}" with "}\n" and I got it
to parse.

But you also managed to hit a few of Citeline bugs:

1) your file is bigger than 1Mb (our upload limit at that point) and if
the file was too big, the error didn't show up (because it triggered
another error). I fixed that and I also increased our limit to 5Mb which
seems more reasonable.

2) unfortunately, even with that, our parser seems to have a problem
with the word "comment".... this shouldn't happen and I'm currently
working on fixing that problem. The workaround, for now, is to try
search and to remove the string "comment" for your BibTeX file.

Let us know if this helped.

Stefano Mazzocchi
Digital Libraries Research Group                 Research Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
E25-131, 77 Massachusetts Ave               skype: stefanomazzocchi
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307, USA         email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Thu Aug 21 2008 - 12:41:56 EDT

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