Re: BibTex import problem: special characters

From: MacKenzie Smith <kenzie_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 12:27:36 -0400

Hi Mark,

Sorry for the late reply, and that we can't be more helpful with the
problem you report...
> Citeline Exhibits created from BibTex files don't display special
> characters (like accented é). Although the special characters are
> present in the UTF8-encoded BibTex file, Université becomes
> Universit??, etc. See attached file.
Since BibTeX doesn't officially support UTF-8 we've tried to support it
but it's tricky. In particular, the way Zotero exports BibTeX has
changed since we originally wrote Citeline, and some diacritics that
were working are now broken. There are ways to fix your data manually
) but it isn't easy!

The long-term solution to this requires coordinating with the Zotero
developers about their BibTeX export, and then fixing Citeline to parse
that data correctly, once and forever. While we hope to be able to do
that soon, we have no resources to do it right now.
> Hopefully this issue can be fixed. Alternatively, I think it might be
> fixed using RDF import. It would be great if I could make exhibits
> directly from RDF rather than converting them first to BibTex and then
> have Citeline faultily convert them back to RDF.
You are correct that using RDF as the import format for Citeline would
work better, but again, we need to coordinate that with the Zotero folks
about how the RDF would be encoded, and haven't been able to do so.
> Hopefully there is a fix for this issue. For me and I suspect scores
> of other people citing non-English sources, it makes Citeline
> virtually unusable.
Yes I understand... BibTeX is not an ideal encoding format for
non-English languages, and it causes many problems with system
interoperability. As I say, there are manual editing solutions, but more
people are not expert enough to do that. Fixing non-Latin characters is
one of our top priorities for Citeline as soon as we have the resources
to work on it, and assuming we can get the Zotero community to help.
Until then, I apologize for the inconvenience.

MacKenzie Smith
MIT Libraries
Received on Mon Jun 29 2009 - 12:27:36 EDT

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