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July 17, 2006


I agree on separation of concerns, and that MS's view of this flawed. It seems to me they have talked to too many BibTeX uses, who are used to working with small, flat, files. Even little things like how they idenfify references (and thus link citations with their data) are based on a fairly parochial understanding of where reference management is these days (the web). Rather than do something forward-looking like use uris, they just use dumb natural langauge strings.

But, I do think that citation coding, editing, and formatting ought to be the domain of the word-processor, and not outboard citation applications.

Where we really need to get to is the place where three users -- each using a different word processor and bibliographic database application -- can effectively collorate; where their citations not only correctly display, but remain dynamically-updated.

Right now, that would be impossible. But standardized citation coding and source data in file formats (Open XML and OpenDocument), plus say, a standard XML styling langauge (like CSL) would make this fairly easy.

Out-of-box support for library-based communications standards (the ZOOM API, and the related z39.50, SRU/SRW protocols) would solve the plug-in question.

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