[openbiblio-dev] Multilingual matters in BibJSON
cwittern at gmail.com
Thu Apr 5 03:27:34 UTC 2012
Dear list members,
My interest in multilingual bibliographies and Google led me to your
discussion about how to handle multilingual entries in bibliographies a few
weeks ago. This is an extremely important topic on which I would like to
encourage you to think a bit more. I subscribed to your mailing list in
order to be able to engage in a discussion about this.
As a way of opening this, let me just mention that I am a frustrated user of
the otherwise excellent Zotero package, frustrated because even after years
of prodding, the addition of a feature to allow bibliographic entries be
represented in more than one language has been put off again and again,
because it would require a redesign of so many parts of the software (it is
always scheduled for the next version, currently 3.5). However this *will*
eventually be necessary, since we live in a multilingual world and most
people on this planet deal with several languages daily.
Additionally, the ability to specify language to a text string is necessary
not just for multilingual purposes, but also for many tasks that involve
automatic processing of the data, such as spell-checking, tokenizing (this
is needed for full-text search) and so on even if only one language is
involved. The approach to simply default to English is severely limiting
your possible reach!
Although it might look like a nuisance now, it will be much easier to take
the necessary steps for this at an early stage, rather than having to
redesign a successful system later on.
So please, reconsider allowing multilingual objects as suggested in the
I had to give these two yen, since I have seen this mistake made so often
and really don't want to see it again, but of course you are completely free
to ignore this peace of advice:-)
Christian Wittern, Kyoto
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