CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

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CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Carles Pina
Hi,

Here at Mendeley we are working to integrate the CSL editor with our
desktop application.

But I still think that would make sense to have an instance of the CSL
editor which one is not reference manager specific. In some place like
http://citationstyles.org/editor

Reference managers could send the users to this CSL editor instance
instead of the http://steveridout.com/csl/visualEditor/ . And maybe
Steve Ridout would like to not host it endless :-)

I feel that it's important to keep the editor used by a wide
community, to get feedback and ideas to improve it, bugs, etc. and
also to build a community around it to see what next could happen.

I'm happy to assist or install the editor in some server (I've done in
a couple of test servers here). It requires an Apache, PHP server.
Mysql not needed. The editor is mainly all done in Javascript. It's
not complicated to install. If you want some help just write to me in
private (instructions
https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor-demo-site/blob/master/README.md
but some experience may be handy).

Is this possible? Does some of you think that could be useful?

Regards,

--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Bruce D'Arcus-3

I definitely think it'd be a good idea. The site is hosted by the Zotero guys. Am not sure whether we need their help to get it setup (perhaps not because no db), or whether Rintze could do it (with help)?

On Oct 10, 2012 7:00 AM, "Carles Pina" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

Here at Mendeley we are working to integrate the CSL editor with our
desktop application.

But I still think that would make sense to have an instance of the CSL
editor which one is not reference manager specific. In some place like
http://citationstyles.org/editor

Reference managers could send the users to this CSL editor instance
instead of the http://steveridout.com/csl/visualEditor/ . And maybe
Steve Ridout would like to not host it endless :-)

I feel that it's important to keep the editor used by a wide
community, to get feedback and ideas to improve it, bugs, etc. and
also to build a community around it to see what next could happen.

I'm happy to assist or install the editor in some server (I've done in
a couple of test servers here). It requires an Apache, PHP server.
Mysql not needed. The editor is mainly all done in Javascript. It's
not complicated to install. If you want some help just write to me in
private (instructions
https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor-demo-site/blob/master/README.md
but some experience may be handy).

Is this possible? Does some of you think that could be useful?

Regards,

--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

rmzelle
Administrator
I currently don't have access to the server hosting
citationstyles.org. Ammon Shepherd from CHNM installed and maintains
the domain's WordPress installation, and I presume any requests for
changes to the website (once we agree on what those should be) should
primarily be directed to Dan Stillman. Related, I have asked Dan if he
would consider moving or mirroring the (Zotero) Style Repository to/at
citationstyles.org/styles (which I think would help reduce the
perception of CSL as being a Zotero-specific product), but haven't
received a response.

Regarding my opinion about hosting the editor on citationstyles.org:
I'm impressed by the progress made by Steve. The "Search by name" and
"Search by example" tools are useful and quite straightforward to use.
But with regard to the Visual editor, I really would like to see some
accompanying documentation before giving my full support for hosting
the editor on citationstyles.org. I think it would be very useful to
provide instructions on how to make some basic style modifications
that demonstrate the various features (and, perhaps, also the
limitations) of the editor. I know that there are already people that
have used the editor with success, but I personally find the editor
hard to use for anything more than small edits that don't affect the
overall structure of the style (my biggest problem is that I find the
left-hand column much less informative/readable than the raw XML). If
your own experiences are different, it would be valuable to describe
those.

On a side note, I've been trying to think of ways we can improve the
documentation for people that wish to edit styles. We have the
specification, which is very detailed, but is based on the structure
of the CSL style/locale files, explaining what each element/attribute
does. I'm wondering if it makes sense to write an accompanying
document that does the exact reverse: start with a list of desired
goals (e.g. "how do I render an author surname in small-caps?", "how
do I make a date localize?"), and then focus on the CSL XML needed to
meet that goal. I like the idea, but it would be a significant
undertaking, probably matching or exceeding the specification in size.

Rintze

On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Bruce D'Arcus <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I definitely think it'd be a good idea. The site is hosted by the Zotero
> guys. Am not sure whether we need their help to get it setup (perhaps not
> because no db), or whether Rintze could do it (with help)?
>
> On Oct 10, 2012 7:00 AM, "Carles Pina" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> Here at Mendeley we are working to integrate the CSL editor with our
>> desktop application.
>>
>> But I still think that would make sense to have an instance of the CSL
>> editor which one is not reference manager specific. In some place like
>> http://citationstyles.org/editor
>>
>> Reference managers could send the users to this CSL editor instance
>> instead of the http://steveridout.com/csl/visualEditor/ . And maybe
>> Steve Ridout would like to not host it endless :-)
>>
>> I feel that it's important to keep the editor used by a wide
>> community, to get feedback and ideas to improve it, bugs, etc. and
>> also to build a community around it to see what next could happen.
>>
>> I'm happy to assist or install the editor in some server (I've done in
>> a couple of test servers here). It requires an Apache, PHP server.
>> Mysql not needed. The editor is mainly all done in Javascript. It's
>> not complicated to install. If you want some help just write to me in
>> private (instructions
>>
>> https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor-demo-site/blob/master/README.md
>> but some experience may be handy).
>>
>> Is this possible? Does some of you think that could be useful?
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> --
>> Carles Pina | Software Engineer
>> http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/
>>
>> Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
>> Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Don't let slow site performance ruin your business. Deploy New Relic APM
>> Deploy New Relic app performance management and know exactly
>> what is happening inside your Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, and .NET app
>> Try New Relic at no cost today and get our sweet Data Nerd shirt too!
>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/newrelic-dev2dev
>> _______________________________________________
>> xbiblio-devel mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xbiblio-devel
>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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> Deploy New Relic app performance management and know exactly
> what is happening inside your Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, and .NET app
> Try New Relic at no cost today and get our sweet Data Nerd shirt too!
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> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xbiblio-devel
>

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Carles Pina
Hello,

On 10 October 2012 16:06, Rintze Zelle <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I currently don't have access to the server hosting
> citationstyles.org. Ammon Shepherd from CHNM installed and maintains
> the domain's WordPress installation, and I presume any requests for
> changes to the website (once we agree on what those should be) should
> primarily be directed to Dan Stillman. Related, I have asked Dan if he

ok, I'm sure that when we agree what we want we will be able to do it,
somehow (since the CSL Editor doesn't need anything out of common).

> Regarding my opinion about hosting the editor on citationstyles.org:
> I'm impressed by the progress made by Steve. The "Search by name" and
> "Search by example" tools are useful and quite straightforward to use.
> But with regard to the Visual editor, I really would like to see some
> accompanying documentation before giving my full support for hosting
> the editor on citationstyles.org. I think it would be very useful to

In Mendeley we want to do (video or written) some documentation.

Maybe having the editor available to everyone would speed up the
process or the documentation, since different people could contribute.
See the thread http://xbiblio-devel.2463403.n2.nabble.com/csl-training-ideas-for-methods-good-practice-etc-td7578250.html
(and perhaps Sebastian Karcher's email
http://xbiblio-devel.2463403.n2.nabble.com/csl-training-ideas-for-methods-good-practice-etc-tp7578250p7578255.html
). The CSL Editor could be useful in some CSL course where we could
get some feedback and maybe some documentation could be generated as
part of the course.

(this doesn't mean that we should not do some documentation ASAP in
Mendeley or here in xbiblio-devel users).

> provide instructions on how to make some basic style modifications
> that demonstrate the various features (and, perhaps, also the
> limitations) of the editor. I know that there are already people that
> have used the editor with success, but I personally find the editor
> hard to use for anything more than small edits that don't affect the
> overall structure of the style (my biggest problem is that I find the
> left-hand column much less informative/readable than the raw XML). If
> your own experiences are different, it would be valuable to describe
> those.

During the project we did some user testing to users who didn't know
about CSL. If I remember correctly we (Steve R or myself) sent to here
the tasks that we asked them to do (I couldn't find it now... but I
remember discussing it).

Some of the tasks were simple changes in CSL styles (other tasks were
search a CSL style, etc.):
"23. Edit the style for the Journal of Community Health to put the
inline citation between parentheses: ( ) instead of square brackets: [
].", "
"24. Replace the comma between the inline citation numbers with an
ampersand: &."
"25. Make the inline citation bold."
"26. Give the Author names in the bibliography small-caps formatting."

The user testing was done to 5 users (we wanted to do another round of
usability testing/online one but we ran out of time). I've just
re-read the Testing Notes and it went quite well to these tasks (the
point 24. was the weaker because the users had problems to add more
citations).

We chose these tasks after reading and summarising support queries to
Mendeley support (I think that it's quite aligned with the Zotero's
forum questions). We found that the majority of the requests says "I
want this style but with this small change" (because some particular
need) or "This style has this problem, how can I fix it?".

I don't think that the CSL Editor is useful to create styles from the
scratch (I hope that with the current number of styles no one will
think a completely new approach to cite!), and probably it's not very
useful to do major changes to the styles.

> On a side note, I've been trying to think of ways we can improve the
> documentation for people that wish to edit styles. We have the
> specification, which is very detailed, but is based on the structure
> of the CSL style/locale files, explaining what each element/attribute
> does. I'm wondering if it makes sense to write an accompanying
> document that does the exact reverse: start with a list of desired
> goals (e.g. "how do I render an author surname in small-caps?", "how

funny enough the render the author surname in small-caps is one of the
tasks that we had in the usability testing, with these results:
-Subject 1: Used tree structure to navigate to Author names in bibliography.
-Subject 2: Clicks on example reference and edits style.
-Subject 3: Likes that it highlights as you hover. Clicks on name.
Clicks on Smallcaps. That was easy.
-Subject 4: Clicks on small caps in bottom pane.
-Subject 5: Clicks on small caps in bottom pane.

I have to say that this was the fourth task of this type and some
users already knew where they should look.

> do I make a date localize?"), and then focus on the CSL XML needed to
> meet that goal. I like the idea, but it would be a significant
> undertaking, probably matching or exceeding the specification in size.

it also would require some extra-effort for users who never wrote XML,
they don't know what is an element/attribute, need to validate the
styles...

I think that I can explain to my mother how to do small changes using
the CSL Editor, but I would not dare to start explaining to her how to
do changes to the XML file. Indeed I know that some users would feel
more comfortable with the CSL file than the CSL Editor.

As I mentioned: I think that it's important to have the CSL Editor up
and running (beside the Mendeley integrated instance) to get feedback
and see if it's useful or not, how to improve, etc.
Documentation needs to be done, I agree.

>
> Rintze
>
> On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Bruce D'Arcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I definitely think it'd be a good idea. The site is hosted by the Zotero
>> guys. Am not sure whether we need their help to get it setup (perhaps not
>> because no db), or whether Rintze could do it (with help)?
>>
>> On Oct 10, 2012 7:00 AM, "Carles Pina" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> Here at Mendeley we are working to integrate the CSL editor with our
>>> desktop application.
>>>
>>> But I still think that would make sense to have an instance of the CSL
>>> editor which one is not reference manager specific. In some place like
>>> http://citationstyles.org/editor
>>>
>>> Reference managers could send the users to this CSL editor instance
>>> instead of the http://steveridout.com/csl/visualEditor/ . And maybe
>>> Steve Ridout would like to not host it endless :-)
>>>
>>> I feel that it's important to keep the editor used by a wide
>>> community, to get feedback and ideas to improve it, bugs, etc. and
>>> also to build a community around it to see what next could happen.
>>>
>>> I'm happy to assist or install the editor in some server (I've done in
>>> a couple of test servers here). It requires an Apache, PHP server.
>>> Mysql not needed. The editor is mainly all done in Javascript. It's
>>> not complicated to install. If you want some help just write to me in
>>> private (instructions
>>>
>>> https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor-demo-site/blob/master/README.md
>>> but some experience may be handy).
>>>
>>> Is this possible? Does some of you think that could be useful?
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>>
>>> --
>>> Carles Pina | Software Engineer
>>> http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/
>>>
>>> Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
>>> Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015
>>>
>>>
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Don't let slow site performance ruin your business. Deploy New Relic APM
>>> Deploy New Relic app performance management and know exactly
>>> what is happening inside your Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, and .NET app
>>> Try New Relic at no cost today and get our sweet Data Nerd shirt too!
>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/newrelic-dev2dev
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xbiblio-devel mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xbiblio-devel
>>
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Don't let slow site performance ruin your business. Deploy New Relic APM
>> Deploy New Relic app performance management and know exactly
>> what is happening inside your Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, and .NET app
>> Try New Relic at no cost today and get our sweet Data Nerd shirt too!
>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/newrelic-dev2dev
>> _______________________________________________
>> xbiblio-devel mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xbiblio-devel
>>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Robert Knight
> We chose these tasks after reading and summarising
> support queries to Mendeley support

These queries are a mix of private emails and public posts on
http://support.mendeley.com/ and http://feedback.mendeley.com

Regards,
Rob.

On 11 October 2012 11:25, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello,
>
> On 10 October 2012 16:06, Rintze Zelle <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I currently don't have access to the server hosting
>> citationstyles.org. Ammon Shepherd from CHNM installed and maintains
>> the domain's WordPress installation, and I presume any requests for
>> changes to the website (once we agree on what those should be) should
>> primarily be directed to Dan Stillman. Related, I have asked Dan if he
>
> ok, I'm sure that when we agree what we want we will be able to do it,
> somehow (since the CSL Editor doesn't need anything out of common).
>
>> Regarding my opinion about hosting the editor on citationstyles.org:
>> I'm impressed by the progress made by Steve. The "Search by name" and
>> "Search by example" tools are useful and quite straightforward to use.
>> But with regard to the Visual editor, I really would like to see some
>> accompanying documentation before giving my full support for hosting
>> the editor on citationstyles.org. I think it would be very useful to
>
> In Mendeley we want to do (video or written) some documentation.
>
> Maybe having the editor available to everyone would speed up the
> process or the documentation, since different people could contribute.
> See the thread http://xbiblio-devel.2463403.n2.nabble.com/csl-training-ideas-for-methods-good-practice-etc-td7578250.html
> (and perhaps Sebastian Karcher's email
> http://xbiblio-devel.2463403.n2.nabble.com/csl-training-ideas-for-methods-good-practice-etc-tp7578250p7578255.html
> ). The CSL Editor could be useful in some CSL course where we could
> get some feedback and maybe some documentation could be generated as
> part of the course.
>
> (this doesn't mean that we should not do some documentation ASAP in
> Mendeley or here in xbiblio-devel users).
>
>> provide instructions on how to make some basic style modifications
>> that demonstrate the various features (and, perhaps, also the
>> limitations) of the editor. I know that there are already people that
>> have used the editor with success, but I personally find the editor
>> hard to use for anything more than small edits that don't affect the
>> overall structure of the style (my biggest problem is that I find the
>> left-hand column much less informative/readable than the raw XML). If
>> your own experiences are different, it would be valuable to describe
>> those.
>
> During the project we did some user testing to users who didn't know
> about CSL. If I remember correctly we (Steve R or myself) sent to here
> the tasks that we asked them to do (I couldn't find it now... but I
> remember discussing it).
>
> Some of the tasks were simple changes in CSL styles (other tasks were
> search a CSL style, etc.):
> "23. Edit the style for the Journal of Community Health to put the
> inline citation between parentheses: ( ) instead of square brackets: [
> ].", "
> "24. Replace the comma between the inline citation numbers with an
> ampersand: &."
> "25. Make the inline citation bold."
> "26. Give the Author names in the bibliography small-caps formatting."
>
> The user testing was done to 5 users (we wanted to do another round of
> usability testing/online one but we ran out of time). I've just
> re-read the Testing Notes and it went quite well to these tasks (the
> point 24. was the weaker because the users had problems to add more
> citations).
>
> We chose these tasks after reading and summarising support queries to
> Mendeley support (I think that it's quite aligned with the Zotero's
> forum questions). We found that the majority of the requests says "I
> want this style but with this small change" (because some particular
> need) or "This style has this problem, how can I fix it?".
>
> I don't think that the CSL Editor is useful to create styles from the
> scratch (I hope that with the current number of styles no one will
> think a completely new approach to cite!), and probably it's not very
> useful to do major changes to the styles.
>
>> On a side note, I've been trying to think of ways we can improve the
>> documentation for people that wish to edit styles. We have the
>> specification, which is very detailed, but is based on the structure
>> of the CSL style/locale files, explaining what each element/attribute
>> does. I'm wondering if it makes sense to write an accompanying
>> document that does the exact reverse: start with a list of desired
>> goals (e.g. "how do I render an author surname in small-caps?", "how
>
> funny enough the render the author surname in small-caps is one of the
> tasks that we had in the usability testing, with these results:
> -Subject 1: Used tree structure to navigate to Author names in bibliography.
> -Subject 2: Clicks on example reference and edits style.
> -Subject 3: Likes that it highlights as you hover. Clicks on name.
> Clicks on Smallcaps. That was easy.
> -Subject 4: Clicks on small caps in bottom pane.
> -Subject 5: Clicks on small caps in bottom pane.
>
> I have to say that this was the fourth task of this type and some
> users already knew where they should look.
>
>> do I make a date localize?"), and then focus on the CSL XML needed to
>> meet that goal. I like the idea, but it would be a significant
>> undertaking, probably matching or exceeding the specification in size.
>
> it also would require some extra-effort for users who never wrote XML,
> they don't know what is an element/attribute, need to validate the
> styles...
>
> I think that I can explain to my mother how to do small changes using
> the CSL Editor, but I would not dare to start explaining to her how to
> do changes to the XML file. Indeed I know that some users would feel
> more comfortable with the CSL file than the CSL Editor.
>
> As I mentioned: I think that it's important to have the CSL Editor up
> and running (beside the Mendeley integrated instance) to get feedback
> and see if it's useful or not, how to improve, etc.
> Documentation needs to be done, I agree.
>
>>
>> Rintze
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Bruce D'Arcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> I definitely think it'd be a good idea. The site is hosted by the Zotero
>>> guys. Am not sure whether we need their help to get it setup (perhaps not
>>> because no db), or whether Rintze could do it (with help)?
>>>
>>> On Oct 10, 2012 7:00 AM, "Carles Pina" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> Here at Mendeley we are working to integrate the CSL editor with our
>>>> desktop application.
>>>>
>>>> But I still think that would make sense to have an instance of the CSL
>>>> editor which one is not reference manager specific. In some place like
>>>> http://citationstyles.org/editor
>>>>
>>>> Reference managers could send the users to this CSL editor instance
>>>> instead of the http://steveridout.com/csl/visualEditor/ . And maybe
>>>> Steve Ridout would like to not host it endless :-)
>>>>
>>>> I feel that it's important to keep the editor used by a wide
>>>> community, to get feedback and ideas to improve it, bugs, etc. and
>>>> also to build a community around it to see what next could happen.
>>>>
>>>> I'm happy to assist or install the editor in some server (I've done in
>>>> a couple of test servers here). It requires an Apache, PHP server.
>>>> Mysql not needed. The editor is mainly all done in Javascript. It's
>>>> not complicated to install. If you want some help just write to me in
>>>> private (instructions
>>>>
>>>> https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor-demo-site/blob/master/README.md
>>>> but some experience may be handy).
>>>>
>>>> Is this possible? Does some of you think that could be useful?
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> Carles Pina | Software Engineer
>>>> http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/
>>>>
>>>> Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
>>>> Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Don't let slow site performance ruin your business. Deploy New Relic APM
>>>> Deploy New Relic app performance management and know exactly
>>>> what is happening inside your Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, and .NET app
>>>> Try New Relic at no cost today and get our sweet Data Nerd shirt too!
>>>> http://p.sf.net/sfu/newrelic-dev2dev
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> xbiblio-devel mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/xbiblio-devel
>>>
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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Bruce D'Arcus-3
In reply to this post by Carles Pina
On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:

...

> We chose these tasks after reading and summarising support queries to
> Mendeley support (I think that it's quite aligned with the Zotero's
> forum questions). We found that the majority of the requests says "I
> want this style but with this small change" (because some particular
> need) or "This style has this problem, how can I fix it?".
>
> I don't think that the CSL Editor is useful to create styles from the
> scratch (I hope that with the current number of styles no one will
> think a completely new approach to cite!), and probably it's not very
> useful to do major changes to the styles.

Wouldn't you agree, then, that this research suggests that a
productive next step for developers to explore would be something
higher-level to capture both of these classes of use cases: the simple
minor change in formatting, and the more radical "major changes"
(though I'm skeptical these actually exist when you consider the full
range of extant styles)?

E.g. for the first case, from the user perspective: see example
possibilities, and choose which they want?

Bruce

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

rmzelle
Administrator
In reply to this post by Carles Pina
On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Some of the tasks were simple changes in CSL styles (other tasks were
> search a CSL style, etc.):
> "23. Edit the style for the Journal of Community Health to put the
> inline citation between parentheses: ( ) instead of square brackets: [
> ].", "
> "24. Replace the comma between the inline citation numbers with an
> ampersand: &."
> "25. Make the inline citation bold."
> "26. Give the Author names in the bibliography small-caps formatting."

Do any of these cases require use of the XML tree? I'm wondering if it
wouldn't be clearer to hide it by default, since you're mostly
focusing on facilitating minor edits.

>> do I make a date localize?"), and then focus on the CSL XML needed to
>> meet that goal. I like the idea, but it would be a significant
>> undertaking, probably matching or exceeding the specification in size.
>
> it also would require some extra-effort for users who never wrote XML,
> they don't know what is an element/attribute, need to validate the
> styles...

Yes, but there will always be a class of power users that isn't afraid
of hand-editing XML. Reducing the amount of time these users need to
invest to get familiar with CSL seems worthwhile. I see it more as a
parallel approach to the CSL editor, which is more aimed at casual
users.

> Documentation needs to be done, I agree.

Where would we host it? The GitHub wiki?
(https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor/wiki)

Rintze

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Carles Pina
In reply to this post by Bruce D'Arcus-3
Hi,

On 11 October 2012 13:43, Bruce D'Arcus <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ...
>
>> We chose these tasks after reading and summarising support queries to
>> Mendeley support (I think that it's quite aligned with the Zotero's
>> forum questions). We found that the majority of the requests says "I
>> want this style but with this small change" (because some particular
>> need) or "This style has this problem, how can I fix it?".
>>
>> I don't think that the CSL Editor is useful to create styles from the
>> scratch (I hope that with the current number of styles no one will
>> think a completely new approach to cite!), and probably it's not very
>> useful to do major changes to the styles.
>
> Wouldn't you agree, then, that this research suggests that a
> productive next step for developers to explore would be something
> higher-level to capture both of these classes of use cases: the simple
> minor change in formatting, and the more radical "major changes"
> (though I'm skeptical these actually exist when you consider the full
> range of extant styles)?

Some thoughts about creating styles from the scratch and the
non-existing editor that facilities this task:
My *personal* opinion (I'd be happy if someone proves that I'm
wrong!): CSL is so complex and so rich that an editor to create styles
from the scratch without knowing some advanced CSL concepts (macros,
choose, variables, types) cannot be done... or, at least, I don't see
at the moment how can be done. Again, I may be wrong.

We could build tools that may help someone to create styles from the
scratch. For example, and we mentioned it here some time ago, based in
re-using existing macros (e.g. list all the available macros in the
repository, allow the user to re-use macros easily). But I don't see a
way to start with an empty style and easily and friendly without
understanding what happens internally build a style. I don't think
also that this is a common use case that we should tackle now (perhaps
some years ago yes).

I know different attempts to do a graphical programming language (e.g.
http://code.google.com/p/blockly/?redir=1 , and others). It helps to
explain programming to people, but I don't see people using it too
much. I know that it's a different scope, but I hope that it helps to
explain my thoughts.

Somehow it would be like building a Python/any programming language
user interface. It can be done, but if you want to build things from
the scratch you really need to understand what's underneath... tools
helps, IDEs helps, but doesn't avoid of studying the programming
language.

(another way of thinking: lot of people doesn't agree that there is a
good HTML editor. Lot of money and time has been invested in HTML
editors and not everyone is satisfied. Recently it seems that the most
common approach is to create tools like BaseKit
-http://www.basekit.com- that offers different templates and then the
users changes the templates. This is the way to go with getting macros
together, and I still have doubts that this would work well enough).

Regards,

--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Carles Pina
In reply to this post by rmzelle
Hi,

On 11 October 2012 14:27, Rintze Zelle <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Some of the tasks were simple changes in CSL styles (other tasks were
>> search a CSL style, etc.):
>> "23. Edit the style for the Journal of Community Health to put the
>> inline citation between parentheses: ( ) instead of square brackets: [
>> ].", "
>> "24. Replace the comma between the inline citation numbers with an
>> ampersand: &."
>> "25. Make the inline citation bold."
>> "26. Give the Author names in the bibliography small-caps formatting."
>
> Do any of these cases require use of the XML tree? I'm wondering if it
> wouldn't be clearer to hide it by default, since you're mostly
> focusing on facilitating minor edits.

Some months ago I mentioned exactly it in a CSL Editor meeting. Lot of
tasks could be done without the left tree.

I don't remember the exact discussion but I think that we didn't
remove to allow moving nodes (drag and drop on the left tree) and also
to allow adding conditionals, nodes. Users needs to use the left tree
for these operations.

Hiding it by default and having a button to show it would be possible.

I don't think that this is a blocker to have the editor in
citationstyles.org, but I'm happy that these is being discussed.

>>> do I make a date localize?"), and then focus on the CSL XML needed to
>>> meet that goal. I like the idea, but it would be a significant
>>> undertaking, probably matching or exceeding the specification in size.
>>
>> it also would require some extra-effort for users who never wrote XML,
>> they don't know what is an element/attribute, need to validate the
>> styles...
>
> Yes, but there will always be a class of power users that isn't afraid
> of hand-editing XML. Reducing the amount of time these users need to
> invest to get familiar with CSL seems worthwhile. I see it more as a
> parallel approach to the CSL editor, which is more aimed at casual
> users.

100% agree, this would be useful to some users.

>> Documentation needs to be done, I agree.
>
> Where would we host it? The GitHub wiki?
> (https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor/wiki)

(Any place is better than no place). It could start there (that would
be a good start! and good that we could all edit easily).

Having said that... I don't think that this Wiki is very user
friendly. It has 400 pixels before the content starts and at the end
it has 500 pixels from the end of the content to the bottom of the
page. To start writing I'd say that it's a very good place (public,
easy to edit). And perhaps the users will not get scared by all the
buttons before the content starts. Later on could be moved if we
decide it (to blog posts, or something similar to the
http://citationstyles.org/downloads/specification.html format, with or
without docutils).

If someone wants access to the Github repo (I think that to edit the
Wiki it's needed) just ask me.

Regards,

--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Bruce D'Arcus-3
In reply to this post by Carles Pina
On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On 11 October 2012 13:43, Bruce D'Arcus <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> ...
>>
>>> We chose these tasks after reading and summarising support queries to
>>> Mendeley support (I think that it's quite aligned with the Zotero's
>>> forum questions). We found that the majority of the requests says "I
>>> want this style but with this small change" (because some particular
>>> need) or "This style has this problem, how can I fix it?".
>>>
>>> I don't think that the CSL Editor is useful to create styles from the
>>> scratch (I hope that with the current number of styles no one will
>>> think a completely new approach to cite!), and probably it's not very
>>> useful to do major changes to the styles.
>>
>> Wouldn't you agree, then, that this research suggests that a
>> productive next step for developers to explore would be something
>> higher-level to capture both of these classes of use cases: the simple
>> minor change in formatting, and the more radical "major changes"
>> (though I'm skeptical these actually exist when you consider the full
>> range of extant styles)?
>
> Some thoughts about creating styles from the scratch and the
> non-existing editor that facilities this task:
> My *personal* opinion (I'd be happy if someone proves that I'm
> wrong!): CSL is so complex and so rich that an editor to create styles
> from the scratch without knowing some advanced CSL concepts (macros,
> choose, variables, types) cannot be done... or, at least, I don't see
> at the moment how can be done. Again, I may be wrong.

I wonder: can we imagine some way to test this hypothesis? Maybe
making use of some previous work (say by Sylvester) that can analyze
style data?

My basic observation is we have 2000+ styles, with some hundreds of
unique styles. But those unique styles are often small variations on
what are no doubt a very small number of core/base styles.

If there was a way to quantify that somehow, it could help us
understand opportunities and constraints for future development?

Bruce

> We could build tools that may help someone to create styles from the
> scratch. For example, and we mentioned it here some time ago, based in
> re-using existing macros (e.g. list all the available macros in the
> repository, allow the user to re-use macros easily). But I don't see a
> way to start with an empty style and easily and friendly without
> understanding what happens internally build a style. I don't think
> also that this is a common use case that we should tackle now (perhaps
> some years ago yes).
>
> I know different attempts to do a graphical programming language (e.g.
> http://code.google.com/p/blockly/?redir=1 , and others). It helps to
> explain programming to people, but I don't see people using it too
> much. I know that it's a different scope, but I hope that it helps to
> explain my thoughts.
>
> Somehow it would be like building a Python/any programming language
> user interface. It can be done, but if you want to build things from
> the scratch you really need to understand what's underneath... tools
> helps, IDEs helps, but doesn't avoid of studying the programming
> language.
>
> (another way of thinking: lot of people doesn't agree that there is a
> good HTML editor. Lot of money and time has been invested in HTML
> editors and not everyone is satisfied. Recently it seems that the most
> common approach is to create tools like BaseKit
> -http://www.basekit.com- that offers different templates and then the
> users changes the templates. This is the way to go with getting macros
> together, and I still have doubts that this would work well enough).
>
> Regards,
>
> --
> Carles Pina | Software Engineer
> http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/
>
> Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
> Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015
>
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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Sebastian Karcher
In reply to this post by Carles Pina


Some thoughts about creating styles from the scratch and the
non-existing editor that facilities this task:
My *personal* opinion (I'd be happy if someone proves that I'm
wrong!): CSL is so complex and so rich that an editor to create styles
from the scratch without knowing some advanced CSL concepts (macros,
choose, variables, types) cannot be done... or, at least, I don't see
at the moment how can be done. Again, I may be wrong.
I agree.

Some real world feedback. I taught using the editor today for the first time. It actually went better than I expected. Instead on running through hypotheticals, I took a real style request from the Zotero forum and had them essentially do the whole thing with me around to help.

This was a group of librarians - mostly subject and instructional, not IT people, most of them with absolutely no programming background, some quite anxious about the prospect of anything "code". That said, being librarians they obviously have a very good understanding of citations and using HTML as a point of reference seemed helpful to most of them - which I don't think is true for all user groups.

I spent 15mins talking about the general structure of CSL styles and then explaining briefly how the map onto the

The first step - using the "search by example"  took some guidance for about half of the group. So documentation will need to be good on that.

The remaining touch-ups - things like lowercasing an editor abbreviation or turning the volume number for journal articles bold - people were able to do with no help at all on my part. I really think that's the type of stuff we should be aiming for. And I'm quite happy how well the editor does with that.

I think it's not that hard to communicate to a pretty large group of users the basic idea of nested nodes and I feel the bar on the left gives users a sense of orientation in the style. I'd strongly enourage keeping it as the default.

Best,
Sebastian




--------
Sebastian Karcher
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Political Science
Northwestern University

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Dan Stillman
In reply to this post by Carles Pina
On 10/11/12 9:58 AM, Carles Pina wrote:

> My *personal* opinion (I'd be happy if someone proves that I'm
> wrong!): CSL is so complex and so rich that an editor to create styles
> from the scratch without knowing some advanced CSL concepts (macros,
> choose, variables, types) cannot be done... or, at least, I don't see
> at the moment how can be done. Again, I may be wrong.
>
> [...]
>
> Somehow it would be like building a Python/any programming language
> user interface. It can be done, but if you want to build things from
> the scratch you really need to understand what's underneath... tools
> helps, IDEs helps, but doesn't avoid of studying the programming
> language.

On this point, I've wondered if it'd make sense in the current editor to
optionally expose the underlying XML and highlight the relevant section.
(This could be hidden by default.) As someone who's done almost no CSL
coding, I can imagine the visual editor being a good way to learn about
the structure of CSL files and how the various options translate to
code, where I'd ultimately be more comfortable working. I recognize that
I'm not exactly in the target demographic and that this is less
important than making it easy for non-programmers to make small changes,
but if it's easy to do this, I think it could be helpful for some users.

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Steve Ridout-2

On 12 October 2012 02:36, Dan Stillman <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 10/11/12 9:58 AM, Carles Pina wrote:
> My *personal* opinion (I'd be happy if someone proves that I'm
> wrong!): CSL is so complex and so rich that an editor to create styles
> from the scratch without knowing some advanced CSL concepts (macros,
> choose, variables, types) cannot be done... or, at least, I don't see
> at the moment how can be done. Again, I may be wrong.
>
> [...]
>
> Somehow it would be like building a Python/any programming language
> user interface. It can be done, but if you want to build things from
> the scratch you really need to understand what's underneath... tools
> helps, IDEs helps, but doesn't avoid of studying the programming
> language.

On this point, I've wondered if it'd make sense in the current editor to
optionally expose the underlying XML and highlight the relevant section.
(This could be hidden by default.) As someone who's done almost no CSL
coding, I can imagine the visual editor being a good way to learn about
the structure of CSL files and how the various options translate to
code, where I'd ultimately be more comfortable working. I recognize that
I'm not exactly in the target demographic and that this is less
important than making it easy for non-programmers to make small changes,
but if it's easy to do this, I think it could be helpful for some users.

If you look at the 'Advanced' tree on the left hand side this exactly mirrors the structure of the underlying XML so you may find this helpful. It uses the same code as the above trees which alters the node names to try to be more friendly, e.g. 'style' becomes 'Global Formatting Options', 'text' nodes will alter dynamically based on the attributes, 'if' nodes will summarise the boolean condition, etc. For nodes which have documentation in the CSL schema, you will see the actual CSL node name in a tooltip by hovering over the node. I was thinking of removing the 'Advanced' tree and making it optional but never got around to it because of a slight difficulty moving the 'locale' node to the Style Info tree.

About hiding the tree view, I'm wary about doing this since it's the only way for the user to interact with the structure of the style. Without it the tool is very limited and I think would lead to frustration for most users. I think educating people how to use it with some online tutorials would be a better next step.

About creating styles from scratch. I agree that it's probably too difficult to do in a simpler higher level way without removing much of the flexibility of CSL. We discussed creating a wizard to generate a template to start editing from, but it may not be that much better than just using the Search by Example page to find a similar existing style.


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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

Carles Pina
In reply to this post by rmzelle
Hi,

On 11 October 2012 14:27, Rintze Zelle <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Documentation needs to be done, I agree.
>
> Where would we host it? The GitHub wiki?
> (https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor/wiki)

In the CSL Editor Wiki: https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor/wiki
now there is a link to:
https://github.com/citation-style-editor/csl-editor/wiki/User-guide-for-the-CSL-Editor

Feel free to suggest improvements (we will see what we can do :-) ) or
just improve it :-) (if someone else wants access to the repository
tell me, Wiki permissions are linked to the repository).

Tomorrow or next week I'll add a link from the CSL Editor to the Wiki
page, to make it more visible.

Mendeley integration of the CSL Editor is going well, but I still
think that an instance in www.citationstyles.org makes sense to have
more tools all together (and could be referred from Papers / Zotero
forums, other users, etc.), Does someone think that there is something
missing before this happens? Better documentation? (I'm not sure if
this would be a blocker or a nice to have).

BTW, thanks Sebastian Karcher for using the editor in the course and
the feedback that you sent it here last week. We were very happy to
read it!

--
Carles Pina | Software Engineer
http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/Carles-Pina/

Mendeley Limited | London, UK | www.mendeley.com
Registered in England and Wales | Company Number 6419015

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Re: CSL editor instance in http://citationstyles.org?

rmzelle
Administrator
On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 6:23 PM, Carles Pina <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Mendeley integration of the CSL Editor is going well, but I still
> think that an instance in www.citationstyles.org makes sense to have
> more tools all together (and could be referred from Papers / Zotero
> forums, other users, etc.), Does someone think that there is something
> missing before this happens? Better documentation? (I'm not sure if
> this would be a blocker or a nice to have).

Fine with me.

Rintze

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