citeproc-js: setting variables via the CSL "note" field

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citeproc-js: setting variables via the CSL "note" field

fbennett
Dear all,

As many on the list will know, citeproc-js has long contained a hack to permit the user to set CSL variables that cannot be entered via a calling application's UI due to schema constraints or the like. The syntax for this is an ugly think that has attracted its share of rotten tomatoes. For the blissfully uninitiated, this "braced-entry" syntax looks like this:

    {:original-date: 2001-04-15} {:version: 2.3}

There have been calls to replace this with a "line-entry" syntax that is a bit more familiar and easier to document and explain, viz:

    original-date: 2001-04-15
    version: 2.3

The first syntax was ill-advised (sorry about that), but it's been around for quite awhile, and there is quite a bit of data about that makes use of it (sorry about that too). The latter syntax should be preferred to the former, but thanks to legacy data, we need a parser that recognizes both in order to introduce it. With a bit of iterative revision (and debugging of things in the old code that were plain broken), I've come up with such a chimera. Implementations have been included in very recent processor releases (since tag 1.1.132). A final version will be coming up in a tag 1.1.136, after a round of feedback. You can watch for this exciting development in the repo release listing:

    https://github.com/Juris-M/citeproc-js/releases

This will change the default behaviour of the processor, and I don't want anyone to be surprised by caught off-guard after a deployment. To that end, the processor manual has a full description of the "cheater syntax," with instructions on how to disable it if it is not desired.

    http://citeproc-js.readthedocs.io/en/latest/csl-json/markup.html#cheater-syntax-for-odd-fields

If you have questions, or if you would like to see changes in the behaviour or in the description in the manual, don't hesitate to post a reply to this mail. I'll wait a day or so for comments before unleashing the final code.

Frank

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