Reactions to P. Helbig's suggestion are well summarized in bbeeton's
reply, and in H. Aberg's comments on the name issue.
I would just like to stress a bit more this last issue, and first to raise
3 other points:
1) Concerning classification numbers: I tend to give in preprints
classification numbers according to several different schemes _ say AMS and
Journal of Economic Literature, and sometimes in addition IAOR an OR/MS _
while the journal where I finally send it may retain only a subset of it (but
many do print several). I think this rather customary and might become even
more so in any somewhat cross-disciplinary field. Now this can only be done
by visual formatting. Doing better might require some encoding of the more
usual schemes _ since typically every journal wants to typeset the names of
the schemes it uses in a different way.
2) Concerning address-data: some journals may feel that the use of
address-data is to enable readers to write to the authors, so the
address-field has to contain all information needed to write a proper
envelope: this means in particular a) the line-breaks (which get lost e.g. in
the output of amsart), b) the address has to be written in the language of
the destination country (with possibly adding in parentheses the translation
of the country-name in the language of the paper), and c) the first line has
to be there too, and cannot be taken simply from the name-field, due to the
widely different habits in different countries on this point, which some
journals may want to respect ( think of the pre-pending of "Herr Professor
Doctor Ing." or other "Excellentissimo"'s).
3) The proposed grouping of the information is a major pain in the neck
for authors: if all data were grouped by author _ i.e. all data of author 1,
followed by all those of author 2, etc. _, authors would just have to make
once and for all a personal-data file (like latexbug.cfg _ thanks!), and in
each paper one would just have to input those files for the different
Clearly this will in some cases require more work from the class-file, to
test say whether some affiliations are common between some of the co-authors,
but this seems a price well worth to pay _ and co-authors from the same
institution can be instructed by a journal to take care to fill in their
common fields identically (or by a common macro).
4) Concerning names: it are clearly not only Chinese names (or
south-indian, or from other far-away places) that have a completely different
STRUCTURE than the US one.
Just as to surnames already, I get that in Spain typically an individual's
surname has his wife's maiden-name after his own _ so is no longer a
"family-name" (in the sense of being the same as for his brothers). But the
"given" (or: "preferred") name would typically be just the first part. In
Portugal on the contrary, (part of) the mother's name would be pre-pended to
() the father's name in naming the children _ and the "given" (or:
"preferred") name would be some final part. Even here, a colleague of mine
has "d'Aspremont-Lynden" as surname (so Bibtex misses the "von" part, because
of the absence of a space), but the "given" name would be just "d'Aspremont"
(so even a hyphen doesn't mean the 2 parts have to be treated equally _ the
name could equally plausibly have been "Lynden-d'Aspremont", with "Lynden" as
And for complete names, something like "Maria de Dolores de Garcia de la
Vega" would be a quite plausible Spanish name (with similar examples in
several other languages), but with 3 "von" parts, of which it is the SECOND
that separates first and last name... And the textbook example of "de La
Vallee Poussin" signs some of his books with "Charles-J." as first name (so
nothing like Charles Louis ...), while his "given" first name was just
"Charles": so this is a case where a hyphen between the 2 first names does
NOT mean they are a single "given" name and should be treated equally.
In summary, I think there is no hope to parse complete names correctly,
and one has to ask for the individual name-components.
Further, it seems to me that for each of those components one has to ask
the full form (if only just for database use: it seems ridiculous to refer in
databases with different names to the same individual, so this probably means
in practice one has to use there the full form, as in the Library of Congress
cards), and the "given"- or "preferred" form (if only for uses like headers)
(reduction to initials can well be handled automatically _ cf. e.g. BibTeX _,
so no need to bother authors with that).
As to those components, we need concepts that are as widely meaningful as
possible _ to avoid "visual markup" _, and I have no precise idea what those
might be... I heard that Patashnik is working hard on BibTeX 1.00; and he
must have given serious thought to this question. Since in addition there may
be obvious advantages in coordinating this question with BibTeX, one should
probably ask his opinion.
PS. It also seems to me it would be quite useful for such a project from
people in other disciplines (most of this mailing-list seems to have more of
a "hard-sciences" background ?), like law, classic philology, etc. They may
have different viewpoints, that might enrich and improve the final product
even for our own purposes.
J.F. Mertens, [ Tel: 32-10-474309, e-mail: [log in to unmask]]
CORE, [ 32-10-474321, Fax: 32-10-474301, [log in to unmask]]
34, Voie du Roman Pays,
Home: Tel. 32-2-6521970
2, Rue de Limalsart,