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Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2018 10:56:46 +0100
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From: Sergio Callegari <[log in to unmask]>
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Got to see this older thread by chance, concerning a new bibtex release capable of utf-8 sorting and to provide some new fields for doi and url.

It seems to me that most of these issues are ready solved by pybtex which is a stable 'drop-in' (aiming at 100% compatibility) replacement for bibtex doing utf-8 right.
The tool has a couple of interesting ideas. 

One of them is to provide support for other "database" formats in addition to the 'bib' standard (currently bibtexml and a YAML format).

The second one is to support other "transformation machineries" in addition to the stack machine operated by the bst style files.  This means that the tool is capable of working with current bst files (including some complex/exotic ones such as the IEEEtran.bst used by IEEE --- it seems to me that the authors have put a significant effort in re-implementing the stack machine right). Yet, at the same time, the tool is also up to working with processing machineries where the "style rules" are expressed in python, which is more modern and user friendly than the obscure bst language.

Altogether, one gets: multiple database backends; multiple style languages (transformation engines); multiple output backends; an api to do things programmatically; tools for converting databases from one format to another.

The only potential issue with pybtex seems to be that its implementation is in python and I do not know if this is accepted for core tex tools.