As it currently stands, when you open the Publication editor to add a
new publication or edit an existing one, all the fields associated with
the selected publication type are shown as well as any user-added fields
which have content in them. For fields which are considered required in
the type definition, the field label is in bold. For those which are
optional or user-added the label is in normal font.
While this works fine for most of the default BibTeX types, types with
lots of optional fields often end up with several fields which have no
content (this is especially true for BibLaTeX users, but also occurs for
users who define a bunch of custom fields).
I think, though, that this could be cleaned up by a small change to the
When the publication editor is opened, only required fields and those
with content appear by default. Other fields can be added as needed.
Fields so added would have a "-" button by them so that they can be
removed if desired (probably with a warning if they currently are not
Of course, the current method for doing this (via a menu command that
brings up a pop-up dialog) would get kind of klunky under these
circumstances. So alleviate this, there would be a "+" button near the
bottom of the editor (perhaps in the bar which contains the rating and
"Read" check box). This button would add a field. Instead of it
bringing up a dialog box, however, the field label would itself be a
drop-down box where you could select the name of the field (or type in a
custom one). The list would be sorted into two sections, with those
listed as optional in the type definition appearing in the first
section, and all others in the second.
Basically, the idea is to integrate three Publication menu tools into
the interface itself; "Add Field...", "Remove Field...", and "Change
Field Name..."; by creating the sort of interface that is used by iTunes
for defining rules in smart playlists, or by Thunderbird for defining
rules in sorting filters. I think said interface would be fairly
natural for people to use and have the advantage of only showing
Not being a gui programmer, I don't know if these changes would be easy
or hard, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there for people to think
about and comment on.
(R. Padraic Springuel)