I’d like to open a discussion with the developers of Zotero, Papers and any
other reference managers about utilizing the CSL Editor that Columbia
University, Mendeley and myself have been working on (
It’s not ready for the average user yet but there’s still a large chunk of
dev time left. As of now, I’ve still got more than half the hours I’ve been
contracted for left to finish, and additionally we are now starting to get
input from UX at Mendeley. The code is MIT licenced and we hope it will
continue to be used and maintained after this Sloan funded project ends.
We want to focus now on making the style editor the best it can be for
individual users to edit their styles. It’s not in the project scope to
host user created styles online, or provide an easy method for contributing
to the styles repo (although they are great ideas). With this in mind,
Carles from Mendeley and I have come up with two possibilities for
integrating the editor with reference managers:
— 1. CSL editor runs within the reference manager application. —
This seems ideal from the user’s point of view.
Ref manager application loads the CSL editor page into a web pane, e.g.
using WebKit. It can then interact with the editor to load and save styles
This is relatively simple for Mendeley to implement given that they use
WebKit panes already. Since Zotero runs within firefox it seems plausible
that this method could be used by Zotero too, but I’d need confirmation
from the developers. I’m not sure about Papers.
— 2. CSL editor runs in a browser, separate from the ref manager. —
The ref manager could initiate the CSL editor by:
a) posting the style to be edited to temporary online storage with a
publicly resolvable URL.
b) opening the CSL editor in a browser with the temporary URL in the query
string so it can fetch the style to be edited.
To get the edited CSL style back into the ref manager, we could use a data
URI with a custom mime type. If the ref manager is registered to handle
this mime type then the user will be presented with an option to either
save or open the file with the ref manager application.—
We think that option 1 is the best, and are only proposing option 2 in case
there are reference managers that would find implementation of 1 difficult.
Look forward to hearing from the other ref manager devs with their opinions