CSL installation [was Re: xbiblio-devel Digest, Vol 38, Issue 22]

Is it feasible to simply download it to a common location, as
previously discussed?

It is possible, but tedious & I’ll reiterate objections I had raised previously.

I think that the site should only worry about serving up the files
with the specified extension and mimetype (as the Zotero styles page
does already). I would not want my styles to be installed to a common
system or even an application-agnostic sub-directory of my home by
default. I can think of no other format that tries to force something
like this. Further: having written instructions to “save to a
specified directory” is not nearly as friendly as just having
whichever program handles that mimetype by default do the "right"
thing.

I am in favor CSL-handling applications looking in system-wide (e.g.
/usr/share/csl, /usr/local/share/csl) and user-wide (e.g. ~/.csl)
directories and could see a benefit in allowing download of styles to
these directories. But I don’t think we should somehow try to "force"
this & I also think having styles specific to one particular user’s
use of one particular installed version of an application makes sense.

–Rick

FWIW, I totally agree with Rick. This discussion seems a bit like a solution
looking for a problem.

RintzeOn Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 5:14 PM, Richard Karnesky <@Richard_Karnesky>wrote:

I have no strong opinion about the details, but I want to consider
this use case: a user has two applications that handle CSL

What do they do with the style they find in the new repository?

Is that question completely out-of-scope for citationstyles.org so
that we don’t address it?

Bruce

For a command-line tool like Pandoc, you’d just download the style to your
folder of preference. You have to type in the style path yourself anyway, so
there’s no real gain there by using a standardized style folder.

UI apps (Zotero, Mendeley) usually offer alternative ways to install styles:
for Zotero you can drag-and-drop styles into a Firefox window, and the
current way to install styles in Mendeley seems to be to just copy the new
style to the program’s styles folder. Both applications could easily
introduce the ability to install styles via a URI/URL.

Rintze

I have no strong opinion about the details, but I want to consider
this use case: a user has two applications that handle CSL

What do they do with the style they find in the new repository?

Is that question completely out-of-scope for citationstyles.org so
that we don’t address it?

Bruce

For a command-line tool like Pandoc, you’d just download the style to your
folder of preference. You have to type in the style path yourself anyway,

This may be true now, but it’s not a settled fact for the future.

so there’s no real gain there by using a standardized style folder.

UI apps (Zotero, Mendeley) usually offer alternative ways to install styles:
for Zotero you can drag-and-drop styles into a Firefox window, and the
current way to install styles in Mendeley seems to be to just copy the new
style to the program’s styles folder. Both applications could easily
introduce the ability to install styles via a URI/URL.

So you’re answer to my second question is “yes”?

Bruce

Yes.

Rintze

I have no strong opinion about the details, but I want to consider
this use case: a user has two applications that handle CSL

As I do & you do, but probably not as a majority of the CSL (i.e.
Zotero/Mendeley) end users do. At least some of us who have multiple
CSL applications do not want only a single, shared directory of styles.

What do they do with the style they find in the new repository?

Their preferred CSL-handling application would catch it (due to the
mimetype and/or extension) & decide what to do with it.

Is that question completely out-of-scope for citationstyles.org so
that we don’t address it?

The site should just pass it off to CSL-handling applications, as this
will offer the best end-user experience. I don’t think we can or should
mandate the behavior of these CSL-handling applications.

I’d encourage those who write such applications (and most are on this
list) to allow their programs to have a “CSLPATH” that could include
multiple directories (e.g.
/usr/share/csl;/usr/share/zotero/styles;~/.csl;~/.mozilla/firefox/[profile]/styles)
that would allow any kind of sharing or partitioning between users and
applications to be achieved. It would be nice to be able to specify the
default directory to save new styles to & offer mechanisms of overriding
this defualt. Finally, browser-based CSL programs should have a switch
to allow another program to become the default CSL handler (as Zotero
does for RIS/refer now).

But I don’t think we can or should try to force this kind of ideal system.

–Rick

FWIW, I support all this (suggesting configurable paths, etc.). So
we’ll leave this out of citationstyles.org.