In my continuing struggle with Zotero Bluebook, I have implemented one
attribute that might be more generally useful. I ran into complexity
problems when I got to law cases (reasons for that below). I finally
got fed up, and hacked in a gobble=“X” attribute, available to all
elements in CSL. An element with gobble="," will consume a comma at
the end of the preceding string.

This allows constructs like this (contrived) example …

<names variable=“author” … suffix=","/>

… where date-parens generates a parenthetical date such as (John Doe
ed., 1990). In the example, if “collection-number” is not present,
the formatting fails over gracefully by deleting the trailing comma
from the title string:

My Anonymous Life (John Doe ed., 1990).

For secondary materials I didn’t need this, because I was able to
assume that all entries had a title, and could add suffixes to strings
appended before it, and prefixes to strings appended after.
Unfortunately, for law cases there are jurisdictions in which cases
have no title, and without a reliable “anchor” to work against, that
strategy fell apart. This additional attribute has brought things
back under control. Is there a possibility of adding it to official

Can you do this with the “group” attribute:

<names variable=“author” … suffix=", "/>

<text macro=“date-parens”/

Can you do this with the “group” attribute:

<names variable=“author” … suffix=", "/>

Bingo. I think. I’m embarrassed to say that I actually used this
construct in the style recently. Clearly a case of too much work and
too little play.

I’ll withdraw this for now (I hope permanently).

Thanks, Elena.