Let’s pull this into a new thread. So to answer my own questions to Fred:
- 'Macros, as the term itself implies, are best at generic
behavior": what kind of “generic behavior” might they be “best” at?
CSL macros are really good are describing how to format:
- publisher info
Forget about the word “macro”: to describe this from the user
perspective, the user should be able to choose from lists of
pre-defined options how to format these components of a citation or
reference. I should be able to say “names should look like this” or
"dates like that". At some points, at least, it should be possible to
allow such selectors to create a new definition (macro) or edit an
existing one (?).
- “to enable users to easily make small and incremental changes
means that editing a style will tend toward explicit type definitions
and away from macros”: “small and incremental changes” in what
specific things? Variable order? Inter-variable punctuation?
Am not really sure, but would like some specific examples. I think the
details here matter a lot.
I also think, on the point that the approaches need not be mutually
exclusive, that my primary points are we
make macros available to (and perhaps even required in) layouts
privilege what is in effect the “generic” type, but perhaps still
allow type-specific exceptions (though exactly how best to do this
depends a lot on the “details” above). Maybe my “order” UI example,
for example, could have a little “+” tab that would add a new