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OOo biblio database SUCKS!! (at least in 1.1.3)

OOo biblio database SUCKS!! (at least in 1.1.3)

Posted Jan 23, 2006 1:11 UTC (Mon) by hazelsct (guest, #3659)
In reply to: Using open-source tools for documenting research by hingo
Parent article: Using open-source tools for documenting research

I just got through with an attempt to write a proposal with citations using OO.o 1.1.3 and its bibliographic database. The goal was to easily produce .doc files which my collaborators could edit and return with revisions.

It was excruciatingly painful. Bad. Horrendus. So dreadful, that after the edits to the text, I copied and pasted the whole thing into emacs/LaTeX, and re-did the bibliography using BibTeX.

First, entries such as author, title, etc. were length-constrained to about THIRTY CHARACTERS! What the hell??? Almost all of the articles I cited had longer titles or lists of authors.

Second, the default formats absolutely SUCKED! And when a field was missing (e.g. booktitle, editor), it just put two commas with blank space between them: "Author, Title, , , 2004.!" At least BibTeX can sanely deal with missing fields.

Third, the bibliography did not auto-regenerate when new entries were added, and there was no way to re-generate the bibliography!

Fourth, I share config files among a bunch of machines using rsync, and some machines used the database in .openoffice/1.0.1/database/biblio, others in 1.1.1, others in 1.1.0. What the hell??? All of these machines are using identical versions of Debian sarge and identical .openoffice tree, why can some of them open the database and others not??

Version 2.0(.1) may be much better, but that they could let such a piece of crap get released has forever soured me in using OOo for any document involving a database, which for me is just about everything.

Sorry about the all-caps, this was such a nuisance to me for the past few days I'm a bit emotional about it just now. Meanwhile, I'm upgrading to Debian etch with OOo 2.0. In the meantime, BibTeX users considering a migration should "caveat scriptor".

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