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bibtex(n) 0.6 tcllib "bibtex"


bibtex - Parse bibtex files


This package provides commands for the parsing of bibliographies in BibTeX format.

::bibtex::parse ?options? ?text?

This is the general form of the command for parsing a bibliography. Depending on the options used to invoke it it will either return a token for the parser, or the parsed entries of the input bibliography. Instead of performing an immediate parse returning a predefined format the command can also enter an event-based parsing style where all relevant entries in the input are reported through callback commands, in the style of SAX.

::bibtex::parse text

In this form the command will assume that the specified text is a bibliography in BibTeX format, parse it, and then return a list containing one element per record found in the bibliography. Note that comments, string definitions, preambles, etc. will not show up in the result. Each element will be a list containing record type, bibliography key and record data, in this order. The record data will be a dictionary, its keys the keys of the record, with the associated values.

::bibtex::parse ?-command cmd? -channel chan

In this form the command will reads the bibliography from the specified Tcl channel chan and then returns the same data structure as described above.

If however the option -command is specified the result will be a handle for the parser instead and all processing will be incremental and happen in the background. When the input has been exhausted the callback cmd will be invoked with the result of the parse. The exact definition for the callback is

cmd token parseresult

The parse result will have the structure explained above, for the simpler forms of the parser.

Note that the parser will not close the channel after it has exhausted it. This is still the responsibility of the user of the parser.

::bibtex::parse ?-recordcommand recordcmd? ?-preamblecommand preamblecmd? ?-stringcommand stringcmd? ?-commentcommand commentcmd? ?-progresscommand progresscmd? ?-casesensitivestrings bool? (text | -channel chan)

This is the most low-level form for the parser. The returned result will be a handle for the parser. During processing it will invoke the invoke the specified callback commands for each type of data found in the bibliography.

The processing will be incremental and happen in the background if, and only if a Tcl channel chan is specified. For a text the processing will happen immediately and all callbacks will be invoked before the command itself returns.

The callbacks, i.e. *cmd, are all command prefixes and will be invoked with additional arguments appended to them. The meaning of the arguments depends on the callback and is explained below. The first argument will however always be the handle of the parser invoking the callback.


This option takes a boolean value. When set string macro processing becomes case-sensitive. The default is case-insensitive string macro processing.

recordcmd token type key recorddict

This callback is invoked whenever the parser detects a bibliography record in the input. Its arguments are the record type, the bibliography key for the record, and a dictionary containing the keys and values describing the record. Any string macros known to the parser have already been expanded.

preamblecmd token preambletext

This callback is invoked whenever the parser detects an @preamble block in the input. The only additional argument is the text found in the preamble block. By default such entries are ignored.

stringcmd token stringdict

This callback is invoked whenever the parser detects an @string-based macro definition in the input. The argument is a dictionary with the macro names as keys and their replacement strings as values. By default such definitions are added to the parser state for use in future bibliography records.

commentcmd token commenttext

This callback is invoked whenever the parser detects a comment in the input. The only additional argument is the comment text. By default such entries are ignored.

progresscmd token percent

This callback is invoked during processing to tell the user about the progress which has been made. Its argument is the percentage of data processed, as integer number between 0 and 100. In the case of incremental processing the perecentage will always be -1 as the total number of entries is not known beforehand.

::bibtex::wait token

This command waits for the parser represented by the token to complete and then returns. The returned result is the empty string.

::bibtex::destroy token

This command cleans up all internal state associated with the parser represented by the handle token, effectively destroying it. This command can be called from within the parser callbacks to terminate processing.

::bibtex::addStrings token stringdict

This command adds the macro definitions stored in the dictionary stringdict to the parser represented by the handle token.

The dictionary keys are the macro names and the values their replacement strings. This command has the correct signature for use as a -stringcommand callback in an invokation of the command ::bibtex::parse.

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category bibtex of the Tcllib Trackers. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.


Text processing