A bibliography manager for *n*x: JabRef September 16, 2008Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
Tags: bibliography, Desktop, JabRef, Linux, research, UNIX
I have been pretty busy lately (that’s why I haven’t posted a lot). I started writing a PhD dissertation. In order to sort the hundreds of books, articles and original sources I had a quick look at free and open source bibliography applications for *n*x. I was sure I would need to write my own (a light-weight db and a java swing interface) to get the fields I need and have strong search capabilities (SQL). Luckily, I was wrong.
After half an hour, only three candidates were strong enough to survive my tests: pybliographer (Gtk+), tellico (QT) and JabRef (java). In short, pybibliographer was a little cumbersome to edit entries and searching was lacking in both pybliographer and tellico. Also, tellico is QT and thus ugly as hell (not as important, but not pleasant to work with).
By contrast, JabRef has a very clean interface and the search is fine for my needs (regular expressions). You can even change the look and make it look it like a GTk+ application. Anyway, I am giving JabRef a serious test run (using my real data) and I will post and update later to see if it is as good as the first impression it gives.
To change the look to gtk, just go to Options-Preferences-Advanced and put com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel for “Use other Look and Feel”:
UPDATE: Sadly, JabRef has some problems while running with then OpenJDK version on Ubuntu. To fix the problems, add this to your .profile in your home directory:
(If needed, install sun jre with “sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre”)