RefDB 0.9.8 review

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RefDB is a reference database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX/BibTeX documents. RefDB allows users to share databas

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Markus Hoenicka
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RefDB is a reference database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX/BibTeX documents.

RefDB allows users to share databases over a network. RefDB is lightweight and portable to basically all platforms with a decent C compiler. And it's released under the GNU General Public License.

RefDB appears to be the only available tool to create HTML, PostScript, PDF, DVI, MIF, or RTF output from DocBook or TEI sources with fully formatted citations and bibliographies according to publisher's specifications (check out some examples). Additional document types can be easily added.

Here are some key features of "RefDB":
RefDB is a reference/notes database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX documents.
RefDB is mainly implemented in C, with a few Perl scripts inbetween, as well as shell scripts as "glue". It can be compiled on all platforms with a decent C compiler (a small amount of porting may be required). It builds and runs out of the box on Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, OSX, Darwin, and Windows/Cygwin.
RefDB is modular and accessible. You can plug in a variety of database engines to store your data, and you can choose between a variety of interfaces for interactive work. You can use RefDB in your projects through shell scripts or from Perl programs.
The RefDB handbook (more than 300 printed pages) helps you to get RefDB up and running quickly and explains how to use the software for both administrators and users in great detail. In addition there is a tutorial targeted at plain users.
RefDB uses a SQL database engine to store the references, notes, and the bibliography styles. Choose either an external database server for optimum performance and flexibility, or an embedded database engine for convenience (see below for supported database engines).
Both reference and bibliography style databases use the relational features of SQL databases extensively to consolidate information and to save storage space.
RefDB employs a three-tier architecture with lots of flexibility: clients, an application server that can run as a daemon, and the database server. If you prefer the embedded SQL engine, there'll be a two-tier setup. In both cases, all tiers may run on a single workstation for individual use.
The application server can generate log messages to monitor its operation.
RefDB contains two standard interfaces: a command line interface for terminal addicts and for use in scripts, and a PHP-based web interface for a more visual approach. In addition, both Emacs and Vim users can access RefDB from the editing environment they're used to. Finally, there is also a Perl client module to integrate RefDB functionality into your own Perl programs.
The main input format for bibliographic data is RIS which can be generated and imported by all major reference databases on Windows (Reference Manager, EndNote and the like). An XML representation of RIS using the risx DTD is also supported as a native format. The latter is well suited as a means to import SGML or XML bibliographic data.
Import filters are provided for Medline (tagged and XML), BibTeX, MARC, and DocBook.
The data can be retrieved as simple text, formatted as HTML, formatted as a DocBook bibliography element (SGML or XML), formatted as a TEI listBibl element (XML), formatted as BibTeX reference list, or formatted as RIS or risx files.
All character encodings supported by your platform can be used both for data input and for data export. This includes European character sets like Latin-1 and of course Unicode.
Extended notes can be linked to one or more references, authors, periodicals, or keywords to create topics or material collections. These are more powerful and flexible than folder systems and the like.
The query language is fairly simple yet powerful. You can use booleans to combine queries on any combination of fields. You can use brackets to group queries. You can use Unix-style regular expressions to formulate advanced queries.

What's New in This Release:
The new checkref command provides an analysis of new data and allows you to identify duplicate references as well as spelling variants or synonyms of keywords, author names, and periodicals.
Each user can now create an unlimited number of personal reference lists.
Support for citation-key based citation styles was added.
RefDB can now color and size keywords, periodicals, and author names in the (X)HTML output according to their frequency (similar to tag clouds).
A new maintenance mode of refdbd now simplifies upgrading RefDB.
All get* commands support a limit:offset syntax.

RefDB 0.9.8 keywords