[NTG-context] A note on Arabic names in bibliographies and indices

Keith J. Schultz keithjschultz at web.de
Sun Feb 1 20:57:23 CET 2015

Hi Idris, All,

We have here the classical database problem of finding a format that fits all.
But, as any body working with databases knows this will not work with a rigid

Here we have 3 fields for the authors can can be misused.
The von is the most problematic. It seems due to its cultural diversity.

The use of the \setuppublicationlist[colsep=] helps in some ways that it gives
the writers of text the flexibility of  manually controlling the space after von field,
but as Idris has pointed out this would involve a lot of work depending on the authors
one has in ones database. This is especially, problematic for academics that reuse their

Irdis second solution is a simple work around for where only a few changes are necessary.

I am not an expert with this „von“ business, but in Idris case here „al-„ a simple change in the output
of the vonsep could help globally without causing to many problems.
That is make the output of the vonsep dependent on the last character of the von-field
here „-„ 

The other possibility would be to use a discretionary switch for the output of the vonsep
one definition could be vonsep=
	yes             : output blank or global vonsep (default if vonsep field not in publication entry)
        no	           : do not output vonsep
        string         : output character sequence
        command : use command to output vonsep

Of  course we could just have a default handler for the von field and allow it to be changed
by writers! 

hope this helps the people smashing their brains on this subject/code!


> Am 01.02.2015 um 16:06 schrieb Idris Samawi Hamid ادريس سماوي حامد <ishamid at colostate.edu>:
> Dear Syndicate,
> The current bibliography handler uses the following for authors:
> \type{\author[junior]{firstnames}[inits]{von}{surname}}
> Now in Arabic we have something similar to the 'von' field: the definite article 'al-', 'ibn', etc. Just as with 'von' we want to ignore them in the alphabetical sorting. [On the other hand, ConTeXt cannot currently sort its own bbl files alphabetically]. See the linked picture for a real-life example (the top-right of the page contains both Dutch and Arabic examples):
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/rnimlactrlqz6ak/arabic-dutch-bib.jpg?dl=0
> Now the {von} field works for these Arabic prefixes, but there is an issue: There can be no space between 'al-' and what follows (e.g. 'al-Haq'). But the {von} field by default adds a space (von Corbin). So what to do? One solution is to use \setuppublicationlist[vonsep=] (see also attached):
[snip, snip]
> \setuppublicationlist[vonsep=] kills the space after the prefix, but that means that for every 'von', 'van', 'abu', and the like we have to add the space manually in the {von} field (as in the above example).
> If we don't want to use \setuppublicationlist[vonsep=] then we have to define a command for 'al-' that gobbles the space:
> % \define \GobbleSpace{\ignorespaces}
> % \define \Al{al-\GobbleSpace}
> If one is using lots of Arabic names and few, e.g., Dutch names, then using the [vonsep=] approach seems better. But in the upcoming bib module we may want a better solution so that bbl files can be more consistent and portable. Any thoughts are appreciated, and
[snip, snip]

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