Task Request: Change the default ref name produced by visual editor
Open, LowPublic


Is it possible to change the default ref names that are produced when you "re-use" a citation in the visual editor? It presently uses <ref name=":0"> or 1,2 etc. Is there a way to insert the last name of the first author + the year of publication instead? For example, <ref name=Smith2017>

This is my first time using the Phabricator platform. If I have posted this in the wrong place, I apologize.

Thank you!

JenOttawa created this task.Jul 6 2017, 2:28 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptJul 6 2017, 2:28 AM
Deskana added a subscriber: Deskana.

@JenOttawa Don't worry! You filed this task in the right place. Besides, it's super easy to change the tags on a task, so don't worry about that. :-)

The advantage of a numerical ordering system is its simplicity and that it's impossible for duplicates to be generated. Other methods, such as the one you're suggesting, are essentially hash functions which open up the possibility of duplicate reference names being created. To avoid duplicates, something like a numbering system would be needed on top of the hash function anyway, which means the end result isn't much different and you've increased the complexity of the system significantly. Any hash function used for references would also have to make a bunch of assumptions about the data, for example in your case the assumption that every reference has a last name or a year of publication. References are such a complex things that any assumption you make about a reference is almost certainly wrong in some subset of cases.

Given the above, if the reference names that are generated really bother you, think the simplest solution to this is to switch to the wikitext editor and change the reference name. Your changes are preserved when you switch to the wikitext editor, so this adds minimal effort to you as a user.

Deskana triaged this task as Low priority.Jul 13 2017, 5:00 PM
Deskana moved this task from To Triage to Freezer on the VisualEditor board.