CSL editor with live preview

As noted on the dev list, I've added a very basic tool to the dev branch for editing CSLs with a live preview of selected Zotero items. Eventually this functionality should be added to Scaffold, but this is a quick way to test changes to CSL templates in the meantime for people who don't want to mess with SQLite.

There's a drop-down menu at the top to load in an existing CSL from the database, an editing window, and a preview area. There's currently no way to save back to the database or add metadata like in Scaffold, but perhaps somebody will find it useful nonetheless.

To use, load up chrome://zotero/content/tools/csledit.xul in the latest dev build. People not running a dev build can either install one or add the csledit.xul file to an official release by following the steps in Modifying Zotero Files. (Note: chrome://zotero/content/tools/csledit.xul would map to chrome/content/zotero/tools/csledit.xul).

Feel free to improve upon it (or, better yet, help integrate it into a separate CSL mode in Scaffold).
  • Thanks Dan.

    But as Rich K. mentioned in another thread, why not host this on your web site as a simple HTML + JS web page, instead of using client-side Mozilla stuff?

    It's simpler both from a programming and user standpoint (nothing to install), and also could be the start of what we really need longer term: a web-based style editor and repository.

    I ask because I'm a little worried about the long term vision reflected in your choice. In short, I do not think there should be a "CSL Mode." Zotero started client-side and then will go server/web-based. CSL really needs to do the reverse.
  • Dan, on this:
    To use, load up chrome://zotero/content/tools/csledit.xul in the latest dev build.
    So clicking on the link should load it? I'm not having success.
  • Apparently Firefox changes chrome:// links to http:// links on unprivileged pages for security reasons. Just copy and paste the link into the URL bar.
  • OK that works; thanks.

    For the record, adding the ability to save to the database and also to validate the CSL against the schema would be really useful next steps.

    Also we need a way to ensure good URIs for new styles. If we figure out a good way to get the distributed repository idea running, I'd be fine with a repository running at zotero.org; where users uploaded them there by default.
  • Hi. I'm new to Zotero and this online preview is a great tool for creating the right bibliography format. However, I'm still struggling with creating the right citation style. Is there a way to add a citation style preview to the same tool?
  • I'm still struggling with creating the right citation style. Is there a way to add a citation style preview to the same tool?
    Definitely really important to add!

    Of course, it becomes a little awkward from a UI perspective to extend the current approach. What would be the citation, after all? Just the first item selected? Or if there are more than one, the first two or three?
  • I was thinking about both: showing a single one and a multiple one would look. The multiple ones could be of just the first two. So the output would have
    - Single citation
    - Multiple citations
    - Bibliography

    Just so you know I'm coming at this from the point of view of numbered citations ("number" class in CSL) where there is the possibility of collapsing the citation numbers (e.g.: [1][2][3] would collapse to [1-3]). Of course, all of this is assuming Zotero properly implements all the features in CSL.

  • edited July 11, 2007
    In the latest dev build, csledit.xul will display single and multiple citations above the bibliography.
  • I have installed the dev build and opened the csledit successfully. However, I am not being able to see the preview of the selected citation on any style. I see three panes: the CSL code (top), an empty pane (middle), and the zotero interface, with the reference selected. I have tried a book and an article without success.
  • hello, I am very new to using Zotero. I just downloaded the 3.0 standalone, and installed it to the word. I also have the online account activated. sorry if this is too basic, but just so you know where I started.

    I very much appreciate all the work you guys put into this, and it functions very well for me. My only problem is trying to access the csledit.xul? I need to use an obscure Harvard variation (thanks to UEL and "Cite them Right") :-/ and I can't figure out how to make the minor modifications?

    I have planned to just simply tidy it all up after I am 100% done, but just in case it is easier than I thought... :-)

    Thanks again for all the help!!
  • edited November 13, 2011
    In the standalone there is a button at the bottom of the advanced panel of the preferences. (Open CSL Editor).
    (added this to the documentation).
  • edited November 13, 2011
    EDIT for learning :-) figured out how to re-zip and the editor opens now, thank you very much!!!

    Thank you very much Adam, I have found that now, but I get the same error discussed here

    I can try the solution of changing the upper case letters, or changing it "on the trunk" but a)I wasn't sure how to re-jar the contents after changing them, or b) how to change it on the trunk...

    I apologize for not being more familiar with opensources, but there's only one way to learn I suppose!! :-)
  • The "changed on the trunk" means this will be fixed in the next version, so that's not something you can do.
    If you're not in a hurry the easiest would be to just wait for that version. Otherwise, for re-jaring, which operating system do you use?
  • I'm on XP, and have win-RAR. I never had to zip a file so I wasn't sure, but it all worked out, created the new archive with changes to the edit vs Edit, renamed to jar, and replaced it in the chrome directory (after moving the original to a back up folder). restarted and it now opens the editor pane!!

    Thank you for everything, especially the fast response! I have just started a master's program that suggests using reference software, so on top of re-learning to write properly, I am very grateful for a free, friendly and very functional program like this!!

    until next time :-) (since this was only opening the editor, now I have to fully comprehend my referencing style!!)
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