Projects / RefDB


RefDB is a reference database and bibliography tool for SGML, XML, and LaTeX documents. Command-line tools allow interactive or scriptable access to the data which are stored in a SQL database. RefDB can also be accessed through a Web interface, a SRU interface, or via editor extensions (Emacs/vim). Libraries for Perl and PHP are available for programmers. RefDB provides sophisticated character encoding handling, using Unicode by default.

Operating Systems

Recent releases

  •  05 Nov 2007 14:31

    Release Notes: The PHP Web interface supports live links for keywords, authors, and periodicals which are displayed as "tag clouds". Automatic format detection from local files is done, and has a type-sensitive form for editing data. RefDB implements all SRU operations (explain, searchRetrieve, scan) with MODS output, and conforms to CQL Level 2. Namespaced XML output allows processing of schema-based TEI P5 and DocBook V.5.0 documents. Raw bibliographies were added. Searching for and styling of less-common fields was improved.

    •  15 Jan 2007 14:21

      Release Notes: A problem was fixed with the addref/updateref command, which would occasionally report an error although the command in fact succeeded. A possible segfault in the checkref command was fixed too. Bibliographies now accept references without any titles.

      •  13 Dec 2006 07:04

        Release Notes: 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.

        •  28 Jun 2006 21:06

          Release Notes: This release adds a script for the initial setup of a RefDB installation. There are numerous fixes in the bibliography support, the data import and export, and the character encoding support, as well as several other assorted bugfixes.

          •  16 Nov 2005 11:45

            Release Notes: The client-server protocol was rewritten to improve error reporting and recovery. The server now supports sqlite3 as a database engine, support for MySQL 4.0 and later was improved, and support for character encodings was enhanced. References can now contain multiple links to URLs, and extended notes can be marked public or private. Bibliographies can now render titles in place of missing authors. All manuals and DTD descriptions are now shipped with the sources. An interactive tool to create bibliography styles and two scripts to backup and restore databases were added.


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