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·709 words
Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson
Fighting entropy since 1993

Sight #

A BibTeX references file management application written in Java.

JabRef #

Sight is not that great. Try JabRef for all your BibTeX citation management needs (as it looks a lot better!)


Follow this link to run the (DEMO OFFLINE AT PRESENT!).
When run as a stand alone application, the load/save and quit facilities work.


Here are some screenshots of it running on the Acorn Java VM.

release notes

This is now proper release version 1.0.A proper version is avaliable using the link at the bottom of the page. I fear the supplied documentation may not be enought to get it working.If you want help, contact me.

raw notes

The following will probably only make much sense to me...

Modification Notes:

  • v.1.0 - 29/10/2000:
  • Now copes with escaped quotes and nested braces.
  • Source code is now managed using CVS.
  • Barely room to compile it at home!

Needs a brief manual/README and some unix screen-shots!


  • Allow merging with other .bib files (+filter?). (data from bids!)
  • Make cursor keys behave sensibly when the search filter is on.
  • try to avoid it showing the browser in init


  • The whole filename/dir thing gets rather confused when 'saving as' under RISCOS.
  • On Acorn: Save As.. saves in the wrong place! Tends to use / instead of . when saving under 'Save As...'.Praps a VM problem?
  • Stop the selected entry from being offscreen (This appears to be a general non-characteristic of any Java VM).


  • Handle abbreviations ('@string') properly, ie at all.
  • Add a 'Revert'.
  • Ask when you quit it, and delete all editors and generally exit gracefully.
  • Should always use a pointer to the current entry, instead of copying it off etc.
  • Should remember at least the last selected type and use that for new entries.
  • Make search-string filtering work live, (no filter button) requires speed!
  • Really should sort out ways to minimize redraws etc.
  • Store the nav-string in the DatabaseEntry, and only calulate it when edited.
  • Add sorting facilities.
  • Implement the 'Info...' dialog.
  • Rank 'close-up' list entries by required/optional/spurious.
  • Allow full cursor-key nagivation.
  • Implement multiple selection.
  • Allow proper insertion, cutting, pasting, copying etc.
  • Implement the mini-editor.
  • Check for double entries, mismatched parenthesis, conflictions etc.
  • Know when something has been changed. Obviously, it should know when unsaved and go ALERT! when required.
  • Warn before deleting an entry(?).
  • Tie together/indicate and/or fields.(Radio icons?, extra two columns may solve the spacing problems.)
  • Use a messages file for language portability.
  • Allow references to be grouped into 'Folders', storing the information in BibTeX comment lines.
  • Allow import of BIDS data (any others?).
  • Allow formatted export?
  • Implement the 'Help...' and 'Preferences...' dialogs.
  • Guess the \cite string according to some rules.
  • Ability to look-up cite definitions and fields meanings etc (i.e. Help system.)
  • Specify the order of the fields for each type in the def file, or somewhere.
  • Also, a decent bib-style file generator would be good.


  • Supply various notes about how well it implements the allowable field combinations (in a brief manual).
  • All errors should be reported in a standard SightError Dialog box.
  • Is there any way to get remove to work for lists?
  • The group may be interested.
  • Compiler notes: class DatabaseEntry is defined in Because it is used outside of its source file, it should be defined in a file called "".
  • The version compiled at work doesn't produce FileDialogs at home (vica versa?)
  • When home version is run under Solaris, it produces a NullPointerException in/just after initSightFrame, but not in the Compaq JVM.
  • How do I do the SHIFT_MASK stuff (look for KEYDOWN.CONTROL instead?


Sight: A BibTeX citation file manager
Written in Java 1.0 by Andrew N Jackson

Being run on an OS other than RISC OS… anj
user.home= /Home/anj
user.dir = /tmp_mnt/phys/alpha/anj/anj/Docs/Thesis Compaq’s Digital UNIX
os.version = V4.0
java.version = 1.1.7B-2
Being run on an OS other than RISC OS… anj
user.home= /Home/anj
user.dir = /phys/alpha/anj/Ideas/Sight Solaris
os.version = 2.x
java.version = 1.1.6
Being run on RISC OS… root

user.dir = raFS::Sight.$.!Sight RISC OS
os.version = 3.x
java.version = pwombwel:11/08/98-13:16
[[Lots of #237 characters]

Just a thought - could rewrite LivePlot so that is uses stdio, or rather this could be a feature of Danse.