Zotero : a browser based reference manager

I’ve always struggled to manage all my bibliography and citations, either for work (I’m a Biologist) or for Linux resources. Proprietary softwares are expensive, open source applications have limitations. As a result, I was not using anything particular, from real papers in boxes to browser bookmarks and text files full of references. Quite a pain, totally useless. This morning, a colleague pointed Zotero at me. And now I’m happy :)

Zotero is a firefox extension (also available for Netscape and Flock) working on Linux, Mac and Windows. The citations can be used offline. When browsing a page where Zotero can get the citation data, a little icon appears in the url field:

screenshot.png

Most important, Zotero can export a bibliography to OpenOffice.org. On gutsy, no problem installing and testing the OpenOffice extension.
You can choose a standard formating style for the citations, and a custom style is in development. Sooooo nice for a scientist (for other people as well, but I cannot tell from experience)!

You have to have firefox open so that Zotero runs to create the bibliography in OpenOffice. So far, this is the only small limitation I see. As I said, I’m happy :)

A new Community OpenOffice.org forum

This was posted today on the OpenOffice announce mailing-list –> Linky to the new forum.

From the ml announcement:

This new Forum goes beyond being simply a knowledge base of questions and answers and is rather a place for OpenOffice.org users to interact freely with each other.

I see Hagar de l’Est (Salut JN ;)) is already there. Welcome and happy life :)
The OpenOffice forums in French are here.

Openoffice.org 2.3 color palette

You can add custom colors with > Tools > Options > Openoffice.org > Colors.
In this process, OOo crashed down on me this morning (I’m running Gutsy and using OOo from Ubuntu repos). It would run again, reopen the files, but all the color palette for text or objects was gone gone gone:
screenshot_ooo_cropped.png

A purge/reinstall with aptitude did not help.

Thanks to my friends from the “Linux On The Roots” mailing list (see the link under “Linux” category, web site in French), I could get the palette back in my user folder. The ~/.openoffice.org2/user/config/standard.soc was empty… I just copied back /usr/lib/openoffice/presets/config/standard.soc in my ~/.openoffice.org2/user/config/ file.

Hmm. Not the first time around an app closes down on me emptying some config files. Last time, it was the Xfce panels. Gremlins?