- a bibliography processing system


Ever heard of BibTeX? It's a great tool for extracting entries from a database of bibliographic information and formatting them in various ways depending of your document.

Unfortunately, BibTeX is very old (from the mid-eighties), and although various auxiliary packages have been written, there still are many things that you cannot do, or only with difficulty. For instance, character sets other than plain ASCII cause problems with sorting, it is closely tied to LaTeX, and if you want to change the way the bibliography is formatted, you have to write a style file in the rather obscure BibTeX stack language.

Enters Bibulus

Bibulus is a complete rewrite, written in pure Perl.

Bibliographies are stored in XML, which means that there are plenty of editors you can use for editing your bibliographic databases, and you can easily convert them to other formats and exchange them with others. Bibulus includes a program that will convert your old BibTeX databases to XML.

Bibulus is truly multilingual. It uses Unicode internally, but it can both read and write other character sets.

To Bibulus, LaTeX is just yet another input/output format. If you want, you can also get your bibliography in pure ASCII or in HTML, and other formats will be added with time.

If you're using LaTeX, you can define the style within the LaTeX file. For instance, while \bibliographystyle{plain} is still supported, one can also use this new format:

               % ...

Bibulus is released under the GNU Public Licence which among other things means you get the source code and are free to make any changes you want.


Although the above information is true, Bibulus is still not really usable. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can wave goodbye to BibTeX, but for the time being Bibulus is unfortunately really only for developers. If you just want to use it, then please join the mailing list called bibulus-users (see more below) to receive information about new releases.

Practical information

How do I get started?

First download Bibulus, unpack it, and read the file README in the doc directory. You might also want to read the manual pages that are installed together with Bibulus. If you have further questions, then join our mailing lists.

Mailing lists?

There are two mailing lists, one for developers and one for users.

Tasks, bugs, CVS

Please go to the development pages for this and more! We could really use more people, so please get in touch if you want to help!

Some frequently asked questions...

Is there any documentation?

Yes, there's a couple of documents.

Why is it called "Bibulus"?

"Bibulus" means fond of drink, thirsty in Latin. Furthermore, M. Calpurnius Bibulus was consul in Rome together with C. Iulius Cæsar in the year 59 BC.

The name is chosen in the hope that the program will be fond of "drinking" many books, and that it may be useful to the world of typesetting systems.

What is Bibulus called in Greek?

Bibulus is called Βύβλος in Greek.

What's the logo?

Unfortunately I don't have the skills to draw a good logo. Staying in the Perl/TeX tradition, it would be nice to associate an animal with Bibulus. I'm kind of imagining an old friendly librarian who drinks a little too much -- perhaps a tiger (but certainly not a lion, a cat or a camel). Could you help?

Is Bibulus open-source software?

Yes, Bibulus is copyright (c) 2003-2004 by Thomas M. Widmann and others under the GNU Public Licence version 2.

Are there other projects like Bibulus?

There are several projects that try to improve BibTeX. Most of them are still somewhat tied to BibTeX's bibliographic databases or to its style definitions, and they are not as multilingual as Bibulus.