Given the rich set of features that Biblatex offers over BibTeX et al., one has to wonder why the latter is being used at all. Legacy code aside (which seems to be easy enough to adapt, anyway) the only real disadvantage seems to be the lack of support from publishers.
The question is: external pressure aside¹, is there any use case where you would not choose to use Biblatex for a new document, and why? What are objective reasons to teach BibTeX to LaTeX novices?
In the context of my earlier question on designing BibTeX code export for Stack Exchange, the question arose which systems that export should support.
Obviously, if your bib file uses entry types, field or formats from Biblatex, users that use e.g.
natbib+bibtex may have a bad experience.
I'm trying to make up my mind about whether we should care.
If there is no good² reason to use BibTeX, maybe there is no reason to support it in third-party software; but that is a separate discussion. The more interesting outcome is that there are good reasons, in which cases such software should definitely support BibTeX, and find another way to enable users to use the full potential of Biblatex.
Ultimately, this post is about collecting reasons, not for weighing them or drawing a conclusion.
- External pressure such as "I have to compile this document which I can not change" or "this publisher won't accept anything but a
bibtex.bbl, period" are immutable and thus not open for discussion. I'm interested if there are other reasons.
- I don't consider external pressure a good reason, from an author's perspective.
.bblproduced by BibTeX can be easily used in submissions to publishers which support neither BibTeX nor Biblatex. The same is not true of one produced by Biber, for example.