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I'm looking for a bibliography style with the following constraints:

  1. Must generate a link if the url key is provided in the bibliography. (I can't change the .bib file.) Other than that I have no formatting guidelines on the appearance of entries. I don't even mind whether the URL is printed out or the title is made a link. This rules out the basic BibTeX styles, otherwise I'd use alpha.
  2. Must produce citations with \cite{entry-name} that look like [MA] or [MA42] where MA is some kind of mnemonic abbreviation. Author initials are fine for documents where authors are meaningful, but not for documents such as technical manuals where the author is poorly-defined or irrelevant; such entries all have a key field that can be used as the abbreviation. Numbered citations are out (too uninformative) and author-date citations are out (many of the citations are technical documentation where the author is not relevant, and (Author, 2016) doesn't look like a citation to my target audience).
  3. Must be available on my reference platform: Ubuntu 14.04 with the texlive-latex-recommended package (so the .bst file should be in either the base or recommended list). I might stretch this to texlive-latex-extra and texlive-bibtex-extra if I really need to, which would allow BibLaTeX (but note that it's a late 2013 version, not the latest and greatest) and urlbst, but I'd really prefer to keep the requirements small.
  4. Must cope with an annote entry containing “weird” characters such as %. (Once again: it must work with my .bib files.) This rules out babelbib.

What are my options?

Sample document:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{filecontents}{sample.bib}
@Manual{javase,
  title = {{Java Standard Edition 8 API Specification}},
  key = {Java8},
  organization = {Oracle},
  year = 2016,
  url = {http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/},
  annote = {100% annoying}
}
\end{filecontents}

\begin{document}
\cite{javase}: [Jav16] is ok, [Java8] would be better, (Oracle, 2016) is right out

\bibliographystyle{alpha}
\bibliography{sample}
\end{document}
  • Having an unescaped % character anywhere other than a URL string is going to create havoc: It's going to be treated as a comment character. Any reason why you can't write \%? – Mico May 30 '16 at 2:51
  • You may want to look into creating your own bespoke bibliography style, using the makebst utility that's part of the custom-bib package. In particular, you'll be able to create an alphabetical citation call-out style that recognizes fields such as url. (By the way, to create hyperlinks, you'll also need to load the hyperref package.) – Mico May 30 '16 at 4:39

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