Biblioscape 7 alpha release

Dear Biblioscape Users,

Biblioscape 7 alpha release has been made available at

Installation: For the alpha release, we didn't package files inside a standard Windows installer. Instead, all required files are inside a self-extracting WinZip file. You can just run bsp7.exe and unzip it to an empty folder. To run it, double click the Biblioscape.exe file. To remove it, delete the Biblioscape folder.

History: In the past, we would normally release a major upgrade every 1-2 years. But version 7 took 2-3 years. There are two reasons. First, in order to implement user suggested features and move this application forward, we have to restructure the database schema. The application has to become a multi-window application instead of a single window application. These requirements mean a major rewrite that is time consuming. Second, we want to add as many features as possible to this release, then, polish them in subsequent releases. Making all the big changes in one release will minimize the upgrade learning curve for future users. Because of these reasons, the release date has been postponed several times. That is why we decided to give all the customers who purchased Biblioscape in 2006 a free upgrade to version 7. The repeated delays have made some users unhappy. I sincerely apologize.

Warning: We call this release an alpha version for two reasons. First, the application is not fully tested. It will take another 3-6 months to make it a stable release. Therefore, do not use it in a production environment. This release is only meant for testing and learning, so hardcore Biblioscape users can provide us feedbacks to polish and improve it. Second, there is no updated documentation yet. I will add documentation piece by piece at Each page is open to comments. If you want to add pages to the online documentation book, you can do it after becoming a TeamBsp member. Sometimes, user added documentation is more valuable to others from the same field or with a similar background.

Upgrade: If you are a current user of Biblioscape 5 or 6 and want to test this new release against your existing database, please install and run Biblioscape 7 first. Then make a copy of your existing database folder. Run Biblioscape 7 and go to "File | Database | Open Database". Select and open the *.bsl file in your copied database folder. Biblioscape 7 will convert the database to version 7 format. This process is time consuming. If your existing database has many thousands of records, the database upgrade process will take hours. So it is better to do it before you go to bed or leave your office.

Features: Now it is time to talk about the things you really want to hear. What are the new features? Because this is the most important release since version 4, the amount of change is huge. I will briefly describe the major changes under the following sections.


  • The application has 3 panes: folder, records list, and tabs pane. The tabs pane is new and it is mainly used for querying the records. Both folders pane and the tabs pane can be hidden or minimized.
  • You can now manually change the ordering of records in a tree structure. This applies to the folders, notes, tasks, charts, and categories modules.
  • Cross module search is now possible. You can enter a search string to search against all the records from references, notes, tasks, charts, categories modules and the links.
  • Highlighted search is supported for full text search (not advanced search). All the search words are highlighted in different colors in the hits record preview.
  • Individual record is now displayed in a separate window, so you can have both records list and individual records displayed side by side. Or you can switch between them easily.
  • Any record from any module can be linked to any other record from any module.
  • All the records from different modules can be flagged in 8 colors.
  • Color categories feature is added to all modules.


  • The meaning of folders has changed. The relationship between a folder and the records under it has become one to many. A record can only be under one folder. The many to many relationship between folders and records in earlier releases are now handled by the categories module.
  • In early releases, only references are organized by folders. Now all the records from references, notes, tasks, charts, and categories modules are organized by folders. It is very much like the way Outlook folders work.
  • You can now convert any search to a search folder. The search folder can be organized the same way as a regular folder in the folder tree. A search folder can only retrieve records from the same module.


  • Notes are displayed in the reference record window. User can now add or edit notes without leaving the reference window.
  • Linked records are displayed in the preview pane.
  • The folder field can be used as the subject header in subject bibliography.
  • Bug fix in reference format and import engines.


  • Notes records are now organized by folders. User can manually re-order each note in a notes tree.
  • References are displayed in the note record window. User can search, link, and cite references without leaving the note record window.
  • An organization chart view is added to display the notes list.
  • The note editor formatting features are improved.


  • Tasks records are converted from a table structure to a tree structure. So you can have sub-tasks.
  • The task orders can be manually changed.


  • You can now easily link folders, references, notes, tasks, charts, and categories records to individual chart objects. So a chart can be used to model your data. 


  • This new module is added for tagging records from other modules.
  • Categories module can be used as the center piece for information management. Topic maps like features are supported for knowledge organization and management.

Support: You are welcome to make suggestions and report bugs at the Biblioscape Beta forum ( We prefer you use the forum instead of email for bug reports and feature requests, so our communication can benefit others and provoke further feedbacks. Please post all issues with running alpha and beta releases at the Beta forum instead of other forums.

making/delete folders


Hi Paul,

On the left side is the Folder List.  I right clicked References and selected create child folder.  A display comes up asking me to name it and select the Type from a drop-down menu.  Three questions.

1. What is the differences between Reference and Folder?

2. I created several folders under the Type Folder instead of Reference.  However, when I right click a reference and select Move to Folder, the deleted folder still show up.  How do I get rid of it?

3. How do I alpha sort these references folders after I have made them?


In version 7, a reference

In version 7, a reference folder is a folder that can only contain references, a note folder can only contain notes. The type folder (yellow one) is called a domain folder (dummy folder). It can have child folders. For example, you can create two domain folders one for work related projects and one for your hobby projects. Under them, you can have references folders, notes folders, etc.

 1. I created several


1. I created several domain folders under the Type Folder instead of Reference folders.  Later, I decided I did not want them and deleted them.  However, when I right click a reference and select Move to Folder, the deleted domain folders still show up.  How do I get rid of these?

2. How do I alpha sort these references folders after I have made them?

1. This bug is already fixed

1. This bug is already fixed for the next release. 2. You can just click on the column header.

 Hi Paul, If I click on


Hi Paul,


If I click on the column header called Folder, it sorts but also sorts everything.  I only wanted to sort the child folders inside References.  Is that possible?


Yes, that is possible. You

Yes, that is possible. You can hold down the Alt key and then manually sort items in the tree structure (folders, notes, etc.) in Biblioscape.

Attachment link does not initially display


Hi Paul,

I have noticed that whenever I make a link within the attachment field the link does not appear after I make it.  However, if I save/close the record the clippy is there and works.  Also, when I re-open it, the relative path is there.  So path is only not present when I make it for the first time.  It is odd because it looks the program did not make the link but in actuality it did.


Do you mean when you click

Do you mean when you click the "..." button to add a link to attachment field, the field is blank? Please let me know the detailed steps. Thanks.

 Yes.1. open reference2.



1. open reference

2. click ...

3. select PDF and press OK.

The field is blank until I hit the Save and Close button. After i hit save and close the clippy and relative link appear.  Also, if only hit Save, the relative link does not appear.


In addition, if I follows steps 1-3 and press the Next Record arrow, it does not save the link from the previous record.


I cannot reproduce this

I cannot reproduce this bug. I am wondering if it is related to the font and size selected, as well as grid size. The next record button not saving bug is already fixed. Thanks.

Biblioscape 7 alpha


first of all: there is a typo in the title of the main biblioscape website: "bibliographic software for citations and bibliography generateion" (see the "generateion"?).

Glad to see the new version. Thank you for all your work on this. I love to work with Biblioscape and would like to upgrade to the new version. However, there were several things I wonder about.

- why did you remove the ability to store references under different folders? I know that we have "categories" now - but what's the purpose of making the "folders" less functional then before?

- will this be a fully i18n/l10n'ized version?

- I don't particularly like the icons. Can't you do some visual upgrade here? They look like 1990s icons - I think that IS an important thing in marketing.

- what I was most disappointed about was that I almost immediately got a "corrupt index in table bib" error even though I did a database repair before migrating. I get very upset with these kind of errors in version 6 and thought that they should have disappeared in the next version. The problem seems to me to be the dbisam database. I use the open source MySQL database and NEVER get table corruptions.

- you talked about a Linux port for version 7 - will this materialize? If not, too bad, you would neglect a really big market. Especially the server part - I am never going to rent a microsoft windows server but would really love to use biblioscape web-based. I wish the backend of Biblioscape was more database-independent like it was before version 4.

- I still think that you should make the application scriptable (maybe for version8?) - there are tons of things that could be done automatically if scripting/macros was available.

Hm... So I am not 100% convinced at the moment...


Typo: Thank you for pointing

Typo: Thank you for pointing it out. It is now corrected.

Folder: There are two reasons to change the folder design. 1. Performance. The old folder openning will slow down once there are more than 2-3 thousands records per folder. New design won't have this problem. Categories module has all the functions of old folders, plus much more. 2. Usability. The new categories module can be used as a tagging tool. It is applied across all modules and it is shown on all windows. This makes it a lot easier than copying records into folders.

i18n: Since Biblioscape was not originally designed for enterprise use, we din't pay any attention to standards. We have no immediate plan for localization. But, we do plan to support unicode in version 8 or 9.

Icons: The icons do look outdated. We will find prettier ones in future release. Not in version 7.x.

Index corruption: We did fix a bug causing index corruption and the fix will be in alpha 3 release. I believe index corruptions are caused by bugs in Biblioscape, not in DBISAM. We will try hard to fix those bugs.

Linux: A port to Linux is possible. But, we don't have the resources to take the risk. Most such porting efforts didn't generate enough revenue to cover a fraction of the cost.

Scripting: I like the idea too. But, we need to make regular users happy first. Scripting and web services remain in our dreams.


ok, makes sense

Hi Paul,

what you say makes sense. Being an open source person, I never pay any attention to market demands but am more in the "dream category". I look forward to the final version. 

are there any ohter language version of BS?


  In "Rich text(CJK)" field of BS7.0, when I select  "font" from the right-click menu, a error appears:"Win32 error, code 1172. the  PRC server is unavailable". and I can't find format toolbar which I can edit the  text as "documents" field in BS6.5.

 BTW: Are there any ohter language version of BS? I wonder whether you have a plan to supply a chinese version of BS in the future? 

>In "Rich text(CJK)" field

>In "Rich text(CJK)" field of BS7.0, when I select  "font" from the right-click menu, a error appears:"Win32 error, code 1172. the  PRC server is unavailable". and I can't find format toolbar which I can edit the  text as "documents" field in BS6.5.

I can't reproduce this bug. Which version of Windows are you running? What are the language settings?

>BTW: Are there any ohter language version of BS? I wonder whether you have a plan to supply a chinese version of BS in the future?

The current version can be used to handle records in Chinese, Japanese, etc. Besides a localized interface and manual, what else do you suggest we should do? Thanks.

Problem converting database


I am experiencing a problem in the process of converting a version 6 database for use with the alpha release of Biblioscape 7.

I am operating with the second version of the alpha release on a USB drive. I have found that during the conversion process an error message is generated as follows: DBISAM Engine Error #8708 Record has been changed or deleted by another user, session, or table cursor in the table 'bib'

Subsequent attempts to convert the database generate the following error message: DBISAM Engine Error #11949 SQL error Column Fld_user not found.

I have erased all of the files from the USB drive, unzipping the Bib7 file package and copying the database files from my version 6 database multiple times. However, each attempt to convert the database produces the same error message.

What am I doing wrong?


Perth, WA



Before the conversion,

Before the conversion, please open the database using Biblioscape 6 and go to "File | Database | Rebuild Database". Then quit Biblioscape 6 and open the database using versioin 7. If this still doesn't work, please zip all the files under your version 6 database and email me the zip (

How long can we try V7 beta

The beta v7 is only accessible for trial 1 day when I donwload it. 

When it starts, it shows 29 days already used? 

Is that a normal feature or is there a way around to keep testing it for more than 1 day? 



I reinstalled it directly on

I reinstalled it directly on USB instead of copying folder from desktop and it works well 

One of the goals of version

One of the goals of version 7 is to make it run from USB drive. So users can take it anywhere on a USB keychain, mp3 players, iPod, etc. So the time based trial control can not be used. Version 7 will let you run on any machine 100 times. It is very unlikely you will take it to the same machine in the public library more than 100 times. The alpha release will let you run 100 times. Then we will release beta and you will get another 100 runs. By that time, the final release should be out.

Running from USB drive



If v7 does not need an installer, does it mean that it can be run from an USB drive?



Yes, this is what we want to

Yes, this is what we want to do in version 7. Take your applications with you in your key chain is such an appealing idea, we want support it ASAP. The alpha release doesn't have the full support yet. We need to do two moe things. First, when run bsp from USB drive, it can automatically open the database on your USB drive. Second, it needs to handle settings better. The full support will be in the final release.

I have translated the story into Chinese

hey, I have translated the story into Chinese, and post on my blog:

JiangZhanYong, Thank you so

JiangZhanYong, Thank you so much. I appreciate it. The charts module in Biblioscape is for creating flow charts. "??"doesn't sound right to me. But I don't know the Chinese word for flow chart. "tab???????????????????" should be "tab???????????????????". Thanks.

Hi, Chen:Your last name Chen

Hi, Chen:

Your last name Chen is a Chinese Name? 

All non-English words are displayed "??", so I don't know what you want to say exactly. I guess you want another Chinese word to instead of "??", then "???" is the a good choice.

I can't guess the last sentence, sorry, there are just some "??" follow tab. I will mail you later:)

Sorry, the forum database

Sorry, the forum database charset is not unicode. In the future, we may have to create a separate database for CJK users.

Love the New Version

 Hey Paul

It was worthed to wait for v.7. Really Sweet!

Love the tabs and categorization.







Beta Release


I look forward to playing around with this. Although it has been a long wait, your objective is wothwhile. Don't take the negative commments too seriously. You are working on something that will be unique and a real market winner. The long term viablity of the program ultimately will benefit us all.

Dr. Robert Masson                       

Let Me Second That



Let me second Dr. Masson's comments.

I like the way in which you and your team  take on board the vast and diverse needs of Biblioscape users. You have all ways been most helpful with me when wanting to use Biblioscape for Japanese papers I write. And this latest gesture of making the beta version available to us all is only proof of your committment to make the best possible product by fielding for our comments and suggestions. Keep up the great work!

Darren McDonald

Associate Professor (HRM)

Department of Business Studies & Informatics

Faculty of Business Administration

Daito Bunka University

(Also PhD Candidate @ The University of Sheffield, UK)


Thank you both. In version

Thank you both. In version 7, if the "Format double byte language" box is checked on the "Tools | Options" window "Format Manuscript" tab, Biblioscape will use a different rich text editor. It was reported that the standard editor doesn't support CJK well.

If you have any suggestion about foreign language support, please let me know. We will support unicode in the future. But I am not sure it will be version 8 or 9.