Sente 5.6 introduced a new concept used in defining bibliography styles, called "Primary Contributors," that I would like to explain.
Most formats (like APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) are flexible about exactly which contributor(s) should be placed first in bibliography entries. For example, when citing a movie, one could list it by director, producer, screen writer, actors, or just by title, depending on the purpose of the citation.
In the past, Sente handled this by requiring the user to place these contributors in the Author role in the list of contributors, and (in most cases) the authors were placed first in the bibliography entry. This approach has many obvious problems and in this round of revisions we introduced the concept of Primary Contributor to address them.
In this new version, one would enter all of the contributors that you care about in the reference in Sente. Then, select the Role that you want to be considered "primary" in the Primary Contributor Role pull-down menu (e.g., "Director").
Then, if your selected bibliography style has been designed to use Primary Contributors, the names with the specified role will be listed first in the bibliography entry for that reference.
For example, here are two versions of one reference in MLA 3 format. The only change that was made between generating these two entries was to change the value selected in the Primary Contributor Role menu.
Here is the entry with Composer as primary:
Sondheim, Stephen, comp. Passion. Cond. Paul Gemignani. Orch. Jonathan Tunick. Perf. Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, and Marin Mazzie. Angel, 1994. CD.
And here is the same reference with Conductor as primary:
Gemignani, Paul, cond. Passion. Comp. Stephen Sondheim. Orch. Jonathan Tunick. Perf. Donna Murphy, Jere Shea, and Marin Mazzie. Angel, 1994. CD.
Note that in each case, the list of other contributors does not include the primary contributor. This behavior is automatically handled by Sente (i.e., if the style uses Primary Contributor, and the selected primary role is "Editors," then any regular Editors element will not render any content.
When creating a bibliography format, instead of starting each bibliography format with, say, an Authors element, use a Primary Contributors element instead. For most references this will default to being the same thing as Authors, but when a reference has a different primary contributor role specified, that will be used instead.
The text "comp." and "cond." are style-specific and so must be provided by the user in the Primary Role Description field. We should be able to automate this in a future release, but for now this is how it is handled.
In general, I would recommend that you always define styles in terms of Primary Contributor, rather than specific author roles like Authors, Editors, etc. Used in combination with components (described elsewhere) this makes it possible to create very flexible bibliography formats with little effort.