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Hans Aberg wrote:

>  >   For example, if one wants to automate the LaTeX standard two-pass
>  > compile, the environment "document" data would be put in a special file,
>  > which is read twice; if this feature is chosen, the first pass could then
>  > be done without actual typesetting, making it faster.

To which Frank Mittelbach replied:

> i fear that i don't understand what you mean. what "data" can be put
> into a special file? most of the reason why you need the typesetting
> several times (and it might be even more than two) is to gather
> information from the visual context of the document, eg \pageref can
> only report the correct number if everything up to that point is

I would like to see Hans's suggestion explored a little more, in the
following directions:

1. If I never use \pageref in my document, the speedup of `syntax-only'
typesetting on the first pass might be very welcome. (I.e., putting the
entire document contents into the separate file.)

2. If all my cross-references are backward references, I would like to
get my final dvi file after the first pass!

3. If the bibliography data is processed at the very beginning of a
document in a sort of `numbers-only mode', then all \cite commands also
could be back-references and I could get my final dvi file in one pass.