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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 9 Sep 1997 19:12:47 +0200
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
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At 12:38 97/09/09, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:
>I have devoted considerable effort over the last 3 years to a LaTeX
>package which generates hypertex-style hyperlinks from normal LaTeX
>markup (the hyperref package).

  I had a brief look at your package. Here are my impressions:

> 1. how to get the real hyperlinks into the output; i don't think this
>    is LaTeX's job, and it is moderately well understood.

  I understand that the \special{foo} command just puts the text "foo" into
the output. Perhaps the LaTeX project should define (if not already done) a
standard to identify which protocol the text belongs to, but no more. For
example \special{html:foo} would identify "foo" as being html, whereas
\special{url:foo} would identify "foo" as a URL.

> 2. whether to extend the standard LaTeX command set to include URL
>    references and point-to-point links (\label isn't really a proper
>    point), to avoid packages defining their own markup

  I think HyperTeX defines hyperlinks in terms of HTML, as
\special{html:foo}. My hunch is that this is a bad idea, as HTML is in
itself a markup language (how to combine the different graphical outputs?).
The problem is that HTML consists of two parts, the hyperlink stuff and the
graphical markup stuff, and it is not possible to get only the hyperlink

  One could have two different versions of HyperLaTeX, depending if your
dvi reader can handle hyperlinks or not.

  It seems me that \label and \bibitem could be used to generate URL names
(locations within a file), and \ref, \eqref, and \cite could be used to
generate hyperlinks within a file. For external ref's (to other doc's), one
could perhaps use LaTeX optional commands
and so on (see <> about URL's).
In addition, one could add a few commands, such as indicating a base URL if
wanted, perhaps a special hyperlink button environment, some of the new
hyperlink stuff in HTML 4 (see <>),
and so on.

  The idea is that a lot of people already writes manuscripts using \label,
etc, and one should be able use that contextual information to
automatically generate helpful hyperlinks.

> 3. whether core LaTeX does need extra hooks for people who writing
>    hypertext macros.

  This one is related to problems of extending TeX: One would really want
to be able to define syntactic environments (enhancing TeX's extensible
grammar to be even more extensible). Not really within the LaTeX3 project,
then, but LaTeX3 experiences might be an input.

  Hans Aberg
                  * AMS member: Listing <>
                  * Email: Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>