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 >   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.
the hypertex project already does some of this standardization, if you want to
follow it. not sure what else is needed.

>   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
i dont see what you are getting at. the hypertex specials define a set
of \special conventions which look like the HTML equivalents, thats all

>   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
quite. thats what hyperref does

> In addition, one could add a few commands, such as indicating a base URL if
thats in HyperTeX

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