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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
> already correctly typeset.

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.

4. The texinfo idea of processing the table of contents at the end of
the document would be nice (let the reordering of pages happen at the
DVI driver level, if necessary; for that matter there is a sensible
Russian convention to put the TOC at the end of a book anyway). Then
maybe even the TOC, with correct page numbers, can also be gotten in one
pass!!

(Add exclamation points according to taste :-)

(Hmm, I think I see a low-tech way to make a lot of this work even more
simply, come to think of it ... )

Michael Downes, [log in to unmask]