[OS X TeX] A \url problem

David Watson dewatson at me.com
Tue Nov 3 15:01:27 EST 2009

On Nov 3, 2009, at 1:30 PM, Vic Norton wrote:

> In my example I've used
>   \href{url}{text}
> in two places.
> The url is where I want to go, namely
>   url = http://vic.norton.name/finance-math/notionportf/pricedistrib.csv
> The text is what I want the reader to click on. It needn't have any  
> relation to the url.

I think  Peter and you are having different understandings of the  
purpose of the URL.
A URL is meant to provide the location of a resource and a mechanism  
for retrieving that resource.
A hyper-reference is meant to link content across resources, but that  
doesn't mean that the end user necessarily has to know what a URL is  
or its ontology.

If you need the functionality of a hyper-reference, then the text  
should ideally be something that makes sense in real language, not a  
URL, as URLs are contrived not for the benefit of the reader, but for  
the browser.
You seem to be using hyper-reference functionality when you really  
simply want to indicate to someone "this is the URL you would type in  
your browser should you desire to see this content."

In the early 90s I remember a lot of web pages with hyper-refs that  
were way to literal: "In order to see today's discounts >Click here!<"
It seemed that people didn't understand that the browser had a  
mechanism (by coloring, underlining, etc) to indicate "Click here" and  
that what the designer really wanted to say was "Today's Discounts!"
The least useful thing from the perspective of many users would have  
to be "In order to see today's discounts, type http://example.com/discounts/today.cgi 
  into your browser's location field and type return!"

I can see the usefulness of having an explicitly stated URL if the  
document is destined for print, so that the electronic resource can be  
tracked down, which I gather is what you are trying to do.
I think Peter may be right, in that URLs are not meant to break, but  
I'm sure MLA or some other organization has there own thoughts on such  
This brings up another matter --- should URLs at the end of a sentence  
be followed by punctuation?


> On Nov 3, 2009, at 11:47 AM, Peter Dyballa wrote:
>> Am 03.11.2009 um 16:42 schrieb Vic Norton:
>>> I am simply trying to indent a long URL that has to break. Ideally  
>>> it should break at a forward slash. I've tried to force that in my  
>>> example.
>> Now I understand! Why do you write "it should break?" Where is this  
>> behaviour documented?
>> --
>> Greetings
>> Pete
>> I hope to die before I *have* to use Microsoft Word.
>> 			- Donald E. Knuth, 2001-10-02 in Tübingen.

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