[tex-live] clash between babel (french), hyperref and \cite on keys with a colon character

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Mon Sep 22 17:34:21 CEST 2014

Vincent Lefevre <vincent at vinc17.net> wrote:

> On 2014-09-22 15:55:24 +0100, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
> > it is a feature because it's insoluble when using tex or latex.
> Why insoluble? What's the problem with redefining \cite?

it's trivial, of course.  except that there are quite a few definitions
of \cite, and you need to know which properties are needed by each use
of each version.

and indeed, what's wrong with switching off active status before use of
a punctuation mark in a macro?

imo, the only _real_ solution involves switching to a "cleverer"
tex-like processor.

> Note also that \url doesn't have this problem, i.e. one can write
> a URL starting with "http://", and there are no problems with the
> colon that occurs here. So, if \url can work, why not \cite?

\url works by changing catcodes -- look at all those \do commands in its
code: they're twiddling catcodes so things don't go wrong in the typeset

one could do that for \cite, too, but there are rather a lot of
different versions of \cite for different national/publisher standards
for citation -- urls have the strength of a published standard[*] behind
them, so they can be dealt with in one modest set of recoding


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