You have highlighted one of the nastinesses of page formatting.  A Q&D 
solution often suggested is to allow a fixed width for the page numbers, 
but I don't see how this can stand as a final solution.  The gaps are 
going to be obvious in something purporting to be a high-quality 
rendering system, and what if you don't allow for enough digits?

The spec allows a lot of local adjustment, so I think that in the vast 
majority of cases local re-formatting will fix the problem, and keep the 
adjustments within the page.  However, I think also that spill effects 
will have to be accommodated.

Convergence problems like your page 99 scenario occur in other contexts; 
notably the "last page" problem.  The last page in a sequence is allowed 
a different page-master, but the only way to discover the last page is 
to lay it out.  Oops, last page.  Lay it out again, using the 
last-page-master.  Oops, we now have something left over, so it's not 
the last page any more.  These cases will have to be catalogued as 
discovered, and circuit-breaker heuristics provided for them.


Joerg Pietschmann wrote:

>"Nicola Ken Barozzi"  wrote:
>>Anyway, these forward references are a pain in the ass :-/
>Very true. Imagine the worst case: Someone puts a
> "(See page )"
>into the text at page 1. The formatter has to allocate some
>space for the unknown number, lets say a "n" space. The
>referenced block happens to end up on page 99. The
>preallocated space is not sufficient, extending this space
>could cause reformatting of all pages, which is already bad.
>Furthermore, the reformatting could push the referenced
>block to page 100, thereby providing another problem.
>I have no idea how an interface able to deal with the problem
>above could look like.

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