# [texhax] enumerate inconsistency

David Carlisle d.p.carlisle at gmail.com
Sun Nov 8 13:54:53 CET 2015

Ulrike wrote

> No, \ref looks at \@currentlabel, and there is no real technical
> reason why the optional argument doesn't change it, it is a design
> reason, which one can find arguable.

LaTeX does this consistently (eg unnumbered sections similarly
don't set the label)

This was probably the correct design decision at the time it was made
as then the main point of \ref was to generate an automatically generated
label. If the item used \item[X] then there was no point in using \ref,
you could just use X.

Of course these days \ref is also used to generate a hyperlink, and so
there is a need to use cross referencing mechanisms even when the label
text is known in advance. But latex was designed before the web....

David