Jataka translations and links to PTS passages

Hi wonderful devs,

So I don’t know if this is a bug or a feature. I just need some guidance about what should go in my links.

If I have References set to None and I issue the following:


The address bar will be refresh to:

But the web page for mn68 will show, with the SC main references showing, and the page will be scrolled to the right place—4.1 in this case and that reference gets a highlight. That’s cool, and I like that.

If however I try to issue the following which is constructed in a similar fashion (still with the References set to None):


I do not get the same behaviour. Instead I just get the beginning of Jataka 532

If I want to get comparable (to mn68/en/sujato#4.1) behaviour, I need to explicitly set the reference to main like this:


And then it works—pts numbers are switched on and it scrolls to the right place (although it doesn’t highlight the pts number tag in this case)

I’m not complaining. That I can do this at all is a minor miracle. I just need some guidance on how I should be linking.


So you only encounter this problem with Jataka links? Can you possibly give a list of the texts that it does work with? Then maybe we could figure out if there are any others that don’t work, thereby finding a pattern.

Have you tested the same scenario but trying to link to the Pali page instead of the translation page?

Does the problem occur on all Jataka translators? And is it every (or at least all that you test) pts link? Does the same problem happen when linking to the main refs, or is it only on the PTS refs?


Hi Bhante,

A bit of background… I normally have References Main checked (and often PTS as well):

And so I have never encountered this problem before. But because I cleared the cache in my browser it became apparent. I thought (wrongly it turns out) that Main referred to SC Segment numbers.

Normally I would never dream of linking to the pts-vp-pli numbers, I would always use the SC segment numbers by choice. The problem is that there isn’t (yet) any shiny, new English translation of the Jatakas with the SC segment numbers embedded, but I found that the legacy Jataka translations do have pts-vp-pli numbering embedded (so cool—thank you whoever did that). Up until recently I have been just linking to the relevant Jataka translation with no anchor, but now I find that I can link a little more precisely using these pts-vp-pli numbers.

In addition to the francis Jataka links I get the same behaviour using:





and I’ve just tried it in the legacy Milindapañha using


So it seems to be legacy translations without SC Segments but with pts-vp-pli

So my procedure for testing this is:

Click on None:

Paste https://suttacentral.net/ja542/en/cowell-rouse#pts-vp-pli378 and press enter. It takes me to top of Jataka:

Add reference=main like this: https://suttacentral.net/ja542/en/cowell-rouse?reference=main#pts-vp-pli378—and it takes me to the correct place

Interestingly, if I try this on a non-legacy text (something that I wouldn’t normally do), I get a different result:
With None checked, if I do this: https://suttacentral.net/mn1/en/sujato#pts-vp-pli1.5
I get this:

Which is kinda similar, but it’s turned on the SC Segment numbers. If I add in main ( https://suttacentral.net/mn1/en/sujato?reference=main#pts-vp-pli1.5), I get the same, it still goes to the top of the sutta. But if I add in reference=pts instead of main like this https://suttacentral.net/mn1/en/sujato?reference=pts#pts-vp-pli1.5

It does the expected behaviour:

Many thanks for taking the time to look at these Bhante :pray:

It doesn’t? Can you elaborate on that? I think Main can also include ad hoc numbering systems in legacy texts. Is that what you mean?

I don’t know if I will be able to figure out the problem, but I’ll take a look and eventually write up an issue. You are also free to write one up.

In the mean time it probably makes sense to assume that the refs will eventually work.

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Yes. Exactly that. If there is no SC segment numbers the main check box turns on the pts numbers in the legacy ones I use. And, the pts check box doesn’t do anything.

I’m getting closer to understanding this I think :sweat_smile:

If I include reference=main/pts in my link it should work whatever.

Thank you so much Bhante

Ah! This may be it.

I think your statement is not quite correct as far as the causality…

Legacy texts don’t have SC segments (as far as I know).

In legacy texts, Main turns on all of the refs, some of which may (by chance) be PTS related numbers. These are coded with class ref.

So Main displays class sc and class ref. On Bilara/segmented/aligned texts this will turn on the SC numbers. On legacy texts, it will turn them all on (because the standard for some reason was to class them all as ref)

As an example, I can cause the same problem by giving this url:


(BTW, if you want to display links and make them clickable, you can type this: [https://suttacentral.net/dn3/en/tw_rhysdavids#pts-vp-pli1.110](https://suttacentral.net/dn3/en/tw_rhysdavids#pts-vp-pli1.110))

Just make sure that “Main” is turned off before you click on it.

For me, it won’t take me to the proper citation.

Does all that make sense?

Then the question becomes if the problem is in how the legacy texts are coded (labeling what are 100% PTS citations as merely ref) or is the problem in how the various refs turn themselves on when given a link without the refrence parameters.

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