[Pmwiki-users] Re: latest news on the math front

John Feezell JohnFeezell
Sat Feb 7 10:26:18 CST 2004

On Sat, 7 Feb 2004 14:41:21 +0100, Christian Ridderstr??m <chr at home.se> 

> First a thought:
> It might be interesting to support more tools than just 'mimetex', since
> people have differet preferences and possibilities of installing them.
> On this 'mimetex' page:
> 	http://www.forkosh.com/mimetexmanual.html#tools
> they mention similar tools and give links to:
> 	http://www.fourmilab.ch/webtools/textogif/textogif.html
> 	http://www.math.uio.no/~martingu/gladtex/

Here is an interesting alternative view of math on the web.

And here is a link to an interesting discussion of pros and cons of
mathml and css as related to Opera.


The first discussion thread is particularly good.

- JF

> On Fri, 6 Feb 2004, Patrick R. Michaud wrote:
>> On Fri, Feb 06, 2004 at 06:10:56PM +0100, Christian Ridderstr??m wrote:
>> > It's working pretty well, here's a test area:
>> >
>> >    http://www.lyx.org/~chr/wiki/pmwiki.php?pagename=MathTest.MathTest
>> >
>> > I've also added a directive [[mimetex: x = y ]] that doesn't use
>> > latex/dvipng, but a very small tool called mimetex which produces 
>> gifs.
>> > The advantage with that tool is that latex doesn't have to be 
>> installed.
>> Christian-
>> This is really cool.  I think it's a good idea to break this module
>> into two modules, one that uses mimeTeX and another that uses LaTeX or
>> something more robust if needed.  A WikiAdmin can then choose whichever
>> approach is most appropriate for his users/server, and both approaches
>> can use the same markup.
> I'd even say three modules... one basic module that deals with the cache
> issues, and two modules (one for each tool) that do the actual 
> conversion.
> That way it'll be quite straightforward to support additional tools.
>> > Unfortunately the interest for using this on the lyx wiki is low, so 
>> I'd
>> > like to hand it over to someone else. (I'm working on a few other 
>> pmwiki
>> > projects that will be of use for the lyx wiki, so I'm giving them 
>> prioriy)
>> I'll be glad to take over the mathTeX version, as it will be of use to
>> many of my colleagues at TAMUCC.
> Great!
>>  All can experiment with it on the beta
>> site at http://www.pmichaud.com/work/beta/pmwiki.php/MimeTeX/MimeTeX .
>> The code I used is at 
>> http://www.pmichaud.com/work/beta/local/mimetex.php
>> -- I'll clean it up and add it to the Cookbook when 0.6 is released.
>> Some changes I made:
>>   * I chose {$ ... $} as the markup instead of [[$ ... $]], since a lot
>>     of directives already begin with [[$.
> Why does that matter? Performance? And maybe you should use '{{$' 
> instead,
> to prevent something like: {$Revision: 1.3 $} to be picked up.
>>   * It doesn't need the external shell script--just the location of
>>     the mimetex binary itself.
> Makes sense, I just used that because I didn't hear about mimetex until
> after I was done with the latex code.
>>   * I put the cached images in 0.6's pub directory, so they're easily
>>     accessible to browsers.
> Hmm.. maybe that should be something like 'pub/cache/tex' instead of
> 'pub/cache', in case other types of informatino will be cached in the
> future?

I agree. --JF

>>   * I'm using simple md5 hashes for the image filenames, as I'm
>>     comfortable with the low probability of collisions.
> That's a bad practice IMHO, but it's up to you. I do suggest however that
> you make it possible to verify that it's the correct image that's being
> returned. Especially if you don't maintain a separate cache directory for
> the latex things.
>> P.S.:  Christian--let me know if the credit I'm giving you in the
>> mimetex.php file is sufficient/appropriate.
> It's fine.
> Some additional ideas:
> * Add an action that clears the cache...
> A final thought: If you will use the latex method, it might be 
> interesting
> to allow the user to also define a preamble, e.g. like this:
> 	[[latex-preamble:Main.Preamble1]]
> where the preamble would simply be the source of the page Main.Preamble1
> Alternatively,
> 	[[begin:latex-preamble]]
> 	\usepackage{...}
> 	[[include:Main.Preamble1]]
> 	[[end:latex-preamble]]
> /Christian

Interesting idea.

It's great to see the work on the math front.  I could make good use of it
in a number of ways.



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