[OS X TeX] Equation Service needs a home

Doug Rowland rowland at belka.space.umn.edu
Thu Jun 6 09:58:54 EDT 2002

Is there anyone out there who has some spare bandwidth to host Equation
Service?  I had been serving it from my mac.com homepage, but Apple has
lately put up bandwidth restrictions.  It's about a 2-5 MB webpage including
the downloads, and you might get a thousand hits or so over a several-day
period, with very low traffic after that following each release (based on my
limited previous experience).

I have a new release that is 95% complete, it just needs some final tweaking
and some better documentation.  Based on the input of many of the
subscribers to this group, the new version (0.5B) has had the following
features added, to name a few:

1) Supports drag and drop into many more apps including Word v. X,
Powerpoint v. X, etc.

2) Writes LaTeX source into PDF file and can read these PDF files,
extracting the source and letting you edit, retypeset, and resave to disk.

3) Supports both pdflatex and ConTeXt

4) Supports easy use of color and boldface

5) UI improvements - console log written in real-time, drawers, sheets,
customizable toolbar, resizable window, much cleaner and "Aquafied" in

6) Enabled "auto-find" of pdflatex and texexec binaries

7) Better templates with nicer bounding box behavior

8) Source code will be included

The next release is close but I am trying to finish my thesis, get ready for
a conference, and write a paper and proposal, so my time is limited.  To
make the release happen sooner rather than later, I could also use people's
help with:

A)  offering to beta-test the software and make sure there aren't any
horrible bugs or really obvious improvements that need to be made - so far
I've checked it out only on a Powerbook G3 (Pismo) running OS X

B)  any Cocoa programmers out there?  The thing that hung me up with this
release is trying to extract PDF info from RTFD files.  When TextEdit (or
your favorite Cocoa app) calls Equation Service and inserts the PDF file
into the appropriate space in the app window, it stores it in an RTFD file.
I haven't spent a LOT of time trying to get the PDF info back (so that an
"untypeset" service would be practical), so maybe there is some easy way
that I am missing.

C)  anyone who is good at writing easy to understand documentation would be
a great help.  If the documentation was there I would feel better about
releasing this version, even if the untypeset service wasn't fully

Again, thanks for all your help, and in particular thanks to the following
people who offered help and suggestions:

Fredrik Wallenberg
Gerben Wierda
Nick Matsakis
Kimo Johnson
Mike Samuels
Sungho Hong
Daniel Cote
Jacques Distler
Hemant Bhargava
Thorsten Sy
Karl Stiefvater
Jonathan Tyzack

Doug Rowland
rowland at fields.space.umn.edu

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