[OS X TeX] Mathematics by Chat? (fwd)

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Mon Jan 7 19:48:19 EST 2008

Hi David,

On 08/01/2008, at 11:24 AM, david craig wrote:

> Thought this might be of interest.
> David Craig

I'm glad you got some response to your message.

> <http://www.panix.com/~dac/>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: J.Fine <J.Fine at open.ac.uk>
> Subject: Mathematics by Chat?
> Hello David
> I saw your post on the macosx list and it turns out that I was already
> thinking along these lines.
> Last year, with funding from JISC and The Open University, I developed
> MathTran, which offers TeX as a web service, returning bitmap images.
> See http://www.mathtran.org.

This works in some ways similarly to  jsMath :


For a Wiki, either should work quite well.
You just need to have an installation somewhere in the serving
domain, and point to it in the header of each web-page:
e.g. (from http://www.mathtran.org/)

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/master.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/mathtran.css" />
<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/mathtran.js"></script>

... then prepare any math-content appropriately, of course.

> Recently, I thought it might be nice to create a MathTran aware IRC
> client, and then I saw from your post that things are already  
> moving in
> that direction, and in particular that Adium supported (or used to
> support) such a plug-in.
> The big advantage, of course, in using MathTran is that the people
> chatting don't need to install TeX.

Yes. The Java security model allows the program to run from
the domain from where the pages are served.

> Enso TeX Anywhere (for Windows only
> at present) http://www.humanized.com/enso/beta/ensotexanywhere is an
> example of how MathTran can be used.

  jsMATH  has an option of allowing fonts to be installed locally.
This then overrides the need to download bitmapped images, so gives
a faster response as well as better quality in printed output.

> I'm particularly interested in
> getting mathematics into email messages.

This is harder, as now the email messages are served from the local
machine. It would be necessary to install the Java programs locally,
and in a standard location so that both sender and receiver can get
the typesetting to work.
Have you any ideas on how to achieve this?
Downloading an applet to the browser or mail cache is one way,
I suppose.

> I'm not a Mac user, and don't subscribe to the macosx list (but I do
> read it through gmane.org).  Please, if you wish, forward this message
> to that list, and to anyone else who you think might be interested.
> Best regards
> Jonathan

This could be an interesting and fruitful project.
Any more takers?



Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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