[OS X TeX] Re : LaTeX output on a weblog

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Sat Nov 14 22:18:38 EST 2009

Hi Victor,

On 15/11/2009, at 11:06 AM, Victor Ivrii wrote:

>> I've been using jsMath for 3 years now, with the Australian
>> Math Society's Wiki, and other Mathematical Society's sites.
>> Once setup on your server's domain, it just requires a single
>> line of coding in the header of a webpage, and LaTeX coding
>> can be interpreted on the fly in a surfer's browser (provided
>> only that Javascript is enabled --- a requirement for most
>> Wikis anyway).
> One needs to distinguish between two very different approaches:
> * Employed by wikis, blogs, bulletin boards and even chat programs
> (Adium on MacOSX) equipped with corresponding LaTeX plug-ins: small
> LaTeX snippets surrounded by corresponding tags and embedded into
> normal page (normal for given wiki, blog, bulletin board or chat)

This is exactly where jsMath is very good:


and pages linked to these, as well as ...


  ... and similar pages.

It can be a little slow on the first page that you download
from a particular site, but thereafter on that site you
hardly know that it has been used.

> * tex4ht (and other less advanced systems) when large LaTeX document
> is converted into html code which is almost human unreadable and thus
> almost uneditable

LaTeX2HTML was designed to create HTML that is human readable.
Back in the late 1990s it was quite good at this.
These days HTML has moved on; e.g., with XHTML, downloadable fonts
and Wikis. MathML support is increasing, and is surely going
to be the major way of the future, but not quite here enough yet.

My current aim is to support embedding MathML inside PDFs, which will
maximise both the visual layout and accessibility (including
screen-reading) at the same time. That is a few years off as yet.

In the meantime I'd still assert that jsMath (to be replaced by MathJAX)
is state-of-the-art for most presentational needs at present.

Yes, there are other applications involving really heavy math usage,
such as proof-checking and presentation linked to math solvers,
as well as communication directly to applications such as Maple,
Mathematica, etc. (and even lesser things like Excel), for which
MathML is the *only* way to go.

With MathML 3 almost finalized, there will be great advances along
these lines. But that is more than what this thread is about.

> Each approach has its own advantages and scope of applications; some
> time ago I managed to use htlatex with jsMath output for heavy-in-math
> seminar postings which will be implemented on our Dept future website
> based on SilverStripe CMS
> (extremely overkilling example see
> http://weyl.math.toronto.edu:8888/devsite/pde-nov-2/2009-11-26;
> I was too lazy to add css file)
> jsMath advantage: no new images (except those stored in jsMath fonts
> as computer with browser has no jsMath TeXfonts installed).
> I have not seen jsMath used with the "snippet" approach.

See above.

> What about MatJax?

It should be available soon, so we'll test it
to see how well it replaces  jsMath .

MathSciNet is practically committed to it, so
it will get plenty of exposure to the professional
mathematics community.

> Victor
> ========================
> Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of  
> Toronto
> http://www.math.toronto.edu/ivrii



Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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