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RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: hyperdoc

From: Bill Page
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Re: hyperdoc
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2005 18:10:02 -0500

On Thursday, January 13, 2005 5:35 PM Bob McElrath wrote:
> root address@hidden wrote:
> > 
> > The longer term goal is either to merge it with the mathaction
> > wiki code (assuming we can make that run on a users machine),
> > merge it into TeXmacs or expand it to become more of the
> > "crystal" idea. But much design discussion has to occur before
> > we trek off into new areas and we're not ready yet.
> I can separate the latex and stx pieces from the rest of latexwiki,
> in order to render documents that users can view in their web
> browser. (i.e. dumping zwiki and zope)  It will still require
> latex/ghostscript/dvips/PIL or itex, and of course python.  I 
> expect at this point someone to shout "do it in lisp!"  ;)

Not me. :)

> However, it will still require some kind of server to render the
> documents since a web page, running on a local machine, cannot
> call external programs such as axiom and latex.

I don't think that it is necessary to dump zwiki and zope.
It is quite possible to install and configure these to run
only locally on a workstation. zope is a bit "heavy" as a
workstation application but these days most machines have the
power available to both run zope and run a web browser (while
tying their shoelaces ... :)

So that was really the "Doyen" idea that Tim and I were
discussing a while back - to make a version of MathAction
(i.e. LatexWiki+Axiom) that was tailored to run on a single
user desktop but to support all of the functionality that
one gets via the web.

> Maybe hyperdoc could evolve into that server?  e.g. typing
> hyperdoc spawns mozilla... or )help in axiom spawns mozilla
> (or opens a new tab in your existing mozilla).

Yes, exactly! The idea is that one can use the wiki interface
privately. I think this makes a lot of sense for people working
on complex projects and who want a way to keep track and find
things later. It becomes a sophisticated kind of "personal
information manager". But then when you are ready, you already
have a lot of your material in a format that you could upload
to a central "Doyen" server running essentially the same
software (on a bigger faster well-connected machine).

Actually, completing the development of a "desktop MathAction"
is coming higher up on my todo list now that we have the Windows
version of Axiom (mostly) in hand. In fact I think I might try to
set it up on Windows first just for the challenge of running
LatexWiki in that environment (Zope and ZWiki both work on
windows out-of-the-box). I would very much like to be able to
offer this as an alternative to TeXmacs because I really like
the idea of building on top of very reliable functionality such
as LaTeX. I think it is going to take TeXmacs a long time to
get to an equivalent state. Plus the hyperlink functionality
makes more sense to me in an interface that is primarily a
browser, not an editor.

Bill Page.

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