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[Axiom-developer] RE: Web based bibtex
[Axiom-developer] RE: Web based bibtex
Wed, 5 Oct 2005 16:59:32 -0400
On Wednesday, October 05, 2005 3:46 PM C Y
> I am uneasy about doing any significant work in the Plone
> environment, because I have a feeling it might never be
> part of the "active" Axiom website (I doubt Plone-Axiom
> gets many web hits, for example.)
The web site statistics for September
show 671 hits on /zope/plone/login_form - compared to the
4576 hits on /zope/mathaction/FrontPage that's pretty small.
But we are sort of comparing "apples to oranges". Many many
more people read pages from the Axiom wiki aka MathAction
compared to the number of people who edit them or even bother
to comment on them. It's a very public place.
The Plone site, on the other hand is primarily focused on
those people who might have some interest in creating some
content - either for their own use or for distribution to
others. So, actually I find 671 attempts to login as a
registered user of the Axiom portal rather impressive! But
still the evidence is that the majority of users still only
read content here also instead of creating it. :(
> I would prefer to work in just one environment,
It depends on what kind of "work" you want to do, doesn't
it? Both of these environments are built as Zope applications
so they have a lot in common in spite of the outer appearance.
In fact, it turns out that there is a way to configure zope
with ZWiki and Plone so that the same wiki content appears in
both user interfaces. The different user interfaces can be
completely controlled by applying different "skins". This means
that a user can, but default say access the site as if it
was "just" a wiki the way wiki.axiom-developer.org looks now.
But if they choose, they can click on a "Plone" link which
invokes the "portal skin" so that the other Plone bells and
whistles (e.g. the bibliography) become visible and the
wiki appears just as embedded in the portal. In the portal skin
they can then log in and also create private content etc.
In effect, I think this is the "best of both worlds" but it
is a little complicated to setup. I have a test version setup
Clicking on the "plone" link in the upper right corner asks you
to log in and then it displays the same wiki contents with the
Plone wrapper. I haven't had a lot of time to play with this,
so it may not be working quite 100% yet. But I would be quite
interested in your opinion of this effort.
The versions of Zope, Plone and ZWiki on which this test
environment was based are already quite out of date, although
they were current as of about 7 months ago.
I forget actually, exactly what I was doing with this test site
7 months ago beside the wiki/portal skin thing. Just looking at
it now I see that the LaTeX wiki part of the site seems broken
so perhaps that was when I was also experimenting with Bob
McElrath's then dvipng-based approach to generated graphics
Recently Bob and I have been discussing via #axiom-developer irc
some ideas about again upgrading MathAction to the newest releases
(including his latest LatexWiki stuff) *and* also setting up a
live mirror site for MathAction as a backup. I guess we think we
know how to do what we want to do, but of course then there is the
question of when and how to find the time to impermanent it. :(
There is never enough time... there is never enough time...
> perhaps implementing an alternative bibliography solution in the
> wiki or some such - maybe this would be of interest?
I am aware of WIKINDX. It's a nice effort but it lives in a very
different software environment than ZWiki and Plone::
1. PHP >= v4.3.x
2. MySQL >= v3.23.xx
3. Apache >= v1.3.x
PHP is the "other way" to design web applications these days -
probably more popular than Zope. The difference between Zope
and PHP is quite literally quite similar to the difference between
Axiom and Maxima. One of the difficulties of building applications
with Zope is the strongly typed object-oriented environment that
I mentioned earlier. On the other hand, if one is prepared to
invest the time to learn to use Zope properly, then it is possible
to build some rather sophisticated applications with very little
coding, compared to the large amount of (relatively easy) "hacking"
required to get a PHP application off the ground. It is essentially
the same thing with Axiom.
I rather like this accidental family relationship between Zope
and Axiom. In fact, it goes even deeper since Zope is implemented
in Python which is a strongly-typed (but dynamic) language with a
"pile" block syntax just like SPAD which is strongly-typed
(but static) programming language.
PHP on the other hand is essentially a variant of Perl - another
"engineering-oriented" language ;) to steal Tim Daly's phrase.
> Hmm. Nifty! Can a user select a subset of entries to
> generate a bibtex file, or is it only one at a time?
If you login in at
The 'download' tab will download the entire contents of
the Axiom bibliography as one large BibTeX file.
The 'contents' tab will allow you to delete and copy entries.
I don't know anyway how to download just a subset based on a
query. But perhaps there is some way to do this in the newer
release of the bibliography product.
> Another thought is that a "global" bibtex file generated from
> this system could provide the foundation bib file for the
> Axiom codebase, assuming one can be automatically generated.
Yes, this could be done automatically using crontab job and
wget to trigger the kind of 'download' that I described above.
> Maybe we could even rig up a way to have the codebase repository
> updated each time a bibliography update is committed via web,
Yes, at least it could be done nightly or whatever using wget.
> and have the website updated every time a new bibtex entry is
> put into the repository.
I am less sure how to do that but that is also likely possible
based on a tla -diff or something of that sort.