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RE: [Axiom-developer] online algebra files

From: Page, Bill
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] online algebra files
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 13:12:51 -0400

On Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:25 PM Bob McElrath wrote:
> A few (very obvious) directions for future work...I wish I had more
> time...
> 1) HTML instead of images

Well, yes but ... :)

The only image used is just the first page of the document
derived by 'dvipng' from the associated 'dvi' file. You should
think of this as only a kind of "thumbnail" for the actual
document. It is much smaller than any HTML representation of
the actual document and therefore displays more quickly on
less powerful workstations and slow network connections.

This is the whole problem using pure LaTeX source on LateWiki.
After some experiments with embedded PDF, I had to agree with
your initial revulsion to that approach. So I had hoped instead
to be able to use a good LaTeX to XHTML+MathML (such as tex4ht)
and really present the document to the user this way. But as
we know there are still many problems with this approach. At
this time I am still considering whether to provide 'mml' as
a display option along with 'dvi' and 'pdf'.

> 2) Fill in abstracts for each domain

Yes! Please, someone start to do this ASAP.

> 3) Disable comments on these pages.  (Or, organize them 
> differently...we surely don't want to be appending comments
> to the source code!)

The current pamphlet source format on MathAction has two
parts: the '\documentclass ... \end{document}' part containing
the actual pamphlet source from the Axiom distribution, followed
immediately by the LatexWiki-style StructuredText+LaTeX+Axiom
content (possibly none).

The page is rendered by first applying 'noweave' to the entire
page source. This has the side-effect of ignoring any material
following \end{document}. The resulting LaTeX source is then
processed by the following sequence of commands:

  dvipng -l 1

A header contain the png graphic and linking to the other
formats is created and then the remaining part of the source
(if any) is simply processed as if it was of pagetype

  StructuredText + LaTeX ( + Axiom )

As usual, comments are simply appended to the end of the
page source and so are rendered in the same way as before.

I do not see any problems with collecting comments as part
of the page source. Because of the literate programming noweb
format these will remain invisible to the extracted source
code and to the rendered documentation. But as time permits
it will be possible for pamphlet editors to easily review
these comments and either discard them or incorporate them
into the pamphlet source.  

To me, this seemed like "the best of both worlds". :)

Bill Page.

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