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[Axiom-developer] RE: LatexWiki

From: Page, Bill
Subject: [Axiom-developer] RE: LatexWiki
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 22:05:33 -0400

Dear "Ivan pretending-to-do-reseach-student-of-physics Savov",

On Thursday, July 13, 2006 2:37 PM you wrote:
> ... 
> I am VERY impressed with the Plone/Zope site you are running and
> the smooth support for Latex in it. Being able to manipulate latex
> on the web has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I
> thought it was finally a reality when I saw your page.

You should really be talking with Bob McElrath who is/was the once
(now irregular) maintainer of LatexWiki:

on which the stuff I developed and

is based.

> I am a debian user myself and I have been learning about Zope for
> the last couple of months.  I tried the Zope+Plone that come with
> Debian stable but I got mixed results.

We also run the Axiom Wiki and Axiom Portal on a Debian mirror at

running Debian sarge currently with kernel 2.6.8-3-686.

> Then I decided to start from scratch following this video:
> I compiled Python 2.4.3 with zlib, also Zope 2.9.3, and finally
> LatexWiki 0.42 over ZWiki 0.42 which is recommended in the
> LatexWiki docs. Then I had to put-in some PIL libraries after
> but in the end nothing really works!!!

Pity. Sometimes getting this all to work is a bit of work... ;)
especially using newer versions, as you appear to be trying to do.
I think your Zope version is "too new" but in principle with a
few tweaks it should be possible to make this work.

If you really want to use the newest versions of things, you might
want to try the branch of LatexWiki derived by Simon Michael (the
developer of ZWiki) at: (browse)
    LatexWiki pared down and updated for latest Zwiki

If you go this route, please let me know how it works out.

> I was hoping you can tell me a few words about what is running
> on so that I can try to mimic your
> installation.
> Which version of Python are you using?

On the Debian system mentioned above we are running:

Zope 2.7.5-final
Python Version 2.4.2
GCC 4.0.3 20051111

> Which version of LatexWiki are you using? Which version of ZWiki?

The versions of both LatexWiki and ZWiki we are using are hacks of
old ones which I wish I had time to update. You can get a version
close to what we are currently running at:

If you are strongly motivated to run the *same* version, then you
might actually be able to push me into updating the repository. :-)

> Were there any modifications necessary or did the code work 
> out of the box?

You might be interested in the detailed information presented here

about building a version of MathAction for distribution on CD
although in this case the developer was using Fedora linux.

> My setup: (some things may not be running right now...)
>    <-- Plone
>   <--wiki alone
>   <-- my music collection... check 
> out Full Albums/
> (the line is a sympatico DSL in Montreal with decent upstream 
> speeds...)
> Thank you very much for your time,
>    Ivan pretending-to-do-reseach-student-of-physics Savov
> PS:
> My real goal is to create a research-and-writing-portal for
> scientists based on Zope and Plone.

Talk to Bob. :)

> The first step it to create something useful for my own research
> so that I can organize ideas. I think of it as an annotated
> bibliography: links interleaved with my comments (in Latex) so
> that I know what is important and what isn't.

Sounds familiar. You should feel free to try what you like at

if that is any use to you.

> PS2: The grand scheme of things
> In the long run, I want to build a super-duper-mega research
> portal that will allow discussion and cooperation on any research
> topic. The idea is to organize and structurize different ressources
> like wikipedia, and other people's personal weblogs.
> There will be folderish objects for Physics with a subfolded
> Quantum Mechanics and a subfolder Quantum Informaiton Theory. Then
> different people can add links to papers in QIT with their own
> personal comments. A newcomer to the field should then be able to
> immediately see what the important papers in the field are and know
> what to read first... something a stupid text search can't really
> provide.

Well, that is rather grand... ;) But I predict that any effort
like this is doomed to failure by a very simple fact: The ratio of
the number people who read a wiki web site, to the number of people
who will actually contribute to it, is a very big number - maybe
as high as 10,000 or even 100,000 to 1 - a fact that is sadly
born-out by the monthly web statistics for the Axiom Wiki. The only
reason why a project like wikipedia succeeds is that it's goals are
even grander than yours. Like Computer Algebra, Physics is just to
"small" a subject.

Bill Page.

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