mathtext SoC update

Darren Dale wrote:

I'm actually very hopeful. It's because the TeX code is so well written and documented that the algorithms can (hopefully) be easily ported to Python.

Good point. I've never looked deep enough to know how complicated the algorithms really are -- and we're not trying to build something that will run LaTeX here. Although, It would be very useful to be able to use add-on packages -- amsmath, if nothing else.

The problem I have with TeX is that it has a lot of overhead (it's not meant to be used as a daemon), is not intended to be used as a library (as far as I have been able to discern),

These are key -- and what I've been fantasizing for years is that someone will re-write to be used as a library.

and still requires interpretation once the results are produced

DVI is actually pretty simple -- I don't think that's the hard part of the problem.

The usetex option, which produces excellent
results, has been an absolute headache to maintain across platforms.

I'm sure! dependency on an external TeX distribution is not a good long-term option.

> Which other projects did you have in mind?

I've seen a couple that are trying to make a version of TeX that can be used as a lib -- with just this kind of thing in mind. How active they are, and whether they will get anywhere remains to be seen.

Here's one that doesn't look active:
http://www.metatex.org/

and another: but JAVA? argg!
http://www.extex.org/index.html

That might still be a good site to check out if one is to re-write the TeX layout engine in Python...

Even if there aren't any other projects to leverage, while less fun, I expect that making a library version of TeX from the existing code base would result in a far more robust result.

Another option is to build a stripped down TeX distribution that we would deliver with MPL. Also a lot of work, but it could be restricted to only a small number of fonts, packages, etc.

Anyway, anything that someone will do (and get paid for!) is fine with me!

-Chris

···

--
Christopher Barker, Ph.D.
Oceanographer
                                         
NOAA/OR&R/HAZMAT (206) 526-6959 voice
7600 Sand Point Way NE (206) 526-6329 fax
Seattle, WA 98115 (206) 526-6317 main reception

Chris.Barker@...236...