suggestion for math typesetting

Hi John, I followed a discussion on the list a while ago,

    > where some suggestions were made as to how math
    > typesetting could be added to th plots. I don't know if
    > you have already made up your mind about how this should
    > be done in matplotlib, but I recently came across a good
    > and very light solution for typesetting equations from
    > latex code without having to use tex/latex in any way.

    > Its a small ansi C program called mimetex that generates a
    > bitmap directly from latex code. I have been using it as a
    > cgi for typesetting equations from latex code embedded in
    > html, and I am very happy with it. Take a look at its
    > website:

Hi Flavio,

Thanks for the pointer - I'll definitely keep it in mind. I have two

1) bitmap output might be hard to support across the various
    backends, eg, postscript. This limitation is probably not fatal,
    though, since postscript can instead use native TeX output. I've
    been meaning to take a closer look at pyx - - which has very nice postscript / TeX
    integration, to see how they pull it off. Even if TeX / LaTeX
    were only supported in one matplotlib backend that would be better
    than none.

2) The license is GPL, which in
    my understanding is not really compatible with the PSF license.
    Ie, the python license (like the BSD, MIT and related licenses)
    permits more or less *any* non-warranted use of the code,
    including proprietary / closed source. matplotlib is released
    under the PSF license. GPL requires that code that uses it to
    also be open source / free software. I have not thought about
    this deeply, or consulted a lawyer, so this is really just my
    impression after a somewhat cursory investigation, but it's a
    consideration. Licensing gurus please weigh in here....

But these considerations aside, it's a very good suggestion. At the
least, it would be nice to have it as a backend dependent optional
addon. I've wanted to have the ability to plot an image in an axes
for some time (something like matlab's imshow). If this functionality
existed, it would be relatively easy to plug the mimetex bitmaps into


2) The license is GPL, which in
   my understanding is not really compatible with the PSF license.

You can always write them and ask for another license.