By default, Instiki uses the itex2MML engine, which displays LaTeX mathematical expressions as MathML. However, because some browsers (e.g., Safari) don’t support MathML, mathematics may not be displayed properly for some users. Using BlahTeX, Instiki instead renders these mathematical expressions as ordinary PNG bitmap images. The result, in most cases, is not as good as the native MathML rendering. But it does, on the other hand, display consistently across a much wider range of browsers.
Prerequisite: a working TeX distribution, such as TeX Live or MacTeX. (BlahTeX needs this because it renders mathematical expressions on the server side—as opposed to MathML, which offloads this task onto the browser.)1
blahtex command line utility takes a LaTeX expression, renders it (using an existing TeX distribution), and outputs the result as a small, cropped PNG image. To install it, follow these steps:
Go to the Blahtex(ml) Home Page, and download the blahtexml source code (version 0.6 or later).
make linux or
make mac (as appropriate) to compile the
blahtex binary. (See section 3.2 of the Blahtex(ml) documentation for more details, if needed.)
blahtex binary somewhere in your command path, e.g., in
Go to “Edit Web” to configure your wiki. In the “
Specialize > Markup” drop-down menu, select “
Markdown+blahtex/PNG”. That’s it!
If you have questions about the BlahTeX/PNG support (as opposed to more general questions about Instiki), contact Ari Stern, who’s the maintainer of Instiki’s BlahTeX/PNG support.
BlahTeX support is tested to work with TeX Live and MacTeX, which contain all of the necessary LaTeX packages. If your TeX distribution is missing certain essential packages (such as
preview-latex), BlahTeX may not work properly. ↩