### MathML in ecto

**[Updated (10/1/2004) for ecto 2.0b35 and later.]**

What with working on our NSF proposal (Note to self: when you volunteer to write the LaTeX templates for the proposal, be prepared for the obvious consequences.) and preparing for the start of classes, I’ve barely had the chance to *bathe* (just *kidding*), let alone blog.

But, with the proposal more-or-less done, and classes underway, I did take an hour off to engage in a little geekery. As mentioned earlier, I now have MathML “support ” working in **ecto 2.0**. Specifically, I have three plugins for ecto, which implement the

- itex to MathML
- itex to MathML with parbreaks
- Markdown with itex to MathML

text filters I have installed on this blog.

“Support” is in quotation marks. When you compose a post, using one of these text filters, it will be processed into XHTML+MathML and the previewer will display it, just as Safari would see it, were you to post it to your blog. That is, the equations will look like *gibberish*.

Nothing much to do about that, until Dave Hyatt gets on the case. Still, even though the MathML doesn’t render, you can still usually tell that you didn’t have major errors in your LaTeX equations, from the fact that they were successfully converted to MathML.

I may still try to hack Validator support into these text filters. But, on reflection, that just seems *backwards*. Much better to convince Adriaan to integrate Validator support into **ecto 3.0**.

If you have **ecto 2.0** (beta 35 or later), and want to play around with the plugins, installation is easy.

- Put the plugins in
`~/Library/Application Support/ecto/plugins/`

. - Put the
`itex2MML`

binary (included) either there, or in`/usr/local/bin/`

(the plugins will find it in either location). - Select a text filter for your post (a subset of the ones installed on your blog).
- Enjoy.