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Note:These pages make extensive use of the latest XHTML and CSS Standards. They ought to look great in any standards-compliant modern browser. Unfortunately, they will probably look horrible in older browsers, like Netscape 4.x and IE 4.x. Moreover, many posts use MathML, which is, currently only supported in Mozilla. My best suggestion (and you will thank me when surfing an ever-increasing number of sites on the web which have been crafted to use the new standards) is to upgrade to the latest version of your browser. If that's not possible, consider moving to the Standards-compliant and open-source Mozilla browser.

August 26, 2004

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

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.

  1. Put the plugins in ~/Library/Application Support/ecto/plugins/ .
  2. Put the itex2MML binary (included) either there, or in /usr/local/bin/ (the plugins will find it in either location).
  3. Select a text filter for your post (a subset of the ones installed on your blog).
  4. Enjoy.
Posted by distler at August 26, 2004 11:11 PM

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