Last modified: 2014-08-08 15:24:03 UTC

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Bug 17465 - Port texvc to PHP, reducing external dependencies and development impedence for Math extension
Port texvc to PHP, reducing external dependencies and development impedence f...
Product: MediaWiki extensions
Classification: Unclassified
Math (Other open bugs)
All All
: Low enhancement (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: physikerwelt
Depends on: 34038 14202
Blocks: 15870
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2009-02-12 16:31 UTC by René Kijewski
Modified: 2014-08-08 15:24 UTC (History)
11 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description René Kijewski 2009-02-12 16:31:45 UTC
The work on texvc seems to be stuck.[1] I guess the major cause is the language it is written in. Most files were not updated for years, even though there are bugs and feature requests pending.[2]
Maybe even more important is the fact, that it is difficult to compile the extension without root access, because mostly none web hoster has an Ocaml compiler installed. If there would be any chance to use a script language, you chould do it.
*Any* language would fit better. (C, perl, …)
IMHO you should drop texvc at all in favor of mimetex/mathtex.

Comment 1 Brion Vibber 2009-06-30 18:35:51 UTC
Poked summary; recommend just doing this in PHP...
Comment 2 Tim Landscheidt 2012-01-17 14:38:36 UTC
A few issues that I noted while playing around some at (ATM ~ 90/1000 deviations in DVIs):

- Despite being one of its purposes, there are no testcases that "rogue" TeX commands (I/O, "\catcode", etc.) are actually rejected.
- texvc not only validates the input and generates HTML, but also /transforms/ the TeX source:
  - Some functions are aliased ("\uarr" => "\uparrow").
  - White space is added and deleted.
  - "M^{II}_3N_2" gets rearranged to "M_{3}^{{II}}N_{2}".

IMHO the transformations are bad (TM):

- A reader cannot simply copy and paste apparent TeX from a wiki source to other applications.
- An editor cannot simply copy and paste apparent TeX from a TeX source to MediaWiki.
- It lays an unnecessary burden on the usage of other renderers and editors.  For example, MathJax doesn't recognize "\uarr", but only "\uparrow".

So I think we should settle for a purely validating parser.

  Omitting the transformations will of course also change the output and thus the outputhash column.  So a migration plan would probably have to include expiring PNGs generated before the deployment.
Comment 3 Tim Landscheidt 2012-01-18 15:10:28 UTC
Interestingly, sometimes MathJax seems to emulate texvc's behaviour: If you TeX "m_\mbox{t} = m \cdot \frac {1}{1 - \sum k}", the result is "m" with the rest of the line as subscript.  texvc transforms that to: "m_{{\mbox{t}}}=m\cdot {\frac  {1}{1-\sum k}}" which only puts "t" as subscript, and at least the MathJax demo at uses the same rendering.

  I fear if we do not clearly define the grammar and its meaning, we will face a situation similar to MediaWiki's parser.

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