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Bug 4915 - Use Wikicities' TeX fonts for rendering math on Wikimedia projects
 Summary: Use Wikicities' TeX fonts for rendering math on Wikimedia projects
 Status: Product: RESOLVED WONTFIX MediaWiki extensions Unclassified Component: Math (Other open bugs) unspecified All All Low enhancement with 6 votes (vote) --- Nobody - You can work on this! Show dependency tree / graph

 Reported: 2006-02-08 05:38 UTC by Milton Beychok 2014-02-08 14:21 UTC (History) 4 users (show) fred.wang hartman.wiki peter.krautzberger physik --- --- ---

Attachments

 Milton Beychok 2006-02-08 05:38:29 UTC I compared a mathematical equation created by using the math markup language at WikiCities with the same equation created with the math markup language at Wikipedia. The equation created at WikiCities has remarkably smaller and tidier font than the equation created at Wikipedia. I respectfully suggest that Wikipedia also make the WikiCities math markup version available ... not necessarily as a replacement for the current math markup language but as an alternate option. I am very new to the Wiki world (about 2 weeks) and I hope this is the proper place for my suggestion. If not, please excuse me and tell me where I should offer my suggestion. Milton Beychok Milton Beychok 2006-02-08 05:45:49 UTC If you want a side-by-side comparision of the two equations, go to [[User talk:AySz88]] on the main Wikipedia website and scroll down to item 44 on the Content list you will find there. Julian Beard 2006-05-07 13:08:21 UTC I am currently engaged in the EB1911 prject on Wikisource. Many of the scientific articles there (for example Infinitesimal Calculus) have large equations inline with the text. Due to nature of Wikisource, I cannot change the layout to make display equations out of inline ones. The current TeX rendering looks awful inline, especially with fractions or symbols like integral. The version on Wikicities would be much neater for these equations. I, like Milton Beychok, do not advocate replacing the current TeX font, but making avialble the option to use the smaller one - maybe tags like Small Equation (i.e. math, small) if the Wikicities output is desired. Julian Beard (jjbeard; Wikisource, Wikipedia, Commons) Brion Vibber 2006-05-08 05:52:20 UTC What smaller font? Milton Beychok 2006-05-08 06:15:41 UTC This is the smaller TeX font available at WikiCities: [[Image:ChokedFlowCAPUS.png]] This is the same equation using the Wikipedia font: $Q\;=\;C\;A\;P\;\sqrt{\bigg(\frac{\;\,k\;M} {Z\;R\;T}\bigg)\bigg(\frac{2}{k+1}\bigg)^{(k+1)/(k-1)}}$ Milton Beychok Milton Beychok 2006-05-08 06:26:11 UTC Let's try my last comment again: This is the smaller TeX font available at WikiCities: [[Image:ChokedFlowCAPUS.png]] This is the same equation using the Wikipedia font: [[Image:Large Tex Font.png]] Milton Beychok Milton Beychok 2006-05-08 06:29:49 UTC Sorry, this just isn't my night. Wish there was a way to preview these comments before finalizing. One more time: This is the smaller TeX font available at WikiCities: [[Image:ChokedFlowCAPUS.png]] This is the same equation using the Wikipedia font: [[Image:Large TeX Font.png]] Milton Beychok Tony Woolrich 2006-05-09 19:38:20 UTC I support the requests by Milton Beychock and Julien Beard. The font size of the present version is just too large for the text it accompanies on both WSP and WS. On the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica project on WS this will be an ongoing problem as more texts are entered. I also advocate changing the font used from the serifed (Times Roman?) to the sans serif (Ariel?) if at all possible. It is aesthetically ugly to mix designs in this way. On WS we try to achieve pages that are visually good. The present TeX font makes this hard. Tony Woolrich (User:Apwoolrich on WP and WS. Admin on WS  Zvika 2006-05-10 20:59:55 UTC I disagree with Mbeychok. Sometimes equations need to be shown in larger type, since screen resolution is smaller than that of print, and equations sometimes have smaller fonts. Please see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Zvika#Math_font_size]. Milton Beychok 2006-05-10 22:00:00 UTC Zvika, you didn't read my suggestion closely enough. Read it again and please note the word "option" which I put in bold print. The idea is to have the smaller font as an alternative option. For example, to use the smaller font: perhaps we could use instead of $. Then I could use the smaller font when I wanted to or I could use the larger font when it is needed (as you very correctly pointed out). Regards, - [[User:Mbeychok|mbeychok]] 21:44, 10 May 2006 (UTC)  Brion Vibber 2006-05-10 23:35:45 UTC The short answer is "nobody really knows how the math renderer setup works, so we can't make a configuration change about it without more detailed information". Milton Beychok 2006-05-11 00:16:47 UTC Brion: (1) If you will visit my Wikipedia storage sandbox section of "TeX fonts" at [[User:Mbeychok/MRB's storage sandbox#TeX fonts]], you will see a side-by-side comparison the current Wikipedia TeX font and the smaller WikiCities TeX font each used to create the same equation. (2) As well as being a Wikipedian, I am a participant in the WikiCities "Atmospheric Dispersion Wiki" at http://atmosphericdispersion.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page. The [itex] and$ tags found there produce the smaller TeX font using the identical math markup as Wikipedia does. (3) Angela Beesley is one of the key WikiCities administrators or Sysops and she can be reached at beesley@gmail.com ... she would probably know where they acquired their version of TeX. (4) I am a retired chemical engineer, and I know next to nothing about computer programming. I've told you all that I can. All I can say further is that someone amongst the programmers or developers at Wikipedia and/or WikeCities SURELY MUST KNOW how to make the smaller font available as an alternative option on Wikipedia. (5) If I may ask, when you say "... we can't make a configuration change about it without more detailed information", who is "we"? Are you one of the Wikipedia programmers or developers? If you are, my hat is off to you for creating the marvelous software used on Wikipedia ... and I hope the information above will help you create the smaller TeX font option. Regards, Milt Beychok [[User:Mbeychok]] (5)  Rob Church 2006-05-11 00:28:34 UTC (In reply to comment #11) Brion wears multiple hats; he's the lead developer and release manager for MediaWiki, and he's also Wikimedia's Chief Technical Officer. :) Avery Dauphin 2006-05-11 11:19:53 UTC As I am staying with a large amount of family, most of which have graduate degrees or beyond and are familiar with seeing complex equations, I had them look at each version. Out of 11 people, ages 25 to 72, the younger viewers preferred the smaller font, while the elderly viewers found it to be illegible. It should be noted that fonts in the equation do not allow for end-user scaling. 7 out of 11 were able to read the proposed optional version of the TeX font option, however all 7 use no corrective lenses and are all under the age of 43, the remaining 4 were all ages 43 to 72. For the original font, every person involved my small test could read and recite the equation with little struggle. I am 25 years old with corrective lenses and a 17" monitor, and I need to squint to see the superscript parantheticals. The major factor here, in my beleif, is scalability and legibility of the font being used, first and foremost. Once scalability and legibility are achieved, I would enjoy seeing smaller TeX font option available. I hope this test has presented previously ungathered data on the subject. Again, I am opposed to an option to implement the smaller TeX font, as it clearly will make articles illegible or difficult to read as people grow older, at least in my family. Regards, ~~~~ [[User:averykins]]  Daniel Kinzler 2006-05-11 11:24:10 UTC I think it would be nice to have on option for TeX font size - but that should be a per-user option, not per-formula! If we had that, the default could perhaps be smaller than it is now. Also, MathML support would really be nice - then the font size would be up to the browser. But since translating TeX to MathML seems tricky, maybe there should be an alternative tag or something. phi1ipp 2006-05-11 12:53:47 UTC Large size should be default - small size can often render subscripts illegible. Milton Beychok 2006-05-11 15:06:39 UTC Avery Dauphin: You raised an interesting point. I should note that I am 83 years old and wear glasses ... and have no problem with the smaller font. I would also speculate that the number of elderly people (say 60+) who would have vision problems and would be using Wikipedia is probably relatively small. But the key point is this request is for an alternative option to use the smaller font now being used by WikiCities. lethe 2006-05-12 01:38:21 UTC I'm against this proposal in its current form. It will lead to inconsistent sizes by allowing different editors to choose different sizes. KS 2006-05-12 02:23:08 UTC As others have pointed out, introducing a tag would compound our present headaches. Don't do it. Mathematics within Wikipedia using texvc is, and will remain, awkward. Font sizes are only one of many issues. Mainstream usage within the Wikipedia mathematics community is PNG form (forced, if necessary) for displayed equations and wiki markup inline. The most promising alternative is probably [[BlahTeX]], which gives the reader the option to be served [[MathML]]. Advantages of MathML include user size adjustment consistently throughout the page, attractive and base-aligned inline formulae, speakability for blind readers, and cut-and-paste compatibility with mathematical software. It's wonderful to see some interest in improving Wikipedia mathematics typesetting. Please redirect that interest in a more helpful direction, such as supporting BlahTeX. One of the exciting, long-awaited, enablers should fall into place Real Soon Now: the public release of the [http://stixfonts.org/ STIX fonts]. Already MathML support is available in Mozilla browsers like [[Firefox]] and as a plugin for [[Internet Explorer]].  Zvika 2006-05-12 16:10:48 UTC The issue of MathML vs. LaTeX has already come up several times (see http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki_math_markup for a summary). It seems to me that while MathML is more aesthetically pleasing, it will make life much harder for editors wishing to add or edit equations. Compare the encoding of "x^2 + y^2 = 1" in both markups. LaTeX has the further advantage that the mathematics and science communities use it almost exclusively. It is my impression that most math-oriented editors are happy with the current LaTeX version. Having two different types of math tags does not necessarily mean more inconsistency. I does, however, imply the need to define the rules of when each is used. For example, we may have an inline math tag (similar to the $...$ tag in LaTeX) and a displayed math tag (similar to $...$ in LaTeX). These have separate uses: inline math is used within a paragraph of text, e.g., if I want to say right here in the middle of the sentence that x^2=1; whereas displayed math is rendered on a separate line, for example, x^2 = 1. In LaTeX, an (automatic) attempt is made to have inline equations take up the ordinary line height, if possible; while in displayed equations this is not critical. In Wiki, we could additionally manifest this distinction as a difference in font size. KS 2006-05-13 03:07:58 UTC Zvika, I can only assume you did not bother to look at [[BlahTeX]] if you think I'm proposing that Wikipedia editors markup their equations with MathML. This is no different from using wiki pipe syntax for tables but serving the browsers proper HTML table markup. We use whatever we like for our markup (currently a poor imitation of TeX), internally convert it to MathML, and let the browsers do the pretty display. BlahTeX is constantly tested against all the ''existing'' [itex] markup to verify compatibility. Do you think each of the PNGs used for an equation was created by hand using a graphics editor for PNG? Don't confuse what WikiMedia software ''serves'' (under reader control) with what editors ''write''.  Markus Krötzsch 2006-09-02 18:07:27 UTC I have suggested a simple concrete solution to the font problem in Bug 7208. I am not sure whether this is the font used on Wikicities or not, so I did not post it as a reply here. And for the record: I am not in favour of using sans-serif fonts for math. They are less readable (especially the Greeks). Of course, you can in principle scale them down to smaller sizes, but a lower case lambda that is made of two straight lines is not very readable, I think (and I guess standard math symbols such as \sum and \int are not acceptable in sans-serif font either). http://ontoworld.org/wiki/Image:TeX_Font_Example.png illustrates how I prefer the Greeks to look like. -- Markus Krötzsch physikerwelt 2014-02-08 14:21:08 UTC "This bug looks to tweak the size of the images produced by texvc. I think this should simply be a WONTFIX. While it may look nice on his browser, at some scale. The real issue is to get the fonts of the math and the surrounding text to match. That would be a lot f work to make texvc do something like that. Mathml/Mathjax are better suited to these tasks." ^^ I agree with the comment from https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Extension:Math/Roadmap&oldid=901564

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