[Haskell-cafe] Re: Pandoc questions

John MacFarlane jgm at berkeley.edu
Fri Oct 17 21:12:36 EDT 2008

>> 1. Nobody has written the LaTeX -> MathML code yet, and I've been too
>> lazy.  Anyone who is interested in doing this should get in touch.
> Well, I'd certainly be "interested". I use mathematics *a lot* in my  
> writing. Presumably modifying a large program like Pandoc is intractably  
> difficult though?

Just write a separate library that parses LaTeX input and returns MathML
output. Pandoc could then use this library. So you wouldn't need to know
anything about pandoc's internals. Just write a function 

teXMathToMathML :: String -> String. 

This would be a great contribution!  You could get a head start by
looking at the LaTeXMathML.js code.

> It strikes me that perhaps using LaTeX to enter mathematical markup is  
> rather against the spirit of Markdown. Surely there should be an option  
> to include raw LaTeX, but a more "natural" encoding that covers "most"  
> mathematics would be nice also. Of course, that means somebody has to  
> design it first...

I think it makes good sense to use LaTeX, which is already designed to
be natural but flexible, and is already known by most mathematicians.
My guess is that in designing a more natural format, one would
eventually reinvent something like LaTeX...


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