[Haskell-cafe] Haddock Markup

Lennart Augustsson lennart at augustsson.net
Fri Feb 6 15:17:19 EST 2009

It doesn't really matter if TeX is a good or bad idea for writing maths.
For our users, they might do a formula if it's TeX, they won't if it's
something else.

  -- Lennart

On Fri, Feb 6, 2009 at 4:03 PM, Wolfgang Jeltsch
<g9ks157k at acme.softbase.org> wrote:
> Am Freitag, 6. Februar 2009 11:31 schrieb George Pollard:
>> I think that the TeX *language* is great for writing mathematics,
>> but that we should be wary of blindly incorporating TeX *output*
>> into Haddock.
>> Most of Haddock's documentation is currently HTML-based, and
>> if we add TeX mathematics in the usual way (i.e. embedding images)
>> it is very 'inaccessible content' (no selection, scaling, and a myriad
>> of other small niggles) compared to the rest of the HTML file.
>> My thoughts would be to use the TeX engine itself for when generating
>> high-quality PDF documentation, and have something else translate TeX
>> to (e.g.) MathML for the HTML pages. There are various programs to do this
>> (or it could be done in Haskell :D!)
> TeX is not so great for mathematics and especially not for conversion into
> MathML (which would be needed for HTML output). The TeX math language
> provides rather little semantic information. As input language for the
> concrete software named TeX this is mostly okay since the concrete rendering
> algorithm of TeX doesn't need certain information (for example, about
> implicit bracketing).
> However, even for rendering with TeX, you sometimes have to ressort to ugly
> tricks since TeX sometimes misinterprets what you wrote. Knuth gives some
> examples in chapter 18 of The TeXbook. For conversion into MathML, a TeX
> source generally doesn't have enough information since even presentation
> MathML code contains much more structure than ordinary TeX source code does.
> So using TeX as a general language for math is a very bad idea, in my opinion.
> The problem is that there is no good language which provides enough
> structural information for conversion into MathML and is at the same time
> simple to write and read. Maybe, both requirements contradict.
> Best wishes,
> Wolfgang
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