[latex2html] latex2html and web publishing

Les Richardson richl@mail.tfsd.sk.ca
Sun, 31 Dec 2000 01:57:10 -0600 (CST)

Hi Franco,

> this case there can be a long waiting time. Not really a problem, I was
> just wondering if the conversion could be accelerated.

Why not steal a page of good ol' Microsoft QBasic trickery (It did a line
by line compilation)....

Save the edited file in the background, and process the image so that when the 
user asks to see the result, it will already be ready. I'm not sure how
you've actually setup the editing session but this would work if using a
telnet or ssh session with an editor like jed or emacs. (Just shorten the
backup times, and use the resulting ~ file.)

> > I generate pdf using pdftex. It is very quick. (visible at: 
> > www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/testbank)
> It looks very interesting. I'm developing something similar (I am a
> physicistm too). Is your project proprietary or could I adapt
> and integrate it with mine? 

Not proprietary and I'm certainly willing to share. My approach uses a
MySQL database however. Individual users "log in" and I set a cookie in
the browser for that session. The editing scripts, etc. check for the
cookie and only present the user with the records that they "own" from out
of the database. All can easily access any record, but only the owner can
edit or delete it. I also have a master admin function to add/edit/delete
any record as well, of course.

> If there exists files (say image1.gif and mytext.tex) attached to this
> pages, they are stored in pub/physics/atoms/ . When the page is saved, the
> html, the gifs generated by latex2html, the pdf etc.  is stored in
> cache/physics/atoms/ which is served dynamically (since each user can
> choose the framework -- say plain pages or frames or language -- in which
> the text is embedded). 

Serving dynamically has got to suck, performance wise. (unless you have
big iron (which costs big lira)).

> Latex2html uses a plain text database to choose which image can be reused
> in a given text. Since several pages are similar (generally the ones done
> by the same  author) I think that one could share this database (stored in
> a real database like mysql) to globally cache mathematical expressions and
> the corresponding gifs. 

You could have a look at my "equations" link on the testbank main page.
Try putting in some more equations. Is this what you mean by a shared pool
of equations, etc.?

> maybe we should continue this discussion privately. 

Certainly. I won't echo to latex2html from now on.

What is the overall "goal" of your project. I don't really understand it.

My Goal is to write software to allow teachers to share test or assessment
items and to allow them to create tests/test instuments online. That is
why it is necessary to generate pdf on the fly. I want teachers to share
their test items.

I use the imagemagick conversion utilties. For building equation gif's I
use: 1) Latex to make the dvi.  2) dvips to make the postscript  3)
convert (from ImageMagick) to make the gif from the ps. This works quite

Les Richardson
H. Hardcastle School
Edam, Sk. Canada