# [l2h] plastex

Algis Kabaila akabaila at pcug.org.au
Sat Nov 11 06:19:13 CET 2006

Hi,

Let me start with an admission: I am a great fan of Python and I think it is
one of the best things since the invention of sliced bread.  In fact, I am in
the process of writing a Structural Analysis book with programs written in
Python.

extensive text and formulae of the book "A Short Introduction to Structural
Analysis".  To cut the long story short, the results of plastex indicate that
it is not yet a mature product.

On Saturday 11 November 2006 10:19, Juergen Fenn wrote:
> Murray Eisenberg <murray at math.umass.edu> writes:
> > plasTeX doesn't work for me in cygwin.
>
> It works for me on Windows 98 with Python 2.4.1, but only for a rather
> simple "hello world" document:
>
>   \documentclass{article}
>   \author{Au. Thor}
>   \title{Title}
>   \date{\today}
>   \begin{document}
>   \maketitle
>   Hello World!
>   \end{document}
>
> I didn't have the time to play with any more code since. It's not
> unusual that you have to make a LaTeX document fit to the needs of a
> converter in order to have it converted...
>
> > The release notes for plasTeX say it "now works" with Python 2.5. Does
> > this mean it does NOT work with Python 2.4.3, and that's the error? Or
> > something else?
>
> This should mean that it only worked with Python <2.5 before and was
> adapted to work with Python >=2.5 now.
>
I beg to disagree.  Python is generally backwards compatible and I would say
that any program that works with Python 2.x will work under Pythoh 2.y,
provided that y >= x.  I would bet on that.

For the earlier mentioned text, plastex goes through the motions of processing
the document under Python v 2.4 and produces some sort of output.  There are
lots of messages from plastex.  Here is the beginning of the messages:

****************************************************
kabalg at p4:~/Documents/bookProject/5> plastex StructuralAnalysis.tex
plasTeX version 0.6
( /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/plasTeX/Packages/book.pyc )
( /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/amsfonts/amssymb.sty
( /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/amsfonts/amsfonts.sty
WARNING: unrecognized command/environment: DeclareFontShape
WARNING: unrecognized command/environment: OMX/cmex/m/n/10
WARNING: unrecognized command/environment: DeclareSymbolFont
WARNING: unrecognized command/environment: DeclareMathDelimiter
WARNING: unrecognized command/environment: mathopen
etc -- with lots more of "warnings".
****************************************************

Needless to elaborate, the output is not satisfactory.

If I was, say,  5 years younger, I would love to dig into the code of plastex,
but since I would like to complete my book project, I will stay with
latex2html, which performs remarkably well and produces excellent results.
Notwithstanding the fact that I don't know Perl - I can neither write Perl

Please notice that latex2html  also has this mailing list, which, whilst not
very active, is extremely useful. Also, Ross is doing a great job of
maintaining latex2html.

So if you are interested in translation programs and how they work, by all
means try plastex.

OTH, if you want just to get some translation of LaTeX into almost a standard
html format, I would suggest that you are not likely to find anything better
at the present time than latex2html.

I worked under various Linux platforms for the last 5 years or so, currently
on suse 10.0 and suse 10.1.  Python runs well under all versions of Linux and
various versions of Windows, but that does not mean that large programs,
written in Python under one platform will necessary install without some
special steps on another platform, particularly when the platform is
secretive about its inner workings.  From one version of Linux to another -
yes. Form Linux to another platform - perhaps.

I think that is the likely explanation why plastex did not work for some users
- not the version of Python, which is very mature and very stable, but the
version of Windows.

HTH,

OldAl.

> Regards,
> Jürgen.
>
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--
Algis Kabaila (Dr)
akabaila[at]pcug[dot]org[dot]au
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