# [OS X TeX] LaTexiT

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Mon May 2 18:55:38 CEST 2005

Hi,

On May 2, 2005, at 4:38 PM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> I don't know whether LaTeXiT uses portions of code from LaTeX
> Equation Editor. If it does, there might be licensing issues:
> LaTeXiT isn't GPL'd (nor is the source code available), whereas
> LaTeX Equation Editor acknowledges using code from Equation Service:
>
>
>> Portions of the LaTeX Equation Editor include code and algorithms
>> from Doug Rowland's Equation Services (particular the portions
>> which support saving the source inside the PDF file).
>>
>
> which itself is GPL'd.

Indeed. It would be pretty hard to figure out if LaTeXiT indeed
*uses* code from the other two/three LaTeX based Equation Editors. It
would be nasty if it does, but I'm not prepared to accuse this guy
before we have solid evidence (which we do *not* have).

What I'm more worried about is the lack of cooperation between the
various authors. I can understand that there are different opinions
on the exact looks and behaviour of the application, but these
applications all are very similar (If it looks like a duck, quacks
like a duck, and walks like a duck, you know, it might just *be* a
duck).

At the moment it seems that TeXType is nice in that is offers
LinkBack support, although there is room for improvement in many
other ways. the others each have their strengths and weaknesses (and
each having good ideas on how to move forward) as well. Yet none - as
far as I can see at the moment - are moving in any spectacular
fashion. It seems such a waste of time and effort to have *yet*
another tool trying to come up with another duck'. Why, oh why
couldn't this author just contact Jason, or any of the others and
just contribute/change what they didn't like. Bruno, your French is
better than mine [understatement of the year]. Could you contact this

OK, Maarten: calm down, \end{rant}.

Instead of four tools that may *just* be good enough, I'd rather have
a single tool that is way beyond what is there now. Must have'
features include:

- Baseline correction
- Support for multi-line equations (support for a baseline offset can
be dropped from those
cases: anyone have a clue how to even *define* a baseline in that
case?)
- colour support, with a background that chooses an automatic
contrasting colour to keep things visible.

I've has contact with three out of four of the authors, and offered
suggestions on how to run the translation in pdflatex alone (which
would speed things up, at least a little bit), and as a bonus
extracts the baseline offset as well[*]. Doug Rowland had some ideas
on resolving the baseline issue in Keynote, Pages, etc., but he is

Maarten

[*] Unfortunately this doesn't work with multi-line equations at all,
there we need to rely on several external tools, although the new
bits in Cocoa (PDFKit) may help.
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