# [tug-summer-of-code] A couple of project proposals

Scott Pakin scott at pakin.org
Mon Jun 29 21:45:34 CEST 2009

Daniel,

>> 2) LaTeX handwriting-based symbol search
>>       There are occasional posts to comp.text.tex asking by
>>       description for a particular LaTeX symbol ("a capital U with a
>>       dot...no, not with the dot above the U but centered within
>>       it...no, not such a small dot, a bigger dot...").  It'd be a
>>       great help to produce a Web site in which a user can draw a
>>       symbol with the mouse and have the site return a list of LaTeX
>>       symbols (glyph + package + control sequence) that best match the
>>       user's drawing.
>
> Hi,
> I think I did something like that:
>
> http://detexify.kirelabs.org
>
> A friend of mine had this exact same idea and I just began it out of
> interest. Actually I am a TeX beginner myself and my solution is far
> from finished and leaves a lot to be desired. There are not too many
> Symbols trained as of now either but it works reasonably well on greek
> letters.

Very cool!  That's just what I was thinking of when I proposed
handwriting-based symbol search for Google Summer of Code.  If you
don't mind my asking, about how long did it take you to write that?
discussion about whether this project would take far more than a
project scope for next year.)

> I'd be glad to hear some feedback.

I trained a few symbols on your site and noticed that many of the
symbols are accented letters, just because there are so many of them:
\acute{a}, \acute{b}, \acute{c}, ..., \acute{z}, \hat{a}, \hat{b},
..., \hat{z}, etc.  Maybe you could bias the training requests towards
some of the more obscure or hard-to-name symbols?

Have you already trained the program on the typeset versions of the
symbols, or do you require handwritten input?

Once again, good job!  I hope you manage to get the program trained on
lots of symbols in the near future.  If you can think of some code
enhancements that might be suitable for a GSoC project next summer,
please post them to this list; I'm sure that'll spark some good
discussion.

-- Scott