Status of LaTeX or LaTeX-like emails.

Peter Flynn peter at
Thu May 9 12:23:21 CEST 2019

On 09/05/2019 11:04, Taylor, P wrote:
> Peter Flynn wrote:
>> If the email source code marked pieces of a message it would be easy
>>> to display with custom definitions or even using a script to pick out
>>> pieces you want.
>> That's what MIME content types and attachments are for.
> Is there not a problem in that MIME content types effectively treat
> their content as <DIV> elements, whereas many applications of embedded
> TeX maths require that the maths part be treated as a <SPAN>. 

Good point: I have no idea what current text/html attachments are 
treated as, but I would imagine very sloppy. Yes, in effect that means 
the whole attachment is a DIV, unless it is properly marked up, but 
inline math in HTML would have to be a SPAN anyway, so that would work, 
except that the HTML plugins for email won't do math.

> Or in TeX's terms, MIME content types generate display maths
> ($$...$$) whereas what is often needed is inline maths ($...$).
MIME content types don't generate anything: they're just containers 
labelled with a file type. So an application/x-latex attachment is 
currently unrecognised by any email client that I know of, so it will 
offer for you to save it to disk. If someone wrote a plugin to accept 
them, that code could very easily run LaTeX on the content of the 
attachment, and pop up the resulting PDF in another window, or convert 
it to an image and display it in the mail window like some other images.

But to do that, any such attachment would HAVE to be a full LaTeX 
document, even a MWE.


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