Re: A Modest Proposal

Bill Brooks (
Fri, 27 Jan 1995 08:23:16 +0100

Wed, 25 Jan 1995 18:08:08 +0100, wrote:

> Also, there are no cross-platform standards for defining an
> equation, or specifying points on a graph. Sending graphic images
> for each equation and/or graph ties up entirely too much bandwidth
> and server time for the small amount of information involved.

There certainly is a "cross-platform standard for defining an
equation, it's called "LaTeX". I've often wondered why the authors of
HTML just didn't adopt and/or adapt it instead of reinventing the
wheel and coming up with Yet Another Language.

Also, the way some scientists are distributing technical material over
the web involves running their original LaTeX file through a
LaTeX-to-HTML translator which move all mathmatical figures into .gif
files. Sending all of these .gif files over the 'Net can't be more
efficient than just sending LaTeX markup codes, which are just ASCII

On Wed, 25 Jan 1995, Brian Behlendorf wrote:

> If all
> mathematical equations were inlined as LaTeX, Mac users would be lost (unless
> there's a Mac LaTeX viewer I've never heard of). So, it's a line that should
> be walked carefully.

There certainly is a Mac LaTeX viewer, it's called OzTeX. Have a look
at in /pub/OzTeX. Runs on anything from a Mac Plus on.

Over and above everything I've said, we should move towards some type of
mathematical equations in-line - Real Soon Now.