On 7/13/06, Robert Scott Horning <robert_horning(a)netzero.net> wrote:
On 7/13/06, Volker Haas
Robert Scott Horning wrote:
I am curious how you plan to compile these books
in a format that looks
good on paper and not strictly as a web format. While this can be
automated to an extent, I do think there are some issues that come from
trying to move content from a web format to a printed page, and not all
of these can be completely automated.
As you have pointed out, an automatic conversion of html (or mediawiki
markup) into latex can not be automated in a way that the book is
As I've mentioned before, I'd love to see a Wikimedia project which
does exactly this. Then the latex could be edited collaboratively to
make things more "absolutely perfect". It's nice to see it's at least
somewhat possible, though I'd say the quality of the previews right
now is fairly low.
While this is something that perhaps should be moved to the tech list,
I'm curious about what the user interface of something like this ought
to look like if we did something like this?
Well, the easiest way would unfortunately involve a fork of the
content. You'd have to pick a particular edition to export to LaTeX,
and then edit it from there. There would be rules, of course, that no
major changes to the content could be made, and that minor fixes (e.g.
grammatical) would have to be backported, but that's messy.
It'd be nicer if the merging could also be automated, but that's
complicated. The best solution would probably involve a way to put
the formatting directives directly into the wikitext, but that has its
MediaWiki software certainly is capable of storing and
ASCII text, and perhaps we could throw another "tab" that would be an
editable LaTeX version of the content that could also be "regenerated"
from the Wiki markup content. This would be another independent page
with edit histories, like the talk page.
Yeah, that's basically what I'd see it as, except I'm not sure how
you'd be able to regenerate the page if significant formatting changes
had been made without losing those changes (or performing a manual
Other kinds of options might be available, but the
user experience would
have to be smooth and consistant with other aspects of editing Wikimedia
I like the idea too, and might want to get involved with trying to put
Well, the first step would be to create the wikitext->LaTeX converter.
Really I think that alone is a time consuming job, and the rest of
the details can wait for it. I haven't gotten a look at wiki2xml yet
though. Maybe it could be easily converted into something like that.
It's nice to see that there's some level of interest. Being that it's
such a complicated project I'm not sure there's enough yet, though.