It’s just data

Collaborative Editing Formulas

Jacques Distler: To borrow a phrase from Samuel Johnson, “… like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

Jacques has a way with words.  It does seem to me that collaboratively editing complex formulas and simple diagrams would be one of the use cases for Google Wave, yet I can see the vast number of separate problems that need to be solved in order for this to be addressed ubiquitously (i.e. using only the browser that the user happens to have in front of them at the time).


I gather that a “Robot” would be better than a “Gadget”. And, I suppose MathML-in-HTML5 might eventually remove the (lame) requirement that each formula inhabit its own iframe.

Also, extending the (somewhat limited) lexicon of the LaTeXMathML parser to something more like that of itex2MML (heck, even getting it to support astral plane characters: \mathbb{A}\mathcal{A}\mathfrack{A}=𝔸𝒜𝔄) would be desirable.

(To be fair, LaTeXMathML does do some things natively, like "Theorem" environments and equation numbering, which are typically layered on top of itex2MML.)

And, yes, there’s the small matter of MathML support in WebKit.

But, still, one is surprised that it works at all.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

There’s also a scipy/wave integration: [link]
and someone on the sagemath list mentioned they were going to try it for sage. That seems somewhat more impressive - not just editing formulae, but collaborating on real mathematics.

Posted by Baz at

I second the lack of sufficient “robots” in Wave, both in general, and also for specific tasks (namely those related to mathematics). Time should help both accounts.

Posted by Ed at

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