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   [ FAQ : (updated) how to write math symbols? ]
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william wu
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[ FAQ : (updated) how to write math symbols? ]  
« on: Oct 21st, 2002, 6:19pm »
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FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols
FAQ: Writing Math Symbols

 
(Updated 1:58 AM 8/18/2003 to describe newly implemented methods based on juxtaposing lots of small symbol images. It's a bit verbose, but the point of this FAQ is to be as understandable as possible.)
 


 
Input Method 1: Click the Symbol Image
 
When constructing a message, you should see a small blue-rimmed box to the left of the message window. At the top of box there's a drop-down menu with names of frequently used math symbols in it. By default the "emptyset" should be selected. Below the menu is a picture of the "emptyset" symbol. If you change the menu selection, the picture will change accordingly. After selecting the symbol you want, simply point your mouse squarely on the symbol's picture, and click. A text code for your symbol will then be inserted into the message window. (You will not actually see the image in your message until you preview it or post it.)
 
Example: Clicking on the [pi] image for "pi" will result in the following codeword being inserted the message window:
 
Code:

[pi]

 
 
 
Input Method 2: Just Type The Symbol Codeword
 
Alternatively, instead of searching for the symbol you want, it can be faster to just type the codeword, if you know it already. All codewords are bracketed, and most have intuitive names. For example:  
 
- Codewords for lower-case greek letters ([alpha],[beta],[gamma],...) are simply the names of the letters themselves, in brackets.
- [sum] is "sum" in brackets.  
- [sup2] is "sup2" in brackets (sup stands for superscript).
- [sub0] is "sub0" in brackets (sub stands for subscript).
- [le] is "le" in brackets (Less than or Equal to).
- [infty] is "infty" in brackets.
- [bbz] is "bbz" in brackets (stands for blackboard z).
 
These codewords are taken from LaTeX, the definitive typesetting system used to publish most mathematical and scientific literature today. Thus if you already know LaTeX, this should all be easy. And if you don't, you will teach yourself a little bit about LaTeX by learning these codewords.  
 
Only the common symbols which are shown in the drop-down menu can be inputted this way. More obscure symbols must be inputted differently. More about this in the next section.
 
(Sidenote: LaTeX is very useful. For those of you that are students, you can also use it to take fabulous real-time notes in your math/sci classes. More on how to learn this LaTeX at http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~wwu/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=news;action =display;num=1055119317).
 
 
 
Input Method 3: Relatively Obscure Symbols
 
The drop-down menu only contains symbols that I believe are most frequently used. To select from all available symbols, click on the "View All Symbols" link right under the picture page. This will bring up a pop window displaying the following symbols:
 

 
Just click on the symbol you want.
 
Alternatively, if you already know the codeword of the symbol you want, type the following:
 
Code:

[smiley=foobar.gif]

 
where foobar is the codeword. This "smiley" code approach will work on any symbol, regardless of whether it is in the drop-down menu or not.  
 
The full list of codewords and their corresponding images can be seen at http://us.metamath.org/symbols/symbols.html
 
 
 
Example Equations
 
"A good example is the best sermon."
 

[forall]r,s[in][bbr], [exists]t[in][bbq] min(r,s) < t < max(r,s)
 
[int]x[sup2]dx = (1/3)x[sup3] + C
 
[lnot](E[sub1][perp]E[sub2])[bigto] Pr([bigcap]i=1,2E[subi]) = Pr(E[sub1][cap]E[sub2]) [ne] Pr(E[sub1])Pr(E[sub2])
 
lim(n[to][infty]) { ([sum]i=1[supn] 1/i) - ln n } [to][gamma][approx].57721  
 
(d/dx)[smiley=cgamma.gif]|x=1 = -[gamma]
 
x[n][oplus]y[n][bigto]X(z)R(z) ; x(t)[oplus]y(t)[bigleftrightarrow]X(f)Y(f)
 
[calf]-1[X(j[omega])] = x(t)= (2[pi])-1[int][subinfty][supinfty]x(t)e-jwtd[omega]
 
sin[theta]([partial]/[partial]r)(r[sup2]([partial]u/[partial]r)) + ([partial]/[partial][theta])([partial]u/[partial][theta]) = 0
 
[forall]u,v[in][bbc][supn] |[langle]u,v[rangle]|[le][parallel]u[parallel][cdot][parallel]v[parallel]
 
[wutang]: [forall]k[in]{m|m[in][bbz][wedge]m[ge]2[wedge]([forall]n[in][bbz]:m[ne]b[supn])} [nexists]q[in][bbq] (logbk = [pi][cdot]q)
 
Gelfond-Schneider Theorem: If [alpha] and [beta] are algebraic numbers with [alpha][ne]0, [alpha][ne]1, and [beta][notin][bbq], then [alpha][smiley=supbeta.gif] is transcendental.

 
Code:

[forall]r,s[in][bbr], [exists]t[in][bbq] min(r,s) < t < max(r,s)
 
[int]x[sup2]dx = (1/3)x[sup3] + C
 
[lnot](E[sub1][perp]E[sub2])[bigto] Pr([bigcap][sub]i=1,2[/sub]E[subi]) = Pr(E[sub1][cap]E[sub2]) [ne] Pr(E[sub1])Pr(E[sub2])
 
lim(n[to][infty]) { ([sum][sub]i=1[/sub][supn] 1/i) - ln n } [to][gamma][approx].57721  
 
(d/dx)[smiley=cgamma.gif]|[sub]x=1[/sub] = -[gamma]
 
x[n][oplus]y[n][bigto]X(z)R(z) ; x(t)[oplus]y(t)[bigleftrightarrow]X(f)Y(f)
 
[calf][sup]-1[/sup][X(j[omega])] = x(t)= (2[pi])[sup]-1[/sup][int][subinfty][supinfty]x(t)e[sup]-jwt[/sup]d[omega]
 
sin[theta]([partial]/[partial]r)(r[sup2]([partial]u/[partial]r)) + ([partial]/[partial][theta])([partial]u/[partial][theta]) = 0
 
[forall]u,v[in][bbc][supn] |[langle]u,v[rangle]|[le][parallel]u[parallel][cdot][parallel]v[parallel]
 
[wutang]: [forall]k[in]{m|m[in][bbz][wedge]m[ge]2[wedge]([forall]n[in][bbz]:m[ne]b[supn])} [nexists]q[in][bbq] (log[sub]b[/sub]k = [pi][cdot]q)
 
[b]Gelfond-Schneider Theorem[/b]: If [alpha] and [beta] are algebraic numbers with [alpha][ne]0, [alpha][ne]1, and [beta][notin][bbq], then [alpha][smiley=supbeta.gif] is transcendental.

 
 
 
Input Method Method 4: towr's LaTeX2PNG generator
 
If you have some really hardcore LaTeX to write and the methods described above are insufficient (e.g. matrix equations or determinants), then use towr's formula generator at http://tcw2.ppsw.rug.nl/~towr/PHP/FORMULA/formula.php. This generates a PNG image of your LaTeX code. You can then reference the URL of that image by using the "img" tags in the message window. It is preferred that you only use this method if you have to, because those PNG images are not stored locally, and that remote database seems less reliable (since we apparently lost some data a while ago).  
 
 
[square] end
 


 
Note 1: Feel free to add suggestions about improving this FAQ.
 
Note 2: The crossed-out text immediately below was written by me on October 21, 2002. It describes a different method to make mathematical operators, using HTML symbol font. However, you should not use it, because many browsers are unable to see it. Several of the subsequent posts in this thread are talking about issues concerning this method. After that, there is some talk about towr's formula generator.
 


 
 
 
\begin{FAQ for unsatisfactory HTML symbol input method}
 

http://www.hclrss.demon.co.uk/demos/symbol.html

 
Browse the page linked above until you find the symbol you want. You will notice there are several columns. Copy the symbol in the left-most column with your mouse, then paste it in between font symbol tags. When you paste them into the message window, you won't see the symbol you expected. However, when you preview your message or post it, YaBB will interpret it correctly thanks to the font symbol tags.
 
I should note that this cumbersome copy and paste technique is only required of symbols whose HTML codes require ampersands. Thus Greek letters do not require this technique, and you only need to enclose an alphabetical letter in between font symbol tags. For example, here are some of the most frequently used greek letters:
 
S = summation
P = product
Q = angle
q = angle
W = sample space
w = radial frequency
s = standard deviation
 
and here is the simple code:
 
Code:

[font=symbol]S[/font] = summation
[font=symbol]P[/font] = product
[font=symbol]Q[/font] = angle
[font=symbol]q[/font] = angle
[font=symbol]W[/font] = sample space
[font=symbol]w[/font] = radial frequency
[font=symbol]s[/font] = standard deviation

 
(Note: So why can't you just type the HTML code for symbols that require ampersands? Well, YaBB will always parse your ampersands as ASCII text for security reasons: & is often used in HTML, and HTML is a security risk on any board. The cutting and pasting technique gets around this. If anyone has a better method please let me know.)
 
 
=========================================================
 
Example requiring copy and paste technique:
 
"Everyone who is thinking about puzzles is not doing real work" is an ambiguous statement. Here's one possible meaning:
 
Let a(x) mean that person x is thinking about puzzles.
Let b(x) mean that person x is doing real work.
 
Here is one possible interpretation: "x (a(x) ® Ų b(x))
 
Code:

[font=symbol]"[/font]x (a(x) [font=symbol]®[/font] [font=symbol]Ų[/font] b(x))

 
What's the other interpretation?
 
 
=========================================================
 
P.S. Let me know if you see some gibberish characters in the above logic expression. To display the mathematical operators used HTML symbol font, which I believe is frowned upon by the w3c, and doesn't work with all browsers and OSes. But if there are no complaints I'll just keep doing this and encourage others to do the same, because it makes our analyses much easier to read.

 
\end{FAQ for unsatisfactory HTML symbol input method}
 
 
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2003, 4:12am by william wu » IP Logged


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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #1 on: Oct 21st, 2002, 11:46pm »
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The symbol font characters are gibberish in Mozilla 1.0 and Galeon 1.2.6 for Linux. (Galeon is basically the Mozilla rendering engine with a simpler UI wrapped around it.)  In Konqueror, the characters are blank spaces.
 
On all three browsers, the characters on the demo web page that are properly specified as HTML entities instead of using the Symbol font are correctly displayed.
 
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #2 on: Oct 22nd, 2002, 3:30am »
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Hmm OK, I guess I won't use these symbols too frequently then. Thanks for the info Tim.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #3 on: Nov 26th, 2002, 8:02pm »
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Quote:
So why can't you just type the HTML code for symbols that require ampersands? Well, YaBB will always parse your ampersands as ASCII text for security reasons: & is often used in HTML, and HTML is a security risk on any board. The cutting and pasting technique gets around this. If anyone has a better method please let me know.

 
Since I read Tim's post, I have avoided using the symbol font, but I did use it to show the standard symbols for infinite numbers recently. When I did, I discovered that if you use the & code (for instance & #165 for ASCII character 165), and hit the preview button, it will of course display the characters & #165 in the preview. But at the same time, it converted the & #165 to the correct ASCII character („) in the text entry window (in fact the space between the & and # i have shown here is to keep YaBB from doing it). Hitting preview a second time displayed the appropriate character () in the preview, and the post.
 
I have tried this with extended Unicodes, and it converts in the text to the correct character, but unfortunately, hitting preview the second time converts it to a symbol with code <256. So it does not get around the need for the symbol font.
« Last Edit: Nov 26th, 2002, 8:16pm by Icarus » IP Logged

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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #4 on: Nov 26th, 2002, 9:58pm »
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Actually, I don't see any reason why YaBB shouldn't let you put HTML character entities into posts by letting ampersands pass through. It would have to check for correct syntax (i.e., there has to be a semicolon to terminate the entity), but otherwise I don't see any danger to it. Or to avoid creating them where people don't want them, maybe the YaBB syntax should be something like [& #99], without the blank space.
 
By the way, the characters in Icarus's post don't show up as correct in my browser. One looks like a Y with one horizontal bar through it near the bottom, and one looks like a Y with two horizontal bars through it (that is, a Yen symbol). Sigh.
« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2002, 11:00pm by TimMann » IP Logged

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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #5 on: Nov 27th, 2002, 11:50am »
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The first one was the Y with horizontal bar. The second one is the same character in the symbol font, which should be the infinity symbol. I will continue to avoid the symbol font as a general rule. Even in the post I refered to, I only used it a few times to show the correct symbols to those whose browsers could handle it. I would definitely be interested if someone can figure out how to display symbols universally.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #6 on: Dec 15th, 2002, 12:31am »
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I'm not sure why ampersands are a hazard either, but that's what some supposed YaBB expert told me. Anyways, when finals are over and I've played a sufficient dosage of violent video games to relax my mind, I hope to implement an idea for a cute quasi-solution to this problem, along with solutions to a bunch of other problems I said I'd solve earlier this year. There's a board mod which allows adding more smiley faces. Rather than adding faces, I'll add GIFs of a few common math operators (e.g. Sigma for summations).
« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2002, 4:25am by william wu » IP Logged


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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #7 on: Dec 17th, 2002, 5:26pm »
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Excellent idea! I don't suppose you could change the code for the current smileys at the same time? The one I find particularly bothersome is Cool, which keeps showing up when the poster meant 8 ) and did not preview before posting!
 
Other symbols I would like to see (It's Christmas, so here's my list Wink): Capital PI for Product, pi, integral, infinity, element of, intersection. Some other small greek letters might also be nice, particularly theta, phi and sigma.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #8 on: Dec 17th, 2002, 6:12pm »
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Thanks for the list of helpful suggestions. I will work on it over winter break. Feel free to any other symbols you think are essential.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #9 on: Dec 18th, 2002, 11:23am »
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It'd be nice if there was a general formula-tag..
like if you could just do [formula=\frac{\sum_{i=0}^N a_i}{N}] and get
something like [edit2][/edit2]
 
I should be able to make a small script that can at least give the image based on some arguments.. (Using a systemcall of latex2html and retrieving the image(s), and of course dumping the image in a database, cause it'd be just silly to recreate it every time..)
 
[edit] http://tcw2.ppsw.rug.nl/~towr/PHP/formula.php
if you want to try/use my newly develloped formula-generator.
http://tcw2.ppsw.rug.nl/~towr/PHP/showsource?file=formula.php if you want to make fun of my awfull programmingchoices..[/edit]
 
 
« Last Edit: Dec 18th, 2002, 1:57pm by towr » IP Logged

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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #10 on: Dec 31st, 2002, 10:36am »
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Cool! Coincidentally I was just thinking about this problem and musing over how nice it would be to have a fully LaTeX compatible forum, and behold, someone already thought of something like that. The formula generator works very nicely. I tested it with a bunch of stuff. The central limit theorem:
 
Code:

    $X_1,X_2,... $ are iid RVs with common mean $\mu$ and var. $\sigma^2$.
    $Z_n = {{X_1 + ... + X_n - n\mu} \over {\sigma\sqrt{n}}}$. CDF
    of $Z_n$ converges to standard normal CDF $\Phi(z) = {1 \over
    \sqrt{2\pi} } \int_{-\infty}^z e^{-x^2 \over 2} dx$, in the
    sense that $\lim_{n \rightarrow \infty} P(Z_n \leq z) =
    \phi(z)$.

 
« Last Edit: Dec 31st, 2002, 10:38am by william wu » IP Logged


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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #11 on: Jan 1st, 2003, 7:08am »
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I should probably note that the script allready inserts \[ en \] for math display mode itself.  
As a result tabular and such may not work well, of course latex2html wouldn't make an image of it anyway (since html has tables). I'm kind of surprised you got the central limit theory out of it; I wouldn't expect it to yield just one image, with the normal text and so..
Also every formula that's entered will automaticly be shown on the example page.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #12 on: Jan 15th, 2003, 6:51pm »
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Towr, that formula generator is fantastic!  Except I when I tried to post to the message board with it (on the Easy "Composite Numbers" thread).  I could get the equation to display, but was unable to get a link to the image.  The path listed in my browser was to a temporary internet file on my hard drive.  I am using fairly old versions of browsers:  IE 4.0 and Netscape 4.5 did similar things.
 
Is there any chance of having a version that displays black on white in a high resolution gif?  That would be very useful for making high quality equations to paste into documents without having to install LaTeX on my computer.  I'd rather work in LaTeX but the corporate world not only requires MS Word, but doesn't let us install LaTeX on a company machine.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #13 on: Jan 15th, 2003, 11:46pm »
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Well, it should be possible to make.. I could probably add a few options.. The question is rather if I'm not too lazy to do it (and I have a lot of assignments this months)..  
I don't know how to change the resolution though (I'm just using what latex2html spits out).
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #14 on: Jan 21st, 2003, 12:37am »
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why would your company not let you install latex? that sounds so fascist.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #15 on: Jan 21st, 2003, 1:15am »
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on Dec 17th, 2002, 5:26pm, Icarus wrote:
Excellent idea! I don't suppose you could change the code for the current smileys at the same time? The one I find particularly bothersome is Cool, which keeps showing up when the poster meant 8 ) and did not preview before posting!
 
Other symbols I would like to see (It's Christmas, so here's my list Wink): Capital PI for Product, pi, integral, infinity, element of, intersection. Some other small greek letters might also be nice, particularly theta, phi and sigma.

 
I can easily change the Cool code, but then previous intended instances of the sunglasses-wearing dude will be damaged. I think I'll leave it as is for now.
 
I think the latex2html generator will be a better solution to our formula problems ...
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #16 on: Jan 23rd, 2003, 7:18pm »
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Towr - the generator is great, but when I used it, the first time I tried to generate the formula, I didn't have the syntax right, so the result was screwy. I corrected the syntax, and got a nice result, but to my chagrin, the mistaken formula is there on your examples page as well as the correct one!  
 
Could you put in an "accept" button to be pressed only when the formula is ready (which would then preserve it for all eternity), rather than when it is just being previewed?
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #17 on: Jan 23rd, 2003, 11:29pm »
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on Jan 23rd, 2003, 7:18pm, Icarus wrote:
Could you put in an "accept" button to be pressed only when the formula is ready (which would then preserve it for all eternity), rather than when it is just being previewed?
Well, I usually clean up the database every now and then. But yes, an accept button would make life easier.. Of course I'm lazy and stuff Wink
There's some other stuff I want to change as well, like when you submit a formula you can actually see it. And long formulas won't work because there's a limit on the number of characters in an url (if I used post instead of get creating bigger formulas will work, but retrieving them will need something else, like an md5 of the formula. But I also want to keep it backwards compatible.)  
In short I need to make a few changes to the program, and to the structure of the database itself (add an md5 identifier, perhaps time of creation etc).
 
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #18 on: Jan 27th, 2003, 5:26am »
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I've updated my formula generator, the old url will still work, and I've tried to keep all the valid formulas that are in use (but I might have missed some).
 
You can now retrieve images by formula, id or md5 of the formula, which also makes it possible to make larger formulas, since the latter two won't break the character limit of an url.
 
And when you generate an image you now have to save it before it gets entered in the database.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #19 on: Feb 24th, 2003, 5:31pm »
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Is there something wrong with towr's formula generator?  For the past few days equations have not been showing up.  That makes all old postings containing these formulas of little use.
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #20 on: Feb 24th, 2003, 11:47pm »
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well..
The database is currently not existing, everything went missing somehow.. I don't know what happened, and I hope our sysadmin can fix it (he's working on the server in question, I just don't know if he's fixing this problem as well).
 
If the database isn't up later today I'll remake it, unfortunately I don't have a complete backup. The only thing I do have as a cached version of the examples page, which shows 37 (-2 or so) formulas, which can be used to restore them. So unless I can get the last 5 or so formulas that where made since then, they're gone..
 
I'll try to make weekly backups once things are back..
 
(y'know, in a sense the old generator was better, since the first 17 formulas have their information in the url, and can be restored from what's here on the board, rather than relying on backups)
 
anyway, sorry for the inconvenience..
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #21 on: Feb 25th, 2003, 1:44am »
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everything upto februari 11th should be back now..
the rest is history I'm afraid..
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Re: [ FAQ : how to display mathematical operators?  
« Reply #22 on: Mar 17th, 2003, 6:36pm »
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As much as I like towr's formula generator, it would still be nice to have the "mathematical smileys".  Its a bit of a pain that if I want to make a quick reference to something (such as ), I have to go through this whole elaborate process to do it.
 
The mathematical smileys would be easier for simple stuff, and we could still pull out the formula generator when something more complex is desired.
 
And since everything is at one site (which if it goes down, no one's going to be looking at the threads anyway), it should be faster to load, and less likely to have problems.
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Re: [ FAQ : (updated) how to write math symbols? ]  
« Reply #23 on: Aug 18th, 2003, 4:14am »
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This FAQ has been updated to describe a newly implemented way to write math quickly and easily in this forum. See the newly modified post at the very top of this thread.
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2003, 4:17am by william wu » IP Logged


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Re: [ FAQ : (updated) how to write math symbols? ]  
« Reply #24 on: Aug 18th, 2003, 7:37am »
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on Oct 21st, 2002, 6:19pm, william wu wrote:
Input Method Method 4: towr's LaTeX2PNG generator
 
If you have some really hardcore LaTeX to write and the methods described above are insufficient (e.g. matrix equations or determinants), then use towr's formula generator at http://tcw2.ppsw.rug.nl/~towr/PHP/FORMULA/formula.php. This generates a PNG image of your LaTeX code. You can then reference the URL of that image by using the "img" tags in the message window. It is preferred that you only use this method if you have to, because those PNG images are not stored locally, and that remote database seems less reliable (since we apparently lost some data a while ago).  

That only happened once at the start of the year. And since then I occasionally actually create backups :p
Still, I found out there is another problem. Formulas that give really large images won't fit well in the (antiquated) database, at least I think that's the problem.
 
If you want you could have the source and try to run it on your own site. (Provided this server runs on unix or linux and has PHP)
 
Also, it should be possible to localize images when they're posted to this forum, but that would require some extra scripting.
« Last Edit: Aug 18th, 2003, 7:38am by towr » IP Logged

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