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Raw LATEX input
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Date opened
Friday, 28 July 2006
Is there any way to input raw LATEX directly so that it gets pdf’ed straight from the code? I mean, a full LATEX document with preamble, etc.

I don’t seem to find this anywere and would be really usefull to collaborative writing of scientific papers, so that we can work straight over the LATEX source.

Ok, I will clarify what I mean:

  1. You mark a certain page as raw LATEX (say eg (:rawlatex:) or something).
  2. You write there just your complete LATEX source, attaching corresponding images, .bib files, etc.
  3. You save it, and what you get is what you wrote, verbatim, with no processing at all. Perhaps you could add a warning at the top of the page saying that it is a pure LATEX page, put the code in a box, or something similar…).
  4. Now, if you ask for the pdf, then you will get the processed document. In this case the processor should just jump over the wiki-to-latex part straigth to pdflatex or latex all the page content. Peharps, in case of latex processing errors, you could get back the log file instead.

This would be useful in order to write collaborative scientific papers in LATEX complete with bibliography, styles, images, etc. with the added wiki advantages: everybody working over the same document, changes notifications, history of the changes, revert changes, etc. etc. You can see a similar example of what I say at OpenWetWare using the mediawki LatexDoc extension.

Does this make more sense? Inigo? 23 August 2006, at 10:46 PM

Proposed solution
At the moment, raw LATEX is restricted to equations, using the Latexrender plug-in. For example, see latex equations. Wikipublisher turns the equation into an image for browser display and processes it as regular LATEX markup for pdf. If one supports arbitrary raw LATEX input, it is not clear how to present this to the reader viewing the page through a Web browser.

One option is to use wiki markup, then apply final edits to the generated LATEX; see issue 00082. Why would one want to use LATEX markup instead of wiki markup? Setting aside for the moment possible security issues with allowing LATEX markup, this could, in principle, be done.

It may also be possible to create a plug-in that recognises and stores LATEX markup, but translates it into the corresponding wiki markup before the page is delivered to a browser. This would allow the page to display as HTML, giving a WYSIWYM-style editing experience. Viewing the LATEX as HTML has obvious productivity and usability benefits.

This would be an interesting and significant R&D project, so requires a major investment of time and money to carry out. If funding is available, the first step would be to create a simple proof of concept.
Date closed

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