Resources for Posting of Homework Solutions

Several approaches are possible for electronically posting homework solutions on the world wide web. A number of these are supported either in the Stimson 206 lab, or on

A review of these issues is available at the

  • Swarthmore Forum.

    Viable approaches include:

    This runs on the main Department machine "math" (also known as "polygon"). For simple latex, it works quite nicely as indicated by this Latex2html Sample. Latex2html appears to behave badly on more complicated documents and because its author left his job, it receives only limited support externally. Basic usage is
    	latex2html filename.tex
    If you try to run this without running Open Windows, you may well need the command
    	setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH /usr/openwin/lib:/usr/lib
    so that supporting applications find the shared libraries they need. The manual is available online at Math.

    Postscript was created by Adobe and has been the choice for high end printing for some time. Web browsers are unable to directly display postscript, but public domain viewers of postscript exist for both Macs and PC's. However printing on less than high end printers will be difficult or impossible.

    This is a postscript based technology also created by Adobe. Free reader software exists (Download) and CIT at Cornell is promoting its use. Here is an Acrobat Sample. You may well have to configure your WWW browser to read it.

    Routines pdftex and pdflatex exist in many linux systems to produce acrobat format form tex or latex. These are located in the directories /usr/bin on lab Redhat 6.0 systems and /usr/local/teTeX/bin on at least some central department linux machines.

    To produce Acrobat format documents one can also use commerical software from Adobe. The Lab has one copy of Acrobat on the Macintosh Indian. This includes the application Acrobat Distiller (in the Acrobat Pro Folder) for changing postscript to pdf. Also from the Chooser, you may select the extension PDF Writer to print any normal Macintosh file in pdf Format. Acrobat Pro has been available in the Campus Store at an educational price of approximately $100. These extensions are also sometimes packaged with other Adobe products.

    Note that producing acrobat files from tex by first converting to postscript and then using distiller does not work well unless one uses (typically non-default) type 1 fonts. This is explained on the web page Adobe Support on Subtleties in Creating Pdf From Tex

    Further information on pdftex is available in the Math Department Computer FAQ section on pdf.

    Printing times for Acrobat files are typically shorter than postscript, and possible even on low end printers.

    Scanning in Handwritten Documents
    Some courses on campus are using this technique, for example BIOBM 332 at one time produced this page. Documents like this can be produced in a total of about 1 minute per page (half of that scanning time) on the lab's scanner. Here is a handwritten sample consuming a little less than 30K of space. Step by step instructions for producing such images are here. Note that using the scanner defaults will produce enormously bigger files and consume many minutes per page.

    Math Mode in HTML
    HTML 3.0 includes latex like specifications for mathematical symbols. When this is fully implemented, it should be much easier to straightforwardly produce nice mathematical expressions for the web. Below are some pointers on the emerging standard.

    EqnViewer is a new commercially produced Java applet based system for adding Mathematics to web pages. Free to non-commerical users.

    WebEQ is an experimental Java-based system which includes authoring tools. Not clear that it is yet intended for production use. Tags used are quite close to the math tags in HTML 3.0.

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    Created: August 22, 1996 Last Update: December 15, 1999