[tex-live] For Karl Berry and TeX Live developers: Recommendation That LaTeX2HTML Be Included in TeX Live in a Mutually Working Way

Pat Somerville l_pat_s at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 26 19:22:05 CEST 2013

Thanks for kindly taking some time to write to me, Karl Berry.  First I have 
a few corrections and one addition to my previous electronic- (e-) mail 
letter in this "chain" of e-mail letters.


1) Change "noncommensurate" or "non-commensurate" to "incompatible" and 
"commensurate" to "compatible."

2) I misquoted Bob Tennent's writing. on 
http://www.tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2011-November/030604.html on the 
Internet.  In that quotation of mine I should have had the word "unlikely," 
rather than "likely."  So the correct quotation of Bob Tennent's writing 
should be "Installation of latex2html-2008 from the tarball at CTAN" (the 
Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) "does avoid the dependency issues and 
it's unlikely to need updating."

Sorry, I made those errors.

An addition concerning the use of the program TeX4ht:

When using TeX4ht gratefully now I do have a way which works to input a 
vertical line segment with a length about equal to the height of the stacked 
mathematical symbols to the left of it.  Below is sample of its use in a 
.tex file containing LaTeX code in equation mode:

y=\left.\dfrac{df}{dx}\right |_{x=0}

.  In the .html output file produced by the TeX4ht command of the form 
"htlatex MyFile.tex", with a file with a name of the form MyFile.tex 
including such LaTeX code, gratefully the length of the "|" was about equal 
to the height of df/dx with a horizontal fraction line.

On the Internet I read of the use of \left.   .....\right. I tried it with 
LaTeX code close to "\dfrac{df(x)}{dx}\left.\right |" without success in the 
corresponding output, .html file produced by TeX4ht.  So it appears that 
placing the LaTeX code for the tall mathematical expression df/dx between 
\left. and \right apparently "acclimates" TeX4ht to the mathematical 
"environment" so that it adjusts the height of the "|" to match the height 
of "df/dx", with a horizontal fraction line, which precedes the "|". 
Assuming that's how TeX4ht works in this situation, that's just what I want 
to occur in it!

I have not used TeX4ht nearly as much as I have used the combination of the 
programs LaTeX and LaTeX2HTML.  But so far "|" not being tall enough for me 
in situations like the one I mention here has been the only problem I have 
personally encountered when using TeX4ht myself, which gratefully now has a 
solution.  In the "thread" at 
the poster with the user name "flymail" posted a solution to the only 
problem he encountered using TeX4ht.  It was to change the LaTeX code of I 
suppose the the general form \SomeCommand{TextHere} into 
{\SomeCommand{TextHere}} to work well with TeX4ht.  Given that solution 
gratefully "flymail" and I have ways to avoid all of the errors he and I 
have so far encountered when executing the program TeX4ht on a .tex file! 
So according to my limited experience added to "flyman's" experience with 
TeX4ht these solutions so far make TeX4ht work as well as the combination of 
the computer programs LaTeX and LaTeX2HTML for producing a .html file 
containing mathematical symbols, once these codes have been properly 
installed [for example, for LaTeX2HTML from a .tgz downloaded from the 
Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) via commands like "tar xvzf 
latex2html-2012.tgz", "./configure --prefix=/usr", "make", and "make 
install"), their software requirements have been met, and they generally can 
be executed without major problems.

I have been thinking about what you wrote, Karl, namely, "But as far as I 
know it cannot be included in TeX Live at present because it is not 
'self-locating', that is, its data files and sub-modules are expected to be 
found in a certain place on the system determined at compilation time."  I 
suppose that in general there may be two, important, basic locations---the 
directory in which LaTeX2HTML would be included in TeX Live and the 
directory in which LaTeX2HTML would be installed by, say by TeX Live's 
program tlmgr, onto the hard-disk drive of an end user of the program 
LaTeX2HTML.  I would guess that TeX Live developers could control both of 
those directory locations for LaTeX2HTML, the first one in the "packaging" 
of LaTeX2HTML within TeX Live and the second one by possibly modifying TeX 
Live's computer program "tlmgr" to insure the proper directory location for 
LaTeX2HTML.  Perhaps some things might need to be "stripped" out of 
LaTeX2HTML software in order to let TeX Live's tlmgr be the "director" of a 
LaTeX2HTML installation without conflicts with the code for installing 
LaTeX2HTML that may be included in a download of LaTeX2HTML software, for 
example in its possible files "configure" and/or "Makefile," files I think I 
noticed after unpacking latex2html-2012.tgz.  And if such "stripping" of the 
LaTeX2HTML code would be necessary, it could be good for TeX Live to have 
Professor Ross Moore's knowledgeable help or advice in doing so.  In 
addition, my openSUSE-12.3 distribution of the Linux operating has its own 
"director" for installing programs within it called Yet another Software 
Tool 2 (YaST2); and I think one or more other distributions of the Linux 
operating system may use some programs called "yum" and/or "apt-get" for 
installing software packages from I suppose software repositories on the 
Internet.  Maybe software installation systems like YaST2, "yum", and/or 
"apt-get" might need to "act" like American football quarterbacks and, in a 
manner of writing, "hand the ball off" to TeX Live to let TeX Live be the 
"director" in installing its own software packages.  If this is done, then 
YaST2, yum, and apt-get might require some modifications for installing TeX 
Live packages.  Or when attempting to install computer programs they may 
list, but which are contained within TeX Live, perhaps YaST2, yum, and/or 
apt-get could simply inform the user, "Since you have TeX Live installed on 
your computer's hard-disk drive, please install this computer program using 
the TeX Live installer program 'tlmgr' via the command 'tlmgr ............'"

Karl Berry also wrote with some uncertainty: "I also have the impression 
that the output it" (LaTeX2HTML) "generates may require web server 
configuration changes to work well (/icons/ and the like)."  So far I have 
sent the .html and associated, .png (Portable Network Graphics) output files 
I have generated using the combination of computer programs LaTeX and 
LaTeX2HTML to people via electronic mail, including as attached files, 
rather than posted such .html files as Web pages on the Internet.  Therefore 
I have not encountered any such possible problems myself.  But if they do 
exist when attempting to post .html files produced by the combination of 
LaTeX and LaTeX2HTML on the Internet, then perhaps LaTeX2HTML code could be 
modified by an appropriate person to eliminate such problems.  I wonder if 
such modifications would involve making new directory assignments for files 
on the Web-server computer.  Again I would suggest "stripping" LaTeX2HTML of 
any such code and making TeX Live the "director" in making the directory 
assignments on the server computer with the knowledgeable help or advice of 
Professor Ross Moore.

It could be convenient to make TeX Live and/or its program tlmgr the 
"director" for installing the computer programs, such as LaTeX2HTML, that in 
the future TeX Live could hopefully contain.  Then when possible changes are 
made in TeX Live, TeX Live developers could be aware that corresponding 
changes may be required in, say in TeX Live's tlmgr to have tlmgr install 
LaTeX2HTML.  Or perhaps the matters could be more automatic than this.  For 
example suppose the top-level directory in TeX Live code would be called 
TopDirect, but might sometimes change from one year to another one.  The TeX 
Live code might imaginably be set up so that an assignment statement like 
TopDirect=....... would automatically change the directory into which 
LaTeX2HTML code would be installed.

From: "Karl Berry" <karl at freefriends.org>
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2013 6:21 PM
To: <l_pat_s at hotmail.com>
Cc: <tex-live at tug.org>
Subject: Re: [tex-live] For Karl Berry and TeX Live developers: 
Recommendation That LaTeX2HTML Be Included in TeX Live in a Mutually Working 

> Hi Pat,
> Thanks for your message.  No question that latex2html is a fine tool.
> But as far as I know it cannot be included in TeX Live at present
> because it is not "self-locating", that is, its data files and
> sub-modules are expected to be found in a certain place on the system
> determined at compilation time.  I also have the impression that the
> output it generates may require web server configuration changes to work
> well (/icons/ and the like).  I admit I'm not completely sure of either
> of those points.
> Regarding the license, as far as I know latex2html has been distributed
> under the GNU GPL for some years, and the licence.tex you found is
> obsolete (thankfully).  I'll write Ross about that now.
> Regarding tex4ht's lack of a "tall vertical bar", I'll consult with
> my colleague CVR, who has been continuing to fix bugs in tex4ht.
> Best,
> Karl

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