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May 25, 2007

Going Hi-Tech

Posted by David Corfield

Perhaps we should be going more hi-tech at the Café. If you enjoy a bit of fancy PowerPoint, try out Chris Schommer-Pries’ slides for a talk ‘What is an N-category?’.

Chris is a student of Peter Teichner at Berkeley.

Posted at May 25, 2007 12:16 PM UTC

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Re: Going Hi-Tech

I’ve said this in private, but I’ll say it in public: I’d like to see this cafe operate as a wiki using MediaWiki software. This is far more flexible in terms of convenience and flexiblity of latex formatting, convenience of adding figures, access control, and so on.

For example, the principles could conviently add expository articles, or keep collaborative notes on interesting new papers which the other two could comment on; they could even write books or papers together onlone. For example, I can’t get anything out of John’s on-line seminar due to technical problems, but I would have no problem reading these if they were kept on a wiki! In addition, wikis promote internal linking which can be very valuable for everyone.

I propose that talk pages for these professional collaborations could be world writeable, as could the blog type pages. Actually, AFAIK there is nothing to prevent the Cafe from operating both a blog under WordPress (nicer skin than the current blog) plus a wiki. For example, if I wanted to add mathematical content to a blog post, I could point to a wiki page I had created.

Just some ideas, I don’t claim to have thought this through…

Posted by: Chris Hillman on May 27, 2007 5:07 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Going Hi-Tech

…MediaWiki software. This is far more flexible in terms of convenience and flexiblity of latex formatting …

I’ll bite.

Which features of texvc do you miss in itex2MML? Seriously … I’d like to add them.

… a blog under WordPress …

You have got to be kidding.

To pick but one deficiency, WordPress won’t even allow you to preview your comments. Which doesn’t bode well for heavily TeX-laden comments.

(I could continue with a long laundry list of WordPress’s inadequacies, but I’m not sure there’d be much point.)

On the other hand, I do share some of your enthusiasm for Wiki software, so much so that I created my own. Rather more light-weight than MediaWiki, but it does have a few features that no other Wiki can match.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on May 27, 2007 6:52 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Going Hi-Tech

I’m sorry if it’s not working for you, Chris. But I’m happy with the way things are, and I think Urs and John are too, and we’re very grateful to Jacques for what he’s provided us with. I don’t see why you can’t read John’s on-line seminar - the notes are just pdf files.

I’ve read other blogs talking about setting up spaces for joint research, but have yet to see anything to convince me of the benefits of changing.

Posted by: David Corfield on May 27, 2007 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Going Hi-Tech

I like it the way it is, too. The n-Category Café is mainly a bunch of conversations, not a series of expository articles (which would be a bit strange in a café) and I think the format suits that very well. It’s not technically perfect, but I’d rather see progressive adjustments and enhancements than a wholesale change of technology.

Posted by: Tim Silverman on May 27, 2007 5:51 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Going Hi-Tech

huh? ~ you have to be joking!~ ppt is as b.o.r.i.n.g as batsh..t ~ stop drip feeding us ~ use pdf or ps ~ like the rest of the thinking world!!

Posted by: maaslabs on May 27, 2007 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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