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October 31, 2007

Two Tech Topics

The STIX Fonts

After five years of blogging about the imminent release of the STIX fonts, they have finally been released in beta. I immediately rushed to install them. They are a huge improvement over Code2000/Code2001, which were previously required to complete the glyph coverage needed for rendering Math hereabouts.

The STIX fonts are not quite ready to replace the Mathematica/Computer Modern fonts for stretchy characters (parentheses, integral signs, etc). That will require internal changes to the Mozilla-based browsers. That, in turn, will require getting MathML working again in Mozilla Trunk. Since it’s been broken for over a year, don’t hold your breath.

arXiv API

A couple of years ago, the arXivs sprouted a Trackback interface. Now, they’ve developed an API to their search facility. Submit a query (via GET or POST), and receive the result as an Atom-formatted response.

This ties in rather nicely with one of my ambitions for Instiki: to add some bibliographic features. My plan was rather simple: store bibliographic entries in bibtex format (as retrieved from SPIRES or MathSciNet), and allow users to [cite:a_key] on their wiki pages. On the web, these would produce properly-formatted citations at the bottom of the wiki page. In the LaTeX export, it would produce \cite{a_key}, which would work with a bibtex file produced from the bibliographic database.

In such an environment, having arXiv search facilities integrated into the Instiki authoring environment would be a very nice addition1. And this is clearly the early days of the arXiv API. I’m pretty sure that more cool things are yet to come.

1 If you only care about citing the arXiv version of the paper, the <atom:entry> in the response provides all of the relevant bibliographic information. It’s only when you want to cite the published version, that the <arxiv:journal_ref> element needs some help. If the entry contains a <atom:link title="doi" rel="related"> DOI reference, that can sometimes be resolved (eventually) to a Bibtex entry for the published paper, but there are no guarantees.

Posted by distler at October 31, 2007 11:53 PM

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7 Comments & 0 Trackbacks

Re: Two Tech Topics

Yes, I also rushed to install them and then I wanted to see them in action. So I start only to find that it doesn’t work (in Linux).

Apparently, this is known. See here. The relevant bug reports seem to be here and here.

Posted by: Lord Sidious on November 1, 2007 2:39 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Font support

Not supporting Opentype .otf fonts seems like a pretty general “bug” to me, which ought to have been fixed long before the STIX fonts came out.

More curious, to me, was that I was able, on one machine, to completely eliminate the Code2000/Code2001 fonts, and still pass all of Jason Blevins’s tests. On my other machine, for reasons I have not been able to track down, I needed to keep Code2000 around, in order for all the arrows to appear, even though — when Code2000 was present — Mozilla was clearly using the glyphs from a different font.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on November 1, 2007 8:25 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Et tu?

“Atom,” not “ATOM.” It’s not an acronym – not even a backronym.

Posted by: Aristotle Pagaltzis on November 1, 2007 6:12 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Et tu?

A “slip of the shift key.” Fixed.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on November 1, 2007 8:27 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Two Tech Topics

Fine. Do you think that now someone in the ArXiv could review the bans imposed on some machines because their activities were interpretable -without a real path of appeal- as “data harvesting”? *.210.92.50, to name one.

Given that my own identity and my machines have worked nicely with the arxiv in the last years, I’d like to think that the arxiv ways have evolved, and that only the old banning and flagging files are still there without revision by lack of time, but letting some relic machines and ids under perpertual guantanamished state.

Posted by: Alejandro Rivero on November 1, 2007 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Two Tech Topics

Karl Tomlinson has accepted the challenge of getting MathML on its feet again for the Firefox 3 release, after a severe lack of maintenance. Good luck Karl!

Looks like you’re in luck

Posted by: Robin on November 3, 2007 8:10 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Two Tech Topics

It looks like the final version (version 1.0) of the STIX fonts was released recently. They are planning a version 1.2 with LaTeX support in 2011.

Posted by: Lord Sidious on May 31, 2010 5:38 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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