Re: More MetaPost text positioning....

I'll ask on the TeX newsgroup if there is a LaTeX distribution that is
cross-platform & appropriate for embedded applications like this.

Well, I asked on the comp.text.tex newsgroup under the subject "Embedded
portable LaTeX package".  I got a few replies.

The gist of it is that no, there isn't a small, portable, minimalist LaTeX

But, most of them didn't think that hooking into whatever LaTeX distribution
was already installed would be very difficult.  Basically, all you really
need is a path to a few key executables.  Those programs work pretty much
the same no matter the distribution.

Of course, in their LaTeX-centric point of view.  They couldn't imagine that
non-LaTeX users would want to use this kind of feature.  So, they generally
assume that everyone who wants to use the feature would already have LaTeX
installed and be LaTeX-literate.  I'm not convinced on those points.

I didn't look into MathML or other possibilities.

However, I don't think it would be too bad to make this happen.  It isn't
easy either, but at least being cross-platform doesn't look like it'll make
the problem 3x more difficult.  Of course, the proof is in the pudding.

There are a few different stages that development could naturally progress.
This is good, you don't have to have it all at once.

To start with, the main Dia modifications would need to be made.

1) Make text entry have a flag for LaTeX text.
2) Process the LaTeX into a suitable resolution PNG, grab the bounding box
information, & show it on screen.
3) Infrastructure to keep track of the PNG files while running.  Do these
get stored in the file, or re-created when you re-run LaTeX?
4) Initial export support is just through an embedded PNG.

The export stuff can come later and in stages...

1) pstricks and MetaPost will be really easy.  Just throw the LaTeX commands
in & let LaTeX render it natively.
2) bitmap file formats are likewise easy.  Just render the LaTeX at the
desired resolution & throw it in.
3) eps and pdf are pretty easy.  Run LaTeX to output a *.dvi & convert that
to an *.eps or *.pdf.  These are very robust and reliable.
4) svg and wmf are a little tougher.  Process is as above, but I don't have
as much experience with the behavior of the conversions.

Repeated embedding of fonts could cause things to grow really large, I don't
have any idea how that will work out.

Obviously this isn't appropriate for any near-term version of Dia.  Long
term, it doesn't look impossible.  And it will lead to very pretty

I won't have time to play with this for the next couple months.  Of course,
you're busy releasing a stable version of Dia.

After that, I'll be able to help with testing and ideas.  Unfortunately, I
won't be able to do development.

Hope this helps,


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