Re: embedded components and equations

-> I'm with Design Science, the makers of MathType and the Equation Editor that
-> comes with Microsoft Office, so my interest is the editing of equations in
-> documents. I don't know what my eventual involvement with GNOME will be but
-> I am at least interested in making sure that some of the pitfalls and
-> problems that occur in this area are avoided.

	Welcome!  I happen to think this is an important area for Gnome.
To my (highly limited) knowledge, there is no standard component for
dealing with the layout of math formulas (anyone?).

	The new (still in the 'unstable' tree) rendering engine for Gnome
is called "Pango".  It renders Unicode text in many different scripts, and
several different directions.  It deals with the layout, wrapping, font
selection, etc.  It renders UTF-8 Unicode input. See

	If there is some kind of Unicode encoding for math formulas, then
that is where you'd want to contribute.

	Unix has a pretty rich history of text layout engines for
formatting equations.  I, personally, don't know anything about any of
them :).  But you may wish to research the existing mechanisms in LaTeX
and Postscript, and try to figure out how they'd apply in the Gnome

	Also, check out the work that has already been put into Gnumeric
and AbiWord, which is a spreadsheet and word processor (respectively).
Source is available...

-> missed it, someone please point me in the right direction. Also, if my
-> subject should be posted to a different list, let me know.

	I think this is the right list.

-> It seems to me that the problems with creating an equation editor component
-> are in the richness (or lack thereof) of the interface between it and the
-> document that contains it.

	The Pango engine is really for use with the GUI elements (called
"widgets" in the Unix world).  Individual applications might wish to have
a separate component for rendering math formulas.  Gnome uses CORBA in the
role of Microsoft's [D]COM, so you may want to see about coming up with a
CORBA interface to a port of your MS-Windows Office component.

	My advice is to take a look at what AbiWord and Gnumeric are
doing, and chat with those app authors.  They are two of the cutting-edge
office apps for Gnome, and would have the most input as to what they think
Gnome needs in a formula-rendering component.

Derek Simkowiak

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