Using LaTeX code with Instant Messengers
Tags: freebsd, software, musings
Explaining maths via Internet is a lot easier if you are able to display formulas correctly, instead of typing things like:
e^(x + i*y) = e^(x)*(cos(y) + i*sin(y))
Surprisingly, this problem is not quite solved. During my searches I found found the TeXIM Plugin, which should work with Gaim and amsn, thus allowing both Windows, MacOS, Linux and FreeBSD users to chat.
I, however, tried gaim-latex. The version in the ports of FreeBSD didn’t work, so I downloaded the release version (0.3) at sourceforge and compiled it (you have to use
gmake instead of the standard FreeBSD
make). The resulting binary
LaTeX.so is to be copied to
~/.gaim/plugins. Then Gaim has to be restarted and told to use this plugin - done.
There are also a number of other plugins out there, for example a MathMode plugin for Miranda (an ICQ client for Windows). But they don’t work like gaim-latex or Kopete’s plugin: Instead of typing
$$ my Tex code $$ you have to use strings like
[MathMode] [/MathMode] or something like that. There is definitely a need for some standards - or aren’t there mathematicians longing for LaTeX conversations (please note the spelling!)?