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The Problem:

How can mathemtical formulas be displayed in browsers? Existing solutions are mainly based on the idea of converting them into images and embed them into the site. The drawback of this solution is that it is a huge waste of bandwidth, considering the fact, that a notation in mathML or LaTeX would require only a few bytes.

The Solution:

A Java-applet will be implemented, making it possible to display a formula in any java-compatible browser. The formula to be visualized is loaded as a parameter, either in LaTeX- or mathML-notation. The program thereafter parses the formula to create a structure, easy to be displayed in a browser. Since there is no fit implementation for doing this, the visualization will be implemented in a proof-of-concept-manner.


Take this simple formula:
It's a picture of a formula for solving quadratic equations. This picture has a size of 2217 bytes. It is also the result of feeding less than 30 characters into mathematica. Compared to the actual information it provides that makes an unnecessary transmision of 98.6%.
Of course 3kb is not very much considering todays quasi-standards in internet connectionspeed. But lets assume there is a docent at a university who wants to spread the script for his lecture on a mathematical topic using the internet. Assuming further, that there are 30 students participating and that the script has about 100 pages, each containing 5 formulas, this results in a waste of bandwidth of well over 31mb. Furthermore there may be minor changes or updates in the script, all requiring the students to download it again.
This leads us to another serious drawback of this method: what if the docent in our example decides to change something concerning the formulas? He probably would have to type them into his visualization-program again, export them again, and so on. Wouldn't it be a lot easier to have the formula kept in a kind of source-code, enabling him to change a few characters there and have his script automatically updated?
PAVIAN comes into play right here: Place a Java-applet into your webspace, include the formula in mathML or LaTeX into your website, presto: it looks exactly as if you were using pictures, but you saved a good deal of bandwidth and possibly yourself a lot of trouble maintaining your site.

CLICK HERE for a DEMO of the current release


- [OSP] Milestone2 (pdf)
- [OSP] Milestone2-descriptions (txt)
- [OSP] Milestone3 (pdf)
- [OSP] Milestone4 (pdf)

Note: [OSP] indicates that the document is only relevant for participants of OSP

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