[Product-Developers] LaTeX to XHTML portal transform for Plone

joshua.r.smith joshua.r.smith at gmail.com
Thu Mar 6 16:54:33 UTC 2008

My friend and I are working on a project for which Plone is well  
suited. The project is called kniki (knowledge + wiki) and is  
currently located at http://kniki.org; it is an electronic archive of  
problems and solutions in the hard sciences, engineering, and  
mathematics. We are currently using MediaWiki, but a full scale CMS  
like Plone is ultimately what we will need for the success of this  
project. I think I need a portal transform but I'm new to Plone, so I  
need some advice.

Here's my issue: by the nature of kniki, it is best if all of the  
documents are written in LaTeX because of the amount of mathematical  
items required. Therefore, I would like to be able to input content  
with LaTeX format, then have Plone render the document as XHTML. There  
are several projects which convert LaTeX to XHTML, and I think the one  
best suited for this task is plasTeX (http:// 
plastex.sourceforge.net/). I've been hacking on python for a few  
months and I'm comfortable with it, but the problem is that I'm new to  
Plone and Zope and I don't really know where to start. Some people at  
my local Python/Plone/Zope users' group have suggested that I read  
"Web Component Development With Zope 3" (Weitershausen) and  
"Professional Plone Development" (Aspeli). I've picked up and read  
copies of both. Also, one guy from the users' group suggested I hack  
around in portal transforms to see if I can get something to work. I'm  
starting to become more familiar with Plone and Zope, but I'm still in  
the noob stage. I've managed to install Plone 3.0.6 on my Ubuntu box  
(Ubuntu Server 7.10), and I can connect to it remotely using Apache as  
the webserver (2.2.4-3ubuntu0.1).

It would be really helpful if anyone has a suggestion on how I can get  
started on this project. Like I said, I think I need a portal  
transform, but maybe there is a better way to accomplish this goal.  
Its even possible that something that does what I need already exists,  
and I haven't found it (I've looked). Any help you can give is greatly  

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