[tex4ht] why arxiv.org choose LaTeXML and not tex4ht for making HTML pages?

Deyan Ginev deyan.ginev at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 06:27:24 CET 2022

Hi Nasser,

The answer is quite pragmatic - we (the LaTeXML developer team) have
been using arXiv's freely available sources as part of our development
process for years.
(available at https://arxiv.org/help/bulk_data_s3 )

Rather than arXiv choosing latexml per se, they just chose to
incorporate a new service that had reasonable HTML previews for most
of their articles (ar5iv.org).
That is something I built, again based on the work we were doing
anyway as part of developing latexml.

There was never a conscious comparison between conversion tools by the
arXiv team itself -- they don't have the resources to invest in
solving this problem on their own.
So this is not a pronouncement on latexml being *better* than any other tool.
It is rather a sign of support that solving the problem is valuable.
And I guess a sign of support that my work so far is a stab in the
right direction.

I continue to hope that the different projects working on converting
TeX to HTML have healthy opportunities to learn from each other, and
productively share.
This is also why I am still subscribed to the tex4ht mailing list, and
try to keep track of what other conversion tools are up to, in the
classic spirit of free open source software.


On Sun, Feb 27, 2022 at 12:01 AM Nasser M. Abbasi <nma at 12000.org> wrote:
> arXiv.org is now starting to display papers in its archive in HTML.
> This is new feature just announced not long ago
> https://ar5iv.labs.arxiv.org/
> "Converted from TeX with LaTeXML."
> The have an example there also of a paper converted to HTML.
> I do not see anything in there that tex4ht can't do.
> Any thoughts if someone knows more about this, why they choose
> LaTeXML over tex4ht for making the HTML? The math in those pages
> seems to be rendered also by mathjax, which tex4ht supports.
> Are their technical reasons for this choice? What can LaTeXML do
> which tex4ht can not?
> I tried LaTeXML once, about 2 years ago, and thought tex4ht was
> better at the time. But I am sure it has improved since then.
> Just wondering, that is all. Not trying to start a tex->html conversion
> software war :)
> --Nasser

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