Re: Creating 'smart' textbooks with mathematica?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg126304] Re: Creating 'smart' textbooks with mathematica?
- From: "djmpark" <djmpark at comcast.net>
- Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 04:39:55 -0400 (EDT)
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I apologize for not directly answering your question or providing a solution for your particular need but the title invites comment. (I suspect that the solution would not be as simple as imagined, once you get rid of non-relevant matches, insert proper pdf links, and translate the notebook back into the original pdf document. Of course, the person who wrote the original pdf could have provided links if he was in a position to do so and cared more about his readers.) Why don't people actually write smart textbooks with Mathematica? One maxim would be: Don't jerk the reader around! Bring the material that a reader needs to the point that he needs it. Once you move to another point in the document you lose sight of the original material. Even if your proposal succeeds it doesn't solve that problem. Wouldn't it be nice if the reader became a reader/user and with the document also had routines so he could start doing calculations and variations immediately? Wouldn't it be nice if he could just recall an equation to his place in the document? Or maybe the material could be displayed in a separate window on the side of the notebook. Wouldn't it be nice if basic axioms or theorems were available in a separate window where they could be constantly referred to, or better yet used, by pasting them into the document? Wouldn't it be nice if complex proofs or derivations could be presented as a unity in one place, where one could flip back and forth between various sections of the proof, or put several sections up simultaneously? Wouldn't it be nice if documents didn't have so many misprints, omissions, or errors? Wouldn't it be nice if the material in the document had been proofed by actual evaluation? Suppose you could produce such a document and also publish a hard copy version with the basic material without the nice usage features. It's possible to do all of this now. It's called a Mathematica Application and can be produced with Mathematica and Workbench. All one needs to read and use the document is Mathematica. It's not that expensive. Such documents are orders or magnitude better than conventional practice. It's the future. The time and effort spent in trying to provide Mathematica solutions to final non-Mathematica documents seems to me to be a poor use of time and resources. They all fall short in some way or introduce extra problems. David Park djmpark at comcast.net http://home.comcast.net/~djmpark/index.html From: luke wallace [mailto:lukewallace1990 at gmail.com] I have a technical PDF that is hard to read because you could be on pave 500 and it will tell you to "refer sections 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, and 188.8.131.52 for the rest of the information you need." So you have to jump around the book, finding these sections, going back and forth all day. If Mathematica could automatically create 'links' to jump to section headers throughout the whole book in one command for every section header, then this would revolutionize the functionality of technical e- books and make them ten times easier to understand. In all technical books, the actual "Section 1.1" for example is always different than the mere reference to "Section 1.1" because the real one will be in bold, italics, a bigger font size, etc no matter where it is actually randomly located. Going through one by one and creating interlinks would take forever, this one book alone I have has about 12,000 needed to be made. So, if Mathematica could simply link all font size 10 text to the font size 14 text of an identical string for all duplicate text strings found, it would do this for all 12,000 references automatically! Another way would be to link all non-bold font strings to their bold counterparts. Currently, Acrobat X, InDesign, FrameMaker, MS Word, and others can't do this based on merely font size or font style. Can anyone find a way to do this? By the way, I can easily convert the PDF to Mathematica since the PDF has editable text. So that isn't an obstacle.