What I would like to do is write an application that a user can interact with through IE for submitting mathematical notations. What is the best method of doing this ? Will a plugin work or maybe a browser add-on or an active x control ? I am not familiar with any of these technolgies so please pardon my ignorance.

Thanks in advance

It depends on the users you have. Most sites accept some standardized syntax for input. For example, Daniweb lets you use LaTeX:
[tex]\int_{-\infty}^\infty f(t) e^{- i t \omega}\,dt[/tex]

If you needed to parse the expressions and do computation or manipulation with them, you might use a different, simpler syntax.

The other option is to have some interface for manipulating expressions. This kind of GUI could certainly be done using Javascript! That would be the best method. However, it would be easier for the programmers to let users input expressions in some simple form like S-expressions (* 2 (+ 3 (^ x 2))) and give them the ability to preview the results.

You could probably pull it off with some clever javascript. That solution would be more inline and portable than a mandatory plugin anyway.

The site would be ours another words we would host the site ourselves. The key thing that I am not sure about is how to allow users to view their mathematical notation within the confines of the browser ? In your example you have used a bitmap for the mathematical notation. How can this be done dynamically ?

The site would be ours another words we would host the site ourselves. The key thing that I am not sure about is how to allow users to view their mathematical notation within the confines of the browser ? In your example you have used a bitmap for the mathematical notation. How can this be done dynamically ?

You can write code that generates a bitmap. Using programming. And maybe an API that lets you write text and sprites onto an image. But Daniweb just uses LaTeX.

You don't need to make a bitmap though -- if you have a javascript UI, use javascript to reposition elements around in the shape of a formula.

Thanks Rashakil

Can Javascript handle just about any mathematical symbols ?

With Javascript and a few simple images for things like integral signs, you can arrange pieces into arbitrary shapes using div positioning. A lot of mathematical symbols are in the Unicode character set, maybe even integral signs.

Some browsers support MathML, so you might want to look into that.

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