I'm really interested right now in getting a LaTeX interpreting Jabber client. Why you might ask? Well, because I and all of my peers like instant messenging. It lets us stay out of the dismal northwestern Ohio cold. Sometimes, we just need help and we don't have the time to set up a meeting somewhere.
The problem is, we're math and physics majors. Math/science majors in general have a hard time communicating ideas using basic text. By using LaTeX , we simply our lives. We no longer need to decipher "bastard notation" created on the fly; we just use the LaTeX and output a pdf or other image file and send it to the other person.
So one might say "Why an instant messenging client? Why not just email image files to one another?"
That's easy enough to answer. Often, we just need to send back and forth just simple equations or symbols. It just would not be worth the time to open a text editor, create the image and then attach it to an email.
"Well why not just type out the LaTeX and let the other person copy it over to a text file and use the LaTeX tools to make their own image file?"
Because its a waste of time and distracts the user from understanding the information being passed. Why not put together a simple Jabber client that automatically interprets LaTeX into a nice and easy image file right there in the chat? With a group chat, we could have our own recitation without having to venture into the horrible Bowling Green weather or breaking our "flow" by packing up our calculators and notebooks and trundling off somewhere.
I'm trying to put together a client using the code from dizzyd
but it depends on another set of code called PEAK which a) I don't know and b) is one more dependency that I dont want to have. The code used by Maniac depends on PEAK while dizzyd's is just a very simplistic client that is just a proof-of-concept.
At this point, it's obvious I want to use Python and Twisted. So far, haven't found any other bits of code.. wait.. no found some at dizzyd's site.. looks like theres links to other libraries using Twisted's Jabber protocol code. Awesome.. looking into it.
Update: Some clarifications.