14 Jun 2011

Lord of the Rings project to become a web site

As I have written previously, I created an annotated list of excerpts from The Lord of the Rings to encapsulate the differences in the plot (and theme) from the Peter Jackson films. I was unhappy with the tabular format of a Google spreadsheet though, and so I cast around for other ways to present this information. My requirements were

  1. Each excerpt should have its own page so I could write expanded versions of my thoughts.
  2. There should be a feature to assign structured metadata to each post so I could assign fields like “page number in edition X”, “novel name”, “chapter” and so on.
  3. Each page should support user comments.
  4. There should be a one-page view that is condensed and tabular like the spreadsheet.
  5. There should be a robust category feature so I could group things in various ways.

I contemplated using a CMS and even installed a few. But at the end of the day I decided to use WordPress, even though it required some research to solve items 2 and 4. Also, WordPress has a numeric paradigm for linking to posts (each post has a unique number starting from 1), and I didn’t like that because it makes the excerpts look sequential. Although they are sequential in a sense (inside the novels) if I ever were to insert a new excerpt between two existing ones, it would have a nonsequential post ID.

I found solutions to all of this, but haven’t fully implemented everything yet. The results will go up at http://lotr.langmead.info.

14 Jun 2011

Mathematics with MathJax

This is a post to test the functionality of MathJax. Just put a simple script tag in your header, pointing to a global copy of mathjax.js distributed via Amazon’s CloudFront content distribution network. After that, you can enter LaTeX or MathML directly in your posts and MathJax will render it into beautiful equations. Here is a favorite (from my dissertation):

\[ \Pi \wedge^{2}_{+}TX\otimes\wedge^{2}_{+}T^{*}X \hookrightarrow
\Pi\wedge^{2}_{+}TX\otimes T^{*}X\otimes T^{*}X \]