Why Use SnuggleTeX?

There are a healthy number of tools which have functionality related to SnuggleTeX, which can make it hard to decide which tool bits fits your given requirements. Like all tools, SnuggleTeX has its relative strengths and weaknesses that you should consider:
  • SnuggleTeX was originally developed to support our Aardvark Content Management System in order to facilitate the conversion of fragments of LaTeX written by academics into XML tree branches. Another example of this type of use might be a kind of LaTeX-based Wiki, where SnuggleTeX could be plugged in and used at some point in the LaTeX to XHTML conversion pipeline.
  • SnuggleTeX is 100% Java with minimal (usually no) dependencies on other libraries so can be easily integrated into a Java software development project as a library for converting LaTeX to XML.
  • SnuggleTeX can also be used to generate “legacy” web pages where mathematical formulae are represented by HTML + CSS (if suitably simple) and/or images. (This uses the open-source JEuclid  library.)
  • SnuggleTeX was not intended to be a standalone tool that you could throw complete LaTeX documents at and have them converted into web pages. Other tools do this type of thing very well, such as TeX4ht .
  • SnuggleTeX supports a pragmatic subset of LaTeX but does not include anything that is particularly paper- or page-specific. It also currently doesn’t do cross-referencing or numbering as it could be argued that this is better done at a higher level. Other tools might therefore be a better fit for these types of requirements.
  • SnuggleTeX’s parser pretends that TeX never happened and may behave slightly differently to what experienced LaTeX users might expect. Alternatively, novice LaTeX users will not notice any difference and might actually find the error messages provided here more helpful!
  • SnuggleTeX’s web page outputs are highly configurable and make it relatively easy to create MathML-enabled pages that will work across a range of browser platforms. Hooks are available to customise the web page outputs to more exacting requirements; these require a knowledge of XSLT.
  • The new (and slightly experimental) features introduced in SnuggleTeX 1.1.0 for converting LaTeX to Content MathML and Maxima were added for the JISC MathAssess Project  in order to “understand” responses made by students to test questions. These features might have applications for similar projects.
  • A quick summary on the types of problem that SnuggleTeX (and related packages) attempt to address can be found in some slides on conversion of Mathematical Content .