Back issues, 2

Not so long ago, I changed the style of this blog to what WordPress call “Twenty ten”.

In most respects I am satisfied with the change. But there are several small but irritating problems. I have found fixes for two of them, and spend the odd half hour going over earlier posts implementing these.

  • The <blockquote> tag typesets its contents in italics. I often use it for statements containing mathematical formulae, and these are switched from italic to roman. Jon Awbrey supplied me with the fix for this: I now use <p style="margin-left:30px;"> instead.
  • To put text beside a picture, I used two-column tables, which used to work fine. But the new style aligns pictures at the bottom, so the text is forced down below the picture. After several failed experiments, I found the fix on some webpage somewhere. The entry containing the picture should begin <td style="vertical-align:top;">. (I haven’t found out yet how to remove the borders round the tables, though. Default HTML only puts a border if you ask for one.)

Something I read suggests that these are in-line versions of CSS commands, which are permitted by WordPress. I never mastered CSS.

As to the ongoing debate about mathematics in a blog post (Dima recently commented on the fact that WordPress doesn’t allow MathJax), my view remains that I prefer to do the maths in HTML if possible, since then there is no sudden discontinuity in typeface. A mathematical formula is part of a sentence and I prefer to see it as such. Of course there is only so much that you can do.

Another problem I haven’t solved is that tables in this style seem to have a fixed minimum column width which I haven’t been able to change. So tables with many narrow columns look stupid and stick out into the margin. Any ideas?

About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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9 Responses to Back issues, 2

  1. Dima says:

    MathJax is meant to be an “smooth” extension of html, supporting things like MathML and other font-based rendering, and often using nice fonts in places where uses graphics.

    E.g. here is a blogger post using MathJax:
    At least in my browser it looks really good, much better than any maths-heavy (free — if you pay you can tell use MathJax on your blog) post.

  2. Jon Awbrey says:

    I put the code from Work 2 on this page.
    (Please feel free to delete the previous 3 comments.)

  3. Jon Awbrey says:

    The [div style=”margin-left:30px;”] tag is also handy for blockquotes of more than one paragraph.

  4. Jon Awbrey says:

    The following tag would normally force invisible borders on a table:

    <table border="0" style="border-width:0">

    But WordPress still leaves a light border line on top of each cell, so you have to add the following parameter to each table datum:

    <td style="border-top:1px solid white">

  5. Jon Awbrey says:

    WordPress supports the \LaTeX tabular format. Here is a small example:

    \begin{tabular}{|c||*{11}{c}|} \multicolumn{12}{c}{Table 1. Elementary Relatives for the ``Divisor Of" Relation} \\[4pt] \hline \(i|j\)&1&2&3&4&5&6&7&8&9&10&\ldots \\ \hline\hline 1&1:1&1:2&1:3&1:4&1:5&1:6&1:7&1:8&1:9&1:10&\dots \\ 2&&2:2&&2:4&&2:6&&2:8&&2:10&\dots \\ 3&&&3:3&&&3:6&&&3:9&&\dots \\ 4&&&&4:4&&&&4:8&&&\dots \\ 5&&&&&5:5&&&&&5:10&\dots \\ 6&&&&&&6:6&&&&&\dots \\ 7&&&&&&&7:7&&&&\dots \\ 8&&&&&&&&8:8&&&\dots \\ 9&&&&&&&&&9:9&&\dots \\ 10&&&&&&&&&&10:10&\dots \\ \ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots& \ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots&\ldots \\ \hline \end{tabular}

    • Jon Awbrey says:

      WordPress has been changing the way it handles LaTeX tables over the last few months, doing away with the \(…\) escape from text to math mode in the Tabular format but adding some of Tabular’s features to the Array and Matrix formats to make up for it. That’s a good thing, but it red-&-yellow shifted all my old Tabulars to error messages, as you see above. At any rate, you can see examples of reworked tables here.

  6. Jon Awbrey says:

    I have given up trying to construct respectable tables in WordPress. I now do them first in the customary mix of HTML and Wiki formats on a MediaWiki site like Sloane’s OEIS Wiki, then use FireFox’s nifty screenshot tool to capture a PNG, upload that into my WordPress media library, then paste the image into my blog post from there. It’s a lot easier than it sounds once you get used to the routine. Here’s a user work page on the OEIS Wiki where you can see examples of the Wiki and PNG versions together.

    🙞 User:Jon Awbrey/Figures and Tables 7

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