Authors, Developers, Editors, Users and Appreciators of ActiveMath

Welcome To

We are a community forum, inviting exchanges between developers, authors, editors, users and appreciators of ActiveMath, an interactive and user adaptive learning environment, which makes contents available and invites new contents to be created and shared.

People on our website post questions to the forum, chat, or blog. The discussion and the content are about how to use ActiveMath and its authoring tools.
Happy reading and happy contribution.

Authoring Review Workflow

This document describes a workflow for the ActiveMath content to be developed collaboratively where anyone author can be a content-encoder, technical-reviewer, content-reviewer, or pedagogical reviewer. The intent is to assemble a workflow and a typical set of review questions which, when positively answered, provide some quality assurance for the deployment of the learning content.

Task inst-8 Adjust port

This task is an advanced task that is necessary when you encounter errors in the console (logs/activemath.log) indicating that the port 8080 or 8005 is already in use. It describes how to change the ports of the tomcat.

Task: How to import a new CD

First, download the .ocd file you need from the OpenMath webpage.
This paper guides you through the process of finding symbols you are looking for, with the download of a CD from OpenMath being the last resort. If you really need to import a new CD, please let us know.

jEditOQMath release 2010-09-22: add a language more luxury

This release is a stabilization of the previous big move.

  • but first a cherry on the cake: Add-a-language now uses the services of automatic translations (which does mess up things a bit) and also avoids removing the entity-references such as $.
  • QMath binary for Mac OS X-PPC is now in (10.4).
  • sadly I had to remove the accented file-names of the spanish QMath contexts (Matematicás, etc); it created issues in the build process of jEditOQMath and more importantly it failed to expand on Windows. This has not been much requested.

jEditOQMath release 2010-09-17: new QMath, and a few zappers

The latest jEditOQMath is uploaded to the developer preview and the download area.

It includes a brand new QMath which is also compiled for less platform: no ppc anymore (please help if you have one at hand with 10.4 or so), and only generic linuxes. This new QMath is a bit faster and is hopefully a lot more explicit for the error messages, it is the release candidate 1 of QMath.

Please give me feedback if works or doesn’t on your platform!

more refactorings:

  • Zap duplicates is introduced, and zap gremlins characters…
  • add-a-language is a a bit better now (no x-all, …)

ActiveMath-SVN rev 48

This release approaches the math-bridge service release.

It can be previewed on

Among others, changes include:

  • like/dislike buttons
  • surveys for math-bridge evaluations
  • tutor books
  • exercise steps logging is correct again

Find it from ActiveMath-svn.

Copy and paste with MathJax... it shouldn't be still source!

I just met Copy and Paste Math|MathJax which is very interesting but really:

it shouldn’t stay so!

Copy-and-paste MathML should happen as soon as you invoke the copy command after having selected (part of) the formula.

Hopefully, MathJax will consider implementing that part as well.

In this video, I find the paste phase pathetic: one really needs correct media-designation in the clipboard so that such is only needed when you have special desires. That one is a normal desire.

ActiveMath-svn revision 36: towards 1.1

Quite a few polishes in: - Includes input-editor enhancements; Drag-and-drop of formulæ now works again. - Dutch and French internationalization polishes - Groups should be mapped from Moodle courses.

And a lot more, see Jira issue list towards 1.1.

Revision 36 should come to all authors.

Task inst-7: create the first admin users

This task describes how to manage first users in ActiveMath.

Copy to Clipboard - ambush and abuse by javascript

A fascinating discussion has been started by Tim Berners-Lee on the TAG mailing list, here’s the pointer to the archive:

it is based on a blog post by John Gruber, Tynt, the Copy/Paste jerks which is also fascinating as a rebellion.

jEditOQMath video

An introduction video of jEditOQMath used to author ActiveMath content can be seen here:

(379 Mb, MOV file, plays in Quicktime Player and VLC).

ActiveMath-SVN update: collection metadata, author-menus, ...

I’ve just brought the trunk of ActiveMath, as can be seen on devdemo, on the ActiveMath-SVN-stable. This brings a large amount of fixes and features:

  • polished MBase reload, most of the issues that were reported are solved
  • content-collection-based menus when you are an author
  • hidden user-model per default (no more confusing bullets, can be changed in view options)
  • enhanced cache invalidation: you can now reload and request the objectives selection menu again
  • bookmarkable course-generation requests (can be given to learners for example)

Open-content topographic maps, something real is here

The need is extreeeeemely common: you want a map of some region to be included in the next flyer, in your web page, in your learning material. The map should be of good quality, be realistic, and certainly must contain your own annotations. How can you do?

Until yesterday I only knew the answers such as the Google-Maps-Embeddings: very limited annotations, extremely constrained licenses (no flyer for example), pretty slow, … but now I discovered OpenStreetMap.

Dots in matrices

Hi everyone,

I’m actually authoring content about matrices and have some problems with dots in a matrix-representation like this. So, until yet, I only know that a solution to the horizontal “…” exists, but what’s about the diagonal and vertical dots? How could I put them in a $Matrix(MR....$ formula?

Centering Tables

Hi together,

I’m trying to get some nice presentation for a equation which includes a matrix or a column-vector. Hence I’ve build a table (<table>-Tag) with 3 columns (right side and left side of the equation & the equation symbol).
So now the whole equation is in one row, which is already fine, but how can I center my equation respectively the Table?
I’ve tried

<table style="text-align:center">,

Generalized Metadata Inheritance now running in ActiveMath

A nifty feature has just emerged on daily activemath builds and jEditOQMath: advanced metadata inheritance. Basically, it allows an author to avoid most of the repetition of metadata by simply putting that metadata in an enclosing element.

Snow Leopard Compatibility and Performance?

Are there any known issues or welcome surprises concerning the compatibility and performance of ActiveMath under Snow Leopard Client and Server?

Academic confusion about notations

This is the story of a confusion which grew from each other’s copying a “nice example”: it’s about what is the normal notation for the binomial coefficients in Russian and French.

It starts as a paper we are writing, which copied another paper of mine (at MathUI), itself copying others sources, without precise citations (1, 2, and 3), the most authoritative one being MathML 2: all these sources claim that in Russian, the binomial coefficient (the number of subsets of cardinality k within a set of cardinality n) is written tex:\hbox{C}_k^n while in French, it’s written tex:\hbox{C}_n^k.

MUI(Mathematical User Interface) For Potential and Vital Consumers

I have been desperate for quite some time for my pupils to have a simple MUI(Mathematical User Interface) to be able to type Mathematics into Active Maths and into Web Pages, easily, consistently and semantically.

Could you please advise?

FAQ: ActiveMath tell's me "no items of your educational level found"

Question: When I click on create a new book and request some of the possible topics I am presented with the following message: Problem detected: no items of your educational level found… course generation will fail. Is your educational level set correctly? Please check it and change it, if necessary: ( My User Data). What does it mean?


The Semantic Web is not Restricted to Ontologies

The Semantic Web is not Restricted to Ontologies!

The semantic web is a nice strand. Something where AI should be able to do a huge job based on the massive knowledge spread around the web. Is it about AI or more generally machine processabiity? The last call for paper for the WWW conference actually broadened the semantic web track call to “Semantic / Data Web”.

Failing to create a book discover

I have created a collection “Essai”, and I would like to create a book “discover” with items of this collection (theorems, examples, exercises…). However, it is not possible: the answer is always “no items available” “go to users data to change your profile” (or something like that). Something must missing in the oqmath/omdoc files, but I do not know what… Many thanks for an answer!

Hey AJAX guys... remove X or drop JSON!

Over and over the discussion of JSON vs XML (vs YAML…) appears: they are compared as languages to serialize object graphs. I may be old fashioned but I find there’s no valid reason for anything but XML.

Here’s a set claims in favor of JSON (or YAML it seems):

  • JSON is more readable: I am sorry but I don’t find this true, being XML it’s much easier to know where parts start and end since end-tags are named. Most of the times the object graph is not sufficiently indented to recognize any structure hence readability only appears after you’ve tweaked a bit.

Translation tools requirements

Translation tools are many… but what good are they? To my surprise, there’s always some folks that find a tool that sounds cute but then it never helps. Let me try to identify the hard questions of translations’ management:

  • workflow of updates (by developers) and management of translators’ contributions
  • recognizing context when translating phrases
  • managing translation duties for documents and phrases

The fancy conclusion? No tool I’ve met really helps any except the management of duties and generally they do so by making completely impossible the others.

A Content-dictionary is a social thing

You know what?

A content-dictionary as can be found by tons on is mostly a social artifact. It’s a set of descriptions of symbols so that one can mean what others means.

did anyone say notation needs context?

It’s not really new that mathematical notation is made there to be abused so as to be most efficient for the current context. But I just met an extreme case:

In the OpenMath3 and MathML3-content efforts, we are polishing the description of symbols’ so that they can be common. Discussion about using linear syntax appears, of course, and an extreme case about the need for context was just posted by James Davenport:

Simple copy-and-paste of Math... not even working!

I recently had a very simple request… soooo simple: our user just wishes to copy the formula from Mathematica (which can copy it in MathML) and paste it on something that does web.

I just went around and tried… SeaMonkey should support that in editor and reader: copy a piece of HTML with MathML and paste it, didn’t even work… my 1/x became a place full of nbsps in three lines!

Free Java... soon there

Tim Bray indicates that almost all the legal impediments before an open-source java are cleared. Now this really means there might be, one day, a clean java, something that does cause headaches to distributions!

I much love the GNU Classpath license… really… as simple as that: do whatever you want to “link to it” but there rest is the GPL-full-land.

MathML slowly becoming default in ActiveMath

There’s a wind for more content construction in the ActiveMath group, with at least two projects at the University focussed on creating content (and a adapt platform and…). And MathML starts to play an important role there.

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