So, we built Arxiv Vanity: a site that renders Arxiv papers as web pages. It’s still pretty janky, but for the papers that do render correctly, the experience is so much better than reading a PDF. For example:
The source for the LaTeX to HTML renderer is on GitHub. It’s built on Pandoc and Distill.pub’s template.
This look quite a bit better, so here is the question: what do you not support at the moment?
One final thing, and wildly off topic, is that when you do your defense, remember that you probably know more about the specifics of the subject than anyone else in the room. Many folks stress over it, but you're almost certainly going to be the actual expert in the room. Good luck!
Here is the broken stuff we are keeping track of: https://github.com/arxiv-vanity/engrafo/issues (feel free to add to it!)
I would think that panflute would allow for more readable code, which helps whendealing with all the corner cases and rough edges of latex.
PDF has the great benefit of rendering the same on every system. With very few exceptions, PDF will look exactly the same on every system and will print the same on every system.
HTML doesn't really have that same benefit.
Don't get me wrong, I think your service is a great idea for those who would like HTML formatted results, but I'm not understanding the complaint about PDF.
Could you expand on why you don't like PDF?
Also in general the mobile pdf reading experience sucks.
For example you have to download a file (rather than browse to) on Android and the hunt it down to open it.
The pdf readers I've used easily accidentally scroll you to a random page if you make a mistake in where you touch the screen. Kindles probably the best but then you have to email yourself the pdf which is a hassle.
The need to scroll doesn't exist on a large screen or on a piece of A4, but on smaller devices like mobile phones or even tablets, it's annoying. Having a responsive page means you can scroll vertically as you read, rather than having to make a big jumps (or constant horizontal scrolls) that can really break the flow.
I read quite a few PDFs and don't actually have any complaints. I am not personally seeing any readability issues and don't mind consuming PDFs at all.
That said, I think I now understand your complaint. Thanks! I just don't personally have any trouble with it. I use multiple tablets, of varied sizes, and I've had good experiences with all of the devices. While some PDFs are horribly formatted, I find that the device choice doesn't help that and it's a design choice from the author.
But, again, thanks for helping me understand.
Reading PDFs on a tablet isn't too bad because of large screen real estate.
Reading PDFs on a small mobile phone requires me to zoom in to make the font big enough for me to read, and then I have to scroll right to read, and left and down to move to a new section of the column.
Try reading a PDF on a smaller device than a tablet. I'm sure you'll be able to see what we mean.
Yes, I want my cake and a pony. Cakepony.
so no need to search tablet specs for the culprit. PEBCAK :)
Then there are minor issues of margins, possibly zooming to make text readable, etc.
That's why PDFs are so bad on mobile. The ideal format is one column text, figures and tables between paragraphs of that column, no page breaks, bidirectional links to notes. That's HTML, I guess.
I am guessing it is an individual taste thing. That makes some sense.
Yes, it does.
That's why we still test pages in different browsers and end up using browser specific code to ensure proper rendering - which often only reaches the 'close enough' format.
I understand the problem with a phone, but PDFs on an ipad/tablet are beautiful and a joy to read. Much better to read the text as originally typeset than to put it through a process such as this which risks corrupting minor but important details in the mathematical content.
On my phone I put it in landscape mode and that allows me to read a PDF OK, but I don't really get why one would read academic papers on a phone, why not use a tablet?
However I'm very interested in engrafo. It sounds like it will allow me to automatically publish blog style content from my LaTeX sources without having to fork the LaTeX content into a markdown / HTML version.
I just don't understand why you don't like reading academic papers as PDFs on tablets!
Your solution using the LaTex source generates really nice HTML, congrats!
For now, it's hard to read: https://docushow.com/viewdoc?url=https%3A%2F%2Farxiv.org%2Fp...
(One thing that is very ugly in the PDFs, and most scholarly papers, is the use of different-colored boxes for hyperlinks. Authors, please consider putting
in your LaTeX preambles.)