WeBWorK Problems

Tex Issues in some problems

Tex Issues in some problems

by Blake Thornton -
Number of replies: 3
I am having trouble with some tex issues in some of the problems in the problem library.  Tex math mode works fine but tex outside of math mode does not work at all.  For example, the common expression in a pg file:

{ \bf Note: }

displays in the problem exactly as:

{ \bf Note: }

Of course, this example is just slightly annoying but many problems are worse (such as \begin{tabular}---no tabular structure is displayed, just a bunch of numbers run together) and many problems do not view at all (such as nearly every problem in the Union problem library).

I am convinced that it is a tex issue but I'm not sure what to do about it.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Blake Thornton
Washington University
In reply to Blake Thornton

Re: Tex Issues in some problems

by Davide Cervone -
Problems that use raw TeX code outside of math mode, as in the examples you give, are coded incorrectly and will not work properly. The fact that they may have worked in WW1.9's latex2html mode is accidental, and they need to be recoded to follow correct PG usage. For example, to get bold, they should use
not raw TeX. This is the only way to guarantee that the problem will work in all the viewing modes. Since latex2html mode is no longer available in WW2, problems that took advantage of that undocumented and unsupprted feature of latex2html mode will no longer work, as you have found.

Similarly, things like \begin{tabular} should not be used at all. There are tabling macros available to handle creation of tabular data, if needed.

As for the Union problems, you need to be sure that the union macro library is in the path searched for macro files. You can configure this in global.conf, and can obtain the macros (if you don't already have them) from the CVS repository (under the Union problem library link). I assure you, the Union problems do work, if you have the macros in place. It is unfortunate that the national database includes the Union problems but not the macros, which is a source of confusion for people.


In reply to Davide Cervone

Re: Tex Issues in some problems

by Blake Thornton -
Thanks for the helpful reply!  Has anyone fixed such problems in the problem library and is there anything in place to allow people like me the ability to edit the problem library for everyone so that it doesn't have to be done by everyone?

In reply to Blake Thornton

Re: Tex Issues in some problems

by Michael Gage -
First step is to get the offending problem(s) into our bug database (bugzilla).

This can be done by any instructor from any problem with these steps:

1. While viewing the problem click the "edit this problem" link.
2. Click right most link in the upper part of the screen: "report problem bug"
3. Fill out bug report of what is wrong with the problem (this can be anything from bad grammar or spelling to mistakes grading an answer).
4. The path to the problem and the seed being used which causes the error are automatically placed in the bug database. If it is a library problem this is all that is needed. If the bug is in a
problem written at your institution you should include the code for the problem in the bug report.

5. If you've already fixed the problem, include the fix in your bug report -- (that's better for everyone).

Fairly quickly these bugs are evaluated and fixed and placed back in the general libraries. You can update the libraries using the CVS update command.

NOTE: The first time you do this you will be asked for your email address in order to register. You will be sent a password via email which you can then change to something you can remember. After that you either login with your email address and password when requested to do so, or if you are always using the same machine, there will be a saved cookie which logs in for you automatically.

If you'd like to volunteer to help fix bugs on a semi-regular basis send me an email (gage at math dot rochester dot edu) :-)