Excuse me if this question has been asked before. A quick search did not bring up a relevant thread. I am a newbie with Moodle.

Could you please give a comparison between the LaTex Filter and the Algebra Filter. When do you use which? What are the advantages and disadvantages? If the LaTex Filter works, is it really important to get the Algebra Filter to work? Which filter is more compatible with other systems (in case one wants to export or reuse one's work.)

I have installed Moodle recently and I have got the Tex filter to work (with MimeTex) but not the algebra filter. I have gathered that the reason is that I don't have Perl installed. I am currently working in a Windows environment. I am wondering whether it is worth it to download and install ActivePerl just to get the Algebra filter to work.

### LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Number of replies: 8### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

You don't probably need Algebra filter at all - it gives you only a very limited set of custom tex like tags.

The only benefit is that writing some symbols like alpha is a little shorter than writing \alpha.

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Thank you, for the reply Mauno. What about some of the other Maths filters and/or formatting methods?

Would you recommend sticking with something linke LaTex/Mimetex initially?

Would you recommend sticking with something linke LaTex/Mimetex initially?

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Like Marc said there are 2 good options - Latex and AsciiMathML - and I will publish pretty soon (next week?) a new filter and editor plugins that can be used to render both in a simple way.

We have had many problems with maths in moodle - it was just some time ago that we got DragMath - a nice Wysiwyg plugin for adding mathematical notations - and my plugins will add an option to add new symbols and examples to custom panels in plugins because most teachers and students don't know the syntax and symbols of Latex or AsciimathML.

Another big problem has been setting up the different distributions of Latex and in fact many sites have not been able to use maths at all - but it is possible to change also TeX filter to use external renderer instead of local latex or Mimetex if needed - since Marc noticed that Google Chart API supports Mimetex tags and Jonathan Fine told that we can use MathTran as well...

Syntax of Mimetex is a little different than syntax of MathTran or more advanced distributions like TeX Live or MikTex that can be installed to Windows environment (may take some time to do it successfully) and have extra packages for a huge number of extra symbols, fonts etc.

AsciiMathML has lots of good points particularly for Firefox users - image fallback side for other browsers still needs some improvements but you can read those discussions from other forum posts...

We have had many problems with maths in moodle - it was just some time ago that we got DragMath - a nice Wysiwyg plugin for adding mathematical notations - and my plugins will add an option to add new symbols and examples to custom panels in plugins because most teachers and students don't know the syntax and symbols of Latex or AsciimathML.

Another big problem has been setting up the different distributions of Latex and in fact many sites have not been able to use maths at all - but it is possible to change also TeX filter to use external renderer instead of local latex or Mimetex if needed - since Marc noticed that Google Chart API supports Mimetex tags and Jonathan Fine told that we can use MathTran as well...

Syntax of Mimetex is a little different than syntax of MathTran or more advanced distributions like TeX Live or MikTex that can be installed to Windows environment (may take some time to do it successfully) and have extra packages for a huge number of extra symbols, fonts etc.

AsciiMathML has lots of good points particularly for Firefox users - image fallback side for other browsers still needs some improvements but you can read those discussions from other forum posts...

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

There are some limited discussions in the docs. The algebra filter is based on a perl parser borrowed from webwork. It's main selling point is that it is easier to use than Tex, but then so us asiimathml. It parsers a less complex syntax into trx and then passes the results on to some form of Tex display

As an instructor, you may want to learn tex because it is widely used, but you could use an app like dragmath to avoid learning it altogether, and there are resources available to translate among various math text expression syntax

But when it comes to display if you have Tex filter running stick with that for awhile. My fevered friend, Mauno, has been working hard on what I think has now eclipsed what I was calling SEE, and options are abounding so there are places to go things to see, but for production work on a newbee install I'd say stick with Tex

As an instructor, you may want to learn tex because it is widely used, but you could use an app like dragmath to avoid learning it altogether, and there are resources available to translate among various math text expression syntax

But when it comes to display if you have Tex filter running stick with that for awhile. My fevered friend, Mauno, has been working hard on what I think has now eclipsed what I was calling SEE, and options are abounding so there are places to go things to see, but for production work on a newbee install I'd say stick with Tex

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Thank you, very much! The support from the Moodle community is phenomenal. It must take a chunk out of your lives to support people like me.

At some stage I'll try out DragMath as well.

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Thanks Marc. I went full circle here. I got Mimetex to work on a non-production machine and was quite happy with it. I then installed DragMath on the non-production machine (having done a search for Math Editors) and getting back to your recommendation. I tried it out and it worked fine.

I then went about setting some questions on the non-production machine with the intention of exporting it later to the production machine. After having exported it, I just couldn't get the Tex filter working on the production machine. (It is Mimetex in fact.) I have played around with the permissions settings on the directories/files, copying a fresh version of Mimetex, but no joy.

Frustrated and tired, I decided to give AsciiMath a bash and voila! within 5min all my problems sorted out. I would definitely vote for it as an easy solution for those just starting with Moodle and Maths. It is just so elegant with simple maths.

Of course, I now have to convert all my Tex questions to AsciiMath but at least it is working.

I then went about setting some questions on the non-production machine with the intention of exporting it later to the production machine. After having exported it, I just couldn't get the Tex filter working on the production machine. (It is Mimetex in fact.) I have played around with the permissions settings on the directories/files, copying a fresh version of Mimetex, but no joy.

Frustrated and tired, I decided to give AsciiMath a bash and voila! within 5min all my problems sorted out. I would definitely vote for it as an easy solution for those just starting with Moodle and Maths. It is just so elegant with simple maths.

Of course, I now have to convert all my Tex questions to AsciiMath but at least it is working.

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Actually, your asciimathml install will likely do all your Tex! It uses single dollars for tokens but the incorporated latexmathml with parse and display your Tex.

### Re: LaTex Filter Vs Algebra Filter

Thank you, it's nice knowing that the asciimathml install would also display my Tex. Unfortunately I read this post after I had already converted all my Tex into asciimath format. I could probably have just changed the double dollars to single dollars. However, someone after me might read this post and save a few hours because of it.