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Problems with Installing mimeTeX in a Forum

Posted on 2008-10-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I'd like to have LaTeX installed in my Simple Machines Forum 1.1.5
which is on GoDaddy.com. As far as I understand mimeTeX is a
convenient substitute for an actual LaTeX installation. However, I' m
having trouble getting it to work. GoDaddy.com is a Linux based
provider. I uploaded a pre-compiled mimetex.cgi to different folders
in the forum folder, outside the forum folder, changed the CHMOD to
777, tried changing the extension .cgi to .exe etc. but nothing seems
to work. Does anyone have experience with setting up LaTeX in a forum
and what would be the optimum way to do it? Thanks in advance for your
help.
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Question by:judico
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15 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22822806
I will try to approach this problem step by step.

First, probably I should not use the precompiled mimetex.cgi but should try to compile it myself. The site:

http://www.forkosh.dreamhost.com/cgi-bin/mimetexquickstart.cgi#precompiled

tells you that the compilation occurs in this way:

"To compile an executable that emits anti-aliased gif images, just type: cc -DAA mimetex.c gifsave.c -lm -o mimetex.cgi"

Where is the compiler, however. Where's the command line in my  MyDaddy.com site (a Linux server)? I don't see a bin folder in my site either, where I'm supposed to upload the compiled mimetex.cgi.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael W
ID: 22823598
One problem (most likely) is that GoDaddy servers don't actively support cgi-bin. However, you _might_ be able to work around this via your own .htaccess file.

Explicitly using Options to permit CGI execution
http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/howto/cgi.html#options
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Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22823833
Where do I find that .htaccess file on the GoDaddy server?
0
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Michael W
ID: 22823914
You have to create it yourself...

Godaddy.com .htaccess
http://www.w3prodigy.com/Resources/Godaddy.com_.htaccess

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Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22824967
My .htaccess file looks like this:

<Files *>
    AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI
      Order Deny,Allow
      Deny from all
      Allow from localhost
</Files>

I've placed it in a folder cgi-bin which I specially created. In that folder is also mimetex.cgi. When I execute it, however, it gives me Internal Server Error. What am I doing wrong?
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22825840
I'm trying it this way:

<Files *>
AddHandler extension_Type .html .htm .php3 .php4
Action Extension_Type /cgi-bin/php.dat
   
      AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI


      AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI
      Order Deny,Allow
      Deny from all
      Allow from localhost
</Files>

or this way

AddHandler extension_Type .html .htm .php3 .php4
Action Extension_Type /cgi-bin/php.dat
   
      AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI

<Files *>
      AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI
      Order Deny,Allow
      Deny from all
      Allow from localhost
</Files>

With and without asterisk. No luck.
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22828647
So, next thing I'm finding out is that GoDaddy has MIME type .linux which I can on my Linux Hosting Account? This is done by adding

AddType application/x-latex latex

in the .htaccess file.

So, we're back to that .htaccess file. Should it be this way:

     AddType application/x-latex latex
     AddHandler extension_Type .html .htm .php3 .php4
     Action Extension_Type /cgi-bin/php.dat
     AllowOverride All
     Options +ExecCGI


      AllowOverride All
      Options +ExecCGI
      Order Deny,Allow
      Deny from all
      Allow from localhost
0
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Michael W
ID: 22830993
Most of the posts/threads I have found in relation to GoDaddy and their hosting service is that is sucks, especially when it comes to cgi-bin and .htaccess.

http://gidden.net/tom/2006/05/26/4/
http://p2p.wrox.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40254
http://www.webmasterworld.com/apache/3280354.htm
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Misc/Q_21651307.html
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22841127
Hi mwecomputers,

It turned out the Simple Machines Forum have a Mod SMFLaTeX which I installed without any difficulty in the forum. For the SMFLaTeX to work, however, I need to know what the LaTeX path and DVIPGN path is of the LaTeX installed on the GoDaddy server. Now, because GoDaddy does not allow Remote Shell Access I had to open a ticket with them and aske them (ask GoDaddy) what there paths are. This was their response:

- - - - - - - - - - BEGIN QUOTE - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thank you for taking time to contact Online Support.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to determine the LaTeX or DVIPNG paths for Simple Machines Form as this is not a product we are able provide support for.  Please note that we are unable to support third party application issues and we do not support the inner functionality of this program. If you are having difficulty using a third party product, we can help troubleshoot that process to the point that we find that the issue lies entirely within the configuration of that product. You may wish to consult with a community forum online or do a search on your favorite search engine as other users may have encountered a similar problem in the past and may offer helpful solutions. If you believe the issue is caused by something within our system please reply with as much pertinent information as possible and we will further review the issue.

Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.
 - - - - - - - - - - END QUOTE - - - - - - - - - - -

Now, as I said previously GoDaddy has MIME type .latex which they say I can install on my Linux Hosting Account by placing  in a .htaccess file. This I read to mean that GoDaddy has LaTeX installed on their server and they should have a path to it and to the accompanying it DVIPNG path. Am I right? If so, how exactly shall I word now my response to them so that they won't put me off again by telling me that it's a Simple Machine Forum's issue?
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Michael W
ID: 22841837
If that was GoDaddy's support response, I would opt for finding another host that does give you remote shell access or gives you a 'root' owned VPS (Virtual Private Server) that you can maintain.
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22843296
Thanks mwecomputers. Before trying to find another host I'd like to explore a little further GoDaddy. I asked the if they would be willing to install LaTeX and this is what their response is:

- - - - - -BEGINNING OT GODADDY RESPONSE- - - - - - - -  
Unfortunately we do not install these items into our shared hosting environment and we are not going to be able to install them for you.  If you require use of these items you will have to upgrade to a Virtual Dedicated or a Dedicated server and then install these items on your own.

You can view or Dedicated Server plans here: http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/hosting/dedicated.asp?ci=9014&display=dedicated

You can view our Virtual Dedicated Server plans here: http://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/hosting/virtual.asp?ci=9013&display=virtual

Please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.
- - - - - - - - -END OT GODADDY RESPONSE- - - - - - - -

Would you recommend any of these plans, and if so, which one exactly, or I should just go ahead and look for another provider? Which provider would you recommend other than GoDaddy?
0
 
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

by:
Michael W earned 500 total points
ID: 22844042
I really can't recommend providers as I like to host all my servers directly (i.e. I bought/own the server, setup my own Linux distro and have it co-located in a nearby data center) or have a dedicated Internet line ran to my office and just create my own data center setup.

If you choose to say with GoDaddy or seek another provider, here are the questions I would ask:

1) Do I get full shell access to the server environment (i.e. root, sudo)?
2) Who is responsible for maintaining the patches and software updates?
3) Is there a service level agreement (SLA) in place that would credit your account for any downtime?
4) Is there a hardware firewall in place? If no, is there an extra fee to have one setup/installed?

For the operating system, I highly recommend CentOS 5.x and above _or_ Fedora 7.x and above since they are based on RedHat Enterprise, thus easy for maintaining and updating needs.

What Software is Installed on my Linux Dedicated Server?
http://help.godaddy.com/article.php?article%5Fid=124

What Software is Installed on my Virtual Dedicated Server?
http://help.godaddy.com/article.php?article%5Fid=152
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22846665
Someone told me that GoDaddy does come with LaTeX but their support isn't the best, to say the least, so I'll have to find the paths to LaTeX on GoDaddy by trial and error, say by directing it to paths like /bin/latex or /usr/bin/latex or even typing just latex and dvipng. I tried that in different variations to no avail. Probably someone who has the experience with GoDaddy's LaTeX may help but I don't know where to look for such person.
0
 

Author Comment

by:judico
ID: 22846903
mwecomputers, thank you for your help. I was finally able to install something which is almost LaTeX by installing it as a Mod in the SMF forum after downloading it from this link:

http://custom.simplemachines.org/mods/index.php?mod=1111

It does the job perfectly. Of course, I'll still be curious to know the path to the real GoDaddy LaTeX is so. please, if you learn something let me know. All the best.
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