IBM techexplorer Hypermedia Browser 
Version 2.0 Preview Release 3

Important techexplorer Information and Change History This document contains important information about your techexplorer installation. Please read it carefully.

General configuration notes

Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT



Download the techexplorer installation file to a temporary directory. The name of this file will vary by release, but its file extension will be ".tar". For example, it may be techexplorer-v20pr3.rs6000-ibm-aix4.1.tar. We will use this file in what follows, but substitute the actual name of the file you download.

Un-tar this file by issuing

        tar -xvf techexplorer-v20pr3.rs6000-ibm-aix4.1.tar

The installation package contains files in gzip format. Many UNIX systems already have this installed but you may be able to download it from
if necessary. If you do install gzip, remember the installation location because you may need it in the setup process.

Now execute setup in a shell window. This will ask you some questions about whether you accept the license agreement and where some system utilities are located. To accept the default choices, press the Enter (or Return) key.

Shared installation Note

During the shared installation process you will be asked to supply a techexplorer "home" directory rather than use the default $HOME/.techexpl path. Be sure to define the following environment variables after installation:

    TECHEXPLORER_HOME=your techexplorer installation directory;
    export NPX_PLUGIN_PATH;

The TECHEXPLORER_HOME variable will point techexplorer to the appropriate installation directory. The NPX_PLUGIN_PATH will allow Netscape to add techexplorer to the list of available Plug-ins. When a user invokes techexplorer for the first time in a shared installation, a new directory ($HOME/.techexpl) is created in which personal configuration files are placed.

    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH;     $HOME/.techexpl

techexplorer executes with the same User ID as Netscape Navigator and must have read and write access to the $HOME/.techexpl directory and its contents. If necessary, you can change the file permission modes by using the chmod command. If you are using an AFS file system, the fs command may have to be used to set the required privileges. For example:

    fs la $HOME/.techexpl
    fs sa $HOME/.techexpl/ system:anyuser rl


Font Path Note

techexplorer's font path information is stored in the $HOME/.techexpl/Cache/registry resource file. Font directories and font servers can be added via the "Font Path" property page or the registry file itself.

Font Server Note

Since the X server must have access to the techexplorer font path, remote X displays that do not share the techexplorer installation file system can not be used. This can be alleviated by running a font server on the techexplorer installation machine and adding this server to the remote X display's font path.

For example, on the techexplorer installation machine you can execute:

    fs -config fs.config -port 8000

and on the remote X display execute:

    xset fp default
    xset +fp tcp/hostname:8000
    xset fp rehash

Here is a sample fs.config file:

    client-limit = 10
    clone-self = on
    catalogue = $HOME/.techexpl/Fonts
    default-point-size = 120
    default-resolutions = 100,100,75,75
    use-syslog = off

If techexplorer encounters a symbol in a document for which there is no character in the select symbol font set, the symbol name is displayed in red, as in "\hookLeftarrow".


  1. This version of techexplorer requires IBM AIX 4.1 or greater.
  2. This plug-in will work only for IBM AIX versions of the Netscape Navigator or Netscape Communicator clients, version 4.03 or greater.

Sun Solaris 2.5

  1. This version of techexplorer requires Sun Solaris 2.5 or greater.
  2. This plug-in will work only for Sun SPARC Solaris versions of the Netscape Navigator or Navigator Gold clients, version 2.0 or greater. It may not work with pre-release (e.g. "beta" or "preview release") versions of the Netscape Navigator.


  1. This version of techexplorer requires SGI IRIX 6.2.
  2. This plug-in will work only for SGI IRIX versions of the Netscape Navigator or Navigator Gold clients, version 3.0 or greater.  It may not work with pre-release (e.g. "beta" or "preview release") versions of the Netscape Navigator.


Change history

Version 2.0 PR 3 (17 March, 1997)

    1. Renamed the Standard Edition to be the Introductory Edition.
    2. Many internal performance improvements.
    3. Decreased the relative sizes of the fonts bigger than the normal size.
    4. Added support for \newenvironment without the optional argument.
    5. Can now handle %20 in URLs.
    6. Enhanced the handling of control sequences that expect filenames so that now macro arguments will be expanded. Thus you can now use \includegraphics in a macro definition with the URL being one of the macro arguments.
    7. Fixed a problem whereby the title page information was placed at the location of \maketitle rather than at the top of the document.
    8. Fixed a problem whereby footnotes in title pages were not active.
    9. Fixed a problem concerning incorrect handling of links with \hbox to \hsize expressions.
    10. Although they are still unnumbered, \ref, \pageref, and \eqref now act as hyperlinks if the corresponding label is in the same document.
    11. Added AMS-TeX macros \iff, \implies, and \impliedby.
    12. An \index control sequence is now treated as a label with label name INDEX- followed by ASCIIfied version of the index term. Thus \index{matrix} generates the internal label INDEX-matrix. Blanks are allowed in the corresponding label names.
    13. We now parse and then ignore the following LaTeX and TeX style parameters: \abovedisplayshortskip, \abovedisplayskip, \arraycolsep, \arrayrulewidth, \baselineskip, \baselinestretch, \belowdisplayshortskip, \belowdisplayskip, \bibindent, \columnsep, \columnseprule, \dblfloatsep, \dbltextfloatsep, \doublerulesep, \evensidemargin, \fboxrule, \fboxsep, \file, \floatsep, \footnotesep, \footskip, \hangafter, \hangindent, \headheight, \headsep, \hsize, \intextsep, \jot, \leftskip, \linewidth, \magnification, \marginparpush, \marginparsep, \marginparwidth, \mathindent, \oddsidemargin, \pageheight, \pagewidth, \parindent, \parskip, \rightskip, \tabbingsep, \tabcolsep, \textfloatsep, \textheight, \textwidth, \topmargin, \topskip, and \vsize. (Note that we won't always ignore them in the future!)
    1. Fixed image problem when using Internet Explorer and documents from web sites.
    2. Added more multimedia support via \includeaudio and \includevideo. (Professional Edition only.)
    3. Renamed the Security property page to be the Permissions property page and added checkboxes for autoplaying audio and video.
    1. SGI IRIX 6.2 version of techexplorer.
    2. Support for the following control sequences for hypermedia links: \popupLink, \yesNoLink, \inputboxLink, \appLink, \statusLineText and \backgroundimage.
    3. Rudimentary parse error support.
    4. Property  pages for Security and Errors are now enabled.
    5. Can now handle inline TeX data within HTML pages.
    6. Support for installation on a shared file system.
    7. Setup removes previous techexplorer installation.
    8. Fixed a problem which caused a X Window warning message when context menus are used.
    9. Fixed a problem which caused a X Window warning message when jumping to a document label that resides near the end of the document.
    10. Scrolling using the incremental arrow now scrolls the document one line at a time.
    11. Added support for visual feedback in the form of a wait cursor during compute intensive compose and draw phases.

Version 1.9 for the IBM eNetwork Communications Suite (Spring, 1998)

Version 2.0 PR 2 (7 November, 1997)

    1. We've added support for a subset of the Mathematical Markup Language being devised by the World Wide Web Consortium HTML Math Working Group. The current support in techexplorer is restricted to the presentation subset of the draft plus some updates from the forthcoming draft. Support in this version should be considered experimental and will be updated to be in compliance with the next draft from the working group when it becomes available.
    2. We now support frames for \docLink. The syntax is

    3.         \docLink[ frame ]{ documentFileName}[ label ]{ textToDisplay }
      where frame is the name of the frame as defined in an HTML page. For example,
      <FRAMESET COLS="250,*">
      <FRAME MARGINWIDTH="15" SRC="toc.tex" NAME="toc">
      <FRAME MARGINWIDTH="15" SRC="first.tex" NAME="first">
      defines the two frames toc and first. An example usage in toc.tex might be

      Click \docLink[first]{first.tex}{here} to jump to the first chapter.

    4. We now support fully formatted text in pop-up windows such as those produced by \footnote and \popupLink. A current restriction is that links that require a URL do not work from within these pop-up windows.
    5. AMS-LaTeX-related changes:

Version 2.0 PR 1 (2 September, 1997)

  1. Solaris 2.5 version of techexplorer in addition to versions for Windows 95 and Windows NT! More UNIX versions to come!
  2. Much internal reorganization for UNIX versions of techexplorer.
  3. Greatly improved parsing error reporting.
  4. Added support for \sc and \textsc (small caps).
  5. Fixed double drawing of screen when you jump to a label in the middle of a document.
  6. Now allow use of \fill with \hspace, \vspace, and cousins.
  7. Added support for \backgroundimage: \backgroundimage{imageFileUrl} uses the image located at imageFileUrl to tile the window background.
  8. Added \statusLineAction. \statusLineAction{statusLineText}{displayText} shows displayText on the screen and shows statusLineText in the status line when the mouse passes over displayText.
  9. Improved status line messages for links.
  10. Changed \cite to not be in italics in an italic environment.
  11. Verbatim now works better in list environments and other environments which change the left margin.
  12. Improved the status line message for the various link types that produce dialog boxes.
  13. \docLink now supports an optional first argument for a frame name (but it is not used yet).
  14. Made the optional argument to \item and the arguments to \tilde,\^ and \_ implicit groups.
  15. Added basic parsing and display support for \axiomLink (but it is not functional in linking to AXIOM).
  16. Tabular environments inside math mode now have contents in horizontal mode.
  17. Fixed mishandling of \end{verbatim} when it appears after the beginning of a line.
  18. Fixed math modes so that they are not affected by a containing \lowercase or \uppercase.
  19. Fixed problem on Windows NT whereby spaces caused extra vertical space below a line.
  20. Fixed problem with macro definitions with arguments inside \iftechexplorer blocks.
  21. Fixed problem with non-braced macro arguments whereby something like \foo12 would put 12 in the first argument to \foo rather than just the 1.
  22. \newif\iftechexplorer incorrectly started an \if block.

Version 1.2 (3 February, 1997)

  1. Fixed \docLink to not open a new copy of the current document if that is the link target.
  2. Fixed vertical alignment of default minipage environment format.
  3. Added additional check to make sure you can see the full line when jump to a label in the middle of a document.
  4. Added symbol mappings for \thorn, \Thorn, and \THORN.

Version 1.2 Beta 6 (17 January, 1997)

  1. Added \thinspace, \negthinspace, and \fcolorbox.
  2. Added no-op handling for \newblock, \@, \newif, \techexplorertrue, and \techexplorer false.
  3. Now support the application/x-latex MIME types along with the *.latex and *.ltx file extensions.
  4. We added *.bbl as a handled file extension within the application/x-tex MIME type. This may require an update to your web server MIME type table.
  5. We now support '%7C' as a substitute for the ':' or '|' in local file names or URLs. This was done because Netscape sometimes inserts these.
  6. We fixed a problem that caused a crash when the user tried to display the options pages and an older version of the Windows 95 COMCTL32.DLL was on the user's machine.

Version 1.2 Beta 5 (23 December, 1996)

  1. Added the tabbing and minipage environments.
  2. Added support for \newcommand and friends where the macro name is not contained in braces (e.g., \newcommand\foo{...}).
  3. Control characters can now be used as names in macro definitions.
  4. Corrected parsing of "$$" when in math mode, so that $a$$<$$b$ is now parsed as 3 non-display math items.
  5. Improved relative sizing of display vs. text style, particularly in fractions made by \over and \frac.

Version 1.2 Beta 4 (12 December, 1996)

  1. The center, flushleft, and flushright environments are now properly implemented in terms of paragraphs and added \centering, \raggedleft, and \raggedright.
  2. Scripts are now handled corectly for \underbrace and \overbrace.
  3. Added bitmaps for the following characters that were missing from the basic font sets: \asymp, \coprod, \flat, \frown, \models, \smile.
  4. Added symbol mappings for \land and \lor.
  5. Added \v and \check and handle \i as "i" and \j as "j".
  6. Fixed the vertical alignment of superscript expressions with empty bodies, e.g., $^1$.
  7. Fixed a bug in drawing \text.
  8. Fixed a bug regarding copying the optional args for images.
  9. Fixed a bug whereby the "missing image" bitmap was not being displayed for local files missing for the plug-in.
  10. Fixed a bug whereby images were not immediately displayed under Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Version 1.2 Beta 3 (14 November, 1996)

  1. Located and fixed major bug related to resource bitmaps and 16 bit color that caused Netscape to crash.
  2. Added support for \binom, \displaylines, \endgraf, \line, \llap, \ne, \operatorname, \shadowbox, \text, \raisebox, and \rlap.
  3. Added support for \iftechexplorer, \ifmmode, \iftrue, and \iffalse.
  4. Added \tfrac, \dfrac. These and \frac now support the optional line thickness.
  5. Added \mod, \pod, and improved the formatting of \pmod.
  6. Added \noalign and \nocorr as no-ops.
  7. Fixed the display of \choose.
  8. Added \zig (which is a horizontally-reflected \zag).
  9. Added support for \usecounter with enumi, enumii, enumiii, enumiv.
  10. Added \overbracket and \underbracket. Temporarily set \overbrace and \underbrace equal to them, respectively.
  11. We now draw large '<' and '>' used as delimiters (they look much better).
  12. Fixed white space around '/' and \backslash in math mode.
  13. Fixed symbol mapping for \imath and the Monotype math fonts.
  14. Added support in font set mappings for the AMS Greek and Hebrew characters \digamma, \varkappa, \beth, \daleth, and \gimel, where available.
  15. Added bitmaps for the following characters that were missing from the basic font sets: \bigtriangleup, \bigtriangledown, \doteq, \gg, \hookleftarrow, \imath, \leadsto, \lhd, \ll, \longmapsto, \leftharpoondown, \leftharpoonup, \rhd, \rightharpoondown, \rightharpoonup, \rightleftharpoons, \triangleleft, and \triangleright.
  16. Fixed a bug in context menus whereby the 40th entry was ignored.
  17. Added basic support for the slide environment (old-style with one argument).
  18. Now display a button indicating that we are waiting for files to arrive.
  19. Added option (under "Miscellaneous") for showing parsing errors.
  20. Implemented \to to be the same as \rightarrow except when used with \overset and \underset.
  21. Added information in the file about fonts and symbols. Also added change history.

Version 1.2 Beta 1 (19 September, 1996)

  1. Made \lowercase, \overline, \underline, and \uppercase implicit grouping operators.
  2. Added support for GIF, JPG, and PCX image formats.
  3. Implemented inline TeX markup within HTML EMBED tags for Netscape 3.0 compatible browsers.
  4. Fixed bugs in URL merge code regarding "../.." and "mailto".
  5. Improved formatting around 'f' and 'p' in math mode.
  6. Fixed long-standing bug with \Huge causing GPF.


techexplorer Hypermedia Browser and AIX are trademarks of the International Business Machines Corporation.

Netscape Navigator is a trademark of the Netscape Communications Corporation.

Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Sun, Solaris, and SPARC are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

SGI and IRIX are trademarks or registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.


techexplorer on IBM AIX 4.1, Sun Solaris 2.5 and SGI IRIX 6.2 is based in part on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.



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