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I.e. online discussion with your friends. A forum is probably too overkill in this case.

Yet so far nothing can beat direct communication. Important feature: the ability to archive discussions. We don't want to retell our story to people who just missed the "conference" (let the newcomers dig through the archives by themselves).

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I should mention the wonderful userscripts written by Valery Alexeev which utilize mathjax and allow you to render latex on any webpage, even if it does not support such rendering internally. Currently supported webpages include arXiv and gmail, though it should be easy to add your own to the list.

Used in combination with mathim.com and Tiddlywiki we have a powerful platform for online tex-enabled collaborations.

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    $\begingroup$ thank you for your userscript suggestion! with this, I could turn convore into "mathim.com" but with archive and topics. $\endgroup$ – pcr Apr 1 '11 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ @pcr have you succeeded in getting the userscript to work with convore? That would be sweet. $\endgroup$ – user346 Apr 1 '11 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ alternative to Alexeev's script. it's cheaper bexause it uses another website to render the equations into images. also, I don't have to refresh my page anymore: new formula will be automatically rendered. quirk: they use [; and ;] as delimiter (I have to manually change it into $). $\endgroup$ – pcr Apr 2 '11 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ Ok I just tried it here convore.com/sciphysics/formulas-showcase and it is pretty sweet! Thanks again. $\endgroup$ – user346 Apr 2 '11 at 10:37
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    $\begingroup$ tiddlywiki+formulas+graph math.chapman.edu/~jipsen/asciencepad/asciencepad.html $\endgroup$ – pcr May 1 '11 at 5:41
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http://www.mathim.com/

Latex based chatroom partially fulfills the requirement . The best scenario I can imagine is a mathjax/latex based wiki/website with an embedded $\LaTeX$ chat like M$\alpha$thIM.

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convore: $\frac1{\sqrt3}(|IRC\rangle + |mailing list\rangle + |chat\rangle)$

No built-in latex support yet, but this can be remedied by installing the display latex userscript (thank you Deepak Vaid).

A nice complement to convore: online whiteboard (e.g. scriblink, flockdraw).

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  • $\begingroup$ you can easily display images too! $\endgroup$ – pcr Apr 1 '11 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ dear pcr, you forgot a factor of $\frac{1}{\sqrt{3}}$ in the first line. $\endgroup$ – yayu Apr 1 '11 at 8:13
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    $\begingroup$ whoops! fixed. now it can freely evolve unitarily. $\endgroup$ – pcr Apr 1 '11 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ Convore has been replaced by something called grove $\endgroup$ – Tobias Kienzler Oct 22 '12 at 12:44
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alternative to tiddlywiki: instiki

a simple wiki with latex support out of the box.

I haven't really explored it yet, so please share your experience.

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    $\begingroup$ I like tiddlywiki because of its modular nature. It doesn't have separate pages for each entry as instiki does. Instead it has separate "tiddlers" (an unfortunate choice of terminology, I know) all shown on one page. You can fold (collapse) tiddlers, rearrange them in any order and using some of the plugins available for TW even arrange tiddlers in any 2D pattern you care for. Visually, I think this provides a much more accessible tool for learning and note-keeping. $\endgroup$ – user346 Mar 31 '11 at 0:22
  • $\begingroup$ cool, I love TW's tag-based organization. Now I only need to convince my friend to switch to those new tools. $\endgroup$ – pcr Apr 1 '11 at 2:08
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Rather overkill, but you may want to try MediaWiki

Requires: php/mysql Install time:5 mins not counting download.

For math, there is an incredibly long procedure to set up the partially built-in png math renderer.

Alternatively, you can just install the mathjax extension. Quick process not including downloads.

Also, the LiquidThreads extension makes discussions easier and organized.

I'll post some links later.

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