Jon and Peter Borwein wished to explore the possibility of creating an electronic document as a sort of proceedings of a workshop, as a showcase of what could be done and as a pointer to where mathematics documentation was going (one thought that got kicked around was the idea that this could be thought of as a prototype of how the American Mathematical Monthly might look as an electronic journal). After a series of meetings in March of 1995, with various people around the Centre for Experimental and Constructive Mathematics (see appendix) we eventually decided that a sample document should be constructed, so we could more clearly see what we wanted to do and whether or not it was possible. We chose my paper `Chaos and Continued Fractions' from the May 1992 Monthly, because it is loosely related to experimental mathematics (it is at least partly concerned with the reliability of floating-point arithmetic for experimental investigation of chaotic dynamical systems), because it is accessible to a wide audience, because it has the potential for enhancement with live Maple workhseets (which coincidentally were already written), and because the author (me) was physically present to work on the project, being at the Centre on sabbatical.
There was one problem, in that I had not written the paper in LaTeX, which is the text processor of choice for the enhancements we have in mind. I re-typed the paper from the printed version (discovering several typographical and formatting errors that never should have made it into print in the first place). This re-typing did not take long, and provided a nice opportunity for reflection on which parts of the paper would benefit from electronic enhancement.
After the typing, we used a single afternoon to enhance the LaTeX\
version in two ways; one by using the program
to convert the document into HTML which can be browsed, and
one by using the more speculative HyperTeX set of LaTeX macros
and xhdvi viewer. Both turned out to be very simple, once we
had worked the bugs out of our feeble first attempts to include figures.
We spent the next day thinking about what sorts of electronic enhancements would actually be useful, and the result (after a further day's work) is what you find in Continued Fractions and Chaos.
This is not a final version. We expect that in the six or so months remaining before the meeting we will be able to seriously improve several aspects of this paper. The version that you see there is the result of very simple enhancements, the kind that can be done in a single day's work with someone with experience looking over the author's shoulder, helping.