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...and I doubt many other people can too. For the sake of tidyness, perhaps placeholders could be used, so that

enter image description here

looks like this instead?

enter image description here

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marked as duplicate by Shadow Wizard, JDB, hims056, Duncan, George Stocker Dec 9 '13 at 16:07

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Or better yet, actually render the maths correctly –  Richard Tingle Dec 9 '13 at 15:09
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@Rich But then we'd have to load MathJax on all SE sites, ...No. –  Doorknob 冰 Dec 9 '13 at 15:10
1  
Some of that math is rather easy, if not pretty, to read with minimal MathJax knowledge. Removing the information about the math content entirely would be a step backwards there. Substituting it with a plaintext equivalent would be nice, but probably not that easy. –  Mad Scientist Dec 9 '13 at 15:12
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@ShaWizDowArd Related, but I'm asking for a different solution. –  fredley Dec 9 '13 at 15:13
    
@fredley in my opinion it's a fair suggestion but should be suggested there on that other request. Just me though. –  Shadow Wizard Dec 9 '13 at 15:14
    
I have to say that I reached for the flag as spam option more than once seeing those kind of question titles... –  rene Dec 9 '13 at 15:14
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@rene Sorry, I'm from Arqade, we do things differently. –  fredley Dec 9 '13 at 15:16
    
How is replacing slightly difficult to read with impossible to read an upgrade? And in many cases the formula is much easier to read. Why replace $O(n)$ or `$a = b + c$ with a placeholder? –  CodesInChaos Dec 9 '13 at 17:18

3 Answers 3

The current implementation or the possible implementation of the LaTeX looks the same to me.
I'm sure I'm not the same one in that situation.

If I see :

  • $Sum_{stuff}
  • [Equation]
  • Some nice LaTeX formula

Any of those won't change the fact that I won't understand what is there and that I won't click on it. I'll just skip that question and changing that to anything else won't make me skip faster.

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It seems that LaTeX on Stack Overflow has Already been decided against, so we'd have to go with a different alternative. On one hand, it looks terrible, but on the other hand, some of us can read it to some degree, and it isn't fair to almost completely exclude certain sites from the hot questions lineup. Perhaps a placeholder would work fine, but then that would take a lot of meaning out of the questions, and less people would click on it. At any rate, if anyone truly can't understand it, they always have the option of clicking on the link. Maybe, since loading MathJax takes too long, we could use this alternative, which would probably be a lot lighter

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4  
"most of us can read it to some degree" - Who is us? –  fredley Dec 9 '13 at 15:14
    
@fredley you're right. Answer edited –  scrblnrd3 Dec 9 '13 at 15:23

Other than looking a bit odd (to the untrained eye), I can't see that it's creating much of a problem. Certainly, it's no different from the occasional OP who includes a bit of code in the title of their Stack Overflow question. It's probably readable to the intended audience, so I don't see much of an incentive to "fix" it.

Can you explain why this should be corrected, other than you personally don't like the look of it?

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The notion that "it's just a visual" is invalid. "Whole pixels" of inconsistency get fixed. Other broken aspects of the top bar get fixed. And yes, I realize that those are significantly easier fixes. But it's fairly clear that visual stuff DOES get fixed if it can, and this is no different. It's just significantly more difficult. –  Jonathan Garber Dec 9 '13 at 15:54
    
@JonathanGarber - I never said "it's just a visual". I've never seen MathJax before, but I've already figured out how to read most of it. It's just code, and plenty of sites have questions with code in the title of a question. Granted, this happens to be markup code, but I think it's a waste of time to install MathJax renderes on every single site so that questions from one site display "properly". Not to mention, MathJax could cause questions from other sites to be improperly formatted. The amount of development involved in "fixing" it just doesn't seem justified. –  JDB Dec 9 '13 at 16:02
    
@JonathanGarber - (You are also trying to compare this to setting an explicit font height for the top bar, which is a single line of code in a CSS file somewhere. That's an extremely easy change. Nor is it as severe as an inconsistent UI experience, as with the second example.) –  JDB Dec 9 '13 at 16:04
    
I'm not denying that it's a different change. I explicitly acknowledged that it's more difficult. I am fully aware of the MathJax dependency issues, which is why I didn't suggest full rendering as the solution. And you're ignoring the point when you state that this isn't as "severe" as the inconsistent top bar. You're essentially saying "I can read it, so therefore there isn't a problem." Your ability to read it doesn't change the fact that it's still ugly. What if I were to say that the top bar didn't bother me, so therefore it wasn't severe? –  Jonathan Garber Dec 9 '13 at 16:34
    
@JonathanGarber - There's a significant difference between the top bar which is part of the site's user interface, meaning users must interact with it to successfully navigate the site, and the title of a question which includes some formatting code - it's not pretty, but it's on the same level as Laravel angularjs Request::ajax() always false... if you don't know how to read it, skip it. –  JDB Dec 9 '13 at 16:50

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