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Notation for equations doesn't work on stackoverflow.com, like it does on http://math.stackexchange.com/. As I can see both sites are use the same engine (both are part of the stackexchage), so why I couldn't write something like $\frac{4}{3}\pi r^3$ as in this question?

I'm aware about this solution, but I can't see any reason to use 3rd-party solution when there's a ready one on stackexchage.com.

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Sorry for the shortlived, incorrect edit. Mea culpa. –  dmckee Aug 4 '10 at 18:25
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1 Answer 1

LaTeX is only enabled on Mathematics and Statical Analysis (AFAIK), but nowhere else. This is a good thing, since parsing LaTeX equations is resource intensive (on the client side). On sites where mathematical formula aren't used a lot, having LaTeX turned on is just a waste.

For simple enough equations, just use HTML, e.g. 4πr3/3.

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Why? Programming related questions and answers are sometimes need formulas. –  Kirill V. Lyadvinsky Aug 4 '10 at 18:33
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@jia, I have never come across a programming question that requires the display of complex mathematical equations. Can you back this up with examples? –  Aarobot Aug 4 '10 at 18:43
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Without digging now, consider (non-trivial) questions about complexity or 3D-graphics. –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 4 '10 at 19:02
    
@Georg: These are not the majority of questions asked on SO. You can't even find them in the top-80 tags (maybe [algorithm] counts, but that's still not many.) –  KennyTM Aug 4 '10 at 19:26
    
@Kenny: I didn't say anything about proportionality - i just reacted to Aarobots "I have never come across [...]". –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 4 '10 at 19:50
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@Georg - I agree. I hate having to do O(n<sup>2</sup>), so it doesn't even have to be non-trivial. –  tvanfosson Aug 4 '10 at 21:04
    
@KennyTM, look "Unicode art is not enough for not-so-simple equations." link. I agree that such questions is not the majority on SO, but even one such question worth to turn this option on. I'm not sure it is a big waste of computational resources. I'm not a web developer and I like LaTeX syntax, HTML is not for me. –  Kirill V. Lyadvinsky Aug 5 '10 at 12:06
    
@jia: When I say not-so-simple equations I mean equations like math.stackexchange.com/questions/1555/…, not trivial things like O(n²). And please time how long until the page is fully loaded. And also consider the extra bandwidth it will take for something like maybe 1% of question will actually use. –  KennyTM Aug 5 '10 at 12:40
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But the extra-bandwidth would only be needed for that minority of questions, thus it wouldn't hurt much anyway? –  Georg Fritzsche Aug 5 '10 at 20:33
    
@KennyTM: It is. It has to be parsed client side by Javascript, just like the (noticeably slow at times) syntax highlighter. –  Macha Sep 4 '10 at 13:52
    
@Georg: How would you programmatically detect it is needed? You don't want to hardcode in tag names. And it's at least a 100kb script (broken into several files), which would add a rather significant amount of data to serve. –  Macha Sep 4 '10 at 13:56
    
@Macha: If one of the requested posts uses the markup? –  Georg Fritzsche Sep 4 '10 at 14:07
    
@Georg: How do you programmaticaly detect that it's using the markup? How do you even know it wants the markup parsed and displayed? It might be a question about making a LaTeX parser. –  Macha Sep 4 '10 at 22:01
    
@Macha: The same way the script used on math.se does it? Or use special tags or whatever makes the engine happy... If it was a server-side solution its obious anyway. –  Georg Fritzsche Sep 4 '10 at 22:55

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