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It would be really nice to be able to use Mathjax (math formulas) in chat. Not specially for formulae, but for things like \$V_{CC}\$ in electronics chat would be very useful.

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Perhaps as an option to enable. You wouldn't want to have MathJax enabled everywhere. I think it's a big burden on the server. –  M. Tibbits Jul 9 '11 at 0:33
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Note the response by Jeff Atwood to this question. –  M. Tibbits Jul 9 '11 at 2:15
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You're asking for this to be specifically enabled on mathematics-related chatrooms, right? Not across all the chatrooms? Because it's a huge dependency, and it's utterly pointless in 95% of cases (although I can see how in that 5% it's absolutely invaluable). –  Cody Gray Jul 9 '11 at 8:08
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@Cody Yes, math/engineering related only - it would be fairly pointless and a waste of resources on others. Having it configurable on a per-room or per site basis would be good. –  Majenko Jul 9 '11 at 10:19
    
Though it would be useful for programming-related chats too. In particular it's hard to explain physical concepts (say, for game engines on GameDev's chat) without some formulas. Though for now I just screen shot TeX output and upload the results there, this works nearly as fast. –  Martin Sojka Sep 20 '11 at 13:43
    
I really think that the lack of mathjax (or equivalent) support in chats created from extended comment discussions on stackexchange sites which enable that in their comments (such as maths, physics, astronomy) is decremental to the purpose of these sites. Some discussions require mathjax mark-up (or equivalnet). I would even go as far as to suggest to stop moving discussions with heavy mathjax usage to a chat room. –  Walter Sep 9 at 8:30

3 Answers 3

One option that could be implemented is client-side latex support, see here.

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Mmmm... Client side - one option I hadn't thought of. I guess this could be ported (or used as a starting point) to the SE chat system... Maybe someone on stackapps would like to take this on... –  Majenko Jul 19 '11 at 11:41

From Jeff's related answer:

This is implemented on http://math.stackexchange.com -- you can check it out there. It will never be on Stack Overflow, though, as it is an extremely heavy dependency.

MathJax is a client-side solution, but it uses a relatively large amount of bandwidth/time to load when the page is loading; I think Jeff is concerned about how this would affect the user experience.

I would prefer it be best as a per-room-per-user setting, so that users who can spare the loading time and would benefit from it can opt-in. Maybe when you hover a message using math notation it could have a button to enable math.

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It should probably be enabled by default in rooms created by the system from long comment threads (on sites that support use MathJax). –  Raphael May 23 '12 at 20:46
    
I believe this would be the best solution. Anyone knowing if this is being worked on? –  Max Kielland Feb 13 at 16:50

As a workaround while this request is pending, there exist several client-side workarounds that can be used to enable LaTeX rendering in chat, including:

This is a Community Wiki answer, so if you know of other scripts or extensions that do the same, feel free to add them here.

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