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
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3 Answers

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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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
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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
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