This is shocking. This is a lack of basic literacy. Obviously MathJax is needed in chat.

  • 7
    To users that don't use MathJax it is not necessarily obvious why this would be a good idea. I certainly agree that chat should have MathJax in some rooms, but you need to convince SE that this is worth the implementation effort. Just stating it is obviously needed is likely not sufficient. Jul 25, 2015 at 6:35
  • @MadScientist : There are no users in the site I linked to who don't use MathJax in questions, answers, and comments. Only very terse questions or answers don't include MathJax and most comments include MathJax. And it's a very busy site. Jul 25, 2015 at 6:38
  • (Although I should add that some of them use it amazingly unskillfully.) Jul 25, 2015 at 6:42
  • There are many sites who don't have any need for MathJax at all - so to convince the developers, as MadScientist states, need to be convinced that it is needed across the SE chat network. Mathematics is just one site, many Science chats use it, not as much though - but a great proportion do not use it at all.
    – user289879
    Jul 25, 2015 at 7:38
  • This question so far has seven down-votes and four up-votes. Could those who down-voted it explain why? Jul 25, 2015 at 20:40
  • 2
    I wanted to, but I lack basic literacy to do so.
    – user259867
    Jul 25, 2015 at 21:10
  • Likewise, with @NormalHuman, I would love to, but I obviously lack the basic literacy
    – user289879
    Jul 25, 2015 at 22:42
  • @NormalHuman : OK, you can be sarcastic. Congratulations. If the Arabic alphabet were needed in one stackexchange site and were used in every question, answer, and comment on that site, but if it were not available in chat on that site, would you be offended if someone complained about that by calling it a lack of basic literacy? Jul 25, 2015 at 23:55
  • @santiago : ^ or you? Jul 25, 2015 at 23:55
  • I don't answer to you
    – user289879
    Jul 26, 2015 at 0:22
  • Alphabet is for writing, MathJax is for typesetting. There's a difference. I still would be offended if someone called my act a symbol of lack of literacy. So yeah, that's basically the reason for my and several other downvotes.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 26, 2015 at 19:08
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M : In nearly every question, answer, and comment some writing is done that cannot be done without MathJax. Jul 26, 2015 at 19:44
  • 1
    But not any chat message. I myself come from where MathJax is a vital way of expressing yourself. But in your post, you've just chosen a rant-ish way to express what you want; and not explained its benefits other than in its comments. That, my friend, along with the fact that you didn't search for possible past FRs (i.e. lack of research), is the reason for seven downvotes. And you're idea is usually supported by people like me, so that's why it got four upvotes. I couldn't put it in a more straightforward fashion than this.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 26, 2015 at 19:52
  • 1
    Maybe edit and add something nicer, which calls for more discussion, like the benefits etc. in a more discussion-like and outspoken way, and I for one would retract my -1. People in meta do not like rants at all, which exposes them to downvotes to even somethings of way less of the specified overtone.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 26, 2015 at 19:55
  • "But not any chat message." Why do you say that? People do in fact write MathJax code in most chat messages, and it doesn't get rendered. Jul 27, 2015 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


The current situation with MathJax in chat is pretty annoying. Many users are using user scripts or bookmarklets to render MathJax in chat, which certainly works for them, but essentially makes the messages unreadable for anyone else without the script.

The existence of the user scripts and the heavy use e.g. the Math room makes of them do demonstrate the clear need for MathJax support in chat.

This is how the Math chat room often looks to new visitors:

enter image description here

It is certainly not a good user experience to see just raw MathJax source code if you don't have the user script installed. And user scripts don't necessarily work for all users or all devices, they are not a good solution.

Performance is usually a major consideration when adding MathJax, but I don't think this is an issue here. All the users that add the user script already experience the performance impact, and if it is only enabled on rooms that actually require it there wouldn't be any impact on users that don't really need it.

Chat rooms should probably just inherit the MathJax setting from their parent site, if it is useful on the main site, it is likely useful in chat as well. An alternative would be to selectively enable it for rooms that heavily use it now.

  • 2
    Selective use option sounds like a way to go.
    – user289879
    Jul 25, 2015 at 7:39
  • @santiago : What do you mean by "selective use option"? Do you mean each user separately can use a script? That's just what is condemned by "Mad Scientist"'s posting above? Jul 25, 2015 at 20:22
  • An alternative would be to selectively enable it for rooms that heavily use it now.
    – user289879
    Jul 25, 2015 at 22:41

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