In order to help a user out, Oded edited a comment on Aviation. Due to the fact that MathJax is used, the comment becomes massive. It has the height of an answer and it was very confusing at first sight.

massive comment

Should the style be changed so it doesn't take that much space? Maybe the MathJax should be inlined to make it look like Mathematics:

on mathematics

I guess this is a problem with more than one site that isn't used to have MathJax, so posting it here.


My fault.

I didn't realize that for mathjax rendering, there is a difference between delimiting with $$ and with $ the latter does inline.

My initial edits were with $$, which is what caused the comments to blow up.

I've since replaced those with $, which makes the comments a lot better.

  • Can this happen to regular users too? Is there a way to prevent this kind of bugs? May 17 '16 at 11:36
  • @PatrickHofman - it isn't a bug - works as expected... More me having no idea on how these things work.
    – Oded
    May 17 '16 at 11:51
  • 1
    But can other users have that "no idea how these things work"? If so, should we prevent this type of markdown in comments, and only allow the condensed version? May 17 '16 at 12:11
  • 4
    If I didn't know, I can only assume others don't (the OP didn't even know that he needed to use delimiters to enclose mathjax). This is rare enough and I believe the mods of any site that does have mathjax can intervene. I don't think we need to place restrictions in place for something like this.
    – Oded
    May 17 '16 at 12:17
  • Okay. That no one complained about this yet seems enough proof to me. Thanks Oded. May 17 '16 at 12:18
  • @Patrick the $...$ is the condensed version. No bugs I can see. The display environment (equation) is by default with larger and hence more visible fonts. Using a lot of equation environments is just something people shouldn't do, and there isn't a need for systematic prohibition, just like nothing's prohibiting annoying use of bold and italics.
    – M.A.R.
    May 17 '16 at 19:34
  • @phm okay. I have no experience with this so I will leave it to the pros. May 17 '16 at 20:26
  • I think one has to be very careful editing such comments, if they do not include MathJax in the first place. The conversion of display to in-line maths is no problem, but since only mods can edit the comments, one should be double dead sure not to introduce any mistakes. Another downside is, that the OP will not be notified about these changes and if she/he sees issues with the comment, removal and repost are the only options. (...) May 19 '16 at 7:54
  • 1
    (...) The above comment makes this quite obvious. I do not know the original version, but I fear that MathJax made it worse. In the first equation for example the (1/2) should be superscripted, but it is not enclosed in {} hence only ( gets raised. The last 2) does not belong in the maths environment any more, it is the next bullet point. From the answer to which the comment refers it is obvious, that cD0 must indeed be c_{D0}. I think it is better to just inform the user that MathJax can be used in comments and leave the rest to her/him. May 19 '16 at 7:59

It would actually be easy to completely disable display math in comments (forcing it to render inline instead) with a simple MathJax hook, like this:

MathJax.Hub.Register.MessageHook( "Begin Process", function (message) {
    var elements = message[1];
    var selector = '.comment script[type="math/tex; mode=display"]';
    $(elements).find(selector).attr('type', 'math/tex');
} );

(To make it run at the correct time, this code should be included in the MathJax config script, right after the call to MathJax.Hub.Config(). Generalizing it to also force all math to be rendered inline in question titles and in post snippets is left as an exercise. Or you could just cheat and look at my answer to the math.SE meta question I just linked to. :) )

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