MathJax, at last a decent way to post maths on the web

For a long time, posting something as simple as a square root on the web has been a major pain. Despite MathML having been around for years, Firefox is still the only browser (that I know of) to render MathML correctly.

p=Φ(2ln(12π−−√MH)−−−−−−−−−−−−√)p=Φ(2ln⁡(12πMH))

p=\Phi\left(\sqrt{2\ln\left(\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\frac{M}{H}\right)}\right)

Recently, I did stumble upon MathJax, an outstanding JavaScript rendering engine for mathematics that works for all major recent browsers. The syntax is derived from the one of LaTeX, and the output is either MathML (if you have Firefox) or plain HTML/CSS otherwise.

Thanks to MathJax, I have been able to post a long delayed analysis about optimal service levels (that the illustrating formula here above) and economic order quantity. Kudos to the MathJax team!


Reader Comments (2)

Excellent ! Even if it’s a pity that MathML (or another math format) never quite took off (even in firefox the rendering is still a bit lame). Btw I’ve been using another system for quite a while called jsMath (http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/jsmath), but it required the ‘right’ fonts to be installed on the visitor’s system… not really user friendly from that point of view. Interestingly enough the main difference that stand out between jsmath and mathjax is that the later leverage the relatively new web font (http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-fonts/#font-face-rule) mecanism. Come to think of it… no wonder D. Knuth made such a fuss about TeX’s METAFONT and dedicated a separate book to it (http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/abcde.html) ;). January 11, 2012 | Thibauld Nion


You’re correct to mention jsMath in this context, as MathJax can be considered the successor to jsMath, since both have the same principal developer. With regard to fonts, it’s not an issue with MathJax. It will use its own, but results will be faster if you’ll download & install the STIX fonts. More about that here: MathJax Font Help. January 12, 2012 | Bob Mathews