Sunday, August 28, 2011

MathJax

I'll be wanting a lot of mathematical content here, so took a look around to see what the current state of that art is.  Was delighted to find MathJax:
"No more setup for readers.  No more browser plugins.  No more font installations...  It just works."
Nice; the above tag-line is pretty much the exact opposite of MathML (ha!)  Basically, they've got client-side LaTeX typesetting via JavaScript.  I'm a big fan of LaTeX.  A few years ago I started working on my own server-side LaTeX-on-the-web solution via JSP, but it was rather involved and a bit of a pain.  MathJax seems to perform much better than my prototype system did, and has additional client-side niceties (dynamic scaling, cut and paste, etc.)

To get this up and running in a system like Blogger, one just sources a single script from MathJax' CDN in the blog template (see here for details).  Then type LaTeX source in your blog posts; MathJax will scrape it and re-render it right in the client's browser.  Here's a sample: \[ \int\limits_M{\partial\omega} = \int\limits_{\partial M}{\omega}. \]

There are a few niceties for poor suffering MathML users thrown in as well.

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