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The new MathJax help page is now in place.

See the following question and its accepted answers for more details.

 


 

If you are editing a question or answer on PSE, near the top of the editor is a link saying "More" that goes to https://puzzling.stackexchange.com/editing-help. This has a "LaTeX" section, with a link "MathJax help" going to https://legacy-www.math.harvard.edu/texman/.

It turns out that this link is configurable (not by the likes of me, but by CMs) and I've just been asked where the PSE community would like it to point. I think there are five kinda-plausible answers:

  • Where it goes now.
  • The "MathJax guide" on math.MSE: https://math.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5020/414985
  • Some existing meta question on puzzling.MSE.
  • A new meta question on puzzling.MSE, maybe explaining MathJax in the context of PSE or bringing together links to the math.MSE guide along with puzzling.MSE questions about MathJax etiquette on PSE.
  • Somewhere else. (Maybe there's a great tutorial somewhere out there on the internet.)

There is already a link to https://www.mathjax.org/ in the editing-help page, by the way.

The existing puzzling.MSE questions I'm aware of don't seem like they are what's needed here. There is not one "somewhere else" option but many, one for each possible other place the link could go. I will create answers for the other options; anyone reading this who thinks there's another specific option we should consider should make an answer proposing that.

If you care about this, please up/down-vote whichever answers you think are good or bad ones.

(My understanding is that the configurability available here is not very great. The link text will be "MathJax help" and it will link to one place; we get to choose where that one place is.)

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  • $\begingroup$ What content do you (or any other users reading this) foresee as being necessarily Puzzling-specific that would necessitate a new post rather than just linking to the one on math.MSE? Just wondering if it's worth reinventing the wheel or if there really is some benefit to this... Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 28, 2022 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Or is this more a case of highlighting what's not appropriate use of MathJax on Puzzling? $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Sep 28, 2022 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ We'd want to do the "highlighting what's not appropriate" in the mostly-links version of the page too. I personally think that is a better option than reinventing the wheel completely. It's possible that a PSE-specific "intro to MathJax" page might want to mention some of the more creative applications of MathJax for formatting purposes, but it's also worth noting that some people really dislike such usage of MathJax. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Sep 28, 2022 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Just passing by, maybe something like this. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2023 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ @OverLordGoldDragon Thanks, but we've actually already written the page and are waiting for the link to it to be "installed" now... $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Mar 31, 2023 at 20:03

4 Answers 4

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The link should go to a new puzzling.MSE page, written to provide an introduction to MathJax in the specific context of puzzling.SE.

Pro: Such a page could be tuned to focus on things that are most useful to Puzzling users, and could include discussion of (and/or links to) existing puzzling.MSE material related to how MathJax should fit in here.

Con: Someone would have to write it. It might be a lot of work.

Some relevant existing puzzling.MSE discussions (this is the same list as in the other "new puzzling.MSE page" answer):

  • How to use MathJax in a question? (2015): asking about the mechanics of including MathJax in a PSE question. Has an answer saying what to do. (This information is already in the .../editing-help page, though.)
  • MathJax Usage Guidelines (2016): asking for opinions about not-exactly-mathematics usage of MathJax. No actual answers, but there is some discussion in comments.
  • The MathJax sandbox (2017): a handy place for experimenting with MathJax to get the formatting right.
  • PSA: MathJax is for math (2020): suggests that, for accessibility reasons, it's best not to use MathJax for anything other than mathematics too complex to be written adequately without MathJax. There is also an interesting answer from Rand al'Thor (who is a mathematician) arguing that it should be used for not-so-complex mathematics too.

This is the option that we decided to go for. The new puzzling.MSE page is at A brief guide to MathJax for PSE users.

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    $\begingroup$ I volunteer write the meta question/answer if we choose this option; I'd just need a list of topics to cover and enough time. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Sep 24, 2022 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! If the other "PSE-specific page" option ends up with more votes, are you equally willing to write that? (It seems like it would be less effort than for this one.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Sep 24, 2022 at 23:20
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    $\begingroup$ I'd also write that, yes. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Sep 25, 2022 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you again, then! $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Sep 25, 2022 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ Would you like me to put writing this post on my to-do list? It seems this answer has "won" the votes. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Oct 28, 2022 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, seems like this one is the winner. If you're still happy to write something, then I think that would be great. If it turns out you haven't time, please don't feel bad; I can do it instead. I suggest taking a look at the math.MSE "MathJax guide" -- noting that much of the content is in individual answers there, not just the question which contains a terse overview of basics -- for inspiration. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Oct 29, 2022 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ It seems like it would be a lot of work to do what the math.MSE guide does as well as it does, which is why my preferred option was the one that would make the puzzling.MSE document link to that (and to any other tutorial/reference material that might be relevant) and devote most of its original content to whatever PSE-specific things it might be useful to say. It seems that The People prefer to reinvent the wheel. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Oct 29, 2022 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ Even if reinventing the wheel, I think you should feel completely free to reinvent only parts of the wheel and link elsewhere for those who want to inspect the spokes and tyres in more detail :-). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Oct 29, 2022 at 2:06
  • $\begingroup$ Has the community made any progress on creating a new post, or cleaning up one of the existing ones to make any desired improvements? (Once the community agrees that the "MathJax help" link should be updated on this site to point to a particular post/URL, the mods can escalate the request for staff attention by adding the [status-review] tag to the question.) $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 25, 2023 at 4:20
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    $\begingroup$ @V2Blast Thanks for the reminder! Yes, we have. The link should go to A brief guide to MathJax for PSE users. I will tweak that to remove some of the language suggesting it's still in draft, and tag it with [status-review]. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Mar 25, 2023 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan: I've removed the [status-review] tag from that question and added it to this one instead, since this is the question containing the request for staff. That said, I'd suggest editing your answer to point to that question now, to make it easier for whichever CM handles this request. $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 26, 2023 at 7:34
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    $\begingroup$ @V2Blast Thanks! I have edited my answer, and also accepted that answer which may help direct the relevant staff to the right place. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Mar 26, 2023 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ The "MathJax help" link on Puzzling.SE (and this Meta site) has been changed to point to this Puzzling Meta post, per this suggestion. Let us know if you encounter any problems! $\endgroup$
    – V2Blast
    Apr 22, 2023 at 0:37
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The link should go to the math.MSE MathJax guide.

Pro: This is an intro to MathJax written with Stack Exchange users (though not specifically Puzzling users) in mind. It's more concise and MathJax-specific.

Con: For obvious reasons there's nothing Puzzling-specific there.

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The link should go to a new puzzling.MSE page, consisting mostly of links to useful material elsewhere such as the math.MSE guide and relevant puzzling.MSE questions..

Pro: Such a page could be tuned to focus on things that are most useful to Puzzling users, and give guidance on good MathJax etiquette on PSE. Writing it would be less work than writing a new intro from scratch.

Con: Someone would still have to write it. It would mean one more level of indirection before actually getting to the MathJax intro/reference information that someone following the link might be looking for.

Some relevant existing puzzling.MSE discussions (this is the same list as in the other "new puzzling.MSE page" answer):

  • How to use MathJax in a question? (2015): asking about the mechanics of including MathJax in a PSE question. Has an answer saying what to do. (This information is already in the .../editing-help page, though.)
  • MathJax Usage Guidelines (2016): asking for opinions about not-exactly-mathematics usage of MathJax. No actual answers, but there is some discussion in comments.
  • The MathJax sandbox (2017): a handy place for experimenting with MathJax to get the formatting right.
  • PSA: MathJax is for math (2020): suggests that, for accessibility reasons, it's best not to use MathJax for anything other than mathematics too complex to be written adequately without MathJax. There is also an interesting answer from Rand al'Thor (who is a mathematician) arguing that it should be used for not-so-complex mathematics too.
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  • $\begingroup$ In comments on another of the options, @bobble has kindly offered to write either the new puzzling.MSE page mentioned in that one or the one mentioned in this one. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan Mod
    Sep 25, 2022 at 12:14
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The link should go where it goes now.

Pro: This is where the link has traditionally gone and we haven't had complaints. It seems to have a fairly thorough discussion of LaTeX.

Con: It isn't specifically about MathJax, and indeed doesn't mention MathJax at all. It's intended for mathematicians writing papers, not for puzzlers writing questions and answers. The "legacy" in the URL is a little worrying; maybe at some point it will stop working.

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