[Wikitech-l] MathJax integration to stock MediaWiki Math extension? (was RFC: math options)

On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM, Brion Vibber <br...@pobox.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM, MZMcBride <z...@mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>
>> Brion Vibber wrote:
>>
> [snip my notes about removing the non-PNG non-source options, wanting
> higher-resolution renderings]
>
>> Did you have a chance to evaluate MathJax? <http://www.mathjax.org/> I
>> know
>> it's come up in past math discussions and that a lot of math folks think
>> it
>> looks promising. A technical analysis of its feasibility on Wikimedia
>> wikis
>> would be great. Killing the less-used, ancient math options is great, but
>> perhaps adding one wouldn't be too bad to do too. :-)
>>
>
> That's an excellent thing to bring up -- MathJAX *does* look very
> promising, and things seem to render pretty nicely. Need to make sure that
> we can either do that type of rendering cleanly with the PNG fallback
> (older browsers will still need the PNGs, so it may still be worth spending
> the time to fix baselines).
>

I've done a quick experimental mode commit:
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:Code/MediaWiki/104521>

definitely promising in terms of things look nice. :)

Total library size is pretty large but that includes a bunch of fallback
images which will be rarely used; don't have a good sense of the 'weight'
of including the library yet. It does load a bit slowly, but hopefully
won't interfere much while it does so.

The initial method I'm using is to output the latex source in a <script
type="math/tex"> which MathJax recognizes, and then putting the image or
text source form in a <noscript> next to it. Browsers with JS off or
unavailable will use the fallback image/text silently, while those with
script will get the pretty math inserted at runtime.

This isn't perfect though, and for instance breaks on MobileFrontend
on top of that the fallback images are still in <noscript>. ;) Also,
browsers that have script support but don't work with MathJax won't load
images, so this is insufficient.

Most compatible thing is probably to let it include the images/text form
as-is, then make sure MathJax goes over and replaces them in-place. It
might need tweaks to understand the images (source in alt text).

I'm hoping to get some feedback and advice from folks who have worked with
MathJax previously; I'll whip up some detail notes as an RFC page in a bit.

-- brion
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• [Wikitech-l] MathJax integration to stock MediaWiki Math exte... Brion Vibber