Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | September 3, 2010

MathJax vs MathML?

This is a question that I placed at TeX and LaTeX question site:

My organisation needs to update its website, which, in particular, will host a number of blogs and wikis on mathematics-related themes. We need to use some way of rendering of LaTeX on our web pages. Given a choice of MathJax and MathML, which one would you recommend? Any other solutions?

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Responses

  1. MathML isn’t a LaTeX parser, so the answer would be MathJax. By the way, you can configure MathJax to use MathML rendering if available, or plain HTML+CSS, which will work in most places. You can see the demo here: http://www.mathjax.org/demos/mathml-samples/

  2. Definitely MathJax… You can convert TeX input to MathML output and the output can fall back to HTML if the user’s browser doesn’t support MathML.

    How would you convert the TeX into MathML otherwise? Not to mention that Firefox is the only browser that supports MathML out of the box, so most users wouldn’t be able to see math.

  3. there is also jsMath, which seems to be the predecessor of MathJax:

    http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/jsMath/welcome.html

    which is still used by quite a few websites out there.
    There seems to be no way other than jsMath/MaxJax of using MathML via TeX/LaTeX.

    Don’t know about MathJax, but with jsMath, without the extra fonts installed, the browser falls back to image fonts (and not to HTML), so no maths text is lost this way.

  4. @Dima, why would you ever use jsMath instead of MathJax? MathJax has all the features of jsMath and more.

  5. mathjax isn’t supported on Firefox 2 – jsmaths is…

  6. Is it possible to have a fallback from mathjax to jsmath?

  7. I wonder if it’s possible to use MathJax on a wordpress.com blog
    (yes, I know how to set it up on my own host, but would be great to have it e.g.here)…

    • Instructions for using mathjax with WordPress are at:

      http://www.aidansean.com/wordpress/?p=25

      I am using it on my WordPress blog at
      BrightStarTutors.com/blog

      There is also a WordPress plugin for mathjax, but I was not able to get it to work, and it seems to have no official support from the mathjax developers.

  8. I would be interested to know an answer to a modification of Dima’s question: how can one use MathJax on a WordPress blog hosted on your own server (this would be a dream solution for the new LMS website, http://www.lms.ac.uk)

    • it’s next to trivial for anyone with some idea about webservers and how they operate and get data/settings from.
      Do you already have Wodpress there?
      Then it’s really just matter of putting mathjax library into, say
      /var/www/mathjax
      and telling your wordpress installation what to do with it.


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