We share some ground with Electrical Engineering - according to our on-topic rules - whenever it gets specific to the Pi. As such there are posts out there that could benefit from a readable typesetting of mathematical formulas.

Therefore the question is: Should we have MathJax enabled on our site?

A discussion should cover the relevance of a typeset mathematical notation for our site in terms of user experience and the question of effort vs. need (e.g. this old discussion hints that it is heavy).

MathJax of course requires additional formatting by the user. So it is definitely safe to assume that newcomers would need to be helped at this. However, the main use case would not be questions but comprehensive answers. I'd expect that our dedicated personnel giving such answers will pick up the notation in due time (see basic tutorial and quick reference to get a feeling).

Some examples:

how cool MathJax is

  • How would MathJax work does it require extra formatting by the user? Can you proviide some examples where this would help. how would this interact with source code (which should (I assume not have this applied to it)? Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 14:31
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    @SteveRobillard, find your comment addressed in edit and "answer" to illustrate the issue.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 15:44
  • I am not trying to be a jerk, but can you provide some example questions/answers from this site. Ideally with and without MathJax (I realize this may not be possible without having it enabled for the site). Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 15:54
  • There you go. Looks cool, does it not? ("This is the mathematical notation you're looking for." "He can go about his business." "Move along.")
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 16:13
  • I have one more question, if we enable this and it has negative effects (performance etc.) can we revert back without problems. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 16:16
  • Well. Text bodies will have things like $$something-something$$ in the clear, if reverting back. Nothing that could not be edited out of course. Can we query the data base for a string like "$$" to fix it?
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 16:23
  • Adding answers so ppl can vote if needed :) I think the circuit schematic thing would be much more helpful though...
    – Wilf
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 1:08
  • @Ghanima There's data SE for querying stuff data.stackexchange.com/raspberrypi/revision/415506/530422/… (involves SQL'ing)
    – Wilf
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 20:45

5 Answers 5


This does not seem to have wide community support, and the community has questioned the potential value this feature would add. As a result we will not be implementing this feature.


How would this interact with source code (which should (I assume not have this applied to it))?

Tested that on EE, seems to not collide with code. Before introduction of the feature this would have to be checked in detail of course.

enter image description here

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    They have code blocks also on EE, they probably would notice...
    – Wilf
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 1:10
  • @Wilf, so it would seem.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 8:25

NO, this site is for the Raspberry Pi, not maths :)

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    I agree. Schematics would be much more useful. I see some users use paint just to illustrate what they're doing.
    – Aloha
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 6:41
  • The Mathjax would only work in Questions and Answers - NOT in comments like this? I am not convinced that working just with HTML and Unicode would be any harder, and that is just as usable - if I have time I am quite happy to refer to an <b>I<sup>2</sup>C bus</b> or point out that V<sub>cc</sub> is <i>4.75.0±0.25 Volts</i> - it is just it doesn't actually work here.
    – SlySven
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 1:35
  • You also have to allow java-script from mathjax.org to operate which is yet another site to enable if you use NoScript and allow cross-site requests to the same site if you use RedirectPolicy in Mozilla browsers!
    – SlySven
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 2:08
  • @PandaLion98, I think both techniques have their merrit, and I don't think we have to pick one over the other. We can decide whether we need any or both of them. We'll get to the matter after christmas.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 12:55
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    @SlySven, heavy tagging does not work in the comments either way. But I think that both HTML tags and possibly mathjax are the most helpful in questions and answers only. Not having either in the comments section is only a very minor drawback.
    – Ghanima Mod
    Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 12:57

In 45 years working as an Electrical Engineer I have rarely needed mathematical symbols. (I did once write a specification which used matrix algebra to explain the operation — this used Micro$oft equation editor.)

The rest of the time I used standard mathematical notation (as used in FORTRAN), which most engineers can read.

I often use Unicode symbols e.g. Ω μ λ ² ± to make posts more readable but these need no special tools.

The vast bulk of users on raspberrypi.stackexchange seem to have problems with current and voltage. They don't need fancy mathematical notation.


YES, it's brilliant and would be useful here

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