Saturday, October 23, 2010

Change to Math Rendering

I just got done switching the handling of mathematical notation in the blog from LaTeXMathML to MathJax. I think it may be a bit easier for me to use as an author, and the fonts seem to render faster in Firefox.  The main reason for the switch, though, is that statistics Google compiled on my site visitors showed 69% of viewers using Windows but only 25% using Internet Explorer.  I'd like to interpret that as a sign that readers of this blog have above average intelligence (or at least common sense), but it occurred to me that the fact that IE users needed a plug-in to see the mathematical notation in some posts might have been a deterrent.  Not wanting to scare anyone away, I switched to MathJax, which I believe will work on a copy of IE that lacks the plug-in (and thus cannot display MathML natively) by switching to web-based fonts automatically.  I'm writing this in Firefox (on a Mint laptop that lacks a copy of IE), so testing will have to wait until my next foray in Windows.

7 comments:

  1. Good move. On a Mac (Safari), MathJax renders much more nicely than MathML.

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  2. I appreciate the feedback. I live in two of the three personal computing worlds (Windows and Linux), but I don't have access to a Mac, so I'm never sure how things work there. (I suppose this may become four personal computing worlds if Android catches on in the tablet market. Hah! An excuse to buy another gadget.)

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  3. Paul, thanks for the link to MathJax, which I must have overlooked. I have actually implemented it into my documentation system, which is based on boost quickbook (eventually docbook based). It allows me to write latex code directly, which I have been missing for a while. Nice !

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  4. Just moved from a local installation of MathJax to the new MathJax CDN option (http://www.mathjax.org/docs/1.1/start.html#using-the-mathjax-content-delivery-network-cdn). If nothing else, that will save me having to update my installation as MathJax improves.

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  5. Picked this up today, and set it up as you mentioned. Does look nice. One thing, the font seemed a bit small compared to the remaining text. In your posts, that did not seem to be the issue.

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  6. @Samik: Odd -- our blogs seem to have the same font size (presumably the Blogger default), and the MathJax sizes should be the same. At any rate, you can tweak the MathJax settings to boost the font size: http://sourceforge.net/projects/mathjax/forums/forum/948700/topic/3779420.

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  7. @Paul: Thanks for the tip. Scaling the formulas by 110% seems to be working nicely.

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