This question already has an answer here:

Other sites like math.SE, physics.SE and chemistry.SE already have it. We get enough questions about math that it would come in handy here as well, though probably not as often as on those sites.

For example, here's an answer where I would've liked to use a math formula if possible. I wrote pseudocode instead, which I think is what a lot of people probably do in cases like this.

I guess it could be argued that since we're (mostly) coders here, pseudocode is an appropriate form of expression of formulas. I for one would like to have the option of actual math notation, though.


marked as duplicate by msell, Josh, MichaelHouse, bobobobo, Anko Oct 16 '13 at 17:53

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    \$\begingroup\$ This would be very cool and very useful. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Jun 21 '13 at 5:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ meta.gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/351/…. \$\endgroup\$ – Tetrad Jun 21 '13 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh, I did a search for "MathJax" and that didn't come up. But anyway, same issue as with my other meta question: that post was over 2 years ago, and the discussion just petered out without any action being taken or a decision being made. How can we get this issue in front of someone who actually has the power to make it happen (or, for that matter, to say no - although that would be very disappointing)? \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Reed Jun 21 '13 at 6:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Out of the several times I've found this to have popped up, there isn't an actual compelling reason against MathJax. It would certainly make a notable number of things clearer. It's pretty frustrating to read opposing positions that seem to be founded in fear or ignorance of mathematics; especially since it wouldn't be forced on anyone. \$\endgroup\$ – Drew Cummins Sep 13 '13 at 1:11

Nicely formatted math does look nice.

However, do we really need it?

Stackoverflow.com doesn't have it because ("it is an extremely heavy dependency."). I presume Jeff meant in terms of page load/page render (the math renders a second or two after the initial page load).

Anyway, the majority of questions and answers are about games and game development, not "neato math tricks."

Joe's comment here says it better than I have here, I'll repeat it:

I'm not against it, but I also feel like if a question requires that much math in its answer, it's probably more suited for math.se, not here. Math here needs to be translated into readable code eventually anyway, so I'd encourage code-like answers rather than math answers.

Outside of the occassional exponent or subscript (for which we can use HTML), do we really need 1st class presentation of other mathematical constructs? I would vote that we don't need them at the moment.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't understand how MathJax is an "extremely heavy dependency". I have it on my personal site; it required adding about 2 lines to the head section of the page. Also, that answer of Jeff's is 3 years old, so it may well be out of date. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Reed Jun 24 '13 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, the tone of your answer seems to suggest you look on math notation as somehow unnecessary ("neato math tricks", "showing off"). I don't know why that may be, but I'd argue for looking at math notation as simply a concise language for people with a math background to communicate with each other more effectively. It's no different to using jargon in any other field. We don't stop to explain what a "pixel shader" is in English every time we mention it on this site, and nor should we shy away from math notation where it's appropriate to use it. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Reed Jun 24 '13 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've spent quite a lot of time translating mathematese into working code. Mathematese is not the preferred syntax to communicate algorithms. Pseudocode is. \$\endgroup\$ – bobobobo Jun 25 '13 at 13:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ "I've spent quite a lot of time translating mathematese into working code. Mathematese is not the preferred syntax to communicate algorithms. Pseudocode is." GDSE is not purely a programming site. Graphics work can be game-dev specific, and graphics work is, at its foundations, math. And communicating a mathematical algorithm is not something pseudo-code is useful at. Showing how to construct parts of a matrix in pseudo-code is far less effective than, for example, this. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicol Bolas Jul 15 '13 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanReed: "I can't understand how MathJax is an "extremely heavy dependency". I have it on my personal site; it required adding about 2 lines to the head section of the page." It is extremely heavy. Unless you honestly believe that those two lines simply tap into the latent ability of all web-browsers to translate LaTeX formatting into math equations. The MathJax Javascript code that must be compiled and used every time someone loads your HTML is gigantic. It is a non-trivial dependency, no matter how easy it is to include. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicol Bolas Jul 15 '13 at 8:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NicolBolas It's nowhere near as bad as you say. Yes, there is potentially a large amount of Javascript involved, but MathJax loads components only when needed, so pages that don't contain equations incur negligible cost. Moreover it doesn't start rendering the math until the rest of the page has been loaded, so the presence of math doesn't prevent you starting to read the page while the math fills in. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Reed Jul 15 '13 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mathematese obscures meaning. Case in point, a definition of a convex polygon from a game dev book. I'm not discouraging the use of pretty matrices, I'm discouraging the use of that type of language. Although most people won't write in mathematese, there's always the person that will describe a line from P to Q as "the set of points (1 − t )P + t Q for t ∈ [0, 1]" \$\endgroup\$ – bobobobo Jul 15 '13 at 23:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @bobobobo: And yet, the fact that SE's comment system doesn't have MathJax support did not prevent you from writing "the set of points (1 − t )P + t Q for t ∈ [0, 1]". People are going to write what they want to write. The fact that some people can incorrectly use a tool does not mean that people who can use that tool appropriately should be denied it's use. If someone's going to obfuscate their text, they can do it just as well without MathJax as with it. \$\endgroup\$ – Nicol Bolas Jul 16 '13 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ How about some box drawing characters. \$\endgroup\$ – bobobobo Aug 6 '13 at 13:52

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