# enabling LaTeX on this site

I asked questions about pronouncing math in Russian here and here, it was frustrating that I couldn't use LaTeX to typeset mathematics in the question, since it would have made the mathematical parts look better. It looks silly to have x^2 with the ^ symbol instead of an honest exponent of 2. And if I had wanted to ask a question about the pronunciation in Russian of something even semi-complicated typographically like an integral or a matrix, it would be pretty awkward to type the mathematical part without LaTeX.

Can this stackexchange site be designed to allow the use of LaTeX, just like math.stackexchange? I had tried using dollar signs around a mathematical expression in my question, but that didn't create LaTeX output, so it really looks like there's no LaTeX available (yet).

• Could be handy. – kotekzot Jun 14 '12 at 5:00
• I think more questions would include \$, as in USD, than LaTeX. – Tim Jun 14 '12 at 8:30
• I just noticed that very simple html code is allowed in a question and answer, as indicated on the page meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1777/…, so I can write 2 as an exponent or subscript and italicize Latin variables without needing LaTeX. – KCd Jun 15 '12 at 2:10
• However, that basic html code list doesn't appear to work in comments. – KCd Jun 15 '12 at 2:12
• @KCd If you are have solved your problem, could you please mark one of the answers as accepted? – iHunter Jun 15 '12 at 11:01

I vote against due to the problem with the USD symbol. Most users here will probably not even know what LaTeX is and why dollars should mean anything but dollars. Concerning the performance, yes, MathJax functions pretty well, but it depends on the internet-connection and computer speed. While I love / actively use LaTeX myslef, in the present context I would argue for attaching / linking a PNG with the equation to be read. There are online services available for easy and nice conversion, e. g. http://www.sciweavers.org/free-online-latex-equation-editor.

• I was unable to use the page at that link to generate script fonts using \mathscr, which was in fact the purpose of one of my questions. Do you know an online site that understands \mathscr? – KCd Jun 15 '12 at 1:27
• @KCd Yes, you're right, for some weird reason the editors I've seen do not support this feature. It's really strange. On the other hand I would say that this narrows your question down to almost nothing (math + specific font), so you might take an effort to write this equation with TeX on your PC and upload the picture. It takes a couple of minutes. I don't mean to say that your question is uninteresting. Just the effort and pros and cons of the final solution should be justified. May be we can postpone this discussion a little and see if LaTeX is demanded by a considerable number of users. – texnic Jun 15 '12 at 8:33

As a workaround for this rare and specific task I can suggest you using some online LaTeX editors like this and embedding images in your posts.

• Thanks for the suggestion, but I wasn't able to make that site you mentioned work. My main problem, in retrospect, is that I actually didn't know how to embed images. Now that I have found out how to do it, I can handle the lack of LaTeX support on this site using LaTeX myself. – KCd Jun 15 '12 at 2:54
• @KCd Glad it worked for you, I mean the workaround with images, not that particular site. – iHunter Jun 15 '12 at 11:00

AFAIR allowing LaTeX had performance impact so it was intoduced only there where it was crucial.

It's not a site for asking questions about math in Russian. It's the site about Russian language and usage. If you want to ask, how to pronunciate matrix, simply ask about it. You don't have to provide the symbol of the matrix.

• I was afraid it was going to be something like that. At least one could use Math.SE LaTeX preview to make an image to include in the relevant question here. – kotekzot Jun 14 '12 at 6:09
• This site is about usage, and if mathematical notation is not a usage, by all means, throw stones at Bender. – theUg Jun 14 '12 at 7:13
• @theUg it seems to be a matter of cost. If it would benefit 0.1% of questions but deteriorate user experience by 1%, it is not worth it. It's a little early to judge whether the performance cost and implementation investment are warranted by the volume of questions that would benefit from it, don't you think? – kotekzot Jun 14 '12 at 7:51
• Mathematical notation isn't needed to ask about pronouncing the word matrix, but if, say, I wanted to ask how to pronounce the Cauchy-Riemann equations (not the term "Cauchy-Riemann equations", but the equations themselves), it would be useful to be able to typeset them nicely as part of the question. – KCd Jun 14 '12 at 14:42
• Thanks for the remark on LaTeX having performance impact. Frankly, as a user on math.stackexchange, I don't notice any systematic slowdown there from LaTeX. – KCd Jun 14 '12 at 14:43
• As theUg wrote, how math is pronounced in Russian is part of the Russian language, and mathematical notation in particular is something that is largely learned only from person to person, and thus is hard to find out from books. On a similar note, I think it would be quite appropriate to ask on this site (although I am not) how simple chemical formulas are pronounced in Russian. I don't mean what the names of the elements are, since that's trivial to find out online. But asking how CO_2 is pronounced in Russian (Цэ О два) is a question on language and usage. – KCd Jun 14 '12 at 23:57

I feel awkward answering my own question, but I was unable to use the online services that texnic and iHunter suggested. I tried them, but the code I was supposed to place in my original question didn't work. Searching around the math.stackexchange meta site led me to the page here, which had advice that solved my problem, and I'd like to record the steps I then followed:

1) Produce an image file on your own, e.g., from LaTeX output (which I can do using LaTeX myself).

2) Click on the sixth icon from the left above the box where you are typing your question or answer. It is an image upload button.

3) You are prompted to find the relevant image file on your computer. Once it is found, click "Upload".

4) Your question or answer box will then have some code automatically generated in it that produces the relevant image. Check it looks okay. If it doesn't, then delete the code and try to use a better image file.

My question here, which is one of the questions that prompted this meta site question, now has a nice image in it with the fonts that were relevant to the translation question I was asking.