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Update 07/02/2013: Google giveth, and it taketh away. MathML support in Chrome has been disabled until it’s “production-ready”.
Putting maths on the web has always been a tricky proposition. Typesetting notation is a highly complicated procedure, so for years people have got by either by compromising on aesthetics and writing equations in plain, unadorned text, or by using off-line LaTeX compilers to make blurry images of what they’re trying to say.
It’s an unpresupposing little letter, $x$. In fact, that’s the reason we use it to represent something we don’t know. But how do you write it down? When Vijay Krishnan tweeted a link to an American college professor’s page on mathematical handwriting, I was shocked to learn that he thought adding a hook to a simple cross was sufficient to differentiate letter-$x$ from times-$\times$.
So I asked our Twitter followers how they write $x$. The Cambrian explosion of diversity in answers I received was eye-opening – I’m glad I asked!
Lots of people have blogs where they talk about maths. Lots of these people just use plain text for mathematical notation which, while it gets the point across, isn’t as easy to read or as visually appealing as it could be.
MathJax lets you write LaTeX and get beautifully typeset mathematical notation. And it’s really really easy to set up: you just need to paste some code into the header of your blog’s theme. To make it really really really easy, I’ve written some very detailed instructions of what to do for each big blogging service. (If you’re reading this after I wrote it, which you definitely are, beware that the interfaces I describe may have changed, so the advice below might be inaccurate.
Click here to continue reading How to get beautifully typeset maths on your blog on cp’s mathem-o-blog