We had a MathJax question just now that was unceremoniously closed as off topic. As it probably should be. But I feel like we should, if we can, direct the questioner some place elsewhere there might find an answer. I'm asking the community for suggested comments and phrasing.

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    @Martin: I agree with the answers there. MathJax questions are not off topic if they are about syntax, but are off topic if they are about the JavaScript or HTML side of things. Also, it's not that we don't want to answer questions like that, it's that we don't know the answers to questions like that. Apr 18, 2013 at 21:34
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    It's probably more don't want to answer here really (I'm on the mathjax steering committee (I think:-) so I'm probably supposed to know something about it:-) Good proposed answer by the way. The mj google groups forum is better but politically it's good to mention SO mathjax tag and keep things in the sx world. I usually try to answer mj questions in comments (but then vote to close anyway) Apr 18, 2013 at 22:37
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    This came up again today with actuarial notation question and again someone downvoted (I upvoted to compensate) downvoting a new user to -ve rep just because he asked a mathjax question seems excessive. Apr 19, 2013 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Here is my proposed answer:

While [tag:MathJax] uses LaTeX syntax, it uses Javascript and HTML's DOM model rather than TeX technology, making it mostly off topic for this site. You might try instead searching among the [questions tagged with mathjax on Stack Overflow](http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/mathjax), or in the official [mathjax-users](https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mathjax-users) Google group.

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    Good thinking. Why don't you add it to the text building blocks?
    – jub0bs
    Apr 18, 2013 at 15:22
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    That's the eventual destination, to be sure. I wanted to isolate the discussion around this particular building block first. There being no objection, I will probably integrate it soon. Apr 18, 2013 at 17:15
  • This is inline with the existing tag wiki so I don't think there can be any objection to it really (the fact that people post here despite the tag wiki suggests perhaps they are not as visible as they might be) Apr 18, 2013 at 22:40
  • Maybe better, instead of "it is not TeX/LaTeX...", but "it uses Javascript and HTML's DOM model rather than TeX technology, making it mostly off topic...". I edited the Mathjax tag wiki along these lines; my edit is in the queue. Apr 19, 2013 at 8:07
  • I've gone ahead and edited the building block question with the snippet above. If anyone wants to edit further just go there. Apr 19, 2013 at 12:31
  • A minor comment: the word "instead" is misspelled "insteead". Same typo also occurred in the Text building blocks post
    – Herr K.
    Apr 21, 2013 at 18:19
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    @KevinC: thanks. I updated the building blocks post. Apr 21, 2013 at 20:02
  • Shouldn't we extend that "Text Building Block" to MathML too? See this MathML question, for instance.
    – jub0bs
    May 18, 2013 at 17:37
  • IMO That is a separate block. But same language: although TeX and MathML are both used for math, MathML is off topic, try these places instead. May 18, 2013 at 22:12
  • Stack Overflow is two words.
    – TRiG
    Apr 3, 2015 at 11:16
  • @TRiG: so edited (and on the building blocks meta post). Apr 7, 2015 at 23:13
  • @E.P.: updated. Jul 5, 2016 at 17:18

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