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Rendering math equations? #897

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IreneCrisologo opened this Issue Jun 1, 2016 · 76 comments

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@IreneCrisologo

IreneCrisologo commented Jun 1, 2016

Hi folks,
Any updates on this? Rendering math on README pages would be very very helpful.

I know it can be done using online tools like iTex2Img but it would be easier if the normal latex expressions can be digested.

Thanks a bunch!
-i

@adavidzh

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adavidzh commented Jun 29, 2016

Also #274 was asking to go in this direction. No chance to have a supported way to render math in github README files?

@jayvdb

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jayvdb commented Jul 1, 2016

I've been doing a little analysis on imsky/PocketEuler#44

One simple and secure approach is to use the small mimetex (code mirrorred at https://github.com/icaoberg/mimetex) , which is a standalone renderrer, not using any other larger binaries like latex.

https://packages.debian.org/search?suite=jessie&searchon=names&keywords=mimetex
https://admin.fedoraproject.org/pkgdb/package/rpms/mimetex/

No CVE since 20090713, which a batch of problems was found. See also https://www.debian.org/security/2009/dsa-1917.en.html

Another approach is the use the MediaWiki approach, which is also battle tested, of texvccheck/texvc , an OCaml program , which has a small checker program (texvccheck) that checks the AMS-Latex before sending to a second program that using latex to render it.

0 CVE : https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvekey.cgi?keyword=texvc

@jayvdb

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jayvdb commented Jul 1, 2016

@bkeepers , you closed #274 saying "can't be resolved by a change to the code in this project".

So, which project(s) should this feature be added to? Each of the processors? Or a new project to do that math rendering only?

Most people are interested in maths in markdown , which is https://github.com/vmg/redcarpet , but they have rejected that feature request : vmg/redcarpet#313 and a smaller version of it vmg/redcarpet#395

RST and docutils supports maths, but this has been disabled #83

asciidoctor supports MathJax (asciidoctor/asciidoctor#492) , but without MathJax JS loaded by github markup it wont work. And there is https://github.com/asciidoctor/asciidoctor-latex

mediawiki has <math> and wikicloth has supported it since 2011 (nricciar/wikicloth#19 / https://github.com/nricciar/wikicloth/blob/master/lib/wikicloth/extensions/math.rb) , but again it isnt enabled by github markup.

Is there a plan? What is the plan? What do you need? How can we help?

@jayvdb

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jayvdb commented Jul 5, 2016

Note related request for MathML : #551

@jayvdb

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jayvdb commented Jul 10, 2016

Maybe a first step is for Github to treat typical math mode as non-markdown mode, similar to backticks (..).

Currently Github renders

Let $\text{S}_1(N) = \sum_{p=1}^N \text{E}(p)$

with the _ denoting italics, as

"Let $\text{S}1(N) = \sum{p=1}^N \text{E}(p)$"

The same thing happens with *.

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Jul 10, 2016

@bkeepers I have found a stop gap solution a site https://www.codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php that generates embedded links with TeX editor that then embeds a gif in GitHub :-

double click on the equation to be taken to the editor ;)

@adavidzh

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adavidzh commented Jul 10, 2016

Hey @AaronNGray, that is pretty nifty!

@adavidzh

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adavidzh commented Jul 10, 2016

I'm wondering if the codecogs workaround of @AaronNGray could be packaged with github.io+MathJax?

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Jul 10, 2016

It would be very easy to make a similar webapp to codecogs https://www.codecogs.com/latex/eqneditor.php. This would give the security isolation that GitHub needs by having it as a separate web based application.

It would be useful to attach persistant URL's to equations and use them for accessing the images and the editor rather than the long URL's codecogs uses.

Also codecogs does not support many packages. It does not support the 'semantic' and 'maths-symbols' that I need in order to make this useful and I am sure others will want other packages.

https://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/semantic
https://www.ctan.org/pkg/maths-symbols

The following should come out as an inference rule :-

and codecogs does not support \usepackage{}

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Jul 10, 2016

I am putting together a Node.js solution for this.

@ataiya

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ataiya commented Jul 31, 2016

I taught that GitHub originally had MathJax on his pages, later on removed it to make sure everything was nice and responsive. Why would it be so difficult to have a "preview" button that enables mathjax on demand? Wikipedia seems to be doing math, yet maintain responsiveness, just fine!

@FlorianFranzen

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FlorianFranzen commented Aug 1, 2016

+1

@allefeld

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allefeld commented Aug 7, 2016

How about opt-in MathJax on a per-repository basis? General GitHub responsiveness would not be impaired, but simple math would be there for people who need it.

@ataiya

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ataiya commented Aug 7, 2016

@allefeld anything really, but removing it cold-turkey creates a big problem.
Basically any mathematical software cannot use the wiki to document the software :(

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Aug 7, 2016

I will see if I can get a third party TeX based solution in place ASAP. I got distracted trying to get Angular2 working in order to do the UI.

@jayvdb

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jayvdb commented Sep 9, 2016

A workaround mentioned by @cyhsutw at education/classroom#675 (comment) :

Another hack is utilizing the Jupyter Notebook.

GitHub has built-in support for rendering .ipynb files. You can write inline and display LaTeX code in the notebook and GitHub will render it for you.

Here's a sample notebook file: https://gist.github.com/cyhsutw/d5983d166fb70ff651f027b2aa56ee4e

@ycpei

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ycpei commented Oct 14, 2016

+1 to this. I am thinking of hosting maths manuscripts on Github, where issues can be discussions about the papers.

I'm OK with certain walkarounds mentioned here as long as they work. However in general maths people are not fans of hacky solutions, and without native maths rendering mathematicians are much less likely to use Github.

Also, can anyone explain why mathoverflow can do it but not Github?

@allefeld

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allefeld commented Oct 14, 2016

@bkeepers is this something we can reasonably expect to be handled at some point, or does it fall in the category nevergonnahappen? Just wondering whether to stay subscribed to this issue.

@ataiya

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ataiya commented Oct 14, 2016

I guess the question falls in this category:
"Can github classroom (partially) override the GitHub wiki system?"

By the way, this is how I did it:
http://gfx.uvic.ca/teaching/dgp/hw1.md

(sorry, I am part both of the classroom thread and the classic github thread)

@allefeld

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allefeld commented Oct 14, 2016

@ataiya no, the original question is about README files in regular repositories. The classroom question may be related, but this is about markup rendering on github in general. Hence the repository it was issued to.

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Oct 14, 2016

The technique to do this I simple just an embedding of a an image reference
in to a external site that does TeX rendering to images. I
outlined earlier
#897 (comment) and had meant to put something in place by now. I have
done a local PoC using node.js but have got vastly distracted by 101 other
problems that needed solving.

Anyone do node.js and/or Angular 2 can you contact me to work on this please ?

@ataiya

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ataiya commented Oct 14, 2016

having to embed images would be terrible, as you'd lose the ability to use the Markdown editor to change equations and you'd have to rely on something that might not be any longer supported in the future (external website)

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Oct 14, 2016

My solution would store the TeX formulae on the separate site or as Gists or in your repo and render to images that you can click on in the rendered GitHub markdown file taking you to the external site for editing of the TeX equation which updates the image. You could have the top 20, 50 or 100 public equations on the sites home page and support public and private and shared libraries of formulae.

@gschenk

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gschenk commented Nov 18, 2016

The most important advantage of markdown, that it can be read in source as well as rendered, is unfortunately lost in the gif approach @AaronNGray.

@jayvdb had a very good point in an earlier comment. Even if the maths are not rendered, it would be very helpful to treat something delimited by $...$ and $$...$$ as literals. I think most people who have anything whatsoever to do with computer sciences or science are fine with deciphering latex.

@bkeepers You've mentioned two years ago that KaTeX was still in its infancy and thus not suitable. It seems they had a couple hundred commits since. Would you mind to comment on it in the light of its recent state? (KaTeX live demo)

@dmyersturnbull

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dmyersturnbull commented Nov 29, 2016

I'd like to add supplement the point @ycpei made because this issue is so important to us. We already use LaTeX extensively in our Issues and Markdown files to discuss algorithms and math. There's no good alternative, but LaTeX is admittedly hard for some users to read.
This feature would be extremely helpful to us and other computational scientists.

@jan-matthis

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jan-matthis commented Nov 29, 2016

If you are using Chrome or Firefox, this may help:
https://github.com/FlorianFranzen/KaTeXify

It's an unpacked WebExtension loading KaTeX (plus its auto-renderer) on GitHub.

@dmyersturnbull

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dmyersturnbull commented Nov 29, 2016

@jan-matthis Awesome work! It seems to work, mostly (I'll file a bug report).

@milasudril

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milasudril commented Apr 10, 2017

Another hack: Pretend that it is supported and refer to this issue (if someone complains that your pages cannot be read properly.

@hyiltiz

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hyiltiz commented Apr 10, 2017

If you are reading this, consider yourself redirected to www.gitlab.org.

@paraschas

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paraschas commented Apr 20, 2017

@kivikakk I understand that GitHub developers are trying to make the best decisions about any new features, but this is important, please reconsider working on finding a way to render LaTeX equations on wiki pages.

As a stop-gap solution I'm currently using the GitHub with MathJax Chrome extension.

@cben

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cben commented Apr 21, 2017

BTW, Github already supports math in 2 contexts, so the "security" argument doesn't hold.

P.S. if anyone in GitHub will actually look at implementing this, there is the problem of everybody choosing different syntax for math in markdown :-( I'm collecting known syntaxes in https://github.com/cben/mathdown/wiki/math-in-markdown

@milasudril

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milasudril commented Apr 21, 2017

Please do output native text when possible, and not images. Syntax-wise I would suggest the same as math.stackexchange.

@jrappen

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jrappen commented Apr 21, 2017

I prefer Gitlab's approach of using:

```math
```
@eyalroz

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eyalroz commented May 4, 2017

I dislike the the links-to-images option - not easily copyable-editable like Markdown - and would very much like to have even basic math support (such as different font and spacing for symbols, and allowing subscripts and superscripts.)

@johndpope

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johndpope commented May 12, 2017

I think an officially supported maths plugin in browser would over time would be best solution. The rendering and security problems would be limited to client (think flash updates).
It need not be drab - throw the kitchen sink at it. Allowing some maths input. While the mathjax plugin works for rendering - it falls short in input.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/github-with-mathjax/ioemnmodlmafdkllaclgeombjnmnbima

screen shot 2017-05-11 at 8 33 41 pm

https://gist.github.com/ivanlukianchuk/e74d0f786c1beae9c0c6

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented May 12, 2017

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented May 12, 2017

@johndpope

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johndpope commented May 31, 2017

Dear github / mergers and acquisition people -
please just buy a company that has some expertise in this field.
these guys could be a good candidate.
http://www.mathmagic.com/product/lite.html

this issue hasn't shifted in 3 years.
#274

Be bold. Show some leadership to the scientific, mathematic and machine learning communities.

potential acquisition
https://www.overleaf.com/

@nihonjinrxs

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nihonjinrxs commented Jun 15, 2017

This issue is definitely important, and it's really painful not to have support for equations.

Image based workarounds are clunky at best, hard to edit, and generally don't meet accessibility requirements, which are a legal mandate for all publicly funded universities in the US.

Individual browser plugin based workarounds don't help because they don't allow for someone else looking at the repo who doesn't have the plugin installed.

Native support is needed here.

If not this repo, then where? If it's code I can get to, I'm happy to work on it and do a PR if needed, but I'd want to know you all would merge once done before I dedicate the time. Let me know.

@johndpope

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johndpope commented Jun 29, 2017

Well - some good news - thanks to @goessner - and his markdown math plugin for Visual studio code - you can write / read maths equations quite elegantly by the look of it
https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=goessner.mdmath

Dear Github - please roll out Markdown maths in gists.
https://github.com/goessner/mdmath

@johndpope

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johndpope commented Jun 30, 2017

I think taking a leaf out of wikipedia's book -
they do both - they have support for latex maths equations - and spit out an image with the 'alt' / text alternative markup allowing editors to update / edit / copy and paste.

screen shot 2017-06-30 at 15 57 29

for anyone using Chrome extension - you may want to check out
Alt Text Tester (where you can double click to copy latex ) - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/alt-text-tester/koldhcllpbdfcdpfpbldbicbgddglodk

there is also this chrome plugin to spit out images of maths equations https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/equatio-math-made-digital/hjngolefdpdnooamgdldlkjgmdcmcjnc

screen shot 2017-07-01 at 15 52 22

@milasudril

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milasudril commented Jul 1, 2017

However, native mml should be supported as well. Wikipedia doesn't.

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Jul 1, 2017

@milasudril

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milasudril commented Jul 1, 2017

Well here is a status report on that statement. There are four main browsers: Blink (WebKit fork for Chrome?), Edge, Gecko and WebKit. Gecko has complete MathML support and WebKit has experimental support. Safari (WebKit based) has it from 10.1. See also http://caniuse.com/#search=mathml. The Chrome and Edge teams have no plans to support it.

Then one can observe that XML is PITA and TeX is nice (from a user point of view, see https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/mozilla.dev.platform/96dZw1jXTvM). But the important thing here is that there should be a way of displaying formulas natively, without falling back to images. For Gecko, MathML is the way of doing it, while the other engines has no stable way.

Another point is that not all users are Pro(tm) users. If Chrome and Edge targets a consumer grade product, you may claim that math support is not needed. This is fine as long as there are browsers Pro(tm) users. Actually, one of the main reasons I use Firefox over Chrom* is that it supports math natively.

@AaronNGray

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AaronNGray commented Jul 1, 2017

@eyalroz

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eyalroz commented Jul 1, 2017

@milasudril , @AaronNGray : Shouldn't this discussion separate the markup users enter when editing and the result of rendering the markup? I mean, as far as the result is concerned, it could be MathML for WebKit and Gecko, and images for Edge and Blink. And as for the markup - that can be chosen half-independently and certainly does not depend on which browser you use.

@milasudril

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milasudril commented Jul 2, 2017

@eyalroz That was the implied meaning of

But the important thing here is that there should be a way of displaying formulas natively, without falling back to images. For Gecko, MathML is the way of doing it, while the other engines has no stable way.

@andy-shev

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andy-shev commented Jul 10, 2017

GitHub has good expertise in storage are and bad one in math apparently. Guys, it's not a way how to help users. Math formulas are tighten to the software more than you (probably) think.

@RoyiAvital

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RoyiAvital commented Jul 11, 2017

Any chance to make GitHub reconsider this?

Today many of the codes in GitHub deals with Data Analysis and Math documentation is essential for that.
Please reconsider.

@FlorianFranzen

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FlorianFranzen commented Jul 11, 2017

@kivikakk Since you have not replied by now, I assuming your decision is final. Gitlab it is.

@sachinruk

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sachinruk commented Sep 1, 2017

ping. Any update on this? I dont think anyone has given up on wanting math equations on their README's.

@kivikakk

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kivikakk commented Sep 1, 2017

I'll repeat my last point — this repository is not for feature requests. It's a gem for delegating markup rendering.

Rendering math inline in e.g. Markdown is not a github-markup issue. You're welcome to reach out to the support team with further questions and suggestions about it, but please note that Markup does one specific thing — delegate rendering to gems — and rendering math inline in blobs happens elsewhere.

If you comment here, you don't reach the support team who can then direct your query appropriately, you reach me, and I'm not the person who decides what we implement in the GitHub product.

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