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Contributing to MathJax

You are interested in giving us a hand? That's awesome! We've put together some brief guidelines that should help you get started quickly and easily.

There are lots and lots of ways to get involved, this document covers:

Reporting An Issue

If you're about to raise an issue because you think you've found a problem with MathJax, or you'd like to make a request for a new feature in the codebase, or any other reason, please read this first.

The MathJax issue tracker is the preferred channel for bug reports, feature requests, change requests, and submitting pull requests, but please respect the following restrictions:

  • Please search for existing issues. Help us keep duplicate issues to a minimum by checking to see if someone has already reported your problem or requested your idea.

  • Please do not use the issue tracker for personal support requests (use the MathJax User Group).

  • Please be civil. Keep the discussion on topic and respect the opinions of others. See also our Conduct Guidelines

Bug Reports

A bug is a demonstrable problem that is caused by the code in the repository. Good bug reports are extremely helpful — thank you!

Guidelines for bug reports:

  1. Use the GitHub issue search — check if the issue has already been reported.

  2. Check if the issue has been fixed — look for closed issues in the current milestone or try to reproduce it using the latest develop branch. Please note that you will need to compile MathJax and make the components in order to test MathJax from the source repository.

  3. Share a live sample of the problem — without a live page it is usually impossible to debug problems; see also the Bug Report Template below.

  4. Isolate the problem — a live sample is a starting point but if you want to speed things up, create a reduced test case. Be specific about your setup (browser, OS versions, etc). Use services like jsbin, CodePen, or jsFiddle to make collaboration on minimal test cases easier for everyone.

  5. Include a screenshot/cast as a last resort — Is your issue about a layout or design feature or bug that is hard to reproduce or isolate? Then please provide a screenshot or screencast. Tools like LICEcap or SauceLabs allow you to quickly and easily record a screencasts. If you make it an animated gif, you can embed it directly into your GitHub issue.

  6. Use the Bug Report Template below or click this link to start creating a bug report with the template automatically.

A good bug report shouldn't leave others needing to request more information from you. Be sure to include the details of your environment.

Template Example (click to use):

Short and descriptive example bug report title

### Issue Summary

A summary of the issue and the browser/OS environment in which it occurs. If
suitable, include the steps required to reproduce the bug.

### Steps to Reproduce

1. This is the first step
2. This is the second step
3. Further steps, etc.

Any other information you want to share that is relevant to the issue
being reported. Especially, why do you consider this to be a bug? What
do you expect to happen instead?

### Technical details:

* MathJax Version: 2.3 (latest commit: f3aaf3a2a3e964df2770dc4aaaa9c87ce5f47e2c)
* Client OS: Mac OS X 10.8.4
* Browser: Chrome 29.0.1547.57

Feature Requests

Feature requests are welcome. Before you submit one, be sure to have:

  1. Used the GitHub search to check that the feature hasn't already been requested.
  2. Take a moment to think about whether your idea fits with the scope and aims of the project, or if it might better fit being a custom extension.
  3. Remember, it's up to you to make a strong case to convince the project's leaders of the merits of this feature. Please provide as much detail and context as possible, this means explaining the use case and why it is likely to be common.

Change Requests

Change requests cover both architectural and functional changes to how MathJax works. If you have an idea for a new or different dependency, a refactor, or an improvement to a feature, etc., please be sure to:

  1. Use the GitHub search to check that someone else didn't get there first.
  2. Take a moment to think about the best way to make a case for, and explain what you're thinking. Are you sure this shouldn't really be a bug report or a feature request? Is it really one idea or is it many? What's the context? What problem are you solving? Why is what you are suggesting better than what's already there?

Working on MathJax core

You want to contribute code? We describe how below. First, note that the MathJax source code is in the https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax-src repository, not the https://github.com/mathjax/MathJax repository, which contains the packaged component files for distribution on CDNs and the mathjax npm package (the source code is included in the mathjax-full npm package).

Key Branches & Tags

MathJax uses several permanent branches in the MathJax source repository:

  • develop is the development branch. All work on the next release happens here so you should generally branch off develop if you are going to submit a pull request. Do NOT use this branch for a production site.

  • master contains the latest release of MathJax. This branch may be used in production. Do NOT use this branch to work on MathJax's source.

These branches reflect version 3 of MathJax, which is substantially different from the version 2 codebase. Version 2 will continue to be maintained while web sites transition to version 3, with work being done using the following branches in the MathJax distribution repository:

  • legacy-v2-develop is the development branch for changes to the legacy version 2 code. Any pull requests for version 2 should be branched from here. Do NOT use this branch for a production site.

  • legacy-v2 is the branch that contains any updates to version 2 following the release of version 3. Do NOT use this branch to work on MathJax's source.

In addition to these branches, MathJax uses tags to identify the various versions. These can be checked out to obtain the specified release; for example, git checkout 2.7.5 would get you the files for version 2.7.5 of MathJax.

Note that version 3 is written in Typescript, and so must be compiled to obtain usable javascript files, and that the components need to be built once that is done. See the documentation for details. For version 2, the source javascript files are not compressed until a release is made, so you should use the copies in the unpacked directory during development.

Submitting Pull Requests

Pull requests are welcome. If you're looking to submit a PR for something that doesn't have an open issue, please consider raising an issue that your PR can close, especially if you're fixing a bug. This makes it more likely that there will be enough information available for your PR to be properly tested and merged.

Need Help?

If you're not completely clear on how to submit/update/do Pull Requests, please check out our source control policies. For more insights, check the excellent in depth Git Workflow guide from Ghost, in particular

Testing and Quality Assurance

If you're looking to get involved with the code base and don't know where to start, checking out and testing a pull request is one of the most useful things you could do.

These are some excellent instructions on configuring your GitHub repository to allow you to checkout pull requests in the same way as branches.

Writing documentation

MathJax's main documentation can be found at docs.mathjax.org. The source of the docs is hosted in the mathjax/MathJax-docs repo here on GitHub.

The documentation is generated using Sphinx-doc and hosted on Read the docs. You can clone the repo and submit pull requests following the pull-request guidelines.

Translation

If you wish to add or update translations of MathJax, please do it on TranslateWiki.net (and while you're there you can help other open source projects, too).

For bug reports and other questions that don't fit on TranslateWiki.net, head over to the mathjax/mathjax-i18n repository.

The translation files currently are for version 2, as localization hasn't been added to version 3 yet.

Conduct

As a NumFOCUS fiscally sponsored project, MathJax is governed by the NumFOCUS code of conduct, which we summarize as follows:

We are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, or similar personal characteristic.

Please be kind and courteous. There's no need to be mean or rude. Respect that people have differences of opinion and that every design or implementation choice carries a trade-off and numerous costs. There is seldom a right answer, merely an optimal answer given a set of values and circumstances.

Please keep unstructured critique to a minimum. If you have solid ideas you want to experiment with, make a fork and see how it works.

We will exclude you from interaction if you insult, demean or harass anyone. That is not welcome behaviour. We interpret the term "harassment" as including the definition in the Unacceptable Behavior section of the NumFOCUS code of conduct; if you have any lack of clarity about what might be included in that concept, please read that definition. In particular, we don't tolerate behavior that excludes people in socially marginalized groups.

Private harassment is also unacceptable. No matter who you are, if you feel you have been or are being harassed or made uncomfortable by a community member, please contact one of the channel ops or any of the MathJax core team immediately. Whether you're a regular contributor or a newcomer, we care about making this community a safe place for you and we've got your back.

Likewise any spamming, trolling, flaming, baiting, or other attention-stealing behaviour is not welcome.

We also recommend that you read discourse's rules for further suggestions on appropriate behavior.

References

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