Discussion:
MathJax and Xkcd's Coast-to-Coast coast
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j***@gmail.com
2017-02-19 18:31:17 UTC
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The latest xkcd What-If https://what-if.xkcd.com/154/ asks if we could coast (on a bicycle) from the West coast to the East coast of the US, by building a suitable slope.

The answer involves some physics and, of course, some formulas. Let me copy from the page source:
<p>\[ \text{Forward pull from gravity} = \text{Rolling resistance} + \text{Drag force} \]</p>
<p>\[ m g \sin(\theta) = g \cos(\theta) C_r m + \tfrac{1}{2} C_d \rho A V^2 \]</p>
<p>\[ V = \sqrt{\frac{m g \sin(\theta) - g \cos(\theta) C_r m}{ \tfrac{1}{2} C_d \rho A}} \]</p>

The xkcd web page uses MathJax to render these LaTeX-notation formulas. There are a lot of pages that do this sort of thing.

Oh, by the way, the math works out that LA to NY would mean starting at least 5 miles up. So sadly not possible. But there is the 35 mile Haleakala downhill bike ride in Hawaii.

I think it's very good that LaTeX (via MathJax) can be used to put math on web pages. I'd like us to make more of this, when we develop and promote TeX.

What do you think?
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Jonathan
Axel Berger
2017-02-19 23:44:30 UTC
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Post by j***@gmail.com
What do you think?
On the minus side you need serious bloat, which is bad, and you need to
allow scripting, which is worse.
On the plus side, even if you stick to old and proven standards and
don't allow anything, you shall see the source code and TeX is just
about the most legible and understandable ASCII representation of math
there is.

So whatever your preference, you tend to get the best of all worlds.
Good enough for me.

Axel
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