I saw a post that mentions algorithmic complexity and formats such complexity values using inline code spans (e.g. O(n)). Should that post be updated to use MathJax formatting, since that is an option instead of inline code spans?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Heavy mathjax usually slows done page rendering. On stackoverflow it is a real problem for me, as it is more "fast paced". The only problem I see with it on CR is that not everyone is familiar with it. I still cannot write anything complicated without a cheatsheet. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 17, 2017 at 8:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only other argument I could think of is what happened on ppcg: the mathjax got removed after a point. But here on codereview, it doesn't seem like that will be a problem, seeing as the mathjax was added quite some time ago. \$\endgroup\$
    – Justin
    Dec 18, 2017 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ A downside to MathJax is that it involves 3rd-party Javascript; it's not obvious that enabling another site will make the post more readable. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2017 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


Why not? Especially if there's more to edit than just a single instance of O(n)... I presume screen readers treat MathJax differently than inline code, too.

I wouldn't make an edit just for that (especially with <2K rep and the edit needing to be reviewed/approved), but as part of an otherwise legitimate worthwhile edit that's improving the post, I don't see a problem with that.

I'd probably leave alone an otherwise clearly worded, correctly formatted post without any typos and just that single O(n) though.


I have mixed feelings about mathjax for BigO notation in lieu of BigO notation as code. Mathjax makes writing and editing BigO notation harder without significantly improvements to clarity.

MathJax is esoteric not ubiquitous. It is not an extension of Markdown, but a syntax unto itself...ok its like LaTex...but LaTeX is the lingua franca of papers for academic journals, not the web.

In short, I don't see what problem editing BigO notation from code to MathJax solves. I see several potential usability problems it creates for people without LaTeX experience: i.e. the vast majority of people.


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