(this is a minor issue, so feel free to put it on the back burner)

In the Feed view, NewsBlur seems unable to display MathJax equations (though they show up fine in the Original and Story views). For example, today’s XKCD What If? article on the Robot Apocalypse (see the images below). Again, not a huge problem, but this was a recommended site for me on NewsBlur

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I went ahead and took a look at MathJax. It’s 53KB when minified! If you see a lot of MathJax, I could be persuaded to load it as a preference. Any other MathJax lovers out there? My recommendation would be to use an extension that loads MathJax into websites locally, since it’s a very small subset of users who would use it. Alternatively, convince Randall Munroe to use images for Math equations.

I can’t say I see it a lot (at least not on NewsBlur), although Randall has used it in most of the What If? articles so far. Like I said, not a big deal (maybe it should go in “Ideas” instead), just something I noticed.

As far as the size, this is what they say in the MathJax FAQS:

“MathJax loads components only when needed so there is a big difference between what is loaded on a page without mathematics and one that does include mathematics. On a page with no mathematics, loading MathJax requires two files: MathJax.js and a configuration file. If taken from the MathJax CDN, the actual (compressed) data transferred for MathJax.js will be about 14.4KB. The configuration file can vary greatly in size depending on what is included; minimal configurations can be as small as 3.7KB, reasonable configurations vary between 25KB and 40KB — bringing us to a total of 18KB to 55KB, i.e., roughly a small to medium sized image.”

So according to them, the size would actually be similar to that of an image anyways (?)

Only difference is that extra 25-40KB is loaded for every single user, whether they subscribe to MathJax’d sites or not. That’s why I think there is a great opportunity for a browser extension that automatically loads in MathJax on pages. For an advanced user like yourself, it would be a bit of a hassle to get the extension installed, but then it’s smooth sailing. Creating the extension, if it doesn’t exist, should fall on the MathJax folks, but it’s such an easy extension to build, and would greatly improve their product, that I can’t imagine them refusing to build it.

Oddly enough, I just noticed this while also reading the XKCD What-If feed. Would be awesome to have, since maths are sexy. Also might be good for the image of the product as a whole, since this very feed is a ‘recommended’ feed on the dashboard!