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

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 we only pack MathJax for releases, so on the develop branch you have to use /unpacked/MathJax.js etc. to test.

  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, JSfiddle to make collaboration on minimal test cases easier for everyone. Use the unpacked copy of MathJax ([...]/unpacked/MathJax.js etc.) for better debugging.

  5. Include a screenshot/cast as a last resort — Is your issue about a layout or design feature / bug but 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. Make it an animated gif, embed it directly into your GitHub issue -- kapow!

  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 chase you up for more information. Be sure to include the details of your environment.

Here is a real example

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. Read the Roadmaps, use the GitHub search and check 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.
  4. Clearly indicate whether this is a feature request for MathJax core, input & output jax, or extensions.

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 and check 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? Does it fit with the Roadmap?

Working on MathJax core

You want to contribute code? Fantastic! Let's get you started.

Key Branches & Tags

To get it out of the way:

Submitting Pull Requests

Pull requests are awesome. If you're looking to raise a PR for something which doesn't have an open issue, please think carefully about raising an issue which 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, chech the excellent in depth Git Workflow guide from Ghost, in particular

Testing and Quality Assurance

Never underestimate just how useful quality assurance is. 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.

If you want to get involved with testing MathJax, there is a set of QA Documentation in our testing framework.

Essentially though, check out the latest develop branch, take it for a spin, and if you find anything odd, please follow the bug report guidelines and let us know!

Checking out a Pull Request

These are some excellent instructions on configuring your GitHub repository to allow you to checkout pull requests in the same way as branches: https://gist.github.com/piscisaureus/3342247.

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.


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, because you're awesome!).

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


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.