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I recently left a comment here containing the equation $$\sigma(i_1\;i_2\;\cdots\;i_n)\sigma^{-1}=(\sigma(i_1)\;\sigma(i_2)\;\cdots\;\sigma(i_n))$$ but the last $\sigma$ is broken, displaying instead as ${\color{red}\s}\;igma$. There is no space or invisible character seperating the s from igma.

The un-rendered of the comment:


It seems that if I add spaces around the equals sign, the comment renders correctly. Perhaps there is some length restriction on the parser that handles comments?


marked as duplicate by Alex Becker Apr 14 '14 at 2:03

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  • $\begingroup$ Illustration: $$\sigma(i_1\;i_2\;\cdots\;i_n)\sigma^{-1}=(\sigma(i_1)\;\sigma(i_2)\;\cdots\;\sigma(i_n))$$ $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker Apr 14 '14 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ Adding spaces around equals sign: $$\sigma(i_1\;i_2\;\cdots\;i_n)\sigma^{-1} = (\sigma(i_1)\;\sigma(i_2)\;\cdots\;\sigma(i_n))$$ $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker Apr 14 '14 at 1:15
  • $\begingroup$ This is definitely a duplicate. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Apr 14 '14 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila Found it. $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker Apr 14 '14 at 2:04

This is StackExchange™ WhiteSpace EnforcementOfficer™ at work. Looking at the HTML source of the page, you'll see \s‌​igma there:

@abe15 The key is to know that $$\sigma(i_1\;i_2\;\cdots\;i_n)\sigma^{-1}=(\sigma(i_1)\;\sigma(i_2)\;\cdots\;\s‌​igma(i_n))$$

Inserting a space in LaTeX markup eliminates the (perceived) need for inserting ‌​.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is definitely the culprit. I wonder if there is a way to force breaks and not break mathjax? $\endgroup$ – Alex Becker Apr 14 '14 at 1:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlexBecker The most logical way is probably to configure MathJax on SE to perform pre-parsing string replacement such as ‌​ $\to$ empty string (and & $\to$ &, to fix another issue). If this is done via parameters in the MathJax configuration script, the effect would be neatly localized to SE. I don't think introducing support for such parameters would be too much work for MathJax team, considering that SE is one of five Partners, with annual support level of $20,000. $\endgroup$ – user127096 Apr 14 '14 at 1:58

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