5
$\begingroup$

In specific, when should we leave images as they are and when should we swap it out for text?

Some Context: The question I am talking about is this one, it has an accepted answer though its pretty new and here is the edit I am concerned about.

The plausible performance problem: The question uses an image to display the resonance hybrids of derivatives of ethane. I thought I should convert it to text because text is more reliable than an image and can be expected to be retained for a longer duration. At least that is what I keep telling myself. While typing the contents of the image, I felt that it was a rather complicated expression that I was writing for the equivalent MathJax and by complex, I mean, really complex (for me) and it might be distracting to see the dollars giving way to the formulas and all the other reasons we may omit MathJax for something else. I searched the meta and this post, only to find nothing that could guide me.

At first, I thought I should ask on The Periodic Table chatroom, but then I thought, I should ask it here so that someone else might find it useful when seeking the community's take on this matter.

TL;DR The Question: To an editor, at what point would the performance of the webpage outweigh the suitability of the post's formatting, if any compromises should be made with either of them?

EDIT: I see that the edit has been approved so just to clarify, this post does not mean to revert the changes or cause any disagreement. It simply seeks general approval from the community and perhaps a more conclusive discussion on this facet of editing posts.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Your edit was good, it helped readability. MathJax indeed is heavy on the performance, but sometimes that is a necessary evil. There are really. really heavy sites. Your edit doesn't even come near. This is my benchmark: How to find the second order perturbation to wave function? shameless advert $\endgroup$ Mar 25 at 23:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Martin-マーチン Now that's a lot of MathJax! $\endgroup$
    – user79161
    Mar 26 at 13:43
5
$\begingroup$

I don't have much time, so forgive me for the short answer, but I want to make a few points:

  • "text [...] can be expected to be retained for a longer duration" This is in general true but if the image is hosted on i.stack.imgur.com it can reliably be assumed to not go dead.

  • Small things like this shouldn't affect performance too much, the only problem is if there are many of them, it starts to add up. This isn't a huge problem in this specific case.

  • In my opinion, the more important consideration here is aesthetics, and in this case I'd say you did a good job, except that you should have used \ominus instead of \enclose{...}. See my edit: https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/revisions/148025/5

  • Regarding the complexity of the formula: I'd say this is not too complex. But there is definitely a limit above which I would rather draw it out in ChemDraw and save it as an image.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think it sums up the matter nicely in its brevity. $\endgroup$
    – user79161
    Mar 26 at 13:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .