Version 3 is now the current version of MathJax. This document is for version 1.
Synchronizing your code with MathJax¶
Callbacks are functions that are called when an action is completed, so that your code can continue where it left off when the action was initiated. Rather than have a single routine that initiates an action, waits for it to complete, and then goes on, you break the function into two parts: a first part that sets up and initiates the action, and a second that runs after the action is finished. Callbacks are similar to event handlers that you attach to DOM elements, and are called when an certain action occurs. See the Callback Object reference page for details of how to specify a callback.
Queues are MathJax’s means of synchronizing actions that must be performed sequentially, even when they involve asynchronous events like loading files or dynamically creating stylesheets. The actions that you put in the queue are Callback objects that will be perfomed in sequence, with MathJax handling the linking of one action to the next. MathJax maintains a master queue that you can use to synchronize with MathJax, but you can also create your own private queues for actions that need to be synchronized with each other, but not to MathJax as a whole. See the Queue Object reference page for more details.
Signals are another means of synchronizing your own code with
MathJax. Many of the important actions that MathJax takes (like
typesetting new math on the page, or loading an external component)
are “announced” by posting a message to a special object called a
Signal. Your code can register an interest in receiving one or more
of these signals by providing a callback to be called when the signal
is posted. When the signal arrives, MathJax will call your code.
This works somewhat like an event handler, except that many different
types of events can go through the same signal, and the signals have a
“memory”, meaning that if you register an interest in a particular
type of signal and that signal has already occurred, you will be told
about the past occurrances as well as any future ones. See the
Signal Object reference page for more details.
See also the
test/sample-signals.html file in the MathJax
directory for a working example of using signals.
Each of these is explained in more detail in the links below: