When you look at this question, you see that the syntax highlighting is not correct (// Simplify is not a comment!)

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This indicates that the used language is not Mathematica, which it should be by default. On a closer look, I discovered, that not even our color scheme is used. Compare the different blue tones for symbols (I'll put the correct version over the wrong version)

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Why is the language setting broken on some questions?

3 Answers 3


It looks like someone at SE accidentally enabled the prettify plugin during the redesign. This was disabled before in favour of halirutan's script so now we have two competing highlighters.

On sites where prettify is enabled, moderators can set the highlighting for each tag. This is what allows Stack Overflow to highlight questions in python different from java without having to override with the <!-- language: lang-x... each time. Tags existing before the redesign have the highlighting set to None (which uses halirutan's script) whereas tags created after have it set to default which uses prettify.

I'll ping the devs about this.


None of the settings related to this have changed recently. As far as I can tell, the only thing that triggered this is that the tag had the highlighting setting set to "default" instead of "none".

The Toad♦ suggested that new tags post-redesign may be getting created with the "default" in place, but that doesn't seem to be the case. That tag has been around for 2 years and the site got a face lift relatively recently. I spot-checked the new tags list and they all appear to have the correct setting of "<none>".

I'm inclined to chalk this one up to a fluke for now. The highlighting setting on the tag has been corrected, so we're good to go. Let me know if you see a ton of these that moderators can't fix up and I'll take another look.

  • Sweet, thanks! :)
    – rm -rf Mod
    May 27, 2015 at 23:48

According to the latest update to this answer given on Meta SE, Mathematica is not on the list of supported languages. The prettify site confirms this.

I had not looked into this before. Was Mathematica previously on the supported language list and recently dropped?

  • 2
    Mathematica is not officially supported by google-prettify because the maintainer seems to be busy for quite a while now. Nevertheless, the Mathematica support I started developing when I was very new to SO and SE was used for our site all the time.
    – halirutan Mod
    May 27, 2015 at 16:55
  • @halirutan. Since the big site style change, it looks like the SE staff have dropped the use of your javascript, which is a shame. Maybe somebody decided to eliminate the use of unofficially supported scripts?
    – m_goldberg
    May 27, 2015 at 17:05
  • I suspect something different. Look at new questions like this one, they all use the correct highlighter. Only sometimes it seems that either something influences the language detection or something else goes wrong.
    – halirutan Mod
    May 27, 2015 at 17:07

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