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Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.


    Every now and then, there's some clamoring here on meta for us to use an open source alternative to SE. I think that for the foreseeable future, SE is the best platform for MO, but I think it's important to keep an eye on the alternatives.

    To that end, I present, generously hosted by DZone right now. Feel free to head over there and experiment. Right now I don't have any way of modifying static pages or injecting javascript. Once there's a way to do that, I may try to incorporate MathJax so we can experiment with it. If people really dig OSQA, perhaps it will eventually replace meta.


    Btw, is currently in bootstrap mode, so the reputation thresholds for doing stuff are extra low. This means that it shouldn't be too frustrating to try stuff out.


    Okay, I found a bug where I can add as many votes up as I want.

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2010 edited

    I can also vote down by voting up! (I've created various "exploit user" accounts to test this). You can only do it once per question, then the database returns an error.

    Try the following: Ask a question or add an answer (from a different account), then keep clicking the "vote up" button until the counter starts moving up or down. You have roughly ten seconds to do it before it writes to the database, then it is detected as "more than one vote".

    • CommentAuthorbasic
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2010
    I think we probably can shift some soft-bloglike questions on Meta to OSQA! and just leave Meta for MO-strictly-related technical and ethical purposes only!

    I was able to vote up basic's question twice for some reason. @Harry: were you able to vote something up more than twice with the same user? Part of what makes exploiting the system easy right now is that it's in bootstrap mode, so people can vote right away.

    For some reason, I can't vote down (despite having 181 rep thanks to Harry).


    Yes, if you check the user accounts, they all have something like 10-15 votes.


    Okay, bootstrap mode is kinda dumb. It reduces the thresholds for badges for some reason, as well as the reputation thresholds for various abilities. For example, you get a [Civic Duty] badge for voting up 15 times instead of 300. I can go tweak these by hand (unlike SE), but that's a pain.

    • CommentAuthorrickross
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2010 edited

    Hi Guys, and thanks for dipping a toe into the growing OSQA community.

    Harry, there's no doubt there are bugs. OSQA has over 100 known issues and more will surface. But this isn't surprising for software which hasn't yet even had a packaged pre-release version (the first downloadable release will be 0.6 in about 3 weeks or so.) OSQA is in very active development, so finding the bugs is key to killing the bugs - ESPECIALLY if you report them to us!

    What would be very helpful if you encounter something wrong in OSQA is to do a search in our Jira issue tracker. If you don't see your issue, then please report it. That will help us follow up, verify, and hopefully address the source of the problem most quickly. We pay close attention, and we'll do our best to get every known bug addressed as quickly as we reasonably can.

    Also, is the best place to talk about OSQA's features, discuss how you'd prefer things to be, and to add your voices to the mix. Please feel warmly invited to participate.

    Thanks again for trying OSQA. We hope it serves the MO community well.

    Cheers, Rick Ross


    Well, at least you're not calling them 100 known features. =D


    I think I just managed to vote one question up 12 times from a single account.


    Yup! The highest I got was 14.

    • CommentAuthorRegenbogen
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2010

    Why not dump vanilla and use osqa or one of its ilk for meta.mathoverflow?

    • CommentAuthorAndrea
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2010

    Because SE (and its clones) "is not a good platform for discussion"? ;-)

    • CommentAuthorRegenbogen
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2010 edited

    Ahh! That is true. The mods seem to be taking the commoner's opinion into account and for that a discussion forum is better. Still, the I miss the spectacular looks at meta.stackoverflow or meta.stackexchange. Even vbulletin can't give such good looks.

    In any case it seems these open source alternatives to SE have a long way to go. Apart from the bugs, there don't seem to be too many sites using them. As more people jump in, then things will get fixed, let's hope. For that we have to wait until SE becomes a paid service.


    I've disabled bootstrap mode, but configured it so that you start with 15 reputation.