Not signed in (Sign In)

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

    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010
    I know this is meta.mathoverflow, but maybe someone here can tell me.

    It is not clear if one has to be a registered user or not to ask a question. The interface I am given says that I did not provide an OpenID or name and email, which is absolutely true, as there is no place I see to submit that information. How does one ask a question on meta.math.stackexchange? (Additional datum: There seem to be no interface problems for me to submit on answer on math.stackexchange.)

    At this point I would prefer that someone here who can ask questions on meta.stackexchange submit a question for me.

    Gerhard "Ask Me About System Design" Paseman, 2010.08.11

    @Gerhard: What do you want to ask? I could do it for you.

    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010
    Thank you Harry. I'll ask you please properly stitch the question parts and submit the result verbatim. (The Begin Part and End Part brackets are optional; leaving those out would be good.) If (for whatever reason) you do not wish to submit it verbatim, let me know and I will find an alternative. Again, thank you for your offer of assistance.

    ----Begin Part I

    Subject: questions on math.stackexchange Posting policy and Interface issue

    I thank the poster in advance for posting this on my behalf; somehow the meta
    "Ask Question" interface will not let me submit a question.

    I have two questions:

    1) Will the policy on signatures be revised?

    2) Where is the delete button for an answer?

    I include most of a short correspondence below. Following it is a short discussion.

    -----Begin Correspondence


    I am contributing answers to In order to justify the time spent on this, I add a signature to most of the contributions I make. This signature serves several purposes for me. Two of them are:

    - For the items I want to search, I can use the signature to help select those that are my contribution. The date I put helps me place the post in a proper context for me.
    - For the audience I want to reach, I want to encourage them to talk to me regarding system design.

    The resources that the signature takes are small compared to the resources taken by the rest of the answer.

    I read the no signature policy on the site, and decided that I would attempt to contribute anyway, especially since the site
    was in beta and with the hope that the policy would be modified.

    Now the issue is being mentioned, and in particular, at least one of my contributions is being edited to remove the signature. I want a brief discussion before I take one of two actions:

    - rollback the edit to restore the signature
    - delete the answer to remove the signature and the contribution. (Question: where is the delete button for an answer anyway?)

    If the signature policy is to be enforced, then I prefer to withdraw myself and my contributions from math.stackexchange.
    If the policy is modified to accommodate me, then I am willing to consider modifying the signature to give it a smaller footprint.

    I would like a response from one of the moderators of the math.stackexchange site. If this policy is applied to all stackexchange sites, then I suggest it be modified to limit signatures to a small footprint.

    I await your reply.

    Gerhard Paseman, 2010.08.11

    ----End Part I

    Gerhard "Relying on Kindness of Others" Paseman, 2010.08.11
    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010
    Here is the remainder. Once again, thanks Harry.

    ----Begin Part II

    Hi Gerhard,

    The network policy is, no signatures please, for the reasons defined in the /faq on every site --

    Can I use a signature or tagline?
    Please don't use signatures or taglines in your posts. Every post you make is already "signed" with your standard user card, which links directly back to your user page. Your user page belongs to you — fill it with interesting information about your interests, links to cool stuff you've worked on, or whatever else you like!
    You can and definitely should open this as a question on to see if the moderators agree. It is theoretically up to THAT community to decide what they want and don't want. But, if they allow an exception for you, they must allow an exception for everyone... and that to me is the crux of the issue.

    I personally think it's a bad idea to allow exceptions on signatures, since the overall increase in noise is damaging to the community in a very "broken windows" way.

    But as I said, it is not for me to decide.. this is something for you in the math community to hash out yourselves as "state's rights" override the "national rules" in general.


    -----End Correspondence

    Regarding the issue of signatures, I understand the point about having excess bytes that may be considered noise by others. If the bytes served no purpose to me, I would agree. And if the tag served the purposes that I wanted, I would use the tag instead. The tag does not serve the purposes I want, the signature does, and the demonstrated (to me) negative impact of the signature is zero. I suggest the signature policy be modified so that signatures of small footprint are allowed. Mine takes up less than 60 bytes; how many bytes/pixels does the tag take up? There is also the indexing issue, which the tag does not properly address.

    Regarding the user interface, I ask for help: where is the delete button for a user to delete his own answer?

    I am also disappointed that the answers were edited to remove my signature AFTER I invited discussion and before I received a reply regarding the discussion. I am willing to overlook this as unfortunate timing if a proper response to this question is made.

    Finally, a request for the moderator. Depending on how the signature policy for math.stackexchange is upheld/modified, please either rollback all of the edits made to remove the signature, or else remove all of the answers/comments containing them. I would prefer they be rolled back now until a final ruling is made.

    I am willing to give more arguments to justify the presence of signatures, as well as craft an appropriate policy for them. I am also willing (but not eager) to have my contributions to this forum removed. I want a good resolution to this issue for both me and the forming community.

    Gerhard "Ask Me About System Design" Paseman, 2010.08.11

    ---End Part II

    Gerhard "Relying on Kindness of Others" Paseman, 2010.08.11
    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010
    One further thought: if questions are not allowed to be long, then I am willing to have it submitted as a two-part question. However, I am loath to have anything else changed until after some discussion has occurred.

    May this lead to something better for us all.

    Gerhard "Defend the Small Footprint Right" Paseman, 2010.08.11

    @Gerhard: yes, it is not as easy to ask questions on meta.math.SE as it is here.

    To the best of my knowledge you need to be registered both on the meta site and on the main math.SE site and have at least 100 rep there. Since you already do have more than 100 rep on the main site, I would think that if you just took a minute to register, you would then be able to ask questions. The button is at the top right of the screen, underneath the search bar.

    The bit about not having a signature seems, as with other things on this site, to be explained only in some more central SE2.0 location. [Edit: looks like I'm wrong about that: it is on the math.SE FAQ. However the policy itself is coming from on high, whereas I would rather it be decided specifically by the site.] Being spoiled by MO, I am not super-enthusiastic about this sort of top-down approach either. Today I asked a question on the meta site concerning the (sort of curious, to me) way that rep is handled on the meta site. I was told that this was not site-specific enough and that I should ask my question at meta.SO. But my understanding is that in order to ask a question there, I would have to accumulate rep all over again. This seems unnecessarily tedious.

    I hope you don't deliver too dire an ultimatum to the powers that be. Again, compared to the moderators here, they seem to be relatively intransigent. Though I hope I am wrong, I predict that the response will be: "These are the rules; sorry if you don't like them." It would be a shame to stop contributing useful math to a community site over this kind of dispute.

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010 edited

    @Gerhard: Here you go! I hope you don't mind the way I changed:

    ----End of blah


    End of blah

    That is, it is verbatim except for this slight formatting change. I hope you don't mind.

    @Pete: I especially don't like this idea that many of the moderators there have that "lessons learned from Stack Overflow are applicable to all Q&A-style sites".


    I was told that this was not site-specific enough and that I should ask my question at meta.SO. But my understanding is that in order to ask a question there, I would have to accumulate rep all over again. This seems unnecessarily tedious.

    meta.SO is poorly named. It is not in fact the meta site for SO anymore. it has also become the central meta for all SE2.0 sites. For this reason, accounts on meta.SO are wholly independent from any other SE accounts. That is, meta.SO is its own site disconnected from SO (unlike the content-specific metas, which are integrally linked to their SE2.0 nodes).


    @Harry: yes, I gathered that meta.SO is the new central bureaucracy. Because it didn't click me through automatically but rather told me I had to set up a separate account, I thought that there would be no rep transfer. But I tried it just now and I have 101 rep on that site. So thank goodness for that...

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010 edited

    Alright, I vote that we oust the moderators Isaac and Kaestur Hakarl and replace them with patriots from MO. The trouble here is that while the people in charge are happy to let individual communities decide how to run themselves, there are elements who seek to copy as many rules and norms as possible from Stack Overflow. I think that having these people in charge is ultimately damaging for the site.

    For example, on math.SE, only one of the four moderators has any experience even reading MO.

    By linking your meta.SO account with your math.SE account you will automatically start with 100 rep at meta.SO which is enough to do all the fundamentals. So it's not terribly onerous to go there.
    @Harry : Will you please cut out the MO vs MU drama? It's getting repetitive and tiresome, and I don't appreciate the assumption in it that we're on "your side" (whatever that is). As far as I can tell from briefly perusing MU, the moderators are doing a reasonable job.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010 edited

    @Andy: If you haven't been following meta.MU, there have been some issues with the moderators...

    See here, which was closed by a moderator and reopened by the community.

    and here, which was about the above closure.

    It's not worth reading unless you're willing to read all of the comments. Regarding the MO/SO culture clash, it is a real thing, which is pretty clear if you follow meta.MU.


    There is a difference between the cultures on MO and SO, but it need not be a clash. The important thing is that the main people on a site where there are people from MO and from SO realise that the cultures are different and that one is not necessarily more "right" than the other.

    Someone was asking me about this the other day so I wrote up my thoughts:

    • CommentAuthorgrp
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2010
    I apologize to Harry for not immediately acknowledging his help. Thank you, the proxy post looks fine.

    I sense some of the political issues arising when I compare this thread, the thread in meta.math.SE, and my email correspondence on this issue. One of the reasons I keep unregistered accounts is the feeling I get of being apolitical by doing so. While it may seem minor and annoying to some, I think the (brief) signature is something to be preserved. For something comparable (in my not so humble opinion), I refer the reader to Ashleigh Brilliant and his Pot-Shots(trademark). So I shall brave the political waters for this cause. I might even merge some of my MO accounts someday.

    I thank the MathOverflow community for putting up with the signature so far. I intend to use it only for good.

    To Harry: If Will Jagy has your address, I will ask him to forward my next System Design installment to you.
    Or you can look up my 1998 slides on determinant spectrum; they may have a working email address still, in which case you can make the request by email directly.

    Gerhard "Your Rights: Defend or Lose" Paseman, 2010.08.12
    • CommentAuthorBystander
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2010
    @Harry Gindi: Let's start a jihad against the infidels of MU. You will be the best Amir-ul-Momineen.
    @Harry : I'd hardly call the right to violate copyright law settled policy at MO. Some of us care about keeping MO on the right side of the law, especially since it is pretty easy to just go check the damn book out of the library.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2010 edited

    @Harry Gindi: Let's start a jihad against the infidels of MU. You will be the best Amir-ul-Momineen.

    That's the spirit, old chap!

    • CommentAuthorkic
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2010
    "# Andy Putman @Harry : Will you please cut out the MO vs MU drama?"

    @Harry: MU stands for mathupperflow - the higher-level MO for computers to talk to each other.

    @Andy: Two things:

    a.) That wasn't the issue in the linked posts. There was no chance that MU or MO was in any way to be involved in any sort of infringement.

    b.) The issue with those posts that I linked was that the moderator in question was acting as though he were an SO moderator, without taking into consideration the fact that the post was not made on SO. He also has no sense of what is and isn't considered acceptable in the mathematical community, which is a pretty serious problem, as T noted in the comments on that moderator's answer.

    WRT the issue of copyright infringement here at MO, I'm only going by what the moderators have said in the few discussions we've had on the issue. If you'd like to argue against the current policy, you should start a thread on meta or contact the moderators.