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2:20 AM
5
Q: Help center text references a thread but doesn't indicate which one

user44191In the "What about open problems?" section of https://mathoverflow.net/help, the last line says "To join the discussion about how MathOverflow should deal with open problems, go to this meta.MO thread." However, there is no indication of which thread is referenced - neither a title of a thread no...

When I look at the FAQ this post is linked there: What should be the policy on β€œopen problems” on MO? Interestingly, the FAQ post has score -1. — Martin Sleziak Aug 1 at 4:25
Looking at the Wayback Machine, it seems that the help center looked differently in June, but the text was already added at the beginning of July. It seems that some older version of the FAQ was put there - for example, this problem is still there: Update outdated links in the list of suggested alternative sites. — Martin Sleziak Aug 1 at 4:29
Just a suggestion - maybe you could also add (discussion) tag. In that way, the question would become eligible for the community bulletin and it would be more likely to get noticed. (Although in this case it is most important that it gets noticed by the mods - and they get notification about every new meta question in their moderator inbox anyway.) — Martin Sleziak Aug 1 at 7:05
@MartinSleziak Done; I thought that this was more a quick-to-fix problem than one needing discussion, but you have more experience than I do. — user44191 Aug 1 at 7:07
I wasn't sure whether this was done by someone from the Stack Exchange staff or by a MO moderator. But eventually I managed to find the revision history: mathoverflow.net/posts/394744/revisionsMartin Sleziak 2 hours ago
@TimCampion Sorry for bothering you (especially if you're busy with other stuff). But I wanted to ask moderators about this - I tried to contact you since you're one of the mods who edited that part of the help center, as far as I can tell.
Basically, the text at the beginning of mathoverflow.net/help (revision history) is the text taken from this FAQ post: Frequently Asked Questions: MathOverflow FAQ.
14
Q: Frequently Asked Questions: MathOverflow FAQ

KavehFrequently Asked Questions for MathOverflow What kind of questions can I ask here? What kind of questions should I not ask here? What about open problems? Where's the rule that says I have to wear pants?

However, it was copy-pasted from there as a plain text - without any formatting, hyperlinks, etc.
That definitely looks bad - and in some cases it defeats the purpose.
There is the example quoted in the post on meta:
> To join the discussion about how MathOverflow should deal with open problems, go to this meta.MO thread.
Saying "this meta.MO thread" without giving a link isn't very useful.
> The best way to get great answers to your question is to write a great question. To help you do that, we've written down some guidelines on How to ask a good MathOverflow question.
Again, this is much less useful without the link. And one could go on.
A separate question is whether it is actually useful to have this in two places - since one then has to maintain both copies.
But if the mods have decided that they want to have the FAQ copy-pasted also here, I definitely think that it would be better to have this with proper formatting and relevant links.
Was this discussed among the moderators? Are there some plans to fix this?
 
 
8 hours later…
10:08 AM
-2
Q: statics and probability

utsav mishra Let 𝑋 = 𝑋1 + 𝑋2 + β‹― + 𝑋𝑛 where 𝑋𝑖 = 1 if the 𝑖 π‘‘β„Ž trail is success and 𝑋𝑖 = 0 if the 𝑖 π‘‘β„Ž trail is failure. Also 𝑋1, 𝑋2, … , 𝑋𝑛 are independent identically distributed random variable each follows a Bernoulli trail with the probability of success as 𝑝1. Find the following. (i) ...

 
 
3 hours later…
12:50 PM
@MartinSleziak No worries -- I submitted my thesis a couple of months ago, and since then in principle I've got time I can devote to actually, y'know, moderating! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I think I noticed at the time that Ben had added substantially more text after I added a stub, and I think I noticed that it was copy-pasted from elsewhere, but didn't look more carefully than that.
These edits actually happened in a flurry of "the mods agreeing we should feel empowered to edit stuff like this on the site on our own prerogative"
I'm also not sure how valuable it is to have the duplicated text. For now, I think I'll just copy over the formatting from the original source.
 
Thanks for looking into that!
 
I do not have a good global understanding of what all the different "help-type pages" are / how they are linked and so forth
 
On Mathematics, when asking a question, some links to the FAQ posts on meta are given on the right: math.stackexchange.com/questions/ask
On MO, only the help center is linked: mathoverflow.net/questions/ask
 
ah, i see.
I initially thought that the help center was only linked from the footer of the page, and I didn't think it was that importatn
probably we should try to get that blurb for asking a question improved like on Math.SE
but if that's the way it is currently, then it's kind of important fro the help center to actually be helpful
I think I would rather link to that FAQ post rather than have it copy-pasted
It looks like Ben also added something about using real names
It would be nice to find a canonical meta question to link to on that point as well
I think the answers on that FAQ page were themselves mostly copy-pasted from some older help page.
The tip-off is "where's the rule that says I have to wear pants"
I've seen that wording elsewhere on the site
I'm trying to remember wher
 
1:08 PM
@TimCampion Isn't that part copied from the FAQ, too?
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A: Frequently Asked Questions: MathOverflow FAQ

KavehWhere's the rule that says I have to wear pants? MathOverflow doesn't have formal rules about every possible thing that could come up. Roughly, you should think of this site as a large seminar. Be nice. Treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you. We're all here to learn toget...

> We also encourage you to <strong>use your real name</strong> as your username. In your own enlightened self-interest, realize that participating in blogs, MathOverflow, the arXiv, and mathematical publishing are all forms of advertising for your "brand", even if that’s not your principal purpose (and hopefully it’s not). Since job applications require you to write your real name, you might as well use it everywhere else, too.
 
oh i see.
 
Oh, I see, it's a different wording.
> We also encourage you to use your real name as your username. In your own enlightened self-interest, realise that participating in blogs, MathOverflow, the arXiv, and mathematical publishing are all forms of advertising for your "brand", even if that’s not your principal purpose (and hopefully it’s not). Since job applications require you to write your real name, you might as well use it everywhere else, too.
Using real names reminds everybody that they are corresponding with real people, and it demonstrates a certain level of personal investment in your MathOverflow identity. If you use
 
i was just looking at ben's edit history
 
No, it's the same. I managed to confuse myself.
 
It's funny -- initially it took a sharp eye for us to even notice that there was a screen element on this part of the help page where we could add text
but now that there's all this text there, it dominates the page
 
1:11 PM
Well, you (the mods) are running the show - so it's basically up to you.
 
yeah i guess so
 
But I still think that the plaintext version with omitted links is not a very good idea.
 
absolutely
 
Copied here from the original MO faq for easy access. — Kaveh Jun 26 '13 at 22:51
 
good find, thanks!
I've edited it now to simply link to that faq page.
Maybe that means I'm stepping on Ben's toes, but if he likes he can always revert it.
 
1:57 PM
Now the text was edited (and substantially shortened) by another moderator: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/10243/conversation/…Martin Sleziak 19 secs ago
I left a link to this chat under the post - so that the OP (and other users reading that question) can see what was said here in this room.
 

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