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9:57 AM
One disadvantage of the fact that you have posted 5 identical answers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is that if other users have some comments about the website you created, they will post them in all these place. If you have some place online where you would like to receive feedback, you should probably also add link to that. — Martin Sleziak 1 min ago
I hope you will not mind that if I leave a bit of my own feedback here in chat. — Martin Sleziak 19 secs ago
BTW your program looks very interesting, in particular the way to enter mathematics.
One thing that seem to be missing is documentation (at least I did not find it).
This means that it is not explained anywhere: 1) How a search query is entered. 2) What the search engine actually looks for.
For example upon entering $\frac xy$ will it find also $\frac{\alpha}{\beta}$? Or even $\alpha/\beta$? What about $\frac{x_1}{x_2}$?
Is it possible to save a link to particular search query? For example in Google I am able to use link such as: google.com/search?q=approach0+xyz Feature like that would be useful for posting bug reports.
When I try to click on "raw query", I get curl -v https://approach0.xyz/search/search-relay.php?q='%24%5Cfrac%7Bx%7D%7By%7D%24' But pasting the link into the browser does not do what I expected it to.
If I copy-paste search query into your search engine, it does not work. For example, if I copy $\frac xy$ and paste it, I do not get what would I expect. Which means I have to type every query. Possibility to paste would be useful for long formulas. Here is what I get after pasting this particular string:
I was not able to enter integrals with bounds, such as $\int_0^1$. This is what I get instead:
I wanted to test it on some examples from here:
A: How to search math terms/notations accurately and efficiently? Could some experienced users summarize some tips here?

Martin SleziakOne thing which we should keep in mind is that duplicates might be useful. They improve the chance that another user will find the question, since with each duplicate another copy with somewhat different phrasing of the title is added. So if you spent reasonable time by searching and did not find...

A: How to google search mathematical notions and expressions?

Martin SleziakIn comments and other answers it was mentioned that there are some other search engines which could be better when searching for mathematical expressions. But I think that as nowadays several pages uses LaTex syntax (Wikipedia, this site, to mention just two important examples). Additionally, som...

I entered $\int \frac{\sin x}{\cos x} dx$. The only result from the search engine was this post: math.stackexchange.com/questions/1871800/…
I did not get this one (maybe it is not indexed yet): math.stackexchange.com/questions/180744/…
Here is the link I got after clicking on "raw query".
10:52 AM
Sorry, there was a typo in my message above. What I meant that I entered this formula: $\int \frac{\sin x}{\sin x+\cos x}$.
11:37 AM
@MartinSleziak Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions here. I have took a brief look at your feedback, I really love your feedback and will seriously look into those points and improve approach0. Give me just some minutes, I will answer/reply to your in feedback in our chat. — Wei Zhong 1 min ago
I still think that it would be useful if you added to your post where do you want to receive feedback from math.SE users. (I suppose I was not the only person to try it.) Especially since you wrote: "I am hoping someone interested can join and form a community to push this project forward, "
BTW those animations with examples of searching look really cool.
@MartinSleziak Thanks to your advice, I have appended more information on my posted answers. Will reply to you shortly in chat. — Wei Zhong 29 secs ago
We are open-source project hosted on GitHub: http://github.com/approach0 Welcome to send any feedback on our GitHub issue page!
If you are not developer, just send question/feedback messages on twitter with hashtag #approach0. I would love to hear from your thoughts!
12:03 PM
@MartinSleziak Currently it has only a documentation for developers (approach0.xyz/docs) hopefully this project will accelerate its releasing process when people get involved. But I will list this as a important TODO before publishing approach0.xyz . At that time I hope there will be a helpful guide page for new users.
Yes, I found that one.
Surely there will be need to create a more detailed documentation as the project grows.
@MartinSleziak Yes, $x+y$ will find $a+b$ too, IMHO this is the very basic requirement for a math-aware search engine. Actually, approach0 will look into expression structure and symbolic alpha-equivalence too. But for now, $x_1$ will not get $x$ because approach0 consider them not structurally identical, but you can use wildcard to match $x_1$ just by entering a question mark "?" or \qvar{x} in a math formula. As for your example, enter $\frac \qvar{x} \qvar{y} $ is enough to match it.
Will it also search for things like $\alpha, \beta, ...$ or $\aleph, \gimel, ...$?
Greek alphabet is definitely commonly used in mathematical expressions. Hebrew alphabet is probably mostly used in set theory for some cardinals.
@MartinSleziak As for the query link, it needs more explanation, technologically the way you mentioned that Google is using, is a HTTP GET method, but for mathematics, GET request may be not appropriate since it has structure in a query, usually developer would alternatively use a HTTP POST request, with JSON encoded. This makes developing much more easier because JSON is a rich-structured and easy to seperate math keywords.
@MartinSleziak Right now there are two solutions for "query link" problem you addressed. First is to use browser back/forward button to navigate among query history.
@MartinSleziak Second is to use a computer command line 'curl' to get search results from particular query link (you can actually see that in browser, but it is in developer tools, such as the network inspection tab of Chrome). I agree it is helpful to add a GET query link for user to refer to a query, I will write this point in project TODO and improve this later. (just need some extra efforts though)
@MartinSleziak Yes, if you search \alpha, you will get all \alpha document ranked top, different symbols such as "a", "b" ranked after exact match.
12:21 PM
@WeiZhong What I meant was whether whether pages containing $\frac\alpha\beta$ will get among the results if I search for $\frac xy$.
I.e. whether the variables can be not only a,b,c,x,y,z, but also greek letters.
@MartinSleziak Approach0 plans to add a "Symbol Pad" just like what www.symbolab.com and searchonmath.com are using. This will help user to input greek symbols even if they do not remember how to spell.
@MartinSleziak Yes, you can get, greek letters are tokenized to the same thing as normal alphabets.
That's what I was asking about.
@MartinSleziak I will add "copy-paste" issue to TODO, it can be improved.
BTW is 5 pages maximal number of results which can be returned? I tried $\frac xy$ and $\frac??$ and I highly doubt that that are all reasults.
@MartinSleziak As for integrals upper bounds, I think it is a problem on a JavaScript plugin approch0 is using, I also observe this issue, only thing you can do is to use arrow key to move cursor to the right most and hit a '^' so it goes to upper bound edit.
12:27 PM
@WeiZhong It works. I did not think of that...
@MartinSleziak Yes, it has a threshold now, but this is easy to adjust from source code. Most importantly, I have ONLY 1000 pages indexed, which means only 30,000 posts on math stackexchange. This is a very small number, but will index more posts/pages when search engine efficiency and relevance is tuned.
I see. I did not know how many pages you indexed. (In your posts you only mentioned that they are not all yet.)
@MartinSleziak As I mentioned, the indices is too small currently. You probably will get what you want when this project develops to the next stage, which is enlarge index and publish.
@MartinSleziak Thank you for all your suggestions, currently I just hope more developers get to know this project, indeed, this is my side project, development progress can be very slow due to my time constrain. But I believe its usefulness and will spend my spare time to develop until its publish.
Thanks for your responses and good luck with the project.
I hope you will get some feedback from some other math.SE users too. (After all, it was probably one of the reasons why you made the posts about Approach0.)
12:45 PM
@MartinSleziak I just updated project todo list: approach0.xyz/docs/src/TODO.html, two of your suggestions will become my next things to do.
I am glad that at least some of my questions/suggestions seem reasonable :-)
@MartinSleziak I love all of them :P
Now I will be AFK for some time - I am going to get some lunch.
But once again, thanks that you responded!
@MartinSleziak Have a good day! I going off too.
3 hours later…
3:55 PM
So, we would not have polls like: "What is your favorite calculus textbook?" — GEdgar 2 hours ago
@GEdgar I'd say this goes under "tools." But perhaps it could be made explicit. — quid 1 hour ago
@quid I think that the type of question mentioned in GEdgar's comment is closer to book-recommendations which are valid questions on the main. (Although not formulated like that.) I also think that his comment was tongue-in-cheek. (Although it is a bit more difficult for me to detect sarcasm, as I am not a native speaker.) — Martin Sleziak 57 mins ago
"What is your favorite calculus textbook?" is opinion based and/or too broad for main. If at all it is a "poll." On tex.se they have polls "favorite editor/distro/fonts etc" while actual questions on these are still on-topic on main. Beyond that it is not clear why a question which software one uses should be a valid poll while the question which book one uses is not. — quid 7 mins ago
@quid I will reply here, since I do not want to digress in the comments too much from the topic of that question.
Certainly I agree that "What is your favorite calculus textbook?" would not be suitable for the main. Which is why I wrote in my comment: "Although not formulated like that".
Book recommendations are certainly accepted on the main site, if they are formulated in the proper way.
If there will be community poll and somebody suggests question from GEdgar's comment, I will be perfectly ok with it. But I thought that his comment is simply playful remark pointing out that there is plenty of "polls" of this type on the main (although ther should not be). I guess some examples can be found here or here.
Perhaps it is better to link search results directly on MSE here and here, since in the Google search results it is not immediately visible that many of those questions are closed.
Of course, I might be wrong - it is possible that GEdgar's comment was meant seriously.
@MartinSleziak yes, but one can actually not really poll what users used on main.
As I said, I have no problem if such questions appear in the community poll.
It seems that this whole exchange arose - to some extent - from the question whether that particular comment was meant seriously or not.
I do not care much if it was meant seriously. It is relevant to decide the scope.
Point taken.
Not only scope. It should also be decided whether MSE community wants such polls.
4:12 PM
Yes this was a bit brief on my part. The opinion on this, the want, might depend on the number of to be expected questions though, so that the scope is also relevant to this.
We will see what happens with that question. Several recent poll-related questions (linked in my post) provoked me to post it.
I think it was a good idea to bring it up. I had also noticed that thing on academia.se I think.
I have seen for the first time on TeX.SE. The poll there was concentrated on TeXnical side of things. If you look at the questions there, they are asking about TeX distributions, packages, tools used for graphs and diagrams, etc.
Academia.SE has some questions which could be classified as "demographic" (including gender).
Could I ask something quick about Slovak language?
Go ahead.
4:23 PM
How is Christ as in Jesus Christ written? With a C or a K?
Ježiš Kristus.
Similarly as in many other Slavic languages, I'd guess. At least I think in Russian. (Although I am not entirely sure.)
Or is it Kh in Russian?
It seems to be the "Kh": Иисус Христос
I am not sure to which extent you speak Russian Х corresponds to Slovak Ch and K is the same in both languages.
@MartinSleziak thanks. The reason I wondered was this question. (I know Prague is not in Slovakia, but I assumed it was the same.)
I do not know Russian at all.
@quid From what I heard, it stands for Kašpar, Melichar and Baltazár, as the answer there says. In Slovakia you would see G+M+B, where G stand for Gašpar.
But that is only anecdotal.
And if I am to believe Slovak Wikipedia it should be Christus mansionem benedicat.
From the Wikipedia article: "Nad dvere kňaz píše C+M+B (Christus mansionem benedicat - Kristus nech žehná tento dom). Toto sa však často chybne vysvetľuje ako 20-G+M+B-16 podľa začiatočných písmen údajných mien troch kráľov."
@MartinSleziak yes, this meaning is the 'official' in my opinion. The other one is more folcoric.
My attempt to write English translation: The priest writes on the door C+M+B (Christus mansionem benedicat - Let the Christ bless this house). A mistaken explanation is often given that it is G+M+B, following the names of three wise men.
As you can see there, Christus mansionem benedicat is translated to Slovak as "Kristus nech žehná tento dom". In Czech it would be "Kristus ať žehná tomuto domu" (I believe). So K+M+B cannot come from initial letters of the translation.
It seems that they have also other interpretations in Poland.
4:39 PM
@MartinSleziak it could be a mix.
Anyway, your main questions was about the name Christ. Both in Slovak and Czech it is Kristus.
The question you linked is an interesting one.
Another explanation one finds for the K is Kyrios instead of Christus.
That's from Greek?
Yes. It'd be like Lord in Greek.
5:33 PM
BTW there is also paragraph about this in English Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi#Central_Europe
"A tradition in Poland and German-speaking Catholic areas is the writing of the three kings' initials (C+M+B or C M B, or K+M+B in those areas where Caspar is spelled Kaspar) above the main door of Catholic homes in chalk. This is a new year's blessing for the occupants and the initials also are believed to also stand for "Christus mansionem benedicat" ("May/Let Christ Bless This House").
Depending on the city or town, this will be happen sometime between Christmas and the Epiphany, with most municipalities celebrating closer to the Epiphany."
BTW in the village where I come from the priest writes those letters on houses every year during Christmas. I do not remember seeing them on a church, as in Najib's question.
6:25 PM
It is also on a different page Star Singers
In Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria the Epiphany singing is performed at or close to Epiphany (January 6) and has developed into a nationwide custom, where the children of both sexes call on every door and are given sweets and money for charity projects of Caritas, Kindermissionswerk or Dreikönigsaktion[2] - mostly in aid of poorer children in other countries.[3]
A tradition in most of Central Europe involves writing a blessing above the main door of the home. For instance if the year is 2014, it would be "20 * C + M + B + 14". The initials refer to the Latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" (= May Christ bless this house); folkloristically they are often interpreted as the names of the Three Wise Men (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar).
In Catholic parts of Germany and in Austria, this is done by the Sternsinger (literally "Star singers"). After having sung their songs, recited a poem, and collected donations for children in poorer parts of the world, they will chalk the blessing on the top of the door frame or place a sticker with the blessing.
On Slovakia specifically it says there:
The biggest carol singing campaign in Slovakia is Dobrá Novina (English: "Good News"). It is also one of the biggest charity campaigns by young people in the country. Dobrá Novina is organized by the youth organization eRko.
End of quotes.
Dobrá Novina in Slovakia is relatively new. I guess that so is Dreikönigsaktion in Austria. But Star Singers (koledníci, Sternsinger) is an old tradition, at least in Slovakia.
This is somewhat unusual topic now during the hot summer. :-)
6:53 PM
Well fall is around the corner.
Yes, I suppose many of the more organizational aspects are relatively recent compared to the activity itself.

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