01:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00

1:49 AM
TeX.SX users around the world: www2.dc.ufscar.br/~paulo_cereda/latex/world.html
8
and the csv, if anyone wants to play with: www2.dc.ufscar.br/~paulo_cereda/latex/countries.csv
I had to go through every single location because there were some subtle entries. Some of them were very funny. :-)
American states drove me crazy!
Good night, friends!

3 hours later…
5:05 AM
@egreg: Re "Also adding \left and \right everywhere is not a good idea. […] they influence the spacing and also the placement of exponents, often in nonoptimal way": So it follows that \left and \right fail to serve their purpose?
@PauloCereda That's nice!

2 hours later…
7:06 AM
Firefox 7 actually feels snappier
I guess it has to when the release notes says "Drastically improved memory handling for certain use cases".

7:31 AM
The release notes also says "Added an opt-in system for users to send performance data back to Mozilla to improve future versions of Firefox", the option is in settings under Advanced.

7:48 AM
Here's something I've just posted on meta that I'd like people here to read.
0

I just stumbled across something that I'm not sure whether I like it or not. Well, actually, I know that I don't like it. I'm just not sure whether I'm being a bit over-sensitive or not. It seems a bit small and petty (of me), but first impressions are important. One thing I really really like...

@AndrewStacey Thanks for bringing that up: I will try to get hold of the appropriate person about this!

@JosephWright I hope it was okay to do so in public, I did feel that it was a community issue.

@AndrewStacey I'd agree entirely

@JosephWright Do you know of any other instances?

@AndrewStacey No - I've checked in the mod tools system, where I can see moderator activity by other mods
Oh actually there may be a few

7:59 AM
@JosephWright How many of them start "Welcome to LaTeX!"? (I'll give them this, they got the capitalisation correct)

@AndreyVihrov \left and \right are useful, but they shouldn't be used everywhere: think to $\left(a+b\right)^2$ where two things happen. (1) The superscript is raised; (2) the spacing around the + is frozen.

8:16 AM
@JosephWright Don't like any of those. The first and third have the same problem as in my meta post. The second had already been looked at by one of our moderators!

@AndrewStacey I'd agree - we are going to have an 'interesting' conversation, I suspect (the community mods ticking off one of the SE staff!)

I must admit that I've been a bit on edge since I learnt of the "CHAOS" team. I've been keeping an eye out for their activity on this site.

@AndrewStacey We don't have a CHAOS person

We have only COSMOS persons. Orderly, harmonious persons.

8:45 AM
(Some chaos in the cosmos there, server didn't respond.) In other news, I just got my TUG membership today and so learnt about iTeX. No, not that iTeX, nor that iTeX, but this iTeX. Having just gotten an iPad, I'm looking forward to trying it out.

9:10 AM
(I originally put links in the above to all the iTeX's I meant, but every time I did that then the server stopped responding. The first iTeX was Knuth's iTeX, the second was iTeX2MML, and the third was iTeX for the iPad. Your friendly neighbourhood search engine will help you with the rest.)

These questions have the same problem, is one a duplicate of another? 1 2

@AndreyVihrov We have more on that issue: tex.stackexchange.com/q/10355/86

@AndrewStacey Since this one even has a corresponding title, I wonder if the former two could both be closed as duplicates.

@PauloCereda: would you like to restrict the map to top users?

@AndreyVihrov Yes, that was my thinking. We also have one somewhere about using tikzpicture inside align that had the same problem. I like that one because (if I remember right) it explained why this was an issue. But I can't find the question now.

9:48 AM
What are all these ':n', ':nn', ':N', etc. in LaTeX3?

@Raphink TBH I added all users I could collect to the map just to see "how cool" it would be, but for some reason Google Chart API is not rendering them properly (e.g., Argentina). Im thinking about a blog post on this data. :-)

hehe

If someone could help me on why GChart API have forsaken me, it'd be awesome. :-)
Ah, good morning friends!

@Raphink About the same as the parameter types in C's "void f(int, int, char)", but encoded as a part of function name. (Hey, C++ name mangling is very close to this.)

:-P

9:51 AM
Heh, we have a user in Mongolia?

I was scared when I read one of our users' location: "In your worst nightmare."

funny place to live

@Raphink They represent the arguments of a function, both the number and 'type'. So N is a single token, while n is multiple-tokens (and should be in braces in most cases).
The reason for having them formally in the name is we need expansion variants, so c is a csname: \foo:c => csname expansion => \foo:N

Ah, so it replaces the [7] in \newcommand{\foo}[7]?

@Raphink Not really, as the 7 here is not part of the name of the macro

9:55 AM
Ah
so the number of arguments is part of the name of the macro?

@Raphink Yes, essentially

Interesting

In TeX programming, you need a lot of related macros where the main variation is the number of arguments. So it makes a reasonable amount of sense

it's like writing functions called foo1 and foo3 to provide wrappers with more or less arguments?

@Raphink When I first saw LaTeX3 code, I disliked this verbosity, but now I understand better that you can't really have "overloaded" functions without this, and that without parameter type checking this is a good reminder of what parameters the function expects.

9:57 AM
@AndreyVihrov: I see the point
@JosephWright: right, but couldn't we use keyval more, like ConTeXt does it?
doing so prevents having to declare several functions just to deal with a different amount of arguments

@Raphink At the user level, yes, but not internally

Why is that?

Keyval is not a core TeX concept, so any keyval input has to be converted into a number of either variables or arguments at some stage.

ok
so the foo:N macros are only meant for internal purposes (or package writing) but not for end users?

@Raphink The LaTeX3 approach is to clearly-separate code-level and user-level functions. So internally all macros take a fixed list of defined arguments, and then at the 'last minute' this is converted to user syntax, where there may be optional arguments, etc.

10:06 AM
By user syntax, you mean a LaTeX2e syntax?

The idea is then that if I want to create a new user macro using an existing piece of functionality, I should use the (documented) code-level macro plus my own alterations, and not the existing user-level macro.
@Raphink Possibly. xparse is currently a LaTeX3-to-LaTeX2e layer, but Frank Mittelbach is keen to stress that LaTeX2e may not be the best syntax model to adopt for the user.

What would be another kind of user syntax eventually?
@JosephWright: you play the clarinet and recorder?

@Raphink Yes

Cool :-)
I do, too :-)
altough really lacking time lately to play

@Raphink We need to process XML properly. However, I'd like to imagine that LaTeX2e-like syntax will remain as a key part
@Raphink Same here :-(

10:12 AM
My clarinets and saxophone are rusting in their boxes lately :S

We can form a band!

What do you play @PauloCereda?

@Raphink Piano, bass and guitar (and a brazilian instrument called viola caipira).

ah nice :-)

That's very nice ;-) My best musical experience is playing Virtual Piano so far, with no music theory at all.

10:14 AM
I've got guitars at home, too. That I find time to play a bit, to the kids before they sleep :-)
I'd love to have a piano at home, but it's too big (and expensive).

hehe, they are very expensive.

Or, ideally, an organ (like an electric one for example, with a pedal keyboard still)
but that's even more expensive (though much cooler if you ask me, especially to play Bach :-))
a harpsichord would be nice, too :-)

Instruments are very expensive in here.

I think the TeX.SX community should go take over music.SX where it's only talking about electric guitars
;-)

Specially those designed for left-handed (like me).

10:17 AM
heh

haha let's attack music.sx!

It's pretty impressive really. It's like all questions are about the guitar or the piano... The range of music instruments seems to have dramatically shrunk since people began playing the guitar.

10:35 AM
hehe

1 hour later…
11:48 AM
Found a better map chart. Updated. :-)

@PauloCereda The user in Senegal must feel a bit isolated!

@JosephWright True! :-) Those users are literally la resistance.
@JosephWright: only 48% of our users fill out the Location field. I wonder what our char would look with a full mapping.

@PauloCereda Some are also wrong or made up, of course

@JosephWright I giggled when found only one member in Chandgad, India. Guess who...
I didn't count that location, since I knew it was just for fun. :-)

@JosephWright: Would you say it is better today to make new packages using expl3?

11:58 AM
Morning!

hi @GonzaloMedina

@Raphink It depends on the aims. Using expl3 makes life easier, in my opinion, but there is a question of the scope you want to aim at. Remember, expl3 requires e-TeX, and a lot of publishers do not have it.
The expl3 stuff comes into its own for larger, more 'programmatic' work

Well
If I make new packages, publishers that don't have e-TeX will not have these either

@Raphink No, but for example my achemso stuff is for a publisher
All of my new work uses expl3 unless there is a specific reason not to
The biggest single advantage is the 'ignore spaces' idea, which you can of course set up yourself pretty quickly

OK
what is that?

12:01 PM
Morning Gonzalo!

@PauloCereda have you done the map of users location?

@GonzaloMedina I did. :-)

@GonzaloMedina: see the starred messages

@PauloCereda Nice!

@PauloCereda Now I'd like to see the map of tex.se users divided by the number of people in that country :)

12:12 PM
Unusual locations include: \location{address}, 129.21.0.0/16 , 17837, 6, Banana Republic of Germany, Old abandoned house, Somewhere in the vicinity of Sol, Your Worst Nightmare, probably skiing, and on the server farm.
@Patrick hehe. :-)
Top 10 countries: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Austria, India, Netherlands, Poland and Italy.
@Gonzalo: we are doing quite good in South America. :)

@PauloCereda better than I thought.

12:34 PM
I have the feeling @egreg hit the rep cap again. :-P

@PauloCereda Yup, but then I'm only 10 off :-)

@JosephWright :-)
It takes me around two months to reach the amount of rep you guys earn every single day.
:-P

12:50 PM
@PauloCereda Done. :)

@egreg cool! :-)

1:10 PM
What to do with this one? The answer is simply "you can't".
1

I am using multicol with 2 columns, and I would love to have my figures and tables to float, so that I don't have to manually mess around with the positioning anymore. I am aware of figure*, but I want my floats to just span one column, not both. A bit of research points to "won't work", but doe...

@egreg Sounds about right to me (unless you want to try xor, which is not finished :-)

Learnt something new about TikZ again. I didn't know that there was an array syntax in pgfmath. (tex.stackexchange.com/q/30045/86)

1:24 PM
@AndrewStacey thanks for raising the outside moderator issue and @JosephWright for pursuing it directly. This has to be nipped at the bud. Especially since some of the comments were posted after one of us had made a similar (and more friendly) comment.

1:57 PM
cv-templates.info says it is not acceptable (emphasis theirs) to use a face picture with a coloured background in a CV. What do you guys think?

2:20 PM
@Raphink As @AlanMunn said before, formatting is probably not important in almost all cases

how do you mean formatting?
I mean personally, I don't feel my CV has ever been rejected because of my pic :S

In here, I hear a lot that the general rule is: if the job you are going to apply does not require a picture, don't include it. If so, use the "cleanest" (without too much color or background stuff) possible.
BTW, I love the "A picture of you trying to lift the Leaning Tower of Pisa" part in the link.

Does anyone know when those free T-shirts will be shipped? I'm wondering how long I need to maintain cellar-dweller status on the second rep page.

2:35 PM
@PauloCereda When you go in Pisa, you can always see people doing that kind of photo. Why isn't it recommended to put that photo in the CV? :)

@egreg I'd love to take a picture like that! It's like going to Rio to see Christ the Redeemer and mimic his opened arms. :-P
The last photo in my Lattes curriculum was me wearing a Crocodile Dundee like hat. :-)

:)

Stefan Kottwitz has reached 40000 rep! Congratulations!

@egreg LOL

2:52 PM
@PauloCereda did Jin sent you the TeX.SX logo in a format other than eps?

If I ever get caught trying to lift the leaning tower, I'll say I'm doing Tai Chi Chuan in there - will it work?
@GonzaloMedina Jin sent me a transparent png. Would you like that one?

@PauloCereda yes.

@GonzaloMedina Could you send me a email? paulo_cereda@dc.ufscar.br

@PauloCereda sent (in Spanish, I hope it's OK).

@GonzaloMedina Replied. :-)

3:07 PM
@PauloCereda received! Thank you very much.

@GonzaloMedina My pleasure. If you need any additional formats, just tell me.
@egreg: what are the biking plans for this weekend?

3:23 PM
I've already told: Gorizia, Lake Bohinj (Slovenia), Jesenice, Kranjska Gora, Tarvisio (back in Italy), Bovec (again Slovenia), Tarcento. The maps say around 600 km. The weather should be magnificent.

Ah yes, you've already told. :-) I'm gonna send you a digital camera, you need to take some pictures for us.

@PauloCereda Will it be in the swag package? :)

Every time I think that the era of the "Taxonomist" badge is finally over, another one is awarded: tex.stackexchange.com/badges/11/taxonomist.

And why not?

@egreg yeah! With a 32Gb SD card for lots of photos! Let's even find a way to embed a TeX install into the camera. :)
7

Using a single \foreach loop with different uses in the coordinates is much easier: \documentclass[parskip]{scrartcl} \usepackage[margin=15mm]{geometry} \usepackage{tikz} \begin{document} \begin{tikzpicture} \foreach \x in{0,...,4} { \draw (0,\x ,4) -- (4,\x ,4); \draw (\x ,0,4) -- (\x ,4...

The last image reminds me of Q*bert.

4:28 PM
Now that I think about it, shouldn't the site logo respect the kerning in TeX as in \TeX?

@GonzaloMedina It should rather be visually consistent, such that the serifs touch. Different fonts need different adjustments for that.

@AndreyVihrov I agree

4:43 PM
@Raphink In the North America, pictures are strongly discouraged: from an employers point of view using them violates anti-discrimination laws, so if you are applying for such jobs you should not have a picture (nor other personal information such as birth date and marital status.)

interesting point @AlanMunn
no website either I guess?
no named personal public projects which might link to my website, which might link to such personal infos ?
;-)

@Raphink I think websites are reasonable in some cases if they are professional. But I don't have mine on my CV, and probably wouldn't add it even if I were applying for jobs.

But just your name is enough to know a lot about you.

@Raphink That's true, and probably many do. So it's always good to be aware of what your web presence actually says these days.

Although in your case, there seems to be several Alan Munn
and I suppose you're not the biochemist

4:52 PM
@Raphink No. I did once get a grant proposal sent to me for review that was intended for him.

haha, nice :-)
I haven't had that issue (yet)
I've seen homonyms on Facebook, but they have a very small internet footprint

@Raphink And if you do a Google image search for my name, there's not a single photo of me. (By design.) (Although oddly enough, there's one of @AndrewStacey.)

Haha
I have a very interesting friend for that
her first name is unique (or quite, she discovered a Russian queen had the same name in the 12th century)
so when you google her first name, you only finds pics of her and her friends

Actually, I lied. There is exactly one that I know of.

ah!
it would be hard for me to tell which one ;-)

5:02 PM
@Raphink Indeed. Though not impossible, I should think.

I once was going to apply to a lecture and saw, amongst the other lectures, a keynote by someone called Paulo Cereda. And I actually know him. :-)

:)

LOL
I'd probably sleep at my own lecture.

Ahr, this guy only says things I already know... and he even repeats...

Our middle names differ. And I also do have another surname, from my mother's.

5:15 PM
ok

but it was quite funny. My colleagues were making fun of me.
But there are lots of homonyms out there.

@PauloCereda There's an Alan J Munn who seems to be a bit of a wacko.

@AlanMunn wow!

@PauloCereda Wow indeed.

the linguist guy?
ah no, that's another one ;-)
ah yeah, a bit weird...
mixing my IP address with concentration camps...

5:26 PM
@AlanMunn: I never saw so many American cities. I think I visited at least one city from every US state in that userlist. :-)

2 hours later…
7:20 PM
The "non-TeX-SX moderator" has replied. I'd be interested in knowing what others think. I know what I think, but I don't want to prejudice anyone else's opinion. I'd quite like to know what others think before responding so I know whether I'm in line with others or not.
16

I just stumbled across something that I'm not sure whether I like it or not. Well, actually, I know that I don't like it. I'm just not sure whether I'm being a bit over-sensitive or not. It seems a bit small and petty (of me), but first impressions are important. One thing I really really like...

for anyone not sure what I'm on about.

I don't like the parents metaphor.

@NN good point. We are a community with more active and less active people, but still all equal.
As soon as someone acts as a parent the community will be damaged (unless everyone agrees on it, say for example when Don Knuth would join this site ...)
I agree with @AndrewStacey's post (linked above) that some statements are not nice (I'd put it in even more harsh words :) "Please respect what we are building here".
I think we should not care if this happens once or twice.

7:39 PM
@Patrick I agree with that last statement. Part of my purpose was to ensure that this does just happen only the once or twice.

@AndrewStacey I am glad you've brought this up.
It shows a well functioning community with good moderators.

@NN Agreed. IMHO TeX.sx has its own identity amongst the plethora of SX sites. I'd prefer a lighter approach. Our moderators do a great job in here and it would be wiser to learn from them specially when in their domains.

7:58 PM
@PauloCereda That's what I've tried to say in my answer in Meta.

@Patrick Well I've started with my comment. I tried to be as measured as possible, although I hope some annoyance came through loud and clear.

Are we due an 'unanswered' session at the weekend (tomorrow)?
lockstep has done such a good job on the list it's smaller than it was at the end of the last session!

8:25 PM
@JosephWright What time do you have in mind?

@egreg The Saturday 2100 GMT slot seems to be generally popular.

/me peeks in

@HedgeMage Hello

Hi, @JosephWright

Hi there @HedgeMage! :-)

8:28 PM
@egreg I may miss the start if we do that session, but should make at least some of it

hi, @PauloCereda

Hm...

@JosephWright Fine for me.

I noticed the chat about the meta post about the comments (is that meta enough for all of us?) and thought I'd try to get a less-drama-ridden conversation going on in here than we seem to be getting on meta.

@egreg OK, I'll add the banner

8:31 PM
@egreg: we won't ruin your bike plans. :-)

@PauloCereda I'll be home before sunset or so.

@HedgeMage I guess that TeX.sx has a unique 'flavour'

hey @GraceNote! ♪ :-)

I was a bit stern -- and I'm happy to tone it down a bit to match the culture of the site -- but what really concerns me is that the community seems to think it's just fine to comment and leave that junk content lying around without deletion (or even a downvote!). At least it was flagged multiple times, showing that some of your community know it shouldn't remain there.

Gosh, we're popular tonight!

8:36 PM
@HedgeMage We've got a '24 h' policy: no mod action for at least 24 hours after the first comment
So we expect flags to 'hang around' for some time

@egreg Juve vs. Milan. I'd love to see Pirlo scoring.

That... sounds like a pretty dangerous policy. Please tell me you have exceptions for trying circumstances.

@PauloCereda I too.

@HedgeMage: Since you started the parent metaphor, let me continue it. When my kids leave their lego all over the floor, I don't pick it all up straight away. Any that's in a dangerous place, or might get trodden on, then yes I clear it up. But I'd rather they learnt to pick up their own lego. At the end of the day, then I clear it up.

@GraceNote If there was something serious then of course one of the mods would act, but to date we've had perhaps less than half a dozen 'ad' posts
I got some very odd comments in the Teachers Lounge when I mentioned our approach, but it works here and is community-led

8:39 PM
@GraceNote: As far as I'm aware, all flags are seen in a reasonable time (given that all our mods are Europe-based, I believe). It's just that they tend to wait before acting unless it is serious.

That's fine, as long as you do act on those. I definitely can't say I'm a fan, but as long as it isn't being read as some hard-fast unbreakable rule (and consequently open to abuse), I can find it fine.
@AndrewStacey That was rather my point

As far as I can see the mods are constantly watching everything but stay back unless they "have to" do something.

@Patrick And that is what I wanted to confirm

Anyway, there's always @lockstep :-)

@AndrewStacey Right, but you have just your children in your home -- you don't have random children wandering in and out all the time. The new kids will imitate whatever they see the already-there kids do -- so if your children have legos lying all about (bad metaphor -- a good parent makes the kids clean up, but I'll do my best to go with it) soon you'll have 30 kids' legos on your floor and your home is no longer a welcoming or useful place to anyone.

8:41 PM
(Context for @HedgeMage and @GraceNote: lockstep is a one-man flag machine)
2

@HedgeMage: I think we'd better stop this metaphor! Actually, I do have random kids wandering through my house. And at the end of the day, I frequently go round to the neighbours to swap toys and coats and everything else that was left lying around. I live in Norway and, well, things are a bit unique here.

@HedgeMage Other people here are not the moderators' children.

@Patrick I said it was a broken metaphor!

Slightly more seriously, I'm certainly not saying "Keep away". By all means, help if you see the need. But get to know us first and our way of doing things. It may be a bit different to everywhere else, but it works. It wouldn't work on other sites, but it does here.
5

8:44 PM
I don't really think this issue is worth discussing any more. The stackexchange staff have posted their opinion, we have read it and accepted it and the site (tex.se) is and will be fine because of the very decent community and the great moderators here.
There is nothing to change IMHO

To do a merge, I have to close one question, and both are okay

(Except that I need more LuaTeX challenges, but that's another point, I suppose)

@JosephWright I suggested the merge, and I'm broadly still in favour of it. Does one question get totally lost? Then, I think, I would be less in favour. I just think that all those answers should be in one place (I've just had a look at Tom Bombadill's continuing saga. My word!!! Now, there's an answer that should be a package.)

@JosephWright I think that they are sufficiently different to be kept separate. One is about drawing a single cube, the other is more about drawing a grid on the cube.

@AndrewStacey I noted this on your question, but it may have been more welcoming to, well, start with that.

8:47 PM
@AndrewStacey From memory, we do loose one question if we merge
It's a rare occurrence, so I'm not 100%

@AndrewStacey That's a great deal more constructive than what I got from your meta post.
I get that, and I can be more hands-off there for now...
At this point, my concern is twofold:
1) If TeX ever does grow to a certain scale, the existing policy must change or the site will implode. What is workable at this scale is completely unmanageable at the scale of even one of our medium SE sites.

@HedgeMage and @GraceNote: I'm glad you've joined this discussion, but please note that my meta question was intended for this community to find out whether or not I was in step. Yes, I hoped someone high-up would notice it, but it was intended firstly to inform and query our community. So I'll not apologise for an "unwelcoming" tone.

2) The extreme level of hostility and drama that came up in meta over something that should have been dispensed with using a quick chat or a few notes makes me very worried that should that time come, instead of dealing with a growing problem and changing policy, the community will make matters worse by focusing on all this personal claptrap.

@JosephWright Best not risk it, then. Let's just link them prominently.

actually, there's a 3...

8:53 PM
"The extreme level of hostility and drama" - whee

@HedgeMage Of course, policy evolves over time, and informed by the realities 'on the ground'.

@HedgeMage Sorry, you've lost me there. Hostility? I certainly have not intended to be hostile at any time and in any way. I sincerely apologise for anything that I've said that has come across as hostile. It has never been my intention to offend anyone. My intention has been to ensure that the level of politeness and friendliness of the main site is maintained, even when non-TeX mods take action.
As for the method ... well, I'm an academic. We like to look at things from all angles before deciding. In particular, as a mathematician, I'm always worried by the possibility that I might be wrong. So I try my best to find out first. Hence my asking the community what they thought.

When a mod (SE employee or not) comments to a user before a deletion, that user is sent the comment in his/her inbox, but it is otherwise not visible the public at large (anyone without high-rep or diamond privs). For a community that prides itself on friendliness, pasting those comments in public is just... not what I would want for the user being chastised.
It's unfair.

@HedgeMage What happens about unregistered users?

@AndrewStacey The comment (from Alan) directed at HedgeMage barely includes an off-hand welcome that's wrapped around with "Your attitude is wrong" and "Don't trespass our social convention". That is probably the most hostility of the post, but that's also the first point of contact made with HedgeMage about this incident.

8:57 PM
@AndrewStacey No hard feelings, but yes -- I logged on today (never saw the email about this post until later -- it went to my personal account) and had 4 different people message me about my getting "attacked" or "called out" on meta.tex (their words, not mine). So regardless of how I may feel about it, it did raise a lot of drama in the community.

I have to say I'd assumed that when a question/answer was deleted any notifications ;died' with the parent (as the user probably can't see the parent)

No one else in the thread is even off-hand trying to talk to her - no mention of HedgeMage's name even on chat until she just logged in earlier now.

I'm sorry but I don't accept that. The most important thing is transparency. Moderators have to be held accountable to the community. Plus "user contributions licensed under cc-wiki with attribution required".

@JosephWright If they haven't deleted the cookie that was set when they visited, they are notified as well. Without the cookie, they don't see anything because we don't know who they are.
@AndrewStacey when you don't use the reply function, I don't know what "that" you are referring to.

@GraceNote I e-mailed here: this seemed the best way (sorry if this got crossed-in-the-post)

01:00 - 21:0021:00 - 00:00