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3:21 AM
P.S., I remembered the details of this question pretty well, and so searched for "coloring sphere quantum" using MathOverflow's built-in search feature. But I did not find the question this way. It was because I used the American "coloring" instead of the British "colouring." However, using Google and searching "mathoverflow coloring sphere quantum" gave me the question right away. The moral is Google is a better search engine for MathOverflow than MathOverflow's built-in search. — Sam Hopkins 2 days ago
Tangentially, I will clarify this a bit. Google searches for things on the whole page - while built-in search only searches in posts.
In this case, searching for colouring sphere quantum site:mathoverflow.net in Google returns the post.
But there actually isn't a post containing all three words, so buiilt-in search for colouring sphere quantum returns no result.
Searching for colouring sphere returns this question. But it does not return the answer.
It seems a bit unfortunate that when searching for questions the title is taken into account - but not when searching for the answers.
P.S., I remembered the details of this question pretty well, and so searched for "coloring sphere quantum" using MathOverflow's built-in search feature. But I did not find the question this way. It was because I used the American "coloring" instead of the British "colouring." However, using Google and searching "mathoverflow coloring sphere quantum" gave me the question right away. The moral is Google is a better search engine for MathOverflow than MathOverflow's built-in search. — Sam Hopkins 2 days ago
@LSpice Since it is a bit of digression from the original topic and it might be a longer exchange (at least I will need a bit more space than the length of a comment), I would suggest to continue in chat. — Martin Sleziak 13 secs ago
Briefly, I would consider these things as reasons why it might be easier to search on Mathematics than on MathOverflow. 1. MSE in indexed by Approach0. 2. The tags (and other aspects of the questions) are actively maintained by the community on MSE.
I would disagree with "Google is a better search engine for MathOverflow than MathOverflow's built-in search" as a blanket statement covering all possible cases. I do certainly use Google quite often. At the same time, on SE sites I often restrict the search to some combination of tags. There are certainly many various ways how to search - which of them works better might depend on the situation. (As far as searching goes, Mathematics has some advantages over MO, for several reasons.) — Martin Sleziak yesterday
@MartinSleziak, since, I hope, chattiness on Meta is more permissible than on the main, would you be willing to say a bit about those reasons? — LSpice 5 hours ago
@LSpice Since it is a bit of digression from the original topic and it might be a longer exchange (at least I will need a bit more space than the length of a comment), I would suggest to continue in chat. — Martin Sleziak 6 mins ago
Briefly, I would consider these things as reasons why it might be easier to search on Mathematics than on MathOverflow. 1. MSE in indexed by Approach0. 2. The tags (and other aspects of the questions) are actively maintained by the community on MSE.
Let me try to explain both a bit more.
Although to some extent, if you check out the post that I linked in my comment, you might see various ways to search and you can be able to see for yourself which of them are usable for MO: How to search on this site?
Various search engines. When looking for mathematical stuff, sometimes one might need to search for formula - which is not so easy in the standard search engines. (They will not know that k(k+1)/2 and n(n+1)/2 is the same thing.)
Typically, I have used either Approach0 or SearchOnMath for this purpose. They are both mentioned in the post that I linked.
Let us try one example which I mentioned there both in SearchOnMath and in Approach0.
SearchOnMath indexes MathOverflow, too. But it seems to be only for subscribers, now. (IIRC, in the past one could see some results and some of them were hidden and only available to subcribers.)
Approch0 does not index MathOverflow (at the moment).
It was discussed here on meta - but since there wasn't interest from MO, the creator of the site did not continue in this direction.
7
A: Is there any third party search engine for MathOverflow?

Wei ZhongI am the creator of Approach0 (https://approach0.xyz), a math-aware search engine. Approach0 is currently only indexing Math StackExchange data, however, I am considering to add MathOverflow to Approach0. I think this is a good opportunity for posting a survey here. Please give Approach0 a try ...

You can see also some related discussions in another chatroom.
in In the search of a question, Jun 11, 2021 at 7:39, by Fedor Petrov
I like https://approach0.xyz engine and would be happy if it support search on MathOverflow, whom should I ask about it?
in In the search of a question, Jun 11, 2021 at 8:47, by Martin Sleziak
Maybe this is a stupid idea, but I'll ask anyway. Mathoverflow Inc. collected some donations some time ago, so there might have some funds. Maybe if MO was included into Approach Zero, there would be willing to contribute to the development in some way?
in In the search of a question, Jun 11, 2021 at 9:16, by Wei Zhong
@FedorPetrov Hi, thanks for your interests. Technically our crawler script is able to fetch any SE site: https://github.com/approach0/a0-crawlers/blob/c2e959899fb002284059cf9659bc2b02c87959f2/crawler-stackexchange.py#L21-L25 and the search engine can be scaled out to index and host more data.
in In the search of a question, Jun 11, 2021 at 9:18, by Wei Zhong
However, as Martin indicated here, the project is currently financially maintained by myself alone,, but search engine has developed more efficiently compared to what it was around that time. The current cost for hosting is 35~60$/month depending if it is statistic or in indexing, and cost goes up linearly for 25~50$ per 2million documents/questions.
Of course, one could argue that since MathOverflow deals with higher leverl questions than Mathematics, perhaps situations when one needs to search for a specific formula are more frequent on the latter site.
Tagging and other aspects of the questions which help when searching.
As far as I can tell, the community on Mathematics is more active in maintaining the questions. Such as: Tagging the questions correctly. Helping with good descriptive titles. If the question is largely an image, rewriting it as texts.
I'd guess all of theses things help with searching.
Good titles are useful in search - when I look at the search results, it is definitely easeir for me to find what I am looking for if I see that title "Proof of $\sum_{k=1}^n k = \frac{n(n+1}2$ by induction" rather than just "Proof by induction".
Text is can be used by search engine - but text as a part of a picture won't be recognized.
One can restrict the search using tags or even look at top voted and most frequent questions in some specific tags.
But tag won't be of much use for searching if the questions aren't tagged correctly.
My personal impression is that there is much more attentions to tags on Mathematics than on MathOverflow.
For example, the rule that each question should have on of the top-level tags was suggestion which was created here on MO by the MO community.
Yet perhaps 1 in 6 questions is not tagged in this way.
in MO editors' lounge, Jan 22 at 7:39, by Martin Sleziak
21.436% of questions without top-level tags, 16.856% of questions if we take the less strict interpretation.
Or we can consider the deprecated tags. See also here: What to do with the synonyms for the deprecated tags? and Recent tag synonyms for deprecated tags. (The latter is visible to the 10k+ users and to the mods.)
On MathOverflow there are several deprecated tags - they can no longer be used, but the questions which had those tags weren't dealt with.
And they seem to be deprecated for a long time, as mentioned here: The existing deprecated tags should be blacklisted.
> When I look at the tag excerpts, I see that information that the tag is deprecated was added in March 2016 for abstract-algebra, in February 2016 for discrete-mathematics and in June 2013 for geometry.
On Mathematics, several tags were deprecated and/or removed, too. But the approach of the community there is different. When a tag was deemed to be unsuitable, it was cleaned-up and the questions with that tag were retagged by other tags.
Probably the largest such effort was removing and and replacing it by and . (Perhaps in some cases there were other tags which were more suitable.)
Using SEDE one can see questions where the tag was removed: data.stackexchange.com/math/query/1038474/…
And one can find some related discussions also on Mathematics Meta, such as: The use of the [algebra] tag or Should the algebra tag be blacklisted?
But there are many other occesions where some smaller tags were cleaned-up in this way.
For comparison, one can see some stats on deprecated tags on MO here: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/10243/2022/9/18
I do not want to dwell on tags too much. (But I still thing that tags might be rather useful when searching.)
But I think that the tag-related stuff I mentioned above illustrates my point: The site can be maintained and moderated by its users. The users on Mathematics put a lot of effort into this.
And in this context - if the site is better organized, it aids searching.
I will add this quote from a MO mod:
Oct 3, 2017 at 19:11, by Todd Trimble
I also think you make a good point about Math.SE being mindful of serving as a repository for the general audience out there. This probably is a weakness of MO, that it is not as useful as it could be. But to return to the original point, I do think people come to MO for the fun and interest that it has and the challenges it poses, and not as much to build a reference work.
Well, this was certainly longer than I would be able to fit in a comment. :-)
I hope I did not bore you too much with various details.
We'll see whether we might stumble upon each other in chat at the same time - it seems that we're in a rather different timezones: Bratislava, Slovakia and Forth Worth, Texas (according to website linked in your profile).
We can discuss stuff like this futher - although I am pretty sure we both have plenty of other stuff to do. (There is a life outside of Stack Exchange, too.)
Mentioning the timezones - I wrote this relatively early in the morning. I hope there aren't too many typos and grammatical mistakes.
 
5:19 AM
And if this whole wall of text is too long to read - this message can be considered as TL;DR:
2 hours ago, by Martin Sleziak
Briefly, I would consider these things as reasons why it might be easier to search on Mathematics than on MathOverflow. 1. MSE in indexed by Approach0. 2. The tags (and other aspects of the questions) are actively maintained by the community on MSE.
 
 
2 hours later…
6:59 AM
Re: I hope there aren't too many typos and grammatical mistakes. I have already spotted quite a few.
Naturally, what I wrote above is how I see things - I have no doubts that many other people probably have different opinion on this.
 

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