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11:15 AM
People, our question rate is dropping on the main site
I was sort of expecting this though
11:48 AM
@Blue Yeah, 1. It's the weekend - this happens. 2. This is a private beta - there are a few posts on Meta Stack Exchange that show stats showing fewer questions in beta - it can take about half a year before things properly start improving and 3. We started the private beta with only half the usual commitment
You're probably so used to the big sites (physics, maths) that the usage drop-off rate at the weekends isn't really noticeable, but on e.g. Wordbuilding, I've noticed that there's fewer 'frequent user' posts, although maybe a few more first posts. The chat is often (usually?) dead on the weekends though
Having said that, it would be great if we could get more questions... I might have another one, but one more question isn't a solution :P
As long as it doesn't fall below 5 per day it should be OK I guess. If it does, it is possible that the site won't make it to graduation
Quantum Computingquantumcomputing.stackexchange.com

Beta Q&A site for engineers, scientists, programmers, and computing professionals interested in quantum computing.

Currently in private beta.

In two more days it should be in public beta
@Mithrandir24601 Of course. The solution is obviously not us posting more questions :P
The questions have to come from visitors
11:56 AM
@Blue Not quite: "We expect this site to go public in about 12 days. "
Just good to do a reality check once in a while
@Mithrandir24601 Where is it written?
The standard is 7 days
for private beta
@Blue Apparently, the standard's now 2-3 weeks (if not 3 weeks) - I've been reading a fair bit of the beta tags on meta se
11:57 AM
@Mithrandir24601 Oh I see
If this site doesn't work at least SE will learn the lesson that it's not a good idea to start a beta at half-threshold. That said, I hope it does get through
@Blue Open up the site on a private window or something (or log out) so that you're not logged on and you get
Oh! It was written 7 there, earlier
I bet
They changed it
12:02 PM
@Blue Also, this has changed a bit - once a site is in public beta, it won't get closed as a result of low numbers of questions. It could get closed if people stop bothering to moderate it. However, there are no such guarantees about getting it past private beta
@Mithrandir24601 I see. The policies have changed a lot since the earlier years
I haven't read the newer Meta SE posts regarding beta
BTW that's some good news XD
The oldest public beta is actually almost seven and a half years old! area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/5220/board-and-card-games
@Mithrandir24601 Wow
12:06 PM
That's an incredible feat :P
Apparently chemistry had a lack of questions in the private beta for some reason, but generally the trend seems to be that behaviour from days 3-7 is a good indicator of the future, although generally sites do start (properly) growing after a few months
So, based on that, not much weekend activity :P
Let's hope for the best anyway. I will go out and get some exercise now. Becoming a couch potato day by day :P
@Blue I was supposed to have Kung fu today, but it's snowing again (in the middle of March!) and they've predicted heavy snow this afternoon, so it's been cancelled :/
6 hours later…
6:24 PM
Any suggestions on what Strangeworks could do to drive traffic to QC SE? We're here to help.
@AndrewO There's the good ol' Twitter + Facebook plug, but that's all I can think off...
@AndrewO This site's contents don't yet come up in Google searches
Maybe SE can do something about that
Probably once it goes public
Another possibility is advertisement on other SE sites
6:38 PM
There are many prominent QC guys hanging around in CS SE and Physics SE like Peter Shor, Aaranson, etc. I'm surprised that they don't seem to know about his site yet
Shor regularly visits Physics SE
@AndrewO As for driving traffic in, it really won't be a bad idea to contact all the prominent university groups on QC, around the world, by mail
Many people would be happy to know the existence of such a site
Basically utilize the connections and brand-name that your company has
Also maybe make the Strangeworks website a bit less creepy
6:41 PM
Like at least add the name and details of the people who work at Strangeworks. At present it seems like a super-secret super-creepy anonymous group
7:22 PM
@Blue I've thought about this - sadly the community ads for this year seem to already be sorted out :/ The only other thing would be to have meta posts on the relevant SEs
Unless you're thinking of something else?
@Mithrandir24601 Strangeworks is collaborating with SE, and sponsoring this site. So it would make sense for them to speak with the SE team and ask them to begin the community ads for this site (on the other sites). (Particularly because this is a rare first endeavour on both SE and Strangeworks' part and both would benefit from this site doing well)
If @AndrewO makes the Meta post it would have more effect
@Blue It would be great if they could, only community ads are exactly that - decided by the community. I mean, if the SE team are willing to go to the effort of making a meta post on a few SEs for them to potentially get one more community ad, that'd be great!
It's really not anymore in our hands. All we normal users can do is spread the word by mouth or by social media, but I doubt that would reach a reasonable number of people
But that'd be something that's not normally done, so the question is, would they?
@Blue :/
7:30 PM
@Mithrandir24601 Well, this site isn't normal, either :P
So there's some hope
@Blue True that :P
Start leaving orange cubes everywhere?
Also the other idea which I gave seems reasonable to me. If they send a short mail explaining about the site (using their brand-name) to the prominent QC groups around the world, even that might work wonders.
An invitation mail basically
@Mithrandir24601 Heh
7:34 PM
Oh, oh!! I know! Orange cubes with little hearts on them! And call them quantum companion cubes!! :D
That would be the best! :D
lolol XD
Cube-its with a heart ;)
@Mithrandir24601 Do you people use subways during heavy snow? Or are there special vehicles to travel through snow?
I've personally never seen snow in my real life :P
@Blue We don't have subways in Bristol and it snows so rarely that it's not worth investing in anything that's good at dealing with snow. Or at least, that what we tell ourselves - I think the reality is that we just like an excuse to take the day off and we can (as a country) afford it on the one/two days every so often that it happens
7:46 PM
Hehe. I can sort of understand.
Good excuse though
Here we only get rainfall. That too, not very often
@Blue ah, that's something that we get consistently here :P
When we used to stay in Meghalaya (wettest state on the planet), it used to rain almost 24*7
7:49 PM
That was kinda cool
Actually the wettest place is a small village there named Mawsynram
So you literally always have to carry an umbrella
@Mithrandir24601 Ah, I see
Didn't know that about UK (I guess it's specific to Bristol?)
Sounds about right :P It's not heavy most of the time, but there's always a relatively high chance of rain
7:51 PM
London also has a very shabby weather like that or so I've heard
@Mithrandir24601 I see
@Blue Nope - pretty much the entire UK
Seems like a good place for me. I love dark skies and rainy seasons :D
(Maybe I'm a bit biased because here we receive the scorching sun almost 9 months out of 12...so I've grown tired of this weather)
Rain is like a relief
8:05 PM
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Wheels are turning.
@AndrewO Good luck
I am concerned about this site already.
Everyone here is
@DanielSank Well, we've been discussing about how we can improve the site traffic
8:13 PM
It has slowed down quite a bit
At this pace we might not make it past private beta
Yeah well you know why?
I have some impressions.
@DanielSank Like?
1) There aren't enough experts.
2) Many of the answers are wrong or incomplete.
Too much of the content is coming from amateurs who don't really know what they're talking about, and there weren't enough experts recruited at the beginning to foster a good basic level of exchange.
@DanielSank That is surely an effect of starting the beta at half-threshold. I agree with that. Emilio had been warning us about this possibility since a long time ago
8:16 PM
You want to start a site like this, for a niche field, it would have made sense to actively recruit people who would have contributed.
I've been in this field for ten years and not a single person I would have hoped would contribute to this site has posted a single thing.
@DanielSank Exactly. I had thought that Strangeworks would recruit more experts to run the site
That is very, very bad.
As of now, it's just a very shady group with a creepy website
@Blue Yes, I'd really like to know what happened there. I've literally never heard of Strangeworks. I even sent them an email but got no response.
There are huge companies and academic community getting involved in quantum computation: IBM, Rigetti, Google, Lincoln/MIT, yet none of the people there are contributing to the site.
It's frustrating to me as a researcher in this field. This could be a fantastic resource, but it's like there was no attempt at all to recruit the right usership for the beta.
I want to help this.
@DanielSank I think the problem is this: The CEO of Strangeworks is a pretty well known figure in the business world (goes by the name Whurley). But it seems they only have a half-baked idea and contacted SE a bit too early without even establishing their company fully. A small group of people with only one physicist can't run a quantum computing company,
8:20 PM
I can send invitations to dozens of people who would have a lot to contribute here, and I know some of them would have done so if they'd known about this site.
@Blue I mean... whatever. The problem is the lack of usership.
There was little to no advertising of this site. Why isn't there a community ad on the Physics site?!
@DanielSank This is something I would really like the SE team to put up a meta post (on physics) about
@DanielSank Technically the time for posting new community ads on other sites has passed (it's held at the beginning of the year, normally)
But of course SE can do something about it
All you have to do is put an add in the right meta post and upvote it enough, I think.
If they really want this site to work
8:22 PM
I'm willing to put some time into this, but not without talking to an admin first.
Every year a new thread is made for ads. This years time-period has passed, I think (not sure). Here's the thread:
Q: Community Promotion Ads - 2018

Grace NoteIt's almost February in 2018, which isn't supposed to be the proper time to cycle these, but for this year it'll be once again, so we'll be refreshing the Community Promotion Ads for this year now! What are Community Promotion Ads? Community Promotion Ads are community-vetted advertisements tha...

@DanielSank That's very reasonable
This site really has great potential. But at present it looks misguided
Yep. I have no idea who to talk to. Andrew?
8:25 PM
@DanielSank Hmm... Would asking the physics mods (just in chat) if something could be done be a reasonable first step? Then nabbing Robert or someone to actually get it done if the physics (same for maths, CS and maybe engineering?) mods don't shoot the idea down?
@DanielSank I guess Andrew O, Whurley and Robert Cartaino
Who's Robert?
@DanielSank The SE community manager who's in charge of this site
@DanielSank Cartaino - the CM
@Blue There's no chat ping for this "Robert".
I am the Director of Community Development for the Stack Exchange Network.

I can be reached at
@DanielSank He hasn't come around in chat. But normally answers on Meta. He is responsive to emails, you can try contacting
Oh no wait! It's much easier - we can just add an add to the meta post and if it gets enough upvotes, it automatically gets included
Q: Are community promotion evaluations ongoing?

goldilocksI understand that the annual community promotions resets existing ads, but is there then a window for the evaluation? In other words, if an ad is posted to a community-ads tagged question before the next re-evaluation, and adhering to the spec, will it automatically get posted? For example, if ...

@Mithrandir24601 I just said that...
10 mins ago, by DanielSank
All you have to do is put an add in the right meta post and upvote it enough, I think.
@DanielSank It looked like you were guessing that, so I found and summarised a meta answer agreeing with you :)
8:34 PM
@DanielSank I think you should actually contact Robert and tell him exactly that. An informal/formal collaboration your Google team and your acquaintances and this site would be very helpful for this site to progress
(to be clearer, earlier I wasn't sure if that would be enough, or if there's a cut-off point at which they stop accepting new ads)
@Mithrandir24601 Nope, no cutoff.
So, time to make ads! :D
Ok, what should the image be?
I've got Inkscape open.
And where should it link?
Part of the problem with these betas is that it's not obvious how to join.
Oh I guess the front page is ok.
Yup, the site logo and the site name with font should be fine
8:37 PM
Let's keep it simple
The site log... the cube?
Uh, yes
Any other suggestion you have ?
Got a copy?
Nope :/
8:40 PM
Working on it...
Alternatively, we could ask Andrew here if they've already got an image we could use?
Andrew probably isn't in the site design department
Might save some hassle...
@Blue true
Maybe we can scrape it off the webpage itself
@AndrewO Hey there! Do you have a copy of the site's logo image?
8:42 PM
We're making a community ad for this site
I just made a half-assed copy of the cube :-\
One moment.
How's the?
Oh, did you mean the Orange Cube?
Sorry about that, no I don't.
No problem.
8:45 PM
@DanielSank We do have plans to bring more experts in.
Does this help?:
@AndrewO I've heard nothing about it.
Also, why not do this ahead of time?
@Mithrandir24601 Yes, but it has to be a particular size.
Working on it.
@DanielSank Rome wasn't built in a day.
8:47 PM
@AndrewO Daniel has pretty good contacts with QC experts who work in the industry. He's from the Google Quantum AI group (headed by Martinis). It would be a good idea if you guys can talk over this.
@AndrewO Perhaps not, but so far there has been no advertising about this site at all.
None of my colleagues knew anything about it.
@Mithrandir24601 do you know what font that is?
@DanielSank Not sure, but it looks kind of arial-ish
You're right.
@AndrewO So, I'm not sure how much you know of this, but each SE has 'community promotion ads' which are designed by the SE community, for the SE community - each SE has a meta post about which community ads they'd like, which is what this is for
@Mithrandir24601 Thanks. I'm not familiar with SE except for googling whatever programming questions I had in grad school. lol
8:55 PM
Are you sure it is appropriate to be promoting community ads for a (rather curious but still technically) private beta? I mean, the idea is that private betas gather experts before the site is flooded by amateurs! (it may seem that the latter has occured, but this is just a few vocal skilled SE'rs being (overly) enthousiastic. Nothing that can't be fixed) Wouldn't it be a better idea to wait with mass promotion and contact the experts first?
Draft. How to improve?
C is capital...
@DanielSank Capital 'C' on 'computing.
Maybe a bit of a gap between the cube and the words?
Other than that it looks fine
More gap?
8:56 PM
Let me stress this: this site is doomed if it gets flooded by amateurs before the experts arrive! (based on history with proposals such as 'AI'. A lack of experts is a sure sign of a failing site!)
Yeah ^
@DanielSank yeah
@Discretelizard Yes, I've been trying to say that politely.
I completely agree.
@Discretelizard Completely agreed.
@DanielSank Okay, good. I'm just shouting to ensure people don't act to rashly.
Take it easy, folks.
8:57 PM
How's that?
More gap on bottom?
@DanielSank A bit
Different color for the "Q" and "C"?
zomg I have an idea...
Is that too corny?
Meh, yeah that looks kinda doofy.
The previous one was okay
Don't over-analyze it :P
@Blue Heh. You should see what we go through on Worldbuilding to design their ad :P
It needs 6
Upvoted. I appreciate the work to help us get this going.
@AndrewO Hi. I'm Daniel. Who are you?
@DanielSank Should you upload it to any of maths/CS/TCS/Engineering as well?
9:07 PM
@Mithrandir24601 CD for sure.
(or is that too much?)
What's TCS?
@Mithrandir24601 Even Chemistry would be okay
@DanielSank theoretical computer science
engineering is in beta
9:08 PM
but put it on electrical engineering for sure
@Blue It is?
@DanielSank, I'm Andrew. I work with Strangeworks.
Q: Community Promotion Ads - 2018

Grace NoteIt's almost February in 2018, which isn't supposed to be the proper time to cycle these, but for this year it'll be once again, so we'll be refreshing the Community Promotion Ads for this year now! What are Community Promotion Ads? Community Promotion Ads are community-vetted advertisements tha...

Also Math Overflow would be a good place
9:10 PM
Got the CS site.
Q: Questions about 2018 community ads

Zaid AlyafeaiIs there a specific date for starting the community ads post for next year? I and my friend created a free LaTeX tool and were wondering if it is possible to post it there ?

@AndrewO What does Strangeworks do?
I poked around the website and all I learned is that a graphics designer was involved :-)
@DanielSank Yeah, I really like our illustrator. As for what we do, we build tools for developers and systems management for enterprise.
@AndrewO "developers" = "programmers"?
9:13 PM
I see.
I've met Martinis in the past but he probably wouldn't remember me.
I saw him last year in Japan at AQC.
I was at AQC at Google the previous year as well.
As it's maybe worth mentioning, once we pass (assuming we do) the private beta stage, we should maybe put up a meta post (here) to see if anyone is willing to put the time into tailoring this to the individual SEs
Tailoring "this". What is "this"?
9:20 PM
@DanielSank Oh, the community ad
I mean, yours does the job and looks solid and decent, but it's not quite as impressive as the likes of Wrldbuilding, I have to admit
Well, temporarily this will do. Later he can edit the post
@Mithrandir24601 Link to worldbuilding ad?
@Blue yeah, of course - that's why I've got words like 'maybe' and 'once we..' in there :P
If you give me some ideas, I can pass it along to our illustrator.
(created by DaaaahWhoosh)
9:25 PM
Or is there anything from the Strangeworks site that you would like to use?
This is a bit tongue in cheek, but you could put that little heart-shaped image you've got on your website on the cube and make an implicit reference to portal :P
Can someone give me the details of the ad? Dimensions, format?
Is there just one size or would a few different sizes be useful?
@AndrewO Check this:
Q: Community Promotion Ads - 2018

Grace NoteIt's almost February in 2018, which isn't supposed to be the proper time to cycle these, but for this year it'll be once again, so we'll be refreshing the Community Promotion Ads for this year now! What are Community Promotion Ads? Community Promotion Ads are community-vetted advertisements tha...

The image requirements are stated there
9:31 PM
Ah, thanks
Regarding the image dimensions, it looks like everyone else's is 'landscape' and ours is 'portrait'. Should we fix that?
@AndrewO Hey Andrew, just a small request: please use the little 'enter key'-like arrow to reply to specific posts, this means it gets linked properly so observers like me can follow the conversation a bit easier. If you only mention a user name it directs to that users latest post, which can be confusing at times. Thanks! For example, it looks to me now that you replied to 'what's TCS' with 'I'm Andrew'.
@Discretelizard Ah thanks, didn't know that.
@Mithrandir24601 Hahaha.
9:54 PM
@DanielSank I featured your comment in a question of mine. If you don't like that, I can remove it and keep the rest of the question.
Oh and where can you request new tags?
@Discretelizard You just put the name of the new tag into the 'tag' box in the question. If you're not sure about a name or something, you could put a question on meta (from what I've seen)
10:09 PM
@Mithrandir24601 Oh, I thought creating new tags was a mod privilege! I keep learning things here!
@Discretelizard Not for private betas anyway!
@Discretelizard Oh it's fine. I just don't quite understand the question.
Some CS people like to talk about complexity theory and ignore constants.
Some don't.
Whether it's classical or quantum doesn't seem relevant.
Please explain.
@DanielSank I noticed! I think that's mainly because you have another view on 'CS people' than I do.
Will explain on that post!
@Discretelizard ?
(I don't know about graduated sites, but I've been assuming the same for them)
10:17 PM
@DanielSank See the question. I hope this clarifies my reasons.
I believe I understand the intended focus of the question.
If someone told you they could improve an existing algorithm, say factoring, by a factor of 1 million just by using a new classical algorithm, I think that would be of interest to "algorithm researchers", no?
@DanielSank That depends on their methods. If they are algorithmic methods, sure. There are few brave enough to pursue constant improvements theoretically. For nice approaches and why this is hard for even tiny sizes, look at the work of Donald Knuth. There is another point: constants are in practice so much tied to the actual implementation that I my initial thoughts will be that this improvement is not of algorithmic nature.
Ahhhh, I see.
I mean, since you're going on about the 'real world and all'. Most likely your result is due to a better computer or better implementation.
Constant factors are often tied to implementation. Ok now I'm starting to understand. You know, that might be a really nice way to tighten up the question.
10:26 PM
A better computer, like a quantum computer.
@DanielSank If you think you can improve my question, then by all means.
Interesting. Maybe in practice the algorithms researchers are pretty good at picking up whatever constant factors might be had by better algorithms, so that remaining constant factors come from implementation details.
Interesting, interesting.
@DanielSank Perhaps. Like I said, talking 'constants' lies within the domain of algorithm engineering. Not that I never make experimental tests on my algorithms, mind you. It's simply not my expertise.
The only way I can imagine algorithms researchers being 'nice to the constants' is by either 1) transforming (some of) the 'constants' into parameters, see the field of 'parameterized algorithms' 2) making algorithms that are 'easy' to describe. This could lead to implementations with better constants, but not necessarily.
Oh and if you'd like to see a case of an algorithm that has gone 'too far': have a look a the infamous Chazelle's algorithm: although the algorithm is the only linear time algortihm known to solve its problem in linear time, the algorithm is widely considered to be unimplementable. Not even hard to implement efficiently, no, hard to implement at all!
I think a working implementation of Chazelle's algorithm would be considered a major breakthrough within algorithm engineering!
@DanielSank I think we can conclude something from our discussion here: some of the 'amateurs' you referred to may very well be persons with a rather different specialization than you commenting on things they think to be knowledgeable in. Just like you thought you knew how algorithms researchers look at 'constants'. You may disagree, but I think this is something to think about.
@DanielSank Oh and in this particular case I'd say that there's no need for the NSA to get quantum computers.
Nah, not really. They still have to break discrete log!
And with that, I head off to bed. Carry on and try to learn from each-other, folks!
10:56 PM
@Discretelizard Yes but I didn't post an answer.
@Discretelizard Haha, note the comment that the constant factor might make it uninteresting.

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