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9:09 AM
@JosephWright: Morning. Could you give us an update on the number of votes?
@MartinScharrer The electorate is now 394 strong, of which 70 have voted
@JosephWright Thanks
I think some people will be holding off until after the chat session today, so I'm hopeful this will rise a bit further
I still wonder why everyone can't see how the election is going: it's not really 'sensitive' information
@JosephWright I hope we get a high turnout!
@JosephWright No idea, maybe because the programmers thought it would influence the voting behavior of others.
@MartinScharrer Possibly
@MartinScharrer 'High' in this context seems to be > 20% - we may well get there
9:13 AM
After all it's also not the case to know the percentage during the voting period in a normal election
@JosephWright Yes, indeed, we already have 17.7%. But we are a relative small community, so we should get and need a higher turnout.
@MartinScharrer But most elections don't run for 8 days, have a variable number of members of the electorate or have that data available
(At least in the UK voting is done on pieces of paper)
@JosephWright True, in Germany it is also on paper and on a single day. My point was that they tried to make it as close to a real election to keep it as "valid" as possible.
@MartinScharrer I can see this viewpoint, but then why can anyone see the voting situation?
(At least 'anyone who does not have direct access to the server holding the database')
@JosephWright Good point.
As you may have noticed, I've reposted the "Please vote now" banner. It stays up for 2 days, and then we'll have to put it up again (unless anyone vociferously complains).
9:20 AM
Anyway, I do hope I'm not skewing the voting by making this information available
@AndrewStacey It will be interesting to see if the number of votes today is affected
@AndrewStacey It should be displayed for all potential voters which didn't voted yet, for the whole election period (or until they click a "I will not vote" button somewhere)
9:37 AM
@MartinScharrer The system message does not work that way
The moderators can't do anything about those bars at the top of the screen
@MartinScharrer: Agreed, but that's not possible. There's one of the banners that comes down at the top that is supposed to do that, but given that it's just an eyesore and gets in the way of the top links sometimes, I imagine most people dismiss them without looking at them. (If you scan back to last night, you'll see GraceNote very patiently explaining all this to me!).
@JosephWright I thought so.
10:12 AM
@JosephWright: (responding here rather than in the comment thread) Just for that, I'm going to vote for you in the election.
@AndrewStacey : "enlightened enough to use zsh?" - zsh is for vi users. (I can't quite predict who will be offended by that).
@AndrewStacey Drat
Everybody knows that real men use notepad
@MartinTapankov Obligatory link: xkcd.com/378
Ahh, yes, I can predict which one is this without even clicking
10:25 AM
@JosephWright "have that data available" - and indeed with national elections one has a large number of exit polls, information on postal votes, &c during the course of the day.
@CharlesStewart Very true, although of course dependent on the local legislation (we're pretty relaxed in the UK, other places less so)
@Charles: At last, someone who might get my "Vim users need escape more than they need control" joke when explaining why I (an Emacs user) map CapsLock to "control" when a Vim user suggested mapping it to "escape".
@AndrewStacey I wish I had said that.
10:45 AM
@Charles: Mind you, talking of escapes. I couldn't figure out the right escaping to get Seamus's alias to work. And talking of misquotes, I'm very disappointed to see that no-one got the "reciprocal of pi" one. Ah well, the youth of today and all that rot.
My talents are clearly wasted here. Does anyone else like the fact that the determinant of the typical 3x3 matrix contains a Roald Dahl novel?
11:06 AM
My first gold badge. I have arrived.
@AndrewStacey I might actually ask about the escaping thing on unix.sx...
I'm proud to say that I have no gold badges on any of the SE sites (including MO). Indeed, I managed to hold out against silver badges for quite some time. (I'm waiting for the day when my TeX-SX rep exceeds my MO one.)
@MartinTapankov I like the emacs/vim/notepad+ comic at vim.org/about.php
Heh. I got a CAPTCHA that included a non ASCII character (ô). Also, neither captcha word was a real English word: lisiest, Kôm...
11:22 AM
Did you know that Å is the shortest existing place name? (Several villages in Norway are named so, I was driving through one of it once)
@Seamus: Not posting spam, are you? And it's certainly possible you got weird words with strange diacritics -- reCAPTCHA uses words from OCR'd books for telling you apart from an intelligent Perl script.
Here in Sweden Å is also a proper name, AFAIR
difficult to google them, that's for sure
Yes, there is also one village in Schweden named like that (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_short_place_names)
I was asking this question on unix.sx:
Q: Escaping quotes in zsh alias

SeamusFollowing on from this question about stripping newlines out of text, I want to turn this into a zsh alias as follows: alias striplines=' awk " /^$/ {print \"\n\"; } /./ {printf( \" %s \",$0);}"' I've tried escaping the quotes inside the awk script, but I'm getting this error: awk: (FILENAME=...

My favourite placename fact is that there's a place in Belgium that the French speakers (Walloons) and Flemish speakers have completely different names for: Mons and Bergen.
@AndrewStacey Well, if you keep turning up then eventually you'll get 'fanatic', so take a break from time to time :-)
(Or indeed visit on a dodge GSM connection so that you are not logged in - that's why my consecutive days has two gaps, from my holiday)
In Bulgarian (and also in Russian) some proper names have been influenced by Slavic pronounciation, and e.g. the Hague is pronounced "Gaaga" in Russian.. Very fun to read about "Gilem Shakespeare, author of Gamlet"..
Btw how come we have so many linguists on TeX-SE?
11:35 AM
@Seamus: I'm not surprised that they have different names for it given that one of those places is in Norway. (The Å that I know of is very nice and has the best tasting bread in the world).
@AndrewStacey Yes, there is extra confusion caused by one of those names also being the name of a city in Norway.
The slogan of the swimming pool here is (roughly translated) "Water fun from A to Å.". To understand it, you have to know that Å is the last letter of the alphabet and is pronounced something a bit like "oh" (and "A" is pronounced "Ah", none of this silly calling letters by something other than what they sound like).
@MartinTapankov: As a German I find the Norwegian word for "cake" quite funny: "kake", like in "Sjokoladekake", ... (In German its describes something else brown, ...)
Don't get me started on Norwegian words that sound/look funny when you're a foreigner! I'm compiling a list, it starts "You know you've gone native when the following no longer make you want to giggle.". For example, the bumps in the road to make you go slow are signalled with a signpost reading "farts dempere".
@MartinScharrer: Yes, Scandinavian languages are so much fun.. there are a few Swedish words that made me blush the first time I heard them, as they are expletives and outright offensive in Bulgarian.. And those are commonly used in the language, like "sju"=7
11:41 AM
My best linguistic find consists of two words that are both Norwegian words and both English words but which mean each other.
@MartinTapankov, @AndrewStacey: I only understand Smørrebrød right now :-)
@MartinScharrer: Ahh, the staple of Swedish cuisine
No meal is ever complete without it
Or without lingon
@MartinTapankov Wikipedia lists it as Danish, but I think it's just used in all (most?) Scandinavian countries.
I like how there are some Swedish words that sound like they've been transliterated from French. Like the word for toilet, which sounds a lot like "toilette" said with a heavy Swedish accent.
@MartinScharrer: Yeah, it's Smörrebröd in Swedish, which is basically the same (the Danish and Norwegians have this funny o and the ae digraph instead of the "proper" diarresis ones, like ö and ä)
11:47 AM
Similarly, there's a lot of words in Greek that are effectively transliterations from French. For example, parts of cars are mostly directly from the French.
The Greek for windscreen is basically "pare-brise"
@MartinTapankov: well, at least the Norwegians got one of their letters into the mathematical lexicon! As for words crossing language barriers, the secret to Norwegian is to speak Geordie with a Welsh accent.
@AndrewStacey: You mean \partial ? A symbol universally hated by generations of multidimensional calculus students.
@MartinTapankov: I guess you're thinking of the old alphabet. No, there's one from the current alphabet.
Ahh, then it must be the empty set
\begin{blindingly obvious bad pun}No, I promise, there is such a letter\end{really sorry about that}
11:54 AM
Mathematicians need to start using cyrillic characters. Like Ж.
Така си е, по дяволите
("Damn right", for the Bulgarian-impaired)
I'm dreading the moment when we'll have to use East-Asian scripts because we ran out of symbols to express stuff
12:15 PM
My first mathematic professor always used old German letters for vectors. He was just used to do so ...
12:59 PM
@Seamus There are a few Cyrillic symbols in use: Л for the Lobachevski function and Ш for the Tate-Shafarevich group.
1:13 PM
@MatthewLeingang Huh, I didn't know that...
@mods: I just figured how to increase the election turnout (mods only): 1) Find all poor souls that haven't bothered voting yet. 2) Send them a message explaining politely that voting is important to build a community, that every vote counts, and "TeX-SE needs YOU join your fellow voters!"
3) Mention nonchalantly in the end that certain accounts would have to be suspended indefinitely if certain people don't fulfill their democratic duty, so if they are so kind to do that before Monday, everything will be peachy. 4) There is no step 4.
@MartinTapankov in re 3): not so democratic
But what is the purpose of the town hall meeting? I thought it was to help users make an informed vote. In that case they shouldn't be pushed to vote before the meeting.
Just noticed a new silver badge: Outspoken -- 10 messages in chat starred by 10 different users
@MatthewLeingang Very true - it is going to be interesting to see what enlightenment is derived from the event
@MartinTapankov Except we don't know who's voted
OTOH I think the vote closes 1hr after the start of the Town Hall.
1:27 PM
@MatthewLeingang I thought that the vote ran for several days yet
According to tex.stackexchange.com/election we have 5 days
Now I realize I was confused. I think the time window for the THM scheduling was 2011-02-22 20:00 UTC to 2011-02-24 20:00 UTC. The THM is scheduled for 2011-02-24 19:00 UTC, one hour from the boundary. That's what I was thinking of.
2:15 PM
@MartinTapankov Yes that one is quite new.
2:31 PM
Another "nice question" bronze badge. One vote away from a good question silver badge...
Q: Is there any reason to compile to DVI rather than PDF these days?

SeamusI appreciate that in the past, latex was faster than pdflatex, but computer speeds being what they are nowadays, I can't see any difference in how quickly documents compile... So, given that the end product I want is the PDF, are there good reasons not to always compile to pdf?

Who needs video games when you have tex.sx badges to collect!
2:42 PM
@Seamus Got you your silver badge.
@MatthewLeingang I'M WINNING!
2 hours later…
4:41 PM
The problem with not living in Europe is that I always have to read through a long chat log in the morning.
4 hours later…
8:38 PM
Here we are :-)
Jubel, Trubel, Heiterkeit - how are Bugs Bunny's words in English?
@StefanKottwitz: BTW: I had a short look over the book chapters you sent me, but didn't had time to look deeper
@StefanKottwitz Oh yes, how is the book going?
I understand, I also wish I would have more time
@JosephWright oh, I should work on the last chapters, making final corrections ...
@JosephWright ... and send the remaining chapters to you :-D
8:49 PM
@StefanKottwitz :-)
I've seen that @MartinTapankov found a new badge
I checked and found another new one: Deputy
New badge: Deputy - Achieved maximum flag-weight by flagging appropriately
whatever that means
@StefanKottwitz The flag weight is for mod flags
You can see what people's weight is on their profile page
But what is the maximum ...
@JosephWright: 500, if memory serves..
@JosephWright: I think 250.
@MartinTapankov My money's on @MartinScharrer
8:52 PM
Q: Are the new moderator flag limits sufficiently high?

Jason PlankLast month, the flag limits got an increase based on reputation points: In order to encourage more flagging, we have increased the number of general moderator flags available to 10 per day, plus one per every 1k of reputation, up to a maximum of 100. So if you have 15k reputation, you now hav...

@JosephWright 270 and rising
Hmm, I seem to be 12 behind @MartinScharrer
We don't have enough low-quality content to flag, but as they say -- it's a nice problem to have
Nevermind, the maximum is 500, as @MartinTapankov said.
@MartinTapankov The weight is pretty pointless for us at the moment, as there are not enough open flags to worry about it (and they are almost all valid anyway)
@JosephWright: Yeah, even the default of 10 would probably last through a week
8:56 PM
@MartinTapankov Almost certainly
Yes, for us its not really relevant.
not yet ;-)
@StefanKottwitz: You expect an influx of MBAs suddenly deciding to write their theses with TeX & Friends?
"Posted 10 messages in chat that were starred by 10 different users", I think the question starring today pushed a couple of people in the right direction :-)
(no MBAs here, are they?)
8:59 PM
@MartinTapankov I usually use a couple each day.
also, not yet :-D
@Caramdir seeing your flags makes me wish you would be a moderator ;-)
@StefanKottwitz I hope they aren't too impolitely worded (being usually rather short).
@Caramdir of course they are polite and meaningful.
@Caramdir non-answers usually get a good comment, then they're hanging around a while with a flag until somebody thinks: ok, enough time to see the comments, let's convert it.
Regarding the new "Deputy" badge: Can mods flag posts for other mods? ;-)
@lockstep Yes - as we take a slow approach, this helps keep track of things
If I see something that needs a comment, a bit of a wait and then action, then I flag it
Or if you want a second opinion
9:06 PM
@lockstep like comments for the fellow mods
Is there a communication channel between mods?
@Caramdir 'E-mail'
(like a private chat)
@JosephWright fancy! :)
9:25 PM
Did anything in the "town hall meeting" change anyone's mind about any candidates?
There wasn't really much disagreement...
btw, where should I add my answers?
I had somehow forgotten that Matthew was a mathematician, until he replied to something Andrew said.
@Caramdir: There will be a transcript on meta one of these days, and you'd be able to add your replies
@CharlesStewart does this change your mind about his ability as a moderator (and if so, in which direction)?
@MartinTapankov That will be up tomorrow at the earliest.
@Caramdir No. Just an internal state update.
@Caramdir I'd come up with my shortlist this morning, looking to see if I felt differently about it. I should hold off with my votes until I see your comments. I won't say if you risk getting or losing my vote....
9:37 PM
Guys, can anyone of you tell me why \@argarraycr (handles \\[<val>] inside array/tabular) starts with \ifnum 0={}\fi`? It doesn't make much sense, it expands to nothing and the parser sees both braces, doesn't it?
I will go and ask a real question tomorrow ...
@MartinScharrer This is an Appendix D trick :-)
@JosephWright Is it? There are two braces? Who should be fooled how?
@MartinScharrer There are different counters for braces, and you need to fool one without actually starting a group.
(From memory, the master counter and the brace counter are involved here)
It's all to do with &
Mmm, I have to read more about \halign and that master counter ...
For my collcell package I have to remove \\ and kind of execute the including \cr by myself. Therefore I think I should execute (and understand) all the code inside \\ .
9:57 PM
@MartinScharrer: Once again
isn't it?
(Can't get the fancy references to questions work ...)
@HendrikVogt You need to just post the link with no 'context'
So use two posts to say something and to do the fancy link
@HendrikVogt \ifnum 0={}\fi isn't in there yet.
Q: All those braces (implicit, explicit, `\iffalse{\fi}`, etc)

Bruno Le FlochThere have been a few questions about braces recently, specifically about when to use them (see this and that question). Note: I had mistakenly stated that SamB was the author of both questions. But there are other ways to get token lists that behave like braces. For instance, { and } \let\bg...

@MartinScharrer Ah, OK, thanks. Is there a backtick in your code? If not, then I don't understand it either.
@HendrikVogt Arg, it should be \ifnum 0=`{}\fi of course
@MartinScharrer That's what I thought. Then that question should help you, I think. Good night!
10:11 PM
@HendrikVogt I understand \iffalse{\fi but not that one, but I will read the thread. Good night!
1 hour later…
11:24 PM
@JosephWright, @HendrikVogt: I think I did it now. Soon the new version of collcell will be finished. Thanks!

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