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@François: In SE 2.0, these code blocks are exempt from interpretation by MathJax, so they appear to the user as the LaTeX source rather than a formatted equation.
Thanks Emil, that clarifies the problem. I was finally able to log back into the sandbox. I think this is a correct interpretation of code blocks: MathJax has no business processing those. I think it would be best to fix this during migration rather than later. Thank you for pointing out that issue!
Along the lines of what Daniel is saying, I know on the SE sites ending questions with things like: "thank you", "thanks in advance", "I hope this makes sense", or beginning with "hello", "I have a question..." are banned.
Maybe this isn't a big deal, but I have always felt the ban of these type of phrases completely pointless and irritating. The SE desire for streamlining feels nearly totalitarian in some ways.
For anyone interested, the log of changes to the stackexchange system is kept here: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/59445/recent-feature-changes-to-stack-exchange.
@Gerry - see http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/2950/should-hi-thanks-taglines-and-salutations-be-removed-from-posts/93989#93989, introduced 2011-06-06.
Also, regarding my previous comments, this is relevant: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/134636/update-migration-path-list-for-non-moderators/134642#134642
This is an interesting feature: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/81887/what-happens-to-unanswered-questions-from-deleted-accounts/82408#82408
I suppose we need to require that a migration path to MO will be open only if there is a majority of consent between the moderators/Anton/the meta.MO community. This way we can at least diminish the amount of things trafficked into MO by non-moderator users.
As for moderators on other sites, I'm sure they'll understand soon enough not to migrate things that are not fitting to MO.
The only migration path that should be open from the beginning is MSE (I suspect that TeX.SE could be a useful option too, but with so little TeX traffic I'm sure the moderators here can manage manual migration).
The current proposal by Joel Spolsky as cited by Anton is completely insane.
Has Elsevier's story taught us nothing?
Do we want in a few years to find ourselves in the same situation as editorial boards of Elsevier's journals,
who are unable to switch to a better publisher because they totally screwed up their legal homework when they
originally set up their journals?
The value of Joel Spolsky's promises is exactly zero.
In fact, the text above might as well say “Stack Exchange Inc. is free to do to MathOverflow whatever it wants, without any consequences”.
I find Anton's question “How can you justify such scepticism of their attitude
(rather than anything concrete which can be put in writing) when there is such a strong track record (if there weren't, we wouldn't have anything to defend right now).”
utterly naive. Did the strong track record of Springer and Elsevier (and their acquisitions like Academic Press) prevent them from charging ridiculously high prices
for journals to which they add no value (and in fact, add negative value)?
As a more recent example, did LiveJournal's strong track record in the first few years of its existence prevent it from screwing up its users (introducing ads everywhere etc.)
a few years later?
What makes you think that Stack Exchange Inc. will not be taken over by some evil Elsevier-type entity that will renege on all the agreements discussed above?
If history teaches us anything, it's not to trust any promises made by for-profit entities (like Stack Exchange Inc.) unless they are made in the form of an actual legal contract
reviewed by a lawyer.
Again, math journals supply an example: the founders of the journal Compositio Mathematica did their legal homework right.
The journal was owned from the beginning by Foundation Compositio Mathematica, not by a commercial publisher.
When Elsevier became evil, the editors simply said goodbye and switched to publishing with LMS.
In our situation, the appropriate way to go seems to setup some kind of “Foundation MathOverflow” (as proposed by part 9)
which will not only own the mathoverflow.net domain name, but, contrary to the current terms in part 1,
should also own MathOverflow's data and users (i.e., their private data like emails, OpenIDs, etc.).
Then (and only then) it will be easy for us to transition to a different hosting.
If this is not done, then the future evil entity that will own Stack Exchange Inc. will have an easy way to prevent a possible transition
of MathOverflow to a different hosting system by refusing to honor the authorization clauses in part 8 or refusing to provide a public data dump.
This has happened (in a different form) more than once in the past, and there is absolutely no reason to assume that Stack Exchange Inc. will follow a different path,
despite its “strong track record”.
Alternatively, we might as well switch to a free software platform like OSQA and severe all ties with SE.
I still think that part of MO's terms should allow for us to keep this wonderful meta.
Dmitri, the problem with your all-corporations-are-evil-and-can't-be-trusted line is that Math Overflow is currently being run by Stack Exchange. 2.0 vs. 1.0 it's the same company, just a different interface. So if the switch to 2.0 is somehow wrong for corporations-can't-be-trusted reasons, then we're wrong for have started MO in the first place. Since MO is a pretty neat thing, the corporations-can't-be-trusted line seems to be the point in error here. There are no blanket statements of that form. I hope we can turn the conversation away from such conspiracy theory lines and towards more productive dialogue.
Also note that a big part of the problem with journals is that they own the journal name and the back issues. The conditions we're being offered here are much better than what we have with journals.
bbischof's comment is somewhat important. Note that SE does some of that stripping automatically (by script) across the whole network. I checked though, and they don't seem to have messed with Matt E's "dear x" comments. But I'm worried about things like one day arriving to find SE's deleted all of BCnrd's comments.
Are the details of the «theoreticalphysics debacle» written down somewhere?
I've just been informed that the sandbox has been updated and the backticks hack has been stripped from all posts. As with any bulk edit of this kind, it's possible that different things were broken in the process, but these are hopefully far less frequent than the original problem.
Great, but it seems that backticks have been left in comments.
Backticks were never necessary in comments.
I read the discussion on meta.math.se that Asaf posted and found myself sympathetic to both Henning's and Asaf's viewpoints regarding closing research level questions on math.stackexchange and migrating to mathoverflow. I really liked Charles Staats's comment that a software feature should be added that allows a post to appear in both places. That way the posts on mathoverflow can be a proper subset of the posts on math.se, reflecting the fact that the topics that are considered on-topic on mathoverflow are a proper subset of math.se. Not sure how meta.mathoverflow community feels about the suggestion, but if you like it, perhaps it would make sense to make addition of such a feature a prerequisite for the move.
I would like to clarify my suggestion here: I by no means support, nor mean to suggest, any system in which "posts on mathoverflow can be a proper subset of posts on math.se." The idea, as I understand it, is this: a number of people on math.SE object to the idea of questions being migrated to MO, even if they have gone unanswered for a significant time period and knowledgable members of the community believe they would be more likely to receive decent answers on MO. Math.SE people are worried that this might produce a drain on the supply of "interesting unanswered questions" and thereby be ultimately harmful to the math.SE community. A more subtle concern is that the sort of answers given on the two sites are different: a good math.SE answer (with lots of explanation of basic concepts) might come across as condescending on MO, while a good MO answer might be considered terse, incomplete, or incomprehensible on math.SE. At the same time, the fact remains that there are sometimes questions that are simply unlikely to receive any sort of satisfying answer unless and until they are brought to the attention of the MO community.
My suggestion amounted to the following: I think it might at least make progress toward resolving the issues, if it were possible to "extend" a math.SE question onto MO rather than closing it on math.SE and migrating it. In my visualization, all the answers and edits would automatically be synchronized between the two websites, but--significantly--the voting would be entirely separate. Consequently, the answers would likely appear in different orders. In an "ideal" scenario, I would envision something like the following:
Of course, most questions would probably not work this smoothly, and the feature might prove impractical to implement (or the SE team might simply believe it is not a good idea). But I think it is at least something worth considering.
In case that wasn't entirely obvious to everyone here, Charles Staats above is referring to the earlier post by ziggurism and these are ultimately continuing a lengthy debate on meta.math.se.
While this discussion is of interest to MO, it is tangential to the present thread. I recommend continuing this discussion on meta.math.se or on another thread here on meta.mo, whichever is more appropriate.
Misha, a handful of users (including myself) have been having similar issues. My understanding is that this is a temporary glitch. However, you can contact Geoff Dalgas (gdalgas at stackoverflow) so he can diagnose and fix your login issues.
Wow, I go away for two weeks and major changes are afoot. Cannot comment too much at the moment due to limited internet access (and lack of a well-formed coherent opinion on the matter). But can comment on a technical issue that has been raised with regards to question migration:
There are some other concerns that I may have with regards to moving MO to SE2, but I don't think we need to be worried too much about influxes of other questions due to migrations from other SE sites. (Caveat: I have not read nor participated in the Meta.MSE discussion that Asaf opened; see my first two sentences at the top of this comment.) If anything, I think the migration will actually help clear out clutter by making it easier to redirect questions to MSE.
@Ryan: Please read again my comment. It's not “just a different interface” as you claim.
Currently SE does not own the MathOverflow data and users.
This will change if the new terms are accepted,
and it will make the potential future transition to a different hosting system much more difficult.
As for “I hope we can turn the conversation away from such conspiracy theory lines and towards more productive dialogue.”,
do you think that the current situation with Elsevier's journals is a conspiracy theory?
Or do you claim that my proposal to retain ownership of users and data is somehow unproductive?
Users with 10k reputations can vote to delete closed questions two days after closing, or so. Users with 20k reputation can vote to delete downvoted answers, as well immediately vote to delete after a question is closed.
It is true, however, that a moderator is required to ask a CW question.
One can flag for a moderator attention and request the question be made CW, or one can leave a comment and hope a moderator comes by and acts on that.
I'm not sure whether or not it's preferable or not. Maybe it will ease up things in that aspect, but I also think that it's quite annoying personally.
Using the CW hammer is already a regular task for moderators on MO. When we hit a question with the CW hammer, all the answers become CW as well. This is not the case when a user makes their question CW, only subsequent answers become CW in that case. We often go back and hit CW questions with the hammer.
Also note that voting to delete answers is not currently possible on MO, only the original poster and moderators can do that. Same thing with immediately voting to delete closed questions.
Mark, although your point of view is just as valuable as Gerry's, it is wrong to attribute this to "them" (whoever "them" may be). This debate has been happening here for a long time, without outside influence. Even the moderating team is split on that issue, though it's never been a source of internal strife. CW processIng has been running well for several years and it should continue that way. If and when it stops running well, we will address that issue at that time. There is no need to create issues where there are none.
Mark, it seems like I might have misread your first comment. To answer your question, no I don't think anything will change drastically. Some users might have to take the habit of raising a flag in addition to making a comment but a lot of people are already doing that. I don't think the adaptation will be significant to anyone concerned.
Other than that, SE people have not expressed any desire getting involved in everyday MO business. They have not expressed disdain, but the total lack of interest is significant enough for me at this point. Right now, everybody involved is focused on making the transition happen as smoothly as possible.
Something else I thought might be an issue, and I had to turn off all my ad-blocking and do-not-track plugins to see them, is the cross-platform ads (they show up on the rhs just over the 'N people chatting' link). I think having ads for MO plastered across the SE network may go against the isolationist preference of some (including me). They may be context sensitive (not showing up on, say, travel.stackexchange) but I could image they are not (I got one for serverfault on m.se). Likewise, we will also get ads on MO2.0. I also saw ads for PlanetMath, OEIS and GeoGebra, which is ok, but I do not know how ads are determined/distributed.
EDIT: ah, here is how: http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3278/community-promotion-ads-2012
I think that the SE overlords have accepted the fact that m.SE (and MO) use CW differently. They still look at us like we're weird, but we are mathematicians... so it makes sense regardless.
The only problem which may arise is that new users might take the "SE direction" a bit too much, and not only behave in contrast to site norms -- but will also quote the SE blog as the authority which allows them to act like that. It happened on m.SE not too long ago...
@Anton: Would it be possible to clarify the reason why Stack Exchange demands
that the ownership of MO's users and data be transferred to them?
If the current model (in which SE does not own users or data) worked just fine
for the last three years, why can't it work in the new version
(which is ”just” a different interface, as Ryan Budney claims)?
I cannot see any possible positive uses for such ownership,
but I do see a lot of potential for abuse (e.g., Stack Exchange is bought by some big company like Microsoft or Facebook,
which then decide to extract more money from Stack Exchange website, like I explained in one of my previous comments).
The only possible reason that comes to my mind is that SE does not want to grant exceptions to individual websites.
But then again MathOverflow receives very special treatment from SE, and not owning data and users
seems like a relatively small part of this special treatment.
The fact that the Stack Exchange representative chose not to comment on any real issues like ownership of users/data,
but instead goes on whining for a whole paragraph on how good Stack Exchange is (as if somehow
free software like OSQA, whose authors do not demand ownership of users or data is much worse than SE)
also seems disturbing, not to mention his claims of SE being a “free” “public” park (both of which are false).
@Dmitri: Yes, I'll try to clarify. There are two inseparable changes that come with a move to SE 2.0: (1) updating to the most recent version of the software, and (2) joining the SE network.
As far as I know, absolutely everybody is in favor of (1). I suppose an alternative like OSQA could work, but would be a step down from doing nothing and staying on SE 1.0. Have a look at these two posts on meta.OSQA, taking particular note of the bit that says "[OSQA is] only an entry-level solution. We offer superior commercial solutions to paying customers" (those commercial solutions are closed source). Functionality aside, though Stack Exchange is a commercial enterprise and OSQA is open source (driven by the commercial enterprise DZone), I feel SE has been more transparent about its intentions and has a more idealistic spirit.
For further clarification, I feel I must take issue with your point of view. You say "Stack Exchange demands that the ownership of MO's users and data be transferred to them." This seems to have the express goal of generating fear in the reader. What exactly is being transferred? Is there something currently owned by you or me which would be owned by SE after migration? You make it sound like using an SE site is a form of slavery, but SE does not own its users, and it does not own the content on any of its sites. It is appropriate to keep private user details private, and user-generated content is owned by the people who produce it and licensed to SE under the CC BY-SA license. Please look at section 3 (Subscriber Content) of the SE legal statement. I hope this makes it very clear why the comparison to Elsevier is severely flawed. If I have misunderstood the comparison, please explain how moving to another platform would become significantly more difficult after migrating to SE 2.0.
Note that by migrating, we are in no way obligated to delete dumps of the MO database. As David said, this information could be used as a seed in the event that we eventually move to another platform. I don't think it's so onerous of SE to say that private user details will not be available en masse once we migrate to SE 2.0. Though it is an inconvenience, it's the right thing to do from a user privacy point of view.
I am bothered by your criticism of Geoff. I hope my clarification above is sufficient to explain why he did not speak to the question of "owning users and data" (nevermind that he has been given the task of caring to our technical needs, not our political ones). I do not understand your objection to his phrase "free public park". What is not "free" about it? Is it that some SE sites may eventually have ads on them, generating a profit? Is there some unreasonable way that SE restricts the behavior of its users? Please give an example of a correct use of the word "free" which clarifies why Geoff's use of the word is "false". What is not "public" about it? Is it because there is private information in the database which is not accessible to us? It seems this objection applies equally well to argue that no government in the world is "public". (Note: if you understood that copyright for user-generated content on SE sites was transferred to SE, then your objection makes sense to me.)