I have asked a question here.

Point of question was to understand about holonomy of gerbes. I have said that at the end of the question. I did said that there is some equality which I was not able to see. Some user proved that equality and made it an answer. I was just missing some plus minus signs. It was not the main question. The user has proved it and said nothing about the main question i.e., about holonomy. After I requested to give some thought, he said "It can be accepted as a definition of the holonomy of a gerbe." This is not the answer that I was looking for. Even after asking explanation once more, there is no responce. What do I do in this case?

I have asked anothe question here.

I was asking about relation between connections obatied after pulling back. i also said I could not prove a relation $\sigma_\beta=\sigma_\alpha g_{\alpha\beta}$. I also said, assuming this, I wanted to see the relation between pull back of $1$ forms under these maps. A user proves this equality and made it as an answer and said nothing about the main question. After asking for explanation, user says "Check the book of Kobayashi and Nomizu". This is definitely not an answer. What do I do in that case?


2 Answers 2


As for the first question: it sounds as though you are blaming the answer-poster (who answered two days ago), when in fact what your actual question is/was does not seem very clear. Your last edit (21 hours ago) tries to say what your question really was; the takeaway as I see it is that you were not totally clear in your own mind what the question was when you first posted. In any case, I don't see that the answer-poster (Tsemo) did anything wrong; it looks like a good faith attempt to understand the question as originally asked and answer it.

Attempting to rewrite a question after receiving comments or answers frequently leads to a mess ("no, what I really meant was...", possibly repeated). I agree with Gerry that if you do this, then it should be accompanied with apologies and with thanks to people who helped you get to the heart of what you're trying to ask. Better from a strictly stackexchange model point of view (although there are gray areas here) is thank the answer-poster, but then ask a new question with a link to the old, where you ask what you now realize you're really after. You don't want to rewrite the question so that answers to the old question become obsolete and irrelevant and risk being downvoted as a result. In summary: accept some responsibility for not asking clearly what you were after in the first place, and deal gracefully with that.

If you follow that advice, then you may wish to explain what your working definition of holonomy is (if the point is to compare different definitions).

  • $\begingroup$ What can I do if he does not even respond :O $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking just checking some equality would not be considered as a question on MO. It was not the main question. That post by User Tsemo show that that result is true. I have said "assuming this, [---] I do not understand [---]"... I said this before the edit. $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 12:41
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    $\begingroup$ No one can read your mind what the main question is, and in any case, if you ask multiple questions in a post, no one is obliged to answer all of them (that's generally a problem or risk when one asks multiple questions; it's probably good practice to avoid this when possible, although here too there are gray areas). Evidently Tsemo answered the part that he knew the answer to, and possibly he didn't really get what you're trying to ask in the question after that. BTW: questions about equalities are often asked (and basically, you did ask). $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented May 2, 2018 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ "Evidently Tsemo answered the part that he knew the answer to"... This is correct. What I can do is next time I ask just one question... $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 13:10

I don't know the first thing about holonomy, or gerbes, but I won't let that stop me from offering a few suggestions:

  1. You could edit your question(s), graciously and profusely thanking those who have contributed to your understanding of the matter, and drawing attention to what remains unanswered in your question, and where you need additional advice.

  2. You could offer a bounty on your question(s), again explaining in detail what exactly you find unsatisfactory in the responses to date.

  3. You could accept that there is no law nor international treaty guaranteeing everyone the right to a satisfactory answer to all of their mathematical questions on MathOverflow.

  • $\begingroup$ Some user has said something that is not an answer for my question,, Can I ask him to delete his post?? “no law nor international treaty guaranteeing everyone the right to a satisfactory answer“ thank you. $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ You can ask anyone to do anything. Whether the user will comply, or agree with your opinion, is another matter. You can always flag the user's answer for moderator attention, and let a moderator decide. $\endgroup$ Commented May 2, 2018 at 9:06

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