User talk:Oleg Alexandrov

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Mathbot and disambiguation pages

Hi, I've noticed that Mathbot adds pages to the "List of mathematics articles ..." articles based on transclusion of the {{mathdab}} template. Problem is, that leads to these articles having links to disambiguation pages. For instance, List of mathematics articles (S) links to no less than 41 disambig pages, as you can see here. This is a problem for the WP:DPL project; not only does it give us false positives for which articles need fixing, but eventually we want to use a bot to tag articles with excessive number of dablinks (the {{dablinks}} template that was on the article a few days ago); this would lead to a once-a-day edit war as one bot adds the tag and the other removes it.

Since all of these dablinks are intentional, there's an easy solution: WP:INTDABLINK. It's a convention we use to identify dablinks that don't need "fixing", and our Toolserver scripts are instructed to ignore links with the INTDABLINK format.

For instance, say you have a link to [[Secant]]. To mark it as intentional, pipe it through the (disambiguation) redirect: [[Secant (disambiguation)|Secant]].

The logic is, if you're linking directly to a (disambiguation) page, it must be intentional. (For instance, the {{otheruses}} template.) So we tell our reports - the same ones that will eventually be used by the bot - to ignore links like this. This works even when you link to a redirect with (disambiguation) in its title.

Do you think you could modify your bot to use this syntax when you get articles that transclude the {{mathdab}} template? Thanks, --JaGatalk 03:33, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that would work. I routinely use this page to do joins in the toolserver database: the canonical way to get a list of all mathematics pages is to make a list of pages linked directly from one of the subpages of list of mathematics articles. If we changed so that it doesn't link to the dab pages, then those dab pages won't show up in our lists based on pagelinks.
I appreciate the maintenance script problem, but it would probably be simpler to just tell the tool that lists pages with too many dablinks to skip the lists of mathematics articles, since we know they will have lots of dablinks. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:14, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
It would still link to the dab page; Secant (disambiguation) redirects to the dab page. --JaGatalk 03:27, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
So... any decisions made about this? --JaGatalk 04:59, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
It won't work to link to a redirect instead of linking to the page itself, because that will not put the correct entry into the pagelinks table in the mediawiki database. The actual target of the link matters here, not just the eventual destination you would get to by clicking on the link. The best solution is to have the maintenance script skip any page whose title starts with "List of mathematics articles". These pages are intended to link to dab pages if the dab pages are in the scope of the math project. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm not going to hard-code article titles into the scripts, for obvious maintenance reasons. I've got a Toolserver account myself. Could you let me know more about what you're doing? I could probably write a solution for you. BTW, why are you answering instead of Oleg? --JaGatalk 17:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I help maintain the bot that updates the list of math articles. It runs from the 'wpmath' multi-mainatainter project on toolserver. Oleg is not as active anymore, although it's usually possible to get him by email. So it's faster for me to respond.
The bot goes through a list of mathematics categories and makes a list of all articles in those categories. The list is useful for people who want to browse through math articles, and also useful for maintenance.
In its maintenance capacity, I use queries something like this, which makes a list of all math articles that have prod tags on them:
select art.page_title
from page as art 
join categorylinks on art.page_id = cl_from 
join pagelinks on pl_title = art.page_title  and art.page_namespace = 0
and pl_namespace = 0 
join page as src on src.page_id = pl_from 
where src.page_namespace = 0 
and src.page_title regexp '^List_of_mathematics_articles' 
and cl_to = 'All_articles_proposed_for_deletion'
order by art.page_len asc;
If the list of math articles linked to a redirect instead of linking directly to the article, this query would fail to find those articles, because the necessary entries in the pagelinks table for the third join wouldn't be there.
I use similar queries for many other things, for example to make a list of all non-free images on math articles. The key point is that if you join the pagelinks table against all the subpages of List of mathematics articles, you get a complete list of mathematics articles that can itself be joined with other tables in the database.
This is an example of a time when it is perfectly correct to link to the dab pages, because we want the links to the dab pages to be in the pagelinks table.
I don't see it as worth a significant amount of effort to completely redesign our system simply to avoid linking to dab pages. It's trivial to just skip the lists of math articles in a dab-fixing tool. Or not; if someone changes them accidentally, the math bot will fix it the next time it runs, no real harm done. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:56, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Template:Od(Sorry for the long absence.) I started looking at the data today, and noticed there are already many redirects on these pages. For instance, List of mathematics articles (M) has 39 redirects that I can see (for instance, Mann's theorem and Metra Potential Method). I'm still going to take a stab at the query, I just wanted to let you know it would be an improvement beyond its usefulness to the WP:DPL project, since there are already redirects on these pages that are slipping through your queries. --JaGatalk 20:37, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

OK, here's the new query:

SELECT art.page_title AS title,
       art.page_len AS len
FROM page AS art
JOIN categorylinks ON art.page_id = cl_from 
JOIN pagelinks ON pl_title = art.page_title
AND art.page_namespace = 0
AND art.page_is_redirect = 0
AND pl_namespace = 0 
JOIN page AS src ON src.page_id = pl_from 
AND src.page_namespace = 0 
AND src.page_title REGEXP '^List_of_mathematics_articles' 
AND cl_to = 'All_articles_proposed_for_deletion'


SELECT art.page_title AS title,
       art.page_len AS len
FROM page AS art
JOIN categorylinks ON art.page_id = cl_from 
JOIN redirect AS red ON art.page_title = red.rd_title
AND art.page_namespace = 0
JOIN page AS r ON r.page_id = red.rd_from
AND red.rd_namespace = 0
JOIN pagelinks ON pl_title = r.page_title
AND r.page_namespace = 0
AND r.page_is_redirect = 1
AND pl_namespace = 0 
JOIN page AS src ON src.page_id = pl_from 
AND src.page_namespace = 0
AND src.page_title REGEXP '^List_of_mathematics_articles' 
AND cl_to = 'All_articles_proposed_for_deletion'

GROUP BY title

It looks like a lot of changes, but there's really little to it. I'd be happy to rewrite all your queries if that would help. Also, I'd recommend you use queries like this regardless of whether you decide to support WP:INTDABLINK or not; as it stands, the many redirects already on the bot-maintained pages slip through the original query. --JaGatalk 06:51, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

The reason that redirects such as Mann's theorem are on the list is because the redirect pages themselves are categorized; see [1]. Provided that each page is categorized correctly, the redirects that appear on the list are exactly the redirects that should be there. On the other hand, redirects that are not categorized won't be added to the list by the bot. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:25, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The Signpost interview


Mathbot and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old

I just had to revert mathbot's last edit to this page because it showed no open AFDs which is incorrect. It probably has something to do with the recent upgrades. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 14:30, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I'll take a look soon. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Uh, the html code of the AFD page changed dramatically. This won't be a simple fix. It may take a few days for me to fix it. Mathbot (talk) 04:41, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I think I fixed the bot. It was a somewhat big change, so there is some likelihood that I may have missed something. If you notice something odd then please let me know.
Thank you for acting as mathbot in the meantime, that was a lot of counting to do. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:43, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

On an unrelated note, the bot is listing arbitrary breaks in AfDs as separate open AfDs. Any way to prevent that from happening? Logan Talk Contributions 00:16, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I fixed this. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:06, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Would you take a look at Template:User-multi's concern at Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Old#I don't like the new interface? Thank you, Cunard (talk) 05:05, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

I commented there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:06, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for the revision. Cunard (talk) 10:30, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Mathbot seems to be glitching now for titles with parentheses in them. It replaces them with random numbers, causing the articles to display as red links. Any ideas why? Logan Talk Contributions 01:59, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Logan is referring to this version of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old, which links to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Frank M .28Martinez.29 instead of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Frank M (Martinez). A second issue is that #5 in the 1 March log links to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Carryl Varley, a 2007 AfD, instead of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Carryl Varley (3rd nomination), the current AfD. Would you also test to see if AfDs with special characters in their titles (e.g. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/漫画, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/دانشگاه امام رضا, and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ελληνική Μειονότητα Κωνσταντινούπολη) will show up properly? Thank you for the time you have spent and spend in operating and maintaining this bot. Cunard (talk) 10:30, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I fixed this (hopefully). This is due to the fact that Wikipedia handles special characters inconsistently. It sometimes encodes "(" to ".28", but in other contexts it fails to recognize this as as an encoding of "(". Please let me know if there other problems. Thank you for monitoring the tool. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:24, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Will do soon the "Carryl Varley" bug as well (here article name is not the same as AfD subpage name). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:29, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Fixed that one too. link Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 07:17, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

How to award a barnstar?

Hi Oleg, I have a simple question on how to award a barnstar to the guys who have added the fields "mr" and "zbl" to the {{Citation}} template: did you know them? Who are them? Thank you for your help. Daniele.tampieri (talk) 12:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

I guess you can look at the edit history of Template:Citation to see who added the fields. To award the barnstar, there is no formal procedure, just paste the text/picture on their page. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:36, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

How to report a possible conflict of interests?

Hi Oleg, I'm disturbing you again since I have placed in the "Solomon Mikhlin" entry a link to his MacTutor biography which is authored by Vladimir Maz'ya, Tatyana O. Shaposhnikova and myself. I remember that in such cases it is safe to report a possible conflict of interests, but I don't know how to do. Can you help me? Daniele.tampieri (talk) 06:51, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

I think a conflict of interest is something worse than that. :) You have nothing to gain personally from linking from one article partially authored by you on Wikipedia to another article partially authored by you on another web site. And the external article is relevant to the Wikipedia article. So I think everything is OK. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:00, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Precise and helpful as ever. :D Daniele.tampieri (talk) 18:18, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Colors of animation for Heat Equation article

Oleg, hello. I was just doing some minor proofreading fixes to the Heat Equation article, when I noticed that your nice animation is actually showing a 2D system, and that the caption for the animation did not match the system being simulated. I made some changes to the caption, which I think now better explains what is going on.

Along the way I realized that in the animation right now green=hot and red=cold. This is opposite to the more usual coloring, where red typically means hot. The pictures would be easier for a beginner to understand, I think, if that assignment of colors could be changed, maybe using blue for cold, red for hot.

I see your Matlab code to generate the pictures. I would try to change the coloring myself, but I don't have Matlab. So I was wondering how you might feel about making that change and re-uploading the animation -- or maybe suggesting some way I could run Matlab online, or something like that.

Thank you.


Ralph Dratman Dratman (talk) 15:54, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll reverse the colors one of these days. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I think you just have to change the colormap from Autumn to Jet. Dratman (talk) 22:36, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I reversed the colors (Image:Heat eqn.gif). Thanks for the suggestion. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:00, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Can you redraw image?

Hi! I see that on 16 July 2007 you did a revision for the colors in the image File:Kepler-first-law.svg Kepler-first-law.svg. I wonder if you could alter the image to make it more accurate. Right now the foci are drawn way too far apart from each other for the ellipse shown. This can easily be seen by looking at the point at the top of the minor axis: the sum of its distances to the two alleged foci is obviously much greater than twice the semi-major axis. Could you move both foci so that each one is at least twice as close to the center as they are now? Thanks very much! Duoduoduo (talk) 19:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

You are right. I am short of time now, but I'll get to it in a couple of days. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:34, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Surprisingly enough, the image is correct. I measured the distances in Inkscape. The equation of an ellipse is In this picture Then the distance from the center of symmetry of the ellipse to any of the two focii is What I measured was 84 or so. So all it takes is a little squashing of an ellipse for its focii to diverge a lot. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:39, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into it -- you're right. Now I've used a ruler to measure the sum of distances to the foci from the top of the minor axis, and it does indeed equal twice the semi-major axis. It really doesn't look that way to me -- if you take the segment from the sun to the top of the minor axis, and slide its right endpoint down to the center while sliding its left endpoint to the left, it looks to me like the left endpoint ends up well outside the ellipse; but that's not true. An interesting optical illusion, apparently! Duoduoduo (talk) 14:11, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Article rescue: Rexer survey

Hello. I am new to Wikipedia and would like to dispute the notability tag added by User:Melcombe to the Rexer's Annual Data Miner Survey article. Can you help? Thanks. --Luke145 (talk) 20:31, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Try posting this at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Statistics. That way hopefully we'll have a few opinions about whether the article is notable. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:33, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Will do. Thanks! Luke145 (talk) 20:03, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

MathBot April 22

I found an AfD listed that is no longer open. I attempted to remove it manually, and your bot seems to think I am mistaken. CycloneGU (talk) 23:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Template:TpsActually there's no need to manually update the number of open discussions. Mathbot does that periodically. However, if for some reason you need it done now then you can kick him. (shown as "Refresh the number of open discussions") If after kicking mathbot it still show closed discussions as "open" then we have a problem. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 17:33, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think this was when I asked it to update as it had been a few hours. It put the closed discussion back out as open per the edit above. I thought it quirky myself. =) CycloneGU (talk) 20:21, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
The bot was confused by the fact that Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2011 April 11 had a section which was not an AfD, see "Proposed Compromise involving MLB Rivalry page" in there. I refined a bit bot's search pattern to distinguish this from a true AfD. Parsing html is inherently error-prone, hopefully there could be a better solution at some point. Thanks for the bug report. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:07, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Please teach your bot to stop adding redundant disambig links to lists of mathematics articles

Please teach your bot to stop adding redundant disambig links to lists of mathematics articles. Thank you. bd2412 T 02:03, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The List of mathematics articles and its subpages may have links to disambiguation pages. The method you used here can't be used because the list needs to link directly to each math article for maintenance purposes. If we link to a redirect page, then there is no entry in the pagelinks table for the page itself. If you use a tool to look for links to disambig pages, please filter out the lists of math articles from your tool. The lists of math articles are maintained by automated tools; if you edit the pages manually, the bot may overwrite your edits at any time. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:19, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
No article should ever link directly to a disambig page. This is policy, because the only way to keep intentional links from showing up on the "what links here" pages, which is the primary means of finding errant links used by disambiguators, is by routing those links through "foo (disambiguation)" redirects. I'm not sure why disambig pages need to be included on these lists at all, since they are not actually "articles", but merely directories, much like categories (which are also not included). I also don't see why a means can not be figured out to isolate disambig pages and link to them through the "Foo (disambiguation)" redirects. Linking directly to them is simply not an option. bd2412 T 02:03, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
"No article should ever link directly to a disambig page" is wrong. Zillions of pages have hatnotes that say This article is about John Xmith, the omphalologist. For other persons named John Xmith, see John Xmith (disambiguation). Such hatnotes are a normal part of our way of doing things. (And also, of course, there are redirects to disambiguation pages.) Michael Hardy (talk) 20:17, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
That is why the link goes through the "Foo (disambiguation)" redirect, something which no other project has found difficult to accomplish. bd2412 T 23:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Until we can figure out a way for these edits to comply with policy, I am denying bot editing of these lists. I'm sure something will be figured out quickly. Cheers! bd2412 T 02:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
How about this: we take disambig pages out of these lists entirely, teach the bot to just ignore them, and create a separate list of mathematics-related disambiguation pages, which can be kept up manually. bd2412 T 03:40, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It's sort of essential that these lists be bot-maintained, since among other things they are critical for the proper functioning of Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity, which is monitored by many editors. I like the suggestion of creating a separate list of mathematics disambiguation pages, but I don't think it should be maintained manually. If necessary, it can be moved into the WP:WPM project namespace. Since these lists are important for the day-to-day functioning of WP:WPM, I think the {{nobots}} templates should be removed, the other edits that you made reverted, and we should instead try to pursue a mutually satisfactory solution. I don't think dab links need to be urgently removed, especially not at the expense of productive areas of the project, even if they are technically not permitted under the Manual of Style. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:42, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The bot does not worry about nobots on these pages anyway. Nobots is for bots that go around finding pages to edit. This bot is explicitly supposed to edit these list pages, and the pages are supposed to be edited by the bot, so it's somewhat meaningless to use a nobots tag here, and the bot has never implemented any detecton of the tag (the entire nobots system is optional for bots). The bot was not designed to remove the nobots tag, either, but because it was put at the bottom of the page the bot will probably remove it the next time it runs, just as the bot would remove any other stray wikitext put in there. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:35, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not a policy, it's a guideline. And its text says there are exceptions. Tijfo098 (talk) 09:35, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Frankly your tone here strikes me as belonging to another MOS warrior. Tijfo098 (talk) 09:38, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

The main points here are:

  • These lists are a case where we do want to link directly to some disambiguation pages. The MOS page about it does not prohibit all links whatsoever; the box at the top of that page explicitly says there will be exceptions.
  • These lists and the bot go hand in hand. The bot has never followed the "nobots" thing, which is always optional for bots to implement. The bot will continue to update the lists. It has been updating the lists for years, and the lists are intended to be updated by the bot, not to be "cleaned up" at whim. The bot will remove stray wikitext from the bottom of the lists when it edits them; categories, templates, and such have to go near the top to remain in the list. Again, these lists are meant to be edited by the bot. The bot is designed to accept it if someone manually adds a new item to the list, but it will clean up many other manual edits as a side-effect of updating the list.
  • If these pages bother you or confuse one of your tools, please simply filter them out of your tool. This cannot be very hard in any programming language. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:18, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Now let me point out the reason that we normally don't link to dismbiguation pages is that we want readers to go somewhere useful when they click a link when reading an article. That reason does not apply to this list: readers are not looking for the meaning of a word, they are expecting to go to a page that has a category marking it as a mathematics article. The organization of the list is that it contains redirects only if those redirects are themselves categorized as mathematics articles (and some are). Otherwise, the list simply links directly to the page, be it an article, list, disambiguation page, etc.

Because of the manual additions of pages like [2], someone will have to manually remove these from the list. Because they are not categorized as math articles, they are should not be listed (the bot tries to keep manually-added articles on the theory that people will add articles that the bot misses for some exceptional reason). On the other hand, the reason that A_posteriori_probability is added by the bot is that it is categorized in the "Applied statistics" and "Statistical terminology" categories, both of which are in the List of mathematics categories. As long a page is in any of those categories, it should be listed on the list of mathematics articles. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:51, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

I think part of the problem here arises from disambiguation choices. A posteriori probability is at least a WP:TWODABS situation and likely should not exist as a disambiguation page at all on that basis alone. If a page addresses different but related uses of mathematical terminology, as it appears many of these pages do, then it likely should be an article on the term per WP:DABCONCEPT, and not a disambiguation page. On the other hand, I wonder why, for example, the list for "U" includes Unification, which has no math terminology tag on the page (I guess maybe it had one in the past).
I am well aware of the reason why we don't normally link to disambiguation pages, but nevertheless the encyclopedia contains hundreds of thousands of these bad links, and the number swells each day, only to be beaten back by a very hard-working crew of disambiguators. The job of fixing those links is complicated by intentional links, and although I can ignore these pages in my searches, they can not be filtered from the "what links here" page for the general disambiguator. I still do not see why these lists can not just use "foo (disambiguation)" redirects. I also see no reason why this bot can not be taught to ignore disambig links, or to post them up with a pipe through the disambig redirect, or to collect disambig links on a separate page (since they are not, in fact, actual articles about anything). If none of these options are available, we could simply move all of these disambig pages to their "Foo (disambiguation)" titles. That would also run against the MOS, but at least it would do so in a way that makes fixing errant links easier. I see from the discussion at the top of this page that I am not the first disambiguator to address this problem, and surely there will be others after me - let's find a solution that keeps it from generating this circular dilemma. bd2412 T 14:53, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I would not mind moving them to the "(disambiguation)" titles as a compromise. I would also be happy to go through the list of them manually and remove any, like Unification, that should not be there any more.
The reason that we cannot use "Foo (disambiguation)" links is that then we would not have the right links in the pagelinks table ("what links here"). What we want is this:
  • Every article categorized as math is linked to directly from the list
  • Other articles are not linked to directly from the list
This is necessary, for example, for the "RecentChangesLinked" ("Related changes") tool to work correctly. That tool does not bypass redirects. For example, this page [3] does not show the edit I made to Unification just now, because the page that is being used (User:CBM/Sandbox) does not link directly to the edited page. Compare [4].
I think that the best solution (apart from cleaning up any outdated entries in the lists) would be to educate disambiguators that the lists of mathematics articles are not like ordinary articles and are an exception to the general principle not to link to disambiguation pages. The MOS makes it clear that there are exceptions. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, disambiguators - like most Wikipedians - are not a monolithic group, and intermitant or incoming participants in that project would require constant "reeducation". That's why I am here having this discussion now, having come here unaware that this dispute had been raised before by others. Having thought it over, I now think the best solution for all would be to generally move these pages to their "Foo (disambiguation)" titles. It will be far easier to educate the much smaller group of people who attend to malplaced disambig pages, and to instruct the bots that generate those lists to ignore {{mathdab}} pages. However, I would also suggest taking a very careful look at these pages and determining what terms are really "ambiguous" and what are really just variations of the same concept, or could be handled in other ways. For example, a page like Carathéodory's theorem need not be a disambig at all; it could changed into a short article at List of theorems associated with Constantin Carathéodory, providing a bit more context as to each item on the list; or it could redirect to Constantin Carathéodory#Works, which already duplicates the list currently found on the disambig page. There is probably a great deal that could be done to whittle down the collection to those terms which are truly ambiguous in the sense of the same word or phrase referring to completely unrelated concepts. bd2412 T 16:27, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I somewhat like the idea of making things like Carathéodory's theorem into lists, but I know there are concerns with notability and with maintenance. The advantage of disambiguation pages is that they are easy to keep pruned and there are no notability concerns.
In the short term, though, I think that renaming them would solve the problem. And if we do it manually, it will give people a chance to check which of these disambig pages should still be listed on the list of math articles in the first place. Do you have a sense of how many there are? — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:33, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
There are 260 articles with the {{mathdab}} tag, which is probably a good place to start. Also, non-notable information should definitely not be in disambig pages any more than it should be in any other articles. In fact, there should be nothing on a disambig page that is not either an article itself, or discussed in an article. bd2412 T 01:19, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I think the root problem here is that these lists are maintenance pages doubling as articles. Is there a reason (other than the amount of work involved in setting it up) that these two functions could not be separated? That is, the maintenance pages (more-or-less in their current form) going in the Wikipedia namespace, and the current location being occupied by list articles that do not have hidden talk page links or direct links to disambiguation pages without "(disambiguation)". Nobody would worry about the links to disambiguation pages if they weren't in article namespace (though neither JaGa nor BD2412 seems to have made this very clear). --Zundark (talk) 16:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

That is also correct. We are unconcerned with links in project space, and many projects do maintain lists like these in project space rather than article space. That would definitely solve the problem from the perspective of the disambiguator. bd2412 T 16:29, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Project space would be good. Moving all mathdabs to (disambiguation) would be problematic since you should only use the (disambiguation) qualifier in the title if there's a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC per WP:DABNAME. --JaGatalk 21:27, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Using the "(disambiguation)" titles would be a compromise to help the people who are confused by the fact that these lists are supposed to link to dab pages. The problem is not the lists being in mainspace; they have been there since at least 2004 (in different locations) and are useful for browsing articles by title, not just for maintenance. The issue is editors who have a inner need to remove links to dab pages even when those links are intentional and appropriate. Now there is no universal policy against linking to dab pages; the MOS page on it even says there will be times when it is desired. But I willing to moving some dab pages to have the word "disambiguation" in their title, thus making use of an exception to a different MOS page, if that makes things easier for people who want to blindly replace links to dab pages. — Carl (CBM · talk) 23:54, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That these lists have been in mainspace for so long doesn't mean they belong there. You could, with no more effort than adding an additional instruction for the bot, maintain two sets of lists, one in mainspace listing only unambiguous titles of substantive articles, and one in project space indiscriminately listing everything in any math category for maintenance purposes. Regarding the "inner need to remove links to dab pages", this is a function of the need to parse through a thicket of hundreds of thousands of errant links that do require fixing. If we didn't have editors constantly making bad links, it would be less of a concern - and even {{mathdab}} pages do have a collection of bad links made to them. bd2412 T 01:49, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I suppose that in principle we could maintain five lists. But there's no reason to do that; the lists themselves are fine. The difficulty here is entirely with the perceived difficulty for people who remove links to dab pages.
Here is a question: the MOS makes it clear that there are exceptions (such as these pages) to the general principle not to link to dab pages directly. Is there no way that you keep track of pages that are intentionally linking to disambiguation pages other than to force those pages to be named "disambiguation"? The problem here seems to be that the MOS on linking to dab pages assumes it is acceptable to link to redirects, which it isn't for these lists. It seems easier to me to simply realize that these pages are exceptions to the general rule (as the MOS explicitly says there will be). — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The MOS acknowledges that there will be instances when it is correct to link intentionally to a disambig page; it also says how to do this. Disambiguators use a wide variety of tools, but the most common is simply clicking on the "what links here" button to see what links are coming into a particular page. Do you have any particular objection to having two sets of lists? I'd be glad to copy them over to project space and cull the disambig links from the lists in article space. bd2412 T 03:09, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Linking to a redirect is not the same as linking to the dab page, and sometimes it is actually necessary to link to the dab page, in order to get that link into "what links here" to make the related changes tool work. How do you propose that people who edit disambig links should handle these exceptions?
Nobody can simply move the lists to project space; the bot also needs to be updated, or it will simply recreate them in the present locations. People at the math project are also discussing moving the lists to project space (and updating the bot). But it seems like a pity to me to do that simply to make it easier for some people to edit disambig links without thinking about what they are doing, which seems to be the main justification for doing it. It's not hard to simply ignore these lists when replacing dab links. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no need to insult disambiguators by suggesting that its "a pity" that we are trying to edit "without thinking about" what we are doing. We are only trying to improve the encyclopedia by attacking an endemic pattern of errors. Wikipedia has bots that remove vandal additions of vulgar terms from articles without "thinking" about it, and the bot at issue in this discussion is inidiscriminately adding links to lists without "thinking" about it; making it possible to automate or semi-automate processes to the greatest degree possible is a logical and beneficial trajectory for the encyclopedia. We have not encountered a problem like this with any other wikiproject, despite the widespread use of maintenence bots in this fashion, so clearly it is possible to use bots to maintain lists without making direct links to disambiguation pages in article space. bd2412 T 13:23, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
@Carl: What are you doing with related changes that makes it impossible to implement WP:INTDABLINK? And considering that these pages already link to hundreds of non-disambig redirects, why is that not a problem? --JaGatalk 20:32, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Read my comments above, and compare these links: [5] [6]. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

As I see it, the main purpose of the list of mathematics articles is browsing. Navigating is at most a secondary purpose. When you're browsing you're not looking for some particular thing; you're trying to find things you don't expect to find. If you didn't know that Xology is a concept with six distinct meanings in mathematics, each with its own article, then you would find out when you come across it in the list of mathematics articles and click on it. People who are browsing would be deprived of that opportunity if disambiguation pages were not listed there. Michael Hardy (talk) 20:38, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

This can be accommodated with WP:INTDABLINK. Someone has apparently been working on it already; for instance, List of mathematics articles (S) lists both Sampling theory and Sampling theory (disambiguation). If we can remove Sampling theory and leave Sampling theory (disambiguation), everything works. --JaGatalk 21:19, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not true. First, the list should only have pages that are categorized as math pages. Second, the related changes tool does not bypass redirects. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, if there is some maintenance purpose that demands linking directly to the disambig page, that can be done with a page in project space. I have yet to hear a sound reason why the bot can't maintain two lists, with no additional labor required of any human editor. I'll go one further on that and promise you that any work needed to set up the second set of lists, I'll do myself. If figuring out how to code the bot to do the job is a problem, we have many talented bot-makers and runners on our project who can help out with that. bd2412 T 21:58, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no reason the bot cannot maintain two lists, or five, or twenty, but no good reason has been presented to do it, either. The lists are fine, and in compliance with policy, which explicitly envisions exceptions. The people who update disambiguation pages just need to develop a way to whitelist the lists, I think. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Okay, I went ahead and took care of this:

Now all you need to do is direct the maintenance bot to use these indiscriminate lists for its maintenance tasks. I will be glad to improve the organization of the alternate lists remaining in mainspace. Cheers! bd2412 T 23:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

As I said above, "Nobody can simply move the lists to project space; the bot also needs to be updated, or it will simply recreate them in the present locations." If you look at the page histories, you'll see the bot is still editing the lists, as it does automatically. Worse, it looks like you just did a cut and paste move. There is no way that anyone without access to the bot source code can "take care" of anything. It seems like you are trying to force your preferred solution through. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps you folks could start a discussion at a public place somewhere, such as the math wikiproject. I'll be happy to implement whatever consensus solution emerges. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

A discussion is underway at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics#Mathbot has been blocked from editing "List of mathematics articles". There seems to be some technical confusion as to whether Mathbot would be capable of performing maintenance tasks using a list in project space while also maintaining a list in article space that piped links to disambig pages. It seems like a simple enough thing to me, but I'm no programmer. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I am preparing a proposal to resolve this situation. In the interim, please note that there are now two sets of lists of mathematics articles, one in article space and one in project space, linked above. If it is not inconvenient, please have Mathbot update both sets of lists until this situation is resolved. It may take a few more weeks to parse through all the possibilities and arrive at an ultimate resolution. Cheers! bd2412 T 01:05, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Mathbot not working on AFD

Looking at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old/Open AfDs, it's clear that Mathbot no longer recognizes when AFDs are closed, as it continually says they are open (for example, it said there were 50 open and 8 closed on the 8th even after i looked and saw most of them were closed; the update did nothing.) This needs to be looked into. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 00:45, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I'll take a look soon. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:18, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
The underlying html format changed again, and that was confusing the bot. I put in a fix. Thanks for the report. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:52, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

need help with Random Matrix article

Hi Oleg,

I need some general advise if that's OK. I have tried to make a major revision in the random matrix article, which was a BIG MESS (a mixture of serious things and ref-s to some articles which appeared on arxiv a month ago, in the style of applications to radio transmitting on high frequency). I rewrote it completely, but, unfortunately, it seems that I have offended several users who made previous contributions (though I tried to add an explanation on the comments page both before and after I made the changes, and also on their personal talk pages suggesting a more serious discussion). So now the article is an even bigger mess (the new version into which arbitrary pieces of the old one have been inserted in arbitrary order).

Is there a standard wiki-way to manage a discussion about a major revision? If there is a procedure of this kind, I think it would also be great if an administrator would supervise it for a while (e.g. check that the revision is not too aggressive, and also to keep some order). I would also be grateful for any general advise (on how to make major revisions in "popular" articles without creating an even bigger mess).

Thank you very much!

Sasha (talk) 04:50, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

There is no standard way to manage a discussion, and there is nothing an administrator can do.
The way it usually works is that editors discuss on the talk page, and hopefully some consensus arrives.
If you need feedback, try asking at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics for people's views. I myself have quite little time and the topic is too strange to me to be able to comment. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:28, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
I guess my question itself was not well-posed. I did not mean to ask a general question about life to which obviously there can be no answer -- rather, to ask an experienced editor for comments on the specific article ( r.m.), since I am not sure myself whether my revision has done more harm than good. Sasha (talk) 18:43, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Straw poll closed with a consensus to move the lists of mathematics articles to project space.

The straw poll has closed with a consensus to move the lists of mathematics articles to project space. I intend to implement this consensus later on tonight, but if you need more time to prepare Mathbot to work from project space instead of article space, please let me know. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:41, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

You may need to do some thorough work, such as checking which pages link to the lists, looking at redirects, etc. And I believe they have to be real page moves, rather than copy&paste. Once you are done, let me know. It won't be much work on bot's side.
I turned off the bot in the meantime so that it does not mess anything. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I will implement the changes now - I'll take care to catch everything incoming. Cheers! bd2412 T 01:26, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
All the page moves have been done. I am temporarily retargeting all redirects to the new page location; these cross-namespace redirects will eventually be deleted, unless the project opts to set up some non-maintenance lists at the original article titles. Other than that, the soup is ready for cooking. Cheers! bd2412 T 01:52, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I switched mathbot to the new lists. Apparently all is well. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:15, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Great - thanks! bd2412 T 11:13, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Help with WP 1.0 bot

Hello Oleg, I'm creating a new task force for Asian Games under WikiProject Multi-sport events, for this I need an "assessment statistic" page, but I've tried very hard but still I don't have this User:WP 1.0 bot/Tables/Project/Asian Games page, would you please help me on this, thanks and regards. — Bill william comptonTalk 17:27, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

I have not been involved in this for a while, but try following the instructions at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Using the bot. If that does not work, try contacting CBM who runs the bot. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:05, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your prompt reply, I've sorted it out, merci encore. — Bill william comptonTalk 19:21, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

About a the merge proposal Hartogs'lemma -> Hartogs' extension theorem'

Hi Oleg. I am writing you since I would like to start the merging of the entry "Hartogs' lemma" into the entry "Hartogs' extension theorem", as proposed by the Set theorist (talk). I discussed the matter in the talk page of the target entry, and also I discussed the matter with Charles Matthews on his talk page, who was the creator of the former one: he agrees on the merge (he also note that the exposition should be improved. :D ) and I produced evidence that the two topics dealt coincide. Is WP:Merge the only guideline I must follow or is there a need for an administrator, in order to do operations not described there? Thank you very much for your help. Daniele.tampieri (talk) 07:22, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

I think no admin help is necessary. Thanks for doing the work. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:12, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'll work it next week. Maybe I'll ask your opinion after the merge. Again, thank you for your help and politeness. Daniele.tampieri (talk) 17:57, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

A question about wikilinks in the "See also" section of an entry

Hi Oleg, that's me again. This time I have a question about the wikilinks which can be included in the section "See also". Recently an editor has removed several meaningful wikilinks from that section of the entry Francesco Faà di Bruno motivating it by saying "wlink already included in the main article": I tried to find a style motivation on the WP:MOS but I did not find anyting. Is this a rule of style in Wikipedia? It seems strange to me such a way of including or not wlinks: if this were a rule, the link "Sobolev space" should not be placed in the "See also" section of the entry "Sergey Sobolev, therefore a visitor willing only to search a reference to the results of Sobolev in the entry, without reading it will be disappointed. Daniele.tampieri (talk) 17:59, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I think that editor is right. But I am not sure if this is a strong policy. If you feel some links are important enough to be included in "see also" even if they are in the main article anyway then I guess it is OK to add them. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:24, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I do not see the value of that rule. I would revert the deletion of a link from "See also" if the link in the main text is not readily apparent, for example, if the link in the main text were [[Sobolev embedding theorem|his work on weak derivatives]]. JRSpriggs (talk) 00:40, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Thank you all for your advice, Oleg and JRSpriggs. I am seriously thinking of proposing a discussion on such a topic: is the Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style the right place to do so? Daniele.tampieri (talk) 19:45, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I still have to do the move Hartogs' lemma -> Hartogs' extension theorem, but I'll do it as soon as possible.Daniele.tampieri (talk) 18:04, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

mathbots need not exaggerate death

Harold Neville Vazeille Temperley seems to be alive, so could we please let him be? See List of mathematicians (T). Unless you know more... Megadeff (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC).

He's almost a hundred years old. Time to go ... :)
The bot got this info from the Harold Neville Vazeille Temperley article, at the bottom it says "Category:2007 deaths". I just removed that, and the bot will not consider him dead anymore. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:37, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Mathbot seems to be obsessed with death. Can you re-educate it? Same problem. Megadeff (talk) 13:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Same problem. Please regulate mathbot. Megadeff (talk) 10:24, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

I am on vacation and traveling. I'll look into it perhaps within 4-5 days. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:28, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
(Very belately.) The bot was not updating the pages properly since the format of Wikipedia's html changed and that confused it. I put in a fix I think. I have it running now, I'll check later if it works. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
It works. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:02, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Bot removing my edits to article categories

See User_talk:Mathbot#Wikipedia:WikiProject_Mathematics.2FList_of_mathematics_articles. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 07:48, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

(copying all discussion here from mathbot's page).

Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/List of mathematics articles 

Can you get your bot to not add the Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/List of mathematics XX articles to article categories. See this as an example. Cheers. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 05:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Why would that be wrong? Those are lists of mathematics articles, they should be in math categories, even if they are in the Wikipedia namespace I would think. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:31, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

List of mathematicians (A)

Regarding Template:Querylink at List of mathematicians (A):

  1. Franz Alt recently died;
  2. your formatting of year ranges contradicts WP:YEAR, MOS:ENDASH and MOS:HYPHEN.

I have partly reverted your edit. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:14, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Did you look at the page history? The edit was made by a bot, not by Oleg personally. That bot has been maintaining the lists of mathematicians since 2006, so it knows what it is doing. In particular, you cannot simply change the formatting of the dashes on a whim; the bot would need to be updated to change it. The bot will probably change the formatting again the next time it runs, as well. There are not a lot of pages that are maintained in that sort of way, where a bot takes care of updating the list along with human editors, so you may never have seen one before. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:16, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
The bot's talk page advises readers to leave comments here.
Having two details for ranges of years disregarding three elements of Wikipedia manuals of style needs to be addressed, regardless of how long the bot has done it the wrong way. Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:46, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
PS: And what's with the description in that list after Shimshon Amitsur? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:52, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Let me summarize, you want the ndash (–) and the keyword "born", is that right? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:54, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand that the guidelines mentioned above specify an unspaced ndash for year ranges: yyyy–yyyy.
The style "born yyyy" instead of "yyyy–" is used at MOS:BIO and certainly favoured in disambiguation pages of people, but tables and lists have probably more latitude, although to me the style "yyyy–" seems unnecessarily terse. Michael Bednarek (talk) 05:27, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll implement these two suggestions, hopefully later today. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:02, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I am done with the "born" part. I'll do the ndash thing soon. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:36, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Thank you very much for changing the bot – much appreciated. All the best, Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:20, 31 July 2011 (UTC)


Hello, I'd just like to thank you for creating "File:Snells law wavefronts.gif", as it has helped me finally understand the refraction of light. This is a nice little example of how online collaborative communities like Wikimedia can help people. DrJimothyCatface (talk) 12:27, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Glad to hear it was helpful. The idea was not mine however, I saw a similar picture somewhere and made it into an animation for Wikipedia. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:37, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

LaTeX to wiki translation preview not working

Hi Oleg I tried the LaTeX to wiki translation tool we worked on few years back. Your preview script still submits the page to Wikipedia but it gets instantly deleted. I tried to change the page name to subpage in my user space but it still gets deleted. I think it was deleted before also but it would show the wikicode; now it does not do even that. Any ideas? Thanks! Jmath666 (talk) 05:49, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Uh. Try looking at the logic in the functions named print_head nad print_foot in the source code of your script. I tried to emulate there how a redlinked Wikipedia page would look like, to bootstrap its preview function. Compare that html code there with the html code of an actual redlinked page. Perhaps the html format changed in the meantime.
I am not sure what else I can suggest. I tried accessing your script but apparently that page is down. See if what I suggest above makes any sense. If not, perhaps we could try something else. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Please try again the server is online now. Jmath666 (talk) 04:45, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I was able to reproduce what you mention when I was not logged in. After logging in, however, the preview worked just fine. I tried logging in as my bot, to see if perhaps my admin privileges have something to do with it, but it still works.
Were you logged in to Wikipedia beforehand? Did you try to perhaps change slightly the name of the article? If these two don't work, I am not sure what to do. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:57, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

I see now it is working when I log in normally but not when I am logged in by https (I switched to secure login a while ago). Thanks! Jmath666 (talk) 05:22, 16 August 2011 (UTC)


I just edited generalized quaternion interpolation. It bore the following three category tags but did not appear in the list of mathematics articles:

(I added Category:Applied mathematics, so maybe it will now get added to the list.) I don't recall whether it's your bot or Jitse's that handles this. It seems to me that things in those three categories should appear on the list. Michael Hardy (talk) 16:02, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

The article generalized quaternion interpolation was in Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/List of mathematics articles (G) for a while. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:32, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Omigod..... That thing is now in neither the article space nor the portal space but somewhere else. That explains why I didn't see it in "what links here". Michael Hardy (talk) 18:58, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
This move to the Wikipedia namespace was discussed perhaps a few months ago. Some people objected to these auto-genrated lists being in the main article namespace. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:09, 3 September 2011 (UTC)



I have a stupid question, perhaps you know the answer or you could direct me to someone who knows it. Once there was a template "eom" for Encyclopaedia of math. Apparently, today it was moved to SpringerEOM. For some reason, it was done in such a way that


appears instead of

{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}

So the questions are:

  • does this look like a bug or a feature?
  • if the former, whom should I ask to fix it?
  • if the latter, is there a nice bot owner whom I could ask to fix all the places where the old template was used?

Thank you very much, Sasha (talk) 00:03, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

PS I think I see the problem. Someone moved Template:eom to SpringerEOM (rather than Template:SpringerEOM), and apparently I do not have the permissions to fix this. If I understand the problem correctly, could you fix this please? Sasha (talk) 00:07, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
PPS After some more reflection, now that I understand the problem I better ask the one who did it to fix it:) so please ignore all the above. Sasha (talk) 00:13, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
No prob. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:21, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Mathbot should probably be stopped...

...until the 1.18 change is compatible with it, as it's misreading the numbr of AfDs in the "old" AfD section, at least. - The Bushranger One ping only 05:16, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

The format of the html changed again, quite drastically actually. I put in a fix. The ideal solution is for the bot to parse the wiki code rather than the auto-generated html, I don't know when I'll get to that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:40, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Barnstar - technical works.svg The Technical Barnstar
For quick work getting MathBot back on its feet! Many thanks. The Bushranger One ping only 16:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Advice on two probable cases of self-promotion

Hi, Oleg. I'm writing you again to ask for an advice regard two edits that appear self promotion (at least to me):

  1. Mohsen.soltanifar has added a section on the "Bounded variation" entry just to describe his work and place a reference to an undergraduate paper written by him. This would be good if the contents of the paper (his work) were of some scientific interest: however, the actual "Algebraic Operations with BV Functions" section is a (fortunately short) mere collection of trivial facts: the space of BV functions is a vector space, therefore is closed under subtraction and addition, and is an algebra as already stated in the Wikipedia article, therefore is also closed under multiplication. The quotient of two functions of such space could not belong to the same space, as the trivial example BV([,]) and BV([,]), and also the closure under composition is trivially false. I'd like to straightly remove it, but I would like to listen to your advice since you are surely more used than me to such matters. It is also interesting to note that this user's contributions all aim to promote his papers published in various undergraduate research journals, as I personally checked.
  2. Shazux has added a short statement and a reference to a paper to the "Stefan problem" entry: I moved it in the separate section "Applications" (created for this purpose). His statement is ambiguous, but since the work he refers to is published by the Begell House which is a publisher very active in the field of heat transfer theory, I would like to give him a chance to explain it by contacting him at his talk page. Am I doing the right thing?

Thank you very much for your help. Daniele.tampieri (talk) 18:38, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I still have to work on the Hartogs' extension theorem/Hartogs' lemma stuff: I was very busy up till now, but I'do it, I promise. :-D

One option would be to simply revert/adjust those changes with a very informative edit summary. If you also want to contact Shazux, that should be OK too. If any of the users persist, we can have a wider discussion at WT:WPM. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:10, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

new template

Hi, I developed a new AfD template header (to be used in conjunction with the current one), it is currently awaiting a consensus on whether or not it should be used. If other editors decide it should, would it be difficult to have Mathbot also start putting this on the pages it initializes? Thanks,  M   Magister Scientatalk (21 November 2011)

Should not be a problem. Write to me again once there is a consensus for using it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:39, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I will, thank you very much.  M   Magister Scientatalk (21 November 2011)


You might want to read this discussion regarding your bot and the AFD logs. Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 16:07, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I replied there. Please ping me back here when you want me to comment further in case I forget. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:11, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

New AfD Template

Hi Oleg, so after over a week, the response to the idea of having a new AfD template added to all new AfD pages have been a bit minimal. Yet, there was a 3-0 consensus that the template should be used, more importantly, nobody really had problem with it. Now that the template has gained support, can you please have MathBot start initializing it to all new AfD pages. For example of what the page would like see here. Thanks, Magister Scientatalk (Editor Review) 23:40, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Done. See here. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:00, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, very much appreciated. Magister Scientatalk (Editor Review) 14:08, 3 December 2011 (UTC)


Mathbot doesn't seem to understand that this AFD has been closed. I tried re-closing it to see if that made any difference, then going through your code to see what parameter it looks for, but everything checks out - Mathbot just refuses to remove that from the list of opened AFDs. Thought I'd let you know - not sure how to fix. m.o.p 07:33, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

The bot got confused by the fact that this section had a subsection. I put in a fix. Thank you for the note. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:39, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks for the quick response! Cheers, m.o.p 07:12, 5 December 2011 (UTC)


Hi Oleg,

could you please join the discussion at Template_talk:MacTutor#A_proposal? I think there is consensus (see the discussion here :), now we need an admin.

Thanks, Sasha (talk) 17:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Your proposal seems to be uncontroversal. But it would be good to have a wider discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics (or at least a notification) so that other mathematicians are also aware of that, I think. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
done Sasha (talk) 16:13, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Good. If there are no objections, just let me know what the text of the modified template should be, and I'll paste it in. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
thanks! but I think I will need more help. Is there a way to make the default author what it is now (actually, two authors), with the possibility to specify another one (or two or three...) instead of them? So that if the template is used without the author field, it will behave as now, and if one or more authors are specified, they will appear instead. Thanks again (sorry for trivial questions, this is the first time I need to change anything in a template), Sasha (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I wish I could tell you I knew something about templates, I don't. :) See if the folks at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Templates could be of any help. You can state the problem in the terms they could understand, that is, you have a template, you want some arguments, you want them optional, there should be defaults, or something like that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:49, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
sure, thanks! I will start with asking Daniele, then go on to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Templates. Sasha (talk) 16:44, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

math article classification

Peace be with you, Oleg, Thanks for welcoming me years ago... possibly I said that earlier. I started 'synergetics coordinates,' and I am pretty sure you helped me on it. The place I read about them, listed on the talk page, defines polysign numbers, i.e. numbers in which one axis is positive, and the two others that go from the origin through the vertices of a regular triangle each have a different sign: negative, and half-positive/half-negative. I would like to start or request an article, but I do not know how to classify this in WikiProject Mathematics. Do you know, or know where to ask? I used to be pretty skeptical about the numbers, and though they can be converted to Cartesian coordinates, I guess with those three axes there really must be three signs. --dchmelik (t|c) 11:32, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

You can try Wikipedia:Requested articles/Mathematics. This looks to me like an exotic concept. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:11, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I tried to say I went to the page but did not know what section to put it in. It seems no more exotic than other non-Cartesian systems, but polysign numbers apart from the space are exotic. If I recall correctly, the numbers are equivalent to the complex ones. I will put it in Complex Analysis (let me know if that seems wrong.)--dchmelik (t|c) 18:23, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Helmholtz decomposition editing

Dear Oleg Alexandrov!

I hope on your help for editing of “Helmholtz decomposition” (See new section “Helmholtz decomposition is wrong”). Alexandr-- (talk) 11:56, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I added a metacomment there. I wish I had more time to actually discuss things. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:23, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

1. Thanks for a quick reply! However it is not clear what account you mean? 2.After my reply Unexplained removal of formatting happens . Please, help to correct. Alexandr-- (talk) 10:09, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I mean, make yourself an user account (there should be a link at the top of the page). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:11, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

As you can see your offer has appeared very useful! --Alexandr (talk) 18:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Possible Mathbot bug at AfD

See Wikipedia_talk:Articles_for_deletion#Deletion_discussions_not_transcluded_to_this_page. Apparently, the bot failed to recognize an open AfD from a month ago, leading to the discussion still being open over a month it was started. You might want to take a look at this. Also, if one slipped through the cracks here, it's possible others even older might have, so it might be worth figuring out a way to check all AfDs to locate any others that have slipped through in a similar fashion. jcgoble3 (talk) 02:02, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I commented there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

MSU Interview

Dear Oleg Alexandrov,

My name is Jonathan Obar user:Jaobar, I'm a professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and a Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. This semester I've been running a little experiment at MSU, a class where we teach students about becoming Wikipedia administrators. Not a lot is known about your community, and our students (who are fascinated by wiki-culture by the way!) want to learn how you do what you do, and why you do it. A while back I proposed this idea (the class) to the communityHERE, where it was met mainly with positive feedback. Anyhow, I'd like my students to speak with a few administrators to get a sense of admin experiences, training, motivations, likes, dislikes, etc. We were wondering if you'd be interested in speaking with one of our students.

So a few things about the interviews:

  • Interviews will last between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Interviews can be conducted over skype (preferred), IRC or email. (You choose the form of communication based upon your comfort level, time, etc.)
  • All interviews will be completely anonymous, meaning that you (real name and/or pseudonym) will never be identified in any of our materials, unless you give the interviewer permission to do so.
  • All interviews will be completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to say yes to an interview, and can say no and stop or leave the interview at any time.
  • The entire interview process is being overseen by MSU's institutional review board (ethics review). This means that all questions have been approved by the university and all students have been trained how to conduct interviews ethically and properly.

Bottom line is that we really need your help, and would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. If interested, please send me an email at (to maintain anonymity) and I will add your name to my offline contact list. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can post your nameHERE instead.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, feel free to email me at I will be more than happy to speak with you.

Thanks in advance for your help. We have a lot to learn from you.


Jonathan Obar --Jaobar (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 21 February 2012 (UTC)


Please see, and please help : ) - jc37 02:17, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Why zero minor edits? reports "100% for major edits and 0% for minor edits. Based on the last 150 major and 0 minor edits in the article namespace." Why zero minor edits?

Also, the link to edit summary from ought to be to Help:Edit summary Josh Parris 00:54, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to events in June and July: bot, script, template, and Gadget makers wanted

I invite you to the yearly Berlin hackathon, 1-3 June. Registration is now open. If you need financial assistance or help with visa or hotel, then please register by May 1st and mention it in the registration form.

This is the premier event for the MediaWiki and Wikimedia technical community. We'll be hacking, designing, teaching, and socialising, primarily talking about ResourceLoader and Gadgets (extending functionality with JavaScript), the switch to Lua for templates, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Labs.

We want to bring 100-150 people together, including lots of people who have not attended such events before. User scripts, gadgets, API use, Toolserver, Wikimedia Labs, mobile, structured data, templates -- if you are into any of these things, we want you to come!

I also thought you might want to know about other upcoming events where you can learn more about MediaWiki customization and development, how to best use the web API for bots, and various upcoming features and changes. We'd love to have power users, bot maintainers and writers, and template makers at these events so we can all learn from each other and chat about what needs doing.

Check out the the developers' days preceding Wikimania in July in Washington, DC and our other events.

Best wishes! - Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation's Volunteer Development Coordinator. Please reply on my talk page, here or at Sumana Harihareswara, Wikimedia Foundation Volunteer Development Coordinator 02:52, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

mesh generating

Hi,I'm resca. Please, I need a help to generate triangular and quadrangular mesh of a cylindrical domain with different densities... Thx — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:10, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


Hey bro, thanks for the drawing in the supremum article, it was really helpful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:16, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

WP 1.0 bot not functioning

It looks like WP 1.0 bot has not been functioning for several WikiProjects since June 30th.[7] Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. If the toolserver is totally hosed, I could help move the bot to the labs server (although it's still not entirely reliable itself yet). Kaldari (talk) 22:56, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Try notifying CBM. I have not been involved with this project for a while. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:23, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll do that. Kaldari (talk) 23:36, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Idea for Reaction-Diffusion recipe

Hey Oleg, I added a reply to a post on the talk page for Reaction Diffusion, with a roughed-out howto (in as plain-language as I could do in a short time) for actually implementing them.

I agree with the (anonymous?) poster of that section, that it would be a helpful bit of information to have on the page. I'd like to know your thoughts. Have a good one :) Danwills (talk) 17:08, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Regretfully I know little or nothing on this topic, and my involvement in that article has been quite tangential. I would suggest you add a section towards the end of the article with a brief example. It would be up to your judgement of how much detail would be appropriate, probably not as much as there would be in a textbook on the topic. Be bold! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:49, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Vector potential

Hi Oleg, I was looking at the Vector potential article, and found it quite misleading. The reality is very simple, is it not, that if div(F) = 0 and F is defined on all of R^3, then F has a vector potential. No decay conditions required. Shouldn't this be the primary thing the article says? Maybe we should start changing it in that direction. Thanks, Kier07 (talk) 15:12, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I think the assumption of decay comes in when you start proving that F has a vector potential. I guess the proof does not work without that assumption, and I am not sure if the statement of that theorem will even hold for non-decaying F. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:09, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure decay conditions aren't necessary for the existence of a vector potential. Only that particular choice may not work if you don't have enough decay... (talk) 18:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

actually when ever you take square roots you have to get positives and negatives of that same is the cadse here when multiply right hand with + and - we will get the same results for both....plz let me know if i am wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ghalibabbas110 (talkcontribs) 07:38, 21 September 2012 (UTC)


Hi Oleg. I posted a question at User talk:Mathbot. -- Uzma Gamal (talk) 10:06, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

I replied there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:15, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Mathbot problem on List of mathematicians (V)

Mathboot is overiding a MOS issue onList of mathematicians (V). Bgwhite (talk) 00:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

I put in a fix. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:50, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. Bgwhite (talk) 06:39, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Send me some code?

Hi Oleg. Could you please email me the code for /~mathbot/cgi-bin/wp/wp10/gen_cats.cgi? It looks like it needs some rewriting (perhaps the new login mechanism is what's confusing it?).Thanks much. —Theopolisme 14:57, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

You can find the code for all that in ~wpmath on the toolserver (that is where MathBot runs now, and the code for that script was written as part of MathBot. Actually WP 1.0 Bot started as a fork of MathBot). But the old code is somewhat difficult to work with, because of the way it was laid out in different files in different directories. It would probably be easier to simply write a new script from scratch using the current Mediawiki::API library that the WP 1.0 bot uses, rather than to trying to fix the login and edit methods in that old code. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good. Thanks. —Theopolisme 16:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Christmas in the Park (San Jose)

Ambox warning yellow.svg

The article Christmas in the Park (San Jose) has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Local event, not notable beyond the local area

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the Template:Tlc notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing Template:Tlc will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. In particular, the speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Gtwfan52 (talk) 00:32, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

No one said it is minor. What I said was that it wasn't notable beyond the local (metro SF) area, and I hold to that. I doubt highly you can find any reference to it beyond affiliated websites and local newspapers. 150,000 people attended the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Air Shows back in the 80's, and that was a one day event. It wouldn't be notable either, because it wasn't of interest beyond the local area. Gtwfan52 (talk) 01:02, 30 December 2012 (UTC)
This event has been taking place each year for at least 30 years. And again, it is attended by about 450,000 visitors yearly. I'll spend more time expanding it (give me a day), and then, if you wish, you can post it for deletion using the regular WP:AFD process. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:06, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Nomination of Christmas in the Park (San Jose) for deletion

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article Christmas in the Park (San Jose) is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Christmas in the Park (San Jose) until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion template from the top of the article. Gtwfan52 (talk) 01:14, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Christmas in the Park (San Jose)

Hi! I notice you have been around here a long time and have made many valuable contributions in the field of math. Thanks for your contributions. Writing about social things is very different than writing about science. Notability for articles on places, things and events is established by citing third-party references such as newspapers, magazines and books. Basically, the standards are that the world has to have noticed it before it can be in Wikipedia. I looked in the category "Christmas" and there are no articles whatsoever on Christmas festivals. I am guessing these are covered in the article on the settlement in which they occur. My suggestion to you would be to look for some references of the type I have mentioned above. There is a large Christmas festival in Wabash, Indiana that I know has been covered in the AAA magazine for Michigan, Michigan Living. If you could find any coverage like that, from away from the SF/SJ area, that would go a long way toward showing notability.

Secondly, your argument at the AfD is not at all an effective one. SeeWP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. I think we put way too much emphasis on Pokemon and the like, too. But, like it or not, things like that have their own notability standard. Schools, or at least high schools, are considered definitively notable. There are many arguments for that, mostly centering on the percentage of time in one's life that is spent there. An effective argument would be based in policy, or using defense of your sources.

I hope you can find more and more appropriate sources for your article. I will look too. But, I have to say, I wouldn't have nominated the article if I thought there was much hope of that. Happy Editing and thanks for all you do! Gtwfan52 (talk) 20:49, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your carefully worded message. I happen to think the event described in the article is notable, although perhaps not critically so. Let's see what the community decides. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:31, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Great Circle-distance formula is missing the radius


hmmmm, I see what you mean about citing a unit sphere.

For a consistent article, is it more appropriate to drop the "r" from the following equation since it equals one too?

   d = r \Delta\widehat{\sigma}.\,\! 

That gives d = the central angle in radians.

I think people would find the article more useable in the general case.

By the way, I am new to editing Wikipedia pages. On reflection, is there a strategy to leaving mistakes in web pages to force people to think about what they are using? Trip up students? Give a learning experience to the unwary?

Best regards,

Talbott3709 (talk) 22:17, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

MathBot AfD tool

Hello! It looks like is not updating the AfD totals correctly any more? It returns zero discussions, zero open, zero closed for every day. Thanks, Black Kite (talk) 18:57, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

I put a fix. The html renderer changed again, that's what confused the bot.
Note that for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/2013 May 1 the bot lists 43 discussions, while the TOC itself shows 45. The bot is right here, two sections are spurious "References" sections. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:52, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, that's excellent. Black Kite (talk) 05:56, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Images for Classification_of_discontinuities

Dear Oleg Alexandrov,

in the three images, the value of the function at is indicated by a black circle. Some users missunderstood the images, because the circle is black and not blue like the rest of the function. They thougth, the function is not defined at . Could you modify the images, that the circle will be blue? Here we had already some discussions about that: [8]

best regards, --Van Tuile (talk) 13:37, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Will do. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:16, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
Done. Very belately. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:19, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Mathbot and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Old

Mathbot keeps showing that there are no open AfDs. That is inaccurate, there ARE open AfDs. Please fix pbp 01:45, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Must again be some changes to the html generated by the server. Unfortunately I can't login to to the mathbot account to fix it, perhaps I did not renew it in time. Once that's solved I'll login and put a fix. Thanks for the report. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:10, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Still in negotiations with the toolsever folks to let me log in. I probably misplaced my ssh key and that's why can't login. Hopefully they won't take much longer. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:17, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your patience. I got my access back yesterday. I rewrote the script to not rely on parsing html, as the wiki server always changes its format. So the bot now parses wiki text, which is much more stable. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:04, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Note on Mathbot AfD process

I noticed that Mathbot wasn't removing one of the AfD listings for 8 September, even though it was closed. After checking further, the nominator erroneously made a "2nd nomination" page for the request, then after noticing this, redirected it back to the standard nomination page. Apparently, Mathbot didn't notice the redirection and thought the discussion was still open. Bypassing the redirect fixed the problem [9]. That would come up so rarely that I doubt it would be worth fixing, but thought you might want to know in case it ever comes up. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:52, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks! If this ever becomes a recurring problem I could put a fix. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:42, 22 September 2013 (UTC)


I just simply want to say that, I think Mathbot is pretty neat. I personally feel you're doing a great job at running him. Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Goldguy81 (talkcontribs) 03:02, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Pmform and PlanetMath Books

(BTW, I just sent a similar note to your email...)

We're working on a proposal that we hope would allow us to so something similar to what you achieved with the "PlanetMath Exchange". Could you help by tracking down and sharing your Pmform source code?

Details of the proposal are here: meta:Grants:IdeaLab/PlanetMath_Books_Project.

It would also be quite meaningful if you could add an endorsement to the project page! Best, Arided (talk) 20:25, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

PS. Please share with others who may be interested! Arided (talk) 20:28, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Most wanted redlinks

How do you do?

Do you think you can update User:Mathbot/Most wanted redlinks?

-- Taku (talk) 23:33, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

That is very old and dusty code. And it required some manual handling as well. Not likely I'll get to it soon. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Template:Afd top

FYI, I removed the "metadata" class from Template:Afd top because it breaks mobile view. Jackmcbarn (talk) 02:49, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I reflected this in the code. Hopefully nothing breaks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:09, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Complex infinity

If this is the first article that you have created, you may want to read the guide to writing your first article.

You may want to consider using the Article Wizard to help you create articles.

A tag has been placed on Complex infinity, requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done under section G1 of the criteria for speedy deletion, because the page appears to have no meaningful content or history, and the text is unsalvageably incoherent. If the page you created was a test, please use the sandbox for any other experiments you would like to do.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Click here to contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be removed without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Bill Cherowitzo (talk) 22:22, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

I made it back into a redirect. The complex infinity is a well-defined concept, and it is explained in the Riemann sphere article. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:34, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Hey there, I was the one who deleted it. I actually tried to restore your redirect, and it was like gremlins - it would say it was restored, but every time I refreshed the page, it would go back to the crap. Finally, I gave up and deleted it. I figured your redirect back in 2006 was a good faith redirect (although I had no idea you were an administrator), but, well, rather go into the rest of the details, see this discussion on my talk page. If you think Riemann sphere is better than the other editor's suggestion, that's fine. I'll leave it in your hands. Sorry for all the trouble.--Bbb23 (talk) 16:47, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
I commented on your talk page. I agree that Infinity#Complex_analysis is a better redirect (that place explains well how this infinity fits on the Riemann sphere). I made that redirect myself now. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:03, 14 October 2013 (UTC)
Great. I'm glad it's all straightened out.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:08, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Gradient Descent / Steepest Descent

This image on the page for Steepest Descent does not seem to show orthogonal search directions, which may be confusing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:04, 23 October 2013 (UTC) The search directions are not supposed to be orthogonal to each other. They must be orthogonal to the contour lines, which they appear to be. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:30, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

" The method of Steepest Descent approaches the minimum in a zig-zag manner, where the new search direction is orthogonal to the previous." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:26, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

As that page says later, "This implementation of the Steepest Descent method are often referred to as the optimal gradient method.". The original steepest descent method does not find an optimal value for lambda_k, and then nothing guarantees perpendicularity. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Also notice later on that page a second picture, where each direction is no longer perpendicular to the previous one. That is, that page is correct, but the caption of the first figure is not completely right. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:40, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

You are right, I see what you mean. I think the confusion is that the other pictures on the Wikipedia page are using optimal step sizes, and so show search directions which are orthogonal. Perhaps the captions could be changed to add something along the lines of "using optimal step length" or "using fixed or non-optimal step length"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Seeking a Lift of my Permanent Block, Can You Help

Hi, Mr Alexandrov, I am looking for an administrator with the time and thoughtfulness to look into my claim that I am wrongly blocked for sockpuppetry. I decided to ask an administrator with username beginning "O" and come to you secondly after "Orlady" who turned me down. I was no-warn/no-diffs/no-discussion blocked in May 2012 by Timotheus Canens who only clicked his Twinkle or Pop-Ups button that generated an hyperlink to WP:SOCK. I am a long-time Wikipedia editor (since 2005 or 2006) who has authored several articles and substantially contributed to many more. Early last year I switched to a new account for privacy reasons. This is authorized by the policy WP:CLEANSTART. Timotheus used the fact that I had a prior account to accuse me of "socking." He mischaracterized "switched to new account and never went back" as "using alternate accounts abusively."

He never said much more than that but several people (five or six) from WP:AN/ANI descended on my talkpage to criticize me and make allegations against me. I didn't handle it well. I didn't know who was administrator, who was not. I was inexperienced in responding to blocking. I was a bit angered because I took "sock" as an attack on my honesty.

Orlady told me "no, I will not help you, you must convince him that blocked you." But Timotheus Canens will not speak to me and has never spoken to me. Plus I feel his or any no-warn/no-diffs/no-discussion block is obviously an abuse of his or any administrator's powers. It was done out of irritation and a click of his mouse button.

There is a lot more to the story. I can answer your questions and tell you what you need to know to make a just decision about unblocking. The best way that I know of to begin is if you unblock merely my talkpage, and we have a conversation. My talkpage was blocked to me by Spartaz after Beeblebrox whispered in his ear. Spartaz claimed I was using it as a "pulpit." That is a shaky rationale, also without warning, and talkpage blocks are supposed to be used for truly egregious behavior. I state that I will not mislead you. I certainly state that I never socked, I switched accounts, and never went back. You can see I told the truth about that in my first edit. I see, Mr. Alexandrov, that it is not the kind of thing you usually do, but that really makes you more suited to it in my mind than a WP:AN/ANI regular. You just need to learn about it and apply rules to evidence. Lastly I am "block evading" right now, by signing my username to a raw IP edit. I know that is against the rules but I feel I've no other way to proceed.

C . C
o . o
l . s
t . m
o . i
n . c — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:22, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

PS: I knew a young woman from Moldova once. Her name was, or she went by, "Virginia." Took her to lunch at a fried fish place but it went pretty awful. I mean the food was okay quality, just too much fried stuff. Our conversation was pretty awkward. She related better to a friend of mine. I don't know if she went back to Moldova, my friend keeps up with her I'll have to ask (we all moved away from each other). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Manual of Style (mathematics) listed at Redirects for discussion


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Manual of Style (mathematics). Since you had some involvement with the Manual of Style (mathematics) redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion (if you have not already done so). John Vandenberg (chat) 02:17, 13 January 2014 (UTC)