User talk:Oleg Alexandrov/Archive7

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I didn't know whom to write to, but tell me, has Wikipedia site been behaving badly for you the past week? Over here, the site sometimes take very long to load. But often it works just to click the link again, and then it works ok. In other words: I find some article, click on it, nothing happens for many seconds (and it then loads after about 20 seconds). But if I click on it again, it loads fine. Does this happen at your place? Weierstraß (talk) 17:35, 5 December 2005 (UTC).

Yes the server was rather strange lately, to the point that misterious things happened to me with a certain edit. That's life. :) Sometimes useful information about the current state of the server might be discussed at Wikipedia:Village Pump (technical). Hope that helps. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:01, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Rick / mathematics[edit]

Thanks for toning down your remark before I finished the message I was writing to you about it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 17:40, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes you are welcome. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:13, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi, You addressed an edit I made to correlation -- namely you deleted it.

the change was as follows: - ==A note about "random" variables== - Several places in this article refer to "random" variables. By definition a random variable has no correlation with anything else (if it does have a correlation the variable is either 1) not random, or 2) the correlation is a coincidence likely due to a small sample size). It is more accurate to think of these not as random variables, but simply as variables that have an undetermined relationship.

Can you address the underlying misnomer, in laymans terms, on the "random variables" entry? The misnomer is vaguely reference there, but I think a lot of people (myself included) are not satisfied with the explanation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phli (talkcontribs)

I think I reverted your edit, and wrote there "see talk", according to this. That is to say, I wrote on talk:correlation where you can find my comment.
In short, I don't think you are familiar with the mathematical notion of random variable. I understand that the term can be confusing. On the other hand, I am not a probabilist, and I don't know the origin of the term or the intuitive explanation behind it. Maybe you can try posting your question at talk:Random variable, and see what answers you get. I will put that page on my watchlist. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:01, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Please see Talk:Dirichlet_problem D'n 03:09, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Signed measures[edit]

Please see Talk:Signed measure, and answer there. The last thing I want is to start an edit war with you - or any other user, for that matter. --Fibonacci 03:43, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Of course nobody wants a revert war. :) I am going to talk now. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:47, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Signed measure[edit]

Replied on its talk. :) Gosh Fibonacci, you are quick to assume the worst. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:47, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Which has saved my neck more than once. ^^U --Fibonacci 03:49, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I think I'm done with that article (at least for now!). Please read and comment. --Fibonacci 04:17, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Fibonacci, I barely had time to add 1 to 1, 2 to 3, and 5 to 8, and you are back already. You are truly fast I see. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:30, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Why, thank you! That's when I have nothing to do work to do, which I don't want to... oops, I'm doomed... --Fibonacci 04:33, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Social Skills[edit]

Wow. Oleg, I can honestly say you are one of my true friends around here. I do want to say that I am not sure if I've ever quite had to exercise my social skills as much as I'm having to do now. Good practice, that: as we usually all are heads-down, thinking equations in solitude. But really, it seems as if everyone is upset or upsettable, fragile, argumentative or misbehaving and bad. Ohh-wee. Having to navigate these social waters is about as challenging (and rewarding!) as having to solve a good equation. linas 06:35, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, I can agree with that! :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:41, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Your edit to Taylor theorem[edit]

This edit of yours looks suspect. I would have guessed it is either

R \leq \sup_y \sup_{|\alpha|=n+1}


R \leq \sup_y \sum_{|\alpha|=n+1} .

Could you please check? Tell me if you want me to have a proper think about it. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:43, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Jitse, something is suspect there for sure. That formula says that
|R_{\alpha}(x)|\le\sup_{y\in\bar{B} }\left|\frac{D^\alpha f(y)}{\alpha!}\right|
but it does not say for which α that must hold. All I wrote is that this must hold for for each α with |α|=n+1 as it is only those α which show up a bit higher in the text.
In other words, that estimation for the remainder could as well be wrong. But then I did not make it more wrong or less wrong. :) No?
In fact, I don't think that the formula is wrong. It looks that whoever wrote that did not like to evaluate all the remaider at once (as you wrote above), rather, wrote it as a sum of many remainders (over |α|=n+1) and evaluated each of those separately. The explicit formula for each of those R_{\alpha} is at the bottom of the article. And from what I looked yesterday, it does look as if it implies the formulas which you think might not be right.
And once that is done, one adds all those remainders up, and gets the second formula you wrote above. Wonder what you think. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:12, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

You're right. I hadn't seen that there are many remainder terms. I was in a rush, so I had no time to read the whole article carefully, and since you had obviously studied it — you wouldn't edit it without, would you ;) — I thought it best to flag the edit as suspicious and let you handle it. I guess I owe you now. Cheers, Jitse Niesen (talk) 18:05, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Mathbot and List of mathematicians[edit]

Я не говорю, что нужно создавать такую категорию. Гаусс был немцем по национальности но жил сначала в Свящ. Римской империи. а потом Ганноверском королевстве.

Я всё же не понимаю, почему ты не хочешь сказать боту, чтобы он не менял страну, ведь, если человек был французом (например), то британцем он никак не станет.

Я считаю также, что следует писать страны в том порядке, в котором математики в них жили. Например, для Арнольда следует писать Soviet Union/Russia (или Soviet Union/Russia/France) вместо Russia/Soviet Union.--Ahonc 13:50, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, so you've been changing the entry of Gauss in the List of mathematicians, replacing the country field from "Germany" to "Holy Roman Empire/Kingdom of Hannover". My bot obviously was replacing it again with "Germany", because in the article Karl Friedrich Gauss, Gauss is listed in Category:German mathematicians. I repeteadly told you that this is where the bot gets the country information.
You want my bot to not modify the country field for the mathematicians in the List of mathematicians once the country field is non-empty. I disagree. As you see in this edit at the article Arthur Milne, the category was changed from Category:British mathematicians to Category:English mathematicians. I want this kind of changes to be reflected in the List of mathematicians entry for this guy Arthur.
Но ведь если он английский математик, то и британский тоже, так как Англия является частью Великой Британии. Ahonc 07:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
You say that for the entry of Gauss in the List of mathematicians, the country "Holy Roman Empire/Kingdom of Hannover" is more historically accurate than "Germany". I say that you have a good point, but in the List of mathematicians we have now 1902 entries (and counting), and the only sustainable way of keeping that information accurate is to be synchronized with the information in the actual articles about mathematicians. The issue of where Gauss worked, or whether there was a country called Germany at his time needs to be dealt with in the article about Gauss and not in his entry in the List of mathematicians.
As I told you on your talk page, you may ask for other opinions at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. I am willing to listen. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:50, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
А ты не можешь "сказать" боту, чтобы он писал England или Scotland, если год смерти <1707 и Britain в другом случае.
Также для немецких математиков: если год смерти <1806 и страна=Germany, то писать Holy Roman Empire.--Ahonc 07:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, I am just a lousy bot writer. You are asking for big changes. Please write your proposals in English and post them at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:23, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Edit summary request[edit]

Yeah, it's my fault, as I write very fast, and I write several articles at the same time. Therefore I often forget to add the edit summary and the minor edit mark. Sorry. I promise to do better in the fure. Thanks. Attilios.

hi, I read your message in my talk page. Can you explane me what is the problem in a little italian if you can. I'm here on italian wikipedia -- 20:02, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

I just wrote to you on your Italian page. 20:14, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Vector-valued measure[edit]

Sorry, I don't know anything about vector valued measures. But it sounds fun... when I'm done with this semester's duties, I'll start investigating and write the article. --Fibonacci 22:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for your welcome[edit]

Hi Oleg. Thanks for your welcome, and for telling me about the edit summary. I think Wikipedia is a grand idea and fantastically usefull. I would like to cite Wikipedia articles in publications along with my journal sources. Is there yet a standard way to do this? or are the journals still getting their heads around Wikipedia? BTW I like your first name: My partner Mindal and I have been discussing names for our first child - do you know what "Oleg" means? Is it perhaps related to Olaf, Oleif, Leif (the last a viking / english / norse name meaning "beloved")? —Preceding unsigned comment added by RodVance (talkcontribs)

I have no idea what my name means. It is a Russian name. There was a Russian king Oleg around 800AD, during the time the Vikings were friends with Russians (actually, I think Vikings founded the Russian kingdom to start with I think....), so I will not be surprised my name is of Scandinavic origin. Hey, naming your first child after me would be cool! :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:15, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
According to behindthename, Oleg is the Russian form of Helge, from Old Norse heilagr, meaning "holy". See Oleg of Novgorod, a Scandinavian. -lethe talk 20:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Speedy move[edit]

... for Data transformation service -> Data Transformation Services please? This article's title is simply wrong and has always been wrong. Microsoft's product is called "Data Transformation Services" and that's what the article is about. See . Thanks. Stevage 13:07, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

How can it be speedy move? I've got to sleep at night! :)
Looks to me that you are right. The name of this Microsoft product has capitals, so the page must reflect that. The Microsfot browser is now at Internet Explorer rather than Internet explorer. So, I just moved the article; to Data Transformation Service (I think it should be singular, no?)
You may need to see what links to the new page and bypass some redirects if you feel like it. And I removed some links from section headings in that article (see the diff), to make it conformant to the existing style. See if you agree. And you put too many links in there. A concept should not be linked each times it shows up; once or twice should be enough. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:19, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Eep, no, it's always pluralised. Sorry I wasn't clear about that. Data Transformation Services. In any case I didn't write the article, I was just trying to perform this basic fix up! the preceding unsigned comment is by Stevage (talk • contribs)
OK, OK, doing that now... :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:27, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much! Stevage 16:30, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Positive and negative sets[edit]

Hello. I've just created an article about positive and negative sets. It's short and messy, but (I hope) useful. Please read it and comment.

On a totally unrelated business, I seem to remember you wanted to know the meaning of your name. I've looked it up - It's Russian, and means "holy". --Fibonacci 04:43, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I will look at the positive set tomorrow.
About my name, I guess it is ancient Russian, the word I know for "holy" is totally different. BTW, there was a Romanian troll who was bugging me not so long ago on this very page to change my name to a Romanian-sounding one. I will tell him now, "I am holier than thou". :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:38, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Fibonacci. I did look at the article. Well, I think that article is a bit reduntant. The only place positive sets show up is in the Hahn decomposition theorem for a signed measure. And there the concept of positive set is already defined, and does not take more than two lines. The properties of those sets are expored as the proof of that theorem goes along. So I don't see why you need a separate article for that concept. Am I missing something? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:40, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I thought the definition given in the article of the Hahn decomposition theorem was not clear enough, and did more or less the same you did with positive and negative parts of a function. Besides, I don't think it's redundant anymore, for I've mentioned the relationship that positive and negative sets bear with the Radon–Nikodym theorem (for signed measures). --Fibonacci 18:09, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
I also thought of adding something with the Radon–Nikodym theorem. So I guess it is less reduntant now. By the way, positive and negative parts are more used than positive and negative sets I would argue. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:19, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Stokes theorem --> Stokes Theorem[edit]

Fine. I was unsure about whether it should have a capital "T" or not and a search on Google returned multiple results with capital "T"s instead of small ones. My mistake! -- The Neokid 18:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Uppercase versus Lowercase for Proper Names[edit]

The Wikipedia Manual of Style says that you should not upcase things except for proper names. So clearly, it is correct to uppercase the name Stokes or Newton. The question has to do with things like Stokes Theorem and Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. In my experience, these phrases are in fact proper names, and in general, it is not only accptable, but it is required to uppercase the first letter of each word, with the exception of minor words such as "a", "of", or "the". So I believe that it is correct to write "Stokes Theorem" and incorrect to write "Stokes theorem". Likewise, it is correct to write "Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation" and incorrect to write "Newton's law of universal gravitation." If you do not believe me, then please consult any general reference on physics or mathematics, and you will see that the uppercasing is correct. Perhaps Wikipedia needs to ammend its Manual of Style to make an unambiguous policy in this regard. -- Metacomet 19:04, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

BTW, this rule applies even when a person's name is not involved. For example, it is correct to write the "Fundamental Law of Calculus" and incorrect to write the "fundamental law of calculus." -- Metacomet 19:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Metacomet, please see the WP:MoS#Sections. I would argue that as long as the manual of style says thing one way, we need to follow that. No? :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:07, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

I have no problem if that is the policy. But I do think that maybe the policy should be reviewed. -- Metacomet 19:12, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

The Wikipedia style is clear, and "theorem" should be lower case. There's another problem, though; currently the main article is missing the possessive apostrophe. It should be moved to Stokes' theorem (currently a redirect), or possibly to Stokes's theorem, though I've never heard the latter, so the former is probably better. --Trovatore 19:08, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

You are correct that it needs the possessive apostrophe. But, for the record, I did not set it up that way. I skipped the use of the apostrophe in my comments above because I was being lazy, not because I thought it was correct. -- Metacomet 19:12, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

See Talk:Stokes' theorem for some older discussion on this. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:05, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

boundary of a boundary[edit]

Hi Oleg. I noticed that you removed my addition to the article boundary (topology) about the boundary of a boundary, with the allegation that it was false. But it's easy to see that ∂∂S ⊆ ∂S: ∂S is always closed, and every closed set contains its own boundary. I do see that Mousomer subsequently reworked my addition to state that the boundary of a boundary is equal to the boundary (rather than contained in). I guess that statement is obviously wrong (consider the rationals), but I think it would have been better if you had reverted his edit, instead of removing a once useful statement. Anyway, the whole point of the addition is the following. One often hears that "the boundary of a boundary is empty". This statement is only true for boundaries of manifolds (or more generally, simplicial complexes), and not for general topological boundaries, and I do believe that this deserves mention in the article.

One notes that the reason that the manifold boundary is different from the topological boundary on this matter is that in the manifold case, one always endows the boundary with its subspace topology. In the topology of the original manifold, it is still true, for example, that the boundary of the boundary of the disk is nonempty. I wonder whether it would also be true more generally. -lethe talk 19:59, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Lethe. I had no idea that was originally text you inserted (several monhts and many edits earlier) and which was subsequently modified by Mousomer. All I did was removing a false statement, which was saying that the boundary of the boundary is the boundary itself. I guess you can put back your original correct statement. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:03, 10 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I've restored it. -lethe talk 01:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


Thanks for the edit. It's rather pathetic that I never noticed that. Leithp (talk) 22:57, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding User:R.Koot[edit]

Hi, Oleg. Since you were also concerned about my deletion of R.Koot's user and talk pages, I went ahead and asked for review at WP:AN. It's always sad to lose a valuable editor, in any case. :( HorsePunchKid 2005-12-11 06:40:13Z

bots or something?[edit]

Hello. You seem to be good at writing software to help automate projects in Wikipedia editing. Could you take a look at my recent comment at talk:cut-the-knot? I think the number of such links may be so large that getting the software to help may be worthwhile. Michael Hardy 00:09, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I replied there. You owe me a beer next time I visit Minnesota (I heard its cold there now, you may need boots more than bots :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:27, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Red links[edit]

Hi Oleg. I had a idea regarding your bot. How hard would it be to set up a page listing all of the redlinks in the mathematics articles space? Say at Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Red links. This purpose of the page would be slightly different than the requested articles page. It would be to keep track of how many broken links we have, to see what redirects need to be made, and also to give ideas for needed articles. It could be updated once a week/month depending on how difficult it is to scan all the articles. What are your thoughts? -- Fropuff 20:49, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Fropuff. This should be doable. My bot downloads the wiki-source of all math articles which change everyday. So, I think the simplest thing to do would be to extract all links from all articles, split them into several wiskisource pages (depending on how many they are) and upload them to Wikipedia. Then, the redlinks will show up in red, obviously. I would download back the html source and collect the red links from there. I think that's the fastest approach, but there may be others.
Note that many of those redlinks may not be math at all, so one's got to look thgourh all of them see what is what.
I will work on it this week, after I do Michael Hardy's request (the post above this). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:33, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Cool, thanks! I would think that 95% or more of the redlinks on math pages would be mathematical in nature, but I guess we won't know until we have a list of such links. -- Fropuff 23:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, you wanted red links, here you are, User:Mathbot/Red links, 10101 of them (I did not choose this number on purpose, it turned out that way!) (takes a minute or two to load)
There are at most several hundreds more which contain Unicode and my perl script has problems with those. But there are enough to start with.
I if you have suggestions on how to best organize them, let me know. I need to go offline now, but can work on that tomorrow. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:49, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Damn, that was fast. Thanks! I guess I should have known there would be a ton of them. I guess the most logical thing to do would be to break them up into pages (0-9), A, B, ... just like the list of mathematical topics pages. -- Fropuff 07:56, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

See User:Mathbot/List of mathematical redlinks. Enjoy! :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:54, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Don't worry, be happy[edit]

I've repaired my mistake.-- Bonaparte talk 22:24, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Conversation on talk page for series[edit]

That conversation was getting a little long... sorry about that. The reason I kept asking was that I wasn't sure if my question was being conveyed, and I thought there might be some reason that the article was done the way it was. I'm new here and learning, so be patient :) And thanks for the tip on edit summaries. --Monguin61 23:08, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I am trying to be patient. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:25, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


Well, you said it already. I'm sorry. I'm not used to it. I'm going to. --VKokielov 06:28, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Stein Manifolds[edit]

(move to talk:Stein manifold). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:21, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Self Publicity[edit]

Interested in your thoughts, as you have contributed a lot to Maths articles in general. It seems Andrei Polyanin added references to his own books to many pages in the wikipedia maths articles (see his contributions). In fact his only contribution has been to add these references. On some articles he is the only reference. This seems wrong. Should we remove them all? RandomProcess 17:48, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Good points. Yes, I saw that this user was putting his work all over the place. In one place I removed one of his books, as there were only two references, and both were his. I think I also removed some links to his eqworld website if they were too many in one place. However, I think he stopped adding his books, and in the places where they showed up they were relevant, and often times the only reference book listed there. So I think that for now they do more good than harm. If this issue shows up in the future, we may need to do something about it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:08, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Okay: your instinct is different from mine; mine was to remove them. However, I'll accept your judgement on this as you have been around here longer! RandomProcess 18:25, 13 December 2005 (UTC)


Salut Oleg,

I've just created Wikipedia:Moldovan Wikipedians' notice board. I invite you to join.

Cu respect, Node 00:48, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

A question that has scratched me[edit]

Tell me, what's "original research" in mathematics? Everything, or else nothing. I can't seem to understand how you can distinguish original research here. --VKokielov 02:13, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

As far as I know, original research is stuff which you invent yourself and which is not published anywhere.
That is, the only material allowed on Wikipedia is information which already has been published either in a book or in a peer-reviewed paper, and which is backed by references. See also Wikipedia:Original research. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Naturally. But you can understand my concern when it comes to mathematics, sur'ly. If you go from A to B in mathematics, all you need to defend yourself is the argument. If the argument is flawed, then you're wrong; if the argument is proper, you're right. I understand that we shouldn't heap up ab initios one on top of the other, but to lead a proof to the end, without relying on anything but your own logic and mathematical conventions (whatever those happen to be inside the context of a given proof) is scarcely original research. Either the proof stands up to scrutiny, or it doesn't; there's no grayness here. So I'm trying to reconcile. --VKokielov 20:29, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
The way mathematics is, the question of new conventions is a technicality anyway. I'd wager we can develop the entirety of elementary analysis never venturing but basic, fundamental terms. Notation is a matter of convenience - "syntactic sugar". --VKokielov 20:32, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't quite know what to answer. A good place to discuss math-related issues is at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi. Regarding User:, I have unblocked the user. This is the first edit in weeks and is of the most basic "user test" kind: adding "Media:example.ogg" to an article. Nothing deleted. No profanity or attacks. This is a user test and cannot be immediately assumed to be the same user. Please don't bite the newbies. - Tεxτurε 18:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I disagree. Yes, the user has not been editing for a couple of weeks, but all contributions from that IP are vandalism, all. And his talk page looks like the chest of a decorated veteran.
You are right that one may not know for sure that it is the same person, but the 24 hour block I imposed was a good precautionary measure. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I normally would not have reversed a 24 hour block for that very reason. I only did so because the "vandalism" was of such a "user test" nature, the only edit in weeks, and another admin extended the block to 6 weeks and cites your block as the only reason. Please see User talk:Hall_Monitor#User: for more information. - Tεxτurε 18:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Oleg, for what it's worth, there is no way I would have blocked the user. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 18:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Jitse, good point. Texture, whether somebody cites my 24 hour block as a reason to impose a 6 week block has nothing to do with me. And as pointed elsewhere, your statement of "biting the newcomers" is something you should not use in this context. It is innapropriate in this context and it just inflames passions. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:21, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Oleg, I apologize. Since it is a guideline in Wikipedia I thought I could reference it but you are taking it in a way I did not intend. - Tεxτurε 19:25, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
No problem. I read carefully the guideline, and I still don't agree that your wording was appropriate. But that's not the main point. The main point is that I should be more discerning about blocking, and this point is taken. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:58, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Editorial suggestions[edit]

Thanks for the tips, I will try to do better in the future. But I have to ask - every time you see someone fail to put in an edit summary or capitalize in a correct way but inconsistently with the style guide, do you write them a message? You must spend a lot of time writing these requests, as I see several people here have commented on this. User:Debivort

Yes, I spend a good chunk of my time bugging people. I usually go after newcomers, as they are the most likely to make mistakes and benefit from advice (or bugging). :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Division by Zero[edit]

Hi Oleg! I've added a new section about some history of division by zero. I hope that clarifies the relevance of Brahmagupta in the article. Thanks! deeptrivia (talk) 18:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Missing science topics[edit]

Hi. I ran into the Wikipedia:Missing science topics project and looks cool. I have a question though. Do you happen to know why some articles have incomplete names, like Neumann Differential E....? If you happen to know, could you please explain at Wikipedia talk:Missing science topics. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:15, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi, sorry I didnt respond too quickly. the dots are a result of the fact that the source of the lists had the dots. Martin 22:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I would be really interested in what your sourse is. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:20, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
They are from; Martin 22:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:46, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Please note that lists (such as telephone books) are copyrightable (and I beleive the wolfram list is copyrighted) and that publiction of such lists on WP constitutes a copyright violation. This was previously discussed somehwere not far from here, and that discussion not only involved Jimbo Wales, but resulted in a very quick pull of the contested list. Sorry, I don't have a link to that discussion, but you should be able to find it easily enough. Proceed wth caution.linas 00:02, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
I heard of the issue. I don't know why it was considered OK to create Wikipedia:Missing science topics by also using articles from MathWorld. I guess if you get lists from mathworld and shuffle them together with other lists, then it should be fine. In either case, all I plan to do is complete the dots in redlinks like Neumann Differential E.... using mathworld's lists. But that when I get time to do it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:06, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Math Markup on Mac[edit]

Somehow HTML markup on Mac looks extra small and TeX markup looks extra large. I am new to Wikipedia and I do not know when to use what. This is why I preferred to use TeX markup throughout on Egorov's theorem. I'd appreciate some suggestions on the appropriate way to mix HTML and TeX Badri Narayan

See the math style manual for some tips. There is no perfect solution. But it seems that most people prefer to not use TeX formulas which become PNG. Sorry can't say more than that; all this formulas business sucks, hopefully switching to MathML in a while (who knows when) may fix things. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:14, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply! Badri Narayan 05:17, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia has plenty of Mac users; ask at the Help desk. But I don't think it's a Mac problem. You should be able to work around this for yourself with a line or two in a personalized monobook CSS style sheet, at worst. For markup in articles, material inside <math> tags that comes out as HTML uses a serif font that may appear smaller on any platform, depending of font preferences. If you look at the source being fed to your browser, you'll see
<span class="texhtml"> … </span>
around the offending HTML. This class tag is then styled by
as follows:
span.texhtml {
        font-family: serif;
Usually the default serif font will be Times Roman, whereas the default monobook font will be Arial. For you, selecting the same size for both gives a different visual size. If you consider that a MediaWiki problem, it's not likely to change. The developers don't seem to take much interest in our mathematics typesetting grievances. As Oleg says, we believe generating MathML is the long-term solution, but it requires the developers to generate clean XML in all of Wikipedia. --KSmrqT 05:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Reply to your message[edit]

I will try not to insert too many newlines, but I don't entirely understand all your remarks; doubtless with time I will understand these things better. Is there a way to get LaTeX notation to be smaller? I have often put remarks in, under "discussion", describing my contributions; now that the edit summary has been brought to my attention I will use it. Thanks...

Randall Holmes 15:44, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Never mind about the diff feature, yes you will learn about it

later. :) Just again, you should hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard only when you want to start a new paragraph. You can see from the text I typed in here that hitting that "Enter" key amounts to broken lines and does not look good. Trust your web browser to move you to the next line. :)

About LaTeX formulas being big. This is a pain. Often times LaTeX formulas appear as images instead of text, and then how big formulas appear in respect to text depends on the resolution of your computer screen and the font size in your browser. For this reason, the math style manual suggests that one should avoid pictures of formulas be generated when surrounded by text on the same line. One may try to use HTML for those simple formulas, or otherwise put the formulas on their own line.
Let me know if you have further questions. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:04, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Argument notaion[edit]

Hi Oleg, I have a notation question that should be right up your alley! P=)

Lat_1=\arcsin\!\left\{\cos\!\left\{APg_a\right\}\sin\!\left\{  TvL_{1a}\right\}\right\},\,\!

 =\arcsin\!\left\{\cos\!\left\{APg_b\right\}\sin\!\left\{  TvL_{1b}\right\}\right\};\,\!

Long_1=\arctan\!\left\{\sin\!\left\{APg_a\right\}\tan\!\left\{  TvL_{1a}\right\}\right\}+C_a,\,\!

  =\arctan\!\left\{\sin\!\left\{APg_b\right\}\tan\!\left\{  TvL_{1b}\right\}\right\}+C_b;\,\!

Lat_a=\arcsin\!\left\{\cos\!\left\{APg_a\right\}\sin\!\left\{  TvL_{2a}\right\}\right\};\,\! Lat_b=\arcsin\!\left\{\cos\!\left\{APg_b\right\}\sin\!\left\{  TvL_{2b}\right\}\right\};\,\! Long_a=\arctan\!\left\{\sin\!\left\{APg_a\right\}\tan\!\left\{  TvL_{2a}\right\}\right\}+C_a;\,\! Long_b=\arctan\!\left\{\sin\!\left\{APg_b\right\}\tan\!\left\{  TvL_{2b}\right\}\right\}+C_b.\,\!

(thus TvL1 and TvL2 exist on a given APg)

Should Latq = Lat{APg:TvLq} and Longq = Long{APg:TvLq} or just Lat{TvLq} and Long{TvLq} (or would either way be acceptable)? On the surface, it would seem that Lat{TvLq} and Long{TvLq} are the proper choices, since APg is a constant between two "Lat"s and "Long"s. However, both APg and TvL can be "elliptized", using both for each(?). Let's say APe = APe{APg:TvL} and TpL = TpL{APe:TvL} (I don't think the actual equations are pertinent, so I won't complicate the discussion! P=): In this case, either APg or TvL could be the variable, and the other the constant (or both could be variables, in the case of double or iterative elliptic integrals), so it would seem that both arguments are required. But the same could be said for Lat and Long, too.
The immediate purpose here, is to define Long:

Long=\int\frac{\sin\!\left\{APg\right\}}{1-(\cos\!\left\{  APg\right\}\sin\!\left\{TvL\right\})^2}dTvL=\arctan\!\left\{  \sin\!\left\{APg\right\}\tan\!\left\{TvL\right\}\right\}+C\,\!

So, does Long' = Long'{APg:TvL} = sin{APg}×sec{Lat{APg:TvL}}2, thus Long=\int Long'\!\left\{APg:TvL\right\}dTvL\,\! or does Long' = Long'{TvL} = sin{APg}×sec{Lat{TvL}}2, Long=\int Long'\!\left\{TvL\right\}dTvL\,\!? If the two argument model is used, do you need to use partial differentiation notation, or is this adequate? Also, (even just) cos{Lat{TvL}} wouldn't be considered a composite function, would it?  ~Kaimbridge~20:16, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Kaimbridge, I am at a big loss. I don't understand your notation and what you are trying to accomplish. First, for a function, one should write f(x) and not f{x}. Second, what is that APg and TvL thing? I would encourage you to use standard notation, like x and y, etc. And what you need this for? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:40, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
"Lat" and "Long" are the common latitude and longitude and "TvL" and "APg" ("arc path") are basically the transverse co-latitude and transverse longitudes/meridians ("arc paths") (USIGS definitions; see image—imagine the horizontal line is the "regular" equator: The equatorially concentric "rings" are the "TvL"s—with the outer "ring" being the transverse equator— and the appearingly straight lines crossing the center point—i.e., "great circles"—are the "APg"s. Ed Williams touches on it in his Aviation Formulary, referring to it as Clairaut's formula—sin("APg")="sin(tc)*cos(lat)"; in Vincenty's paper (PDF), the elliptic APg ("APe") = α (Eq.s 2, 17), the elliptic TvL1 ("TpL1") = σ1 (Eq.1), TpL1 + TpL2 = 2σm (Eq.s 5, 18) and ΔTpL = σ (Eq.s 7, 14-16)). I figured including all of this "extra" would just confuse things (...further P=). The article I'm working on now is about the transverse graticule—not planning it to be too math heavy, just simple conversions, like with latitudes—to be used for future article(s?) on geodetic formulation.  ~Kaimbridge~16:24, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
OK, my advice would be to use θ instead of TvL and φ instead of APg or the other way around. Also avoid variables like tc and lat, and APe, TpL, etc. People usually use one-letter names for variables. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The thing is, though, θ and φ (and others you'd likely suggest) already have other assignments (φ is commonly used to denote "regular" latitude and, e.g., α is used to both denote azimuth and the "modular angle"—the designation of it, to either, likely to be meaningless to the average layman reading the article). Anyways, what about my original question: With the added info, can you tell whether it should be single or double argument (or could it be either) and, if double, do you need to use partial (derivative) notation?  ~Kaimbridge~21:03, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, I think one argument for the function is fine, since you keep the second one fixed. But again, your notation is not good. And about notation, compare APe = APe{APg:TvL} with A=A(g, l). The first one is very hard to understand, the second notation is very clear. (Hint, hint :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:00, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

So, even you have to think twice on whether it is one argument or two!!! P=)——I bounce back and forth between "since the arc path is constant between two points, then only the TvL should be the argument" and "since the same latitude and longitude can be found using different arc paths and TvLs, then it should be a double argument". As for the notation, okay, how about we compromise and use the mnemonic notation for article prose and single character/symbol for formulation (e.g., for latitude, "Lat" within sentence conversation and "φ" for the equations)?  ~Kaimbridge~ 20:25, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Oleg,

the new editor User:MathStatWoman did a cut-and-paste move from shatter to shattering, so shattering needs to be deleted to have a place to move shatter to. I put a speedy tag on it even though technically I don't think there's really a category for this; it's just a common-sense thing. If you want to be formal about it, maybe you could ask MathStatWoman to request its deletion and then delete it by author request. --Trovatore 20:50, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Trov. I just did the move of the article and the talk page. I don't think one had to be formal about it it, it is a routine speedy deletion to undo a page move by cut and paste, followed by the page move the correct way. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:36, 16 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi and thanks for welcoming me and for your help! I shall work more on shattering -- I promise to make it a good article, with the help of you & other experts, to edit some articles for accuracy, to write some bios, and then begin an article on empirical processes, soon -- but it is the weekend, have to do shopping and other real-life stuff; then it is hoiday season for everyone I know -- Christmas, hanukah, kwaanzaa. Aaah! So shattering will be improved, and other articles introduced, but maybe not until after New Years. I need help on writing math; is it HTML only? LaTeX? -- Best wishes! MathStatWoman 17:28, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Great! Happy holidays to you too! About writing math. It is complicated. See the math style manual for a guide. Basically, you may write in any way you feel like it, as long as you don't create too many formulas which show up as images in lines also containing text. But avoiding those is not always possible. So, that's just a guideline. And don't forget: the edit summary saves the day! :) Enjoy! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:46, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Thank you for your support! -- Bonaparte talk 20:59, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

You must be kidding. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:04, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Moldovan raion[edit]

Hi Mark. I have a question about this edit you made. In addition to the name of that raion, "Raionul Cimişlia", you added its name in the Moldovan language, you wrote "(Moldovan: R-ul. Cimişlia)". I belive it does not make any sense, as "R-ul. Cimişlia" is just an abbreviation of "Raionul Cimişlia", and not its name in some other language. If you are trying to make a point that Moldovan language is different than Romanian language, that kind of edits, if anything, work against you.

I don't plan to argue with you or with anybody else the issue of Moldovan language, but I belive your edit was not productive. I will keep your talk page on my watchlist for a while, so you can reply here if you would like to comment. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Oleg,
No, that wasn't the intention. If you feel it's misleading or not needed, please feel free to remove it from those pages. --Node 22:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, that was already taken care of before I got there. Never underestimate the nationalistic sentiment in that part of the world. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:59, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Oleg! Thanks for your support on my recent RFA. The request was successful, with a final tally of 33/0/0. I'm delighted that you decided to support it and I hope that I can live up to your expectations. Leithp (talk) 09:46, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi Leithp. You well-deserve it. Congratulations! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:42, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


In Topic lists, the math categories are listed redundantly both with each individual letter and with the aggregates (e.g. A-C, D-F, etc.). Based on the style and organization other "sets" of categories (e.g. physics), only the aggregates are appropriate. I am blowing through 2-3 these at several cats per minute. Of the 26 letters, I will comment a few. Yes,I am light on comments. In some cases, I will annotate the parent if it seems appropriate. Give me ten more minutes. -- Fplay 00:53, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


Btw, Oleg, what's the reasoning behind not using LaTeX ? I mean it's much easier for me to read $m \in M$ than $m \text{in} M$, plus I'm not sure how good of a notation is "A set A is called", sort of confuses the reader with two A's in a row. I know though that you wanted to be consistent there with the notation, but still the usual letter for metric spaces is $M$ :) PiKappaMu 02:00, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, my replacemnt of m\in M with m in M was just my personal preference for avoiding unnecessary symbols. The point is that Wikipedia is for the general public, and things should be kept simple if possible. About avoiding LaTeX, see the math style manual. The basic idea seems to be that one should avoid inline PNG images, which can look much bigger than text. See there for details. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I wonder why they don't render let's say 4 png's, with different sizes, so that it would match the font text according the user's preference. Plus some latex commands are not supported like \vphantom, \left, \right, etc..
I mean when I was hitting advanced topics that's the thing that annoyed me the most on wikipedia, text instead of formulas, the latter are simply easier to visualize and comprehend IMHO, so I had to take the books out instead :) PiKappaMu 02:13, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
There are a lot of complaints that math articles on Wikipedia are incomprihensible expept to mathematicians who write them. So, it is better to write simple and let the mathematicians try a bit to understand, than to write comprihensible for us and not for everybody else. All that is arguable of course.
Yes, some TeX symbols are not supported. About rendering four versions of each PNG, I don't know how the server could tell which settings your browser uses. The heart of the matter is that math display on the web sucks, and mathml which was supposed to fix that was long in the coming. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:17, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, if one has a user then it's from the preferences cookie, if not, then on the first page with a formula, at the top you can choose the size or something, it sets a cookie, and you're done. But that's not the best way out anyway, obviously the ideal situation would be the dynamical creation of the content rendering both text and formulae as one and then generate output similar to latex2html, and that could go even further, you could download a pdf/ps version or the .tex itself ;) PiKappaMu 02:26, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
As for for the general public I doubt that topics from let's say topology are accessible for the general public even if put in very simple words. Maybe there is a point in dividing math/physics articles by the level of accesibility: "easy/medium/advanced" ? PiKappaMu 02:50, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
You have a lot of ideas. :) I don't know. Try posting your suggestion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics, see what people may have to say. 02:52, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

happy anniversary[edit]

I think the one year anniversary of your arrival to wikipedia just passed. Happy anniversary, and glad to have you here! -lethe talk 21:23, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Wow, that's cool! Thanks! I've been here since November 2004, so a month earlier, as User:Olegalexandrov, but I am very impressed somebody thought of congratulating me with one year! PS Don't forget to congratulate my bot too, on April 10 next year. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:28, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

line breaks[edit]

It seems to be reflexive; I insert line breaks without even noticing. I often (but apparently not always) catch them when I preview... Randall Holmes 01:25, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

No problem. I just wanted to make use you are aware of the issue. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:25, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


Thank you for your advice. I'll remember it when i make more contributions.

About the article of the Simson line, there was a mistake in that sentence, i make the correction, i think it should be clear what it says now.

Excuse me for my English.

Thanks, again.

Crisófilax 04:29, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Perl bots[edit]

(first two posts were originally at the Village Pump)

I've seen the requests for bots on the community portal and would like to help. I'm pretty handy with Perl, which I understand isn't the ideal language for bots, but it's what I know. Are there any guides or tips out there for would-be bot coders? Or perhaps examples of bots written in Perl that I could crib from? Thanks. | Klaw ¡digame! 05:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

My bot uses perl, and perl only. :) The hard part is to download and install Meta:WWW::Mediawiki::Client package and its dependencies (there are around 6 of them). I can help installing it if you plan running it on Linux. That package has good documentation about how to use it.
See what others have to say also. I need to go to bed now, but we can talk more about it tomorrow. PS Despite of what people say, Perl is the language for bots! :) The python framework works very well with Wikipedia, but for actual serious text processing Python is not good enough in my opinion. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 08:00, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the support. I'll have a look at the Mediawiki module. You mentioned six dependencies - what are they? Are they other modules that I might already have? | Klaw ¡digame! 16:05, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Keithlaw. Here are some tips, but they will apply to Linux but not to Windows. In the latter case you would need to do something similar I guess.

Part 1. You need to go to CPAN, search for the module WWW::Mediawiki::Client, download it, and install it. See how to install modules at

Note that if you are not root, you will need to create a directory fist where you will want to install those modules, say


Then, when you run the perl Makefile.PL step for each module, you need to be more specific, running it as

perl Makefile.PL lib=/home/me/myperl -I/home/me/myperl PREFIX=/home/me/myperl

Part 2. Unfortunately, as soon as you run this command for the WWW::Mediawiki::Client module, perl will complain about missing modules. Here is the message I get

Warning: prerequisite Exception::Class 0 not found.
Warning: prerequisite HTTP::Message 1.56 not found. We have 1.42.
Warning: prerequisite HTTP::Request::Common 1.26 not found. We have 1.22.
Warning: prerequisite Test::Differences 0 not found.
Warning: prerequisite URI 1.31 not found. We have 1.30.
Warning: prerequisite VCS::Lite 0 not found.
Warning: prerequisite XML::LibXML 0 not found.
Writing Makefile for WWW::Mediawiki::Client

Then you interrupt whatever you are doing, patiently go to CPAN again, download the offending module, and install it in exactly the same way. Some of those modules may need other modules. So, overall you may end up installing as many as 10 of them (I remembered six, but I was using an older version of this module). That is the real pain in the ass and the reason people prefer the Python framework (but again, Python sucks at actual text processing).

Part 3. Once you are done installing all those modules, you need to read carefully again the instructions at in particular the line about inserting

use lib "/home/me/myperl/lib/site_perl"; or sometimes just use "/home/me/myperl" in each of your perl bots.

Also read the documentation of the WWW::Mediawiki::Client module, at the place where you download it.

The lines

$mvs->do_commit($filename, $message);

are the most important, the first one downloads a wiki file, and the second one uploads it back to wikipedia.

Be prepared to spend several good hours on all that. Good luck. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:09, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Again, I am telling you all that because you wrote that you are more familiar with Perl, so you made your choice in advance. I don't mean to convince people to user Perl over that snaky thing. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:16, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, that all makes sense. Unfortunately, I'm on a Windows box, but I haven't had too much trouble with CPAN modules before, so this shouldn't be too much trouble. I'll let you know how it goes. | Klaw ¡digame! 17:57, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your warm welcome[edit]

I dit not notice the edit summary at the bottom, I will try to make a little summary of the changes whenever I make one. I wanted to correct some things I have put in the finite differences article but it seems you have already fixed it (and vastly expanded it), thanks also for that.


You are welcome. :) But all I did were just some minor changes. You can check the article history (tab at the top) to see who changed what. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Correlation function[edit]

Oleg, the correlation function article is overly mathematized =) Where can I add the part about "Correlation function in statistical physics" so that it doesn't disturb the current structure too much ? :) --PiKappaMu 17:47, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh, never mind that, I've found Correlation function (statistical mechanics). I'll just expand that (the link maybe should be made more obvious ? since correlation function is a very important concept in statistical mechanics. --PiKappaMu
Good. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:18, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

advice about article size[edit]

Dear Oleg,

The system informs me that the New Foundations article is reaching the limits of size for articles. I was thinking of writing about mathematical constructions in New Foundations; should I perhaps start writing another article (something like "Implementing mathematics in New Foundations"?) Or am I OK continuing to expand the current article? Randall Holmes 20:30, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Just ignore that. :) It is a warning which used to apply to old browers which would cut text beyond 30KB.
This does not mean that articles have to be huge, huge, huge, but rather that one should use one's own judgement about how big an article should be rather than that bugging by the system. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:32, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice; I'm still thinking of writing a separate article, because it occurs to me that an article on "implementation of mathematical concepts in set theory" in general working with both NFU and ZFC might be interesting. But I will take your advice and continue to add to the NF article as seems appropriate. Randall Holmes 21:21, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd like to butt in with a dissenting opinion: the warning remains appropriate. The reason is not that old browsers will truncate, but that all of the content of a page should load at an acceptable speed even without broadband. Studies show page display speed is highly correlated with satisfaction. --KSmrqT 06:55, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The limiting factor is usually the speed of the Wikipedia server though, and not the speed of your connection I would say. Or, if you wish, the ultimate limiting factor is that humans readers just get bored with long articles. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:58, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
On a broadband connection the server speed is obvious. But I have noticed that it is really easy for those with routine broadband and nothing else to have no sense of just how slow dialup is in comparison. A few years ago the comparison I found most useful was this: hours to minutes, minutes to seconds. That is, a download that takes 4 seconds on broadband takes 4 minutes on dialup, while a 4 minute download becomes 4 hours. The impact of the difference is deep and substantial, completely changing the online experience. Furthermore, since that time the gap has widened as broadband speeds up. So if you've got only dialup, the server speed issues may not even be noticeable compared to the overall horror. --KSmrqT 18:25, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Use of Bold Face[edit]

Hello, Oleg

I have just started my involvement with Wikipedia (about 2 weeks ago or less) and any advice is highly appreciated. I was unaware of the role of "Edit summary". Now I am.

I have added some links (e.g. "vector", "William Gilbert," "sundial" and "lightning"), also an article on the polar aurora (there is a story here). I do not always use bold face in links, nor do I always put my contribution at the head of the list. It depends: I look at other links and then decide. The basic rule is "what helps the user best?" Sometimes, a lot of good and general material is available, and all I can do is supplement it.

However, it usually helps the user to have an overview, a description which can serve as a useful introduction. If I cannot find any link listed that fulfils the role better, I put my link on top and bold-face it. I also describe in a few words what it provides.

If you are willing, I would like you to check me out on this. I am a retired physicst and have spent years creating collections of sites which I think users appreciate. I won't put them on Wikipedia--where others can change them beyond my control--but I can link to them. Tell me if my links meet the above criteria!

One of my collections is about the Earth's magnetosphere, and I am currently writing a Wikipedia entry for it (the one which was there is pretty shallow--and I already convinced someone to remove a Velikovsky claim he inserted there). To see more of my stuff, go to

Please tell me more about yourself! I am looking for volunteer Russian translators (there exists a translation of the above page, but no more: )
(I tried to send this before but it looked horrible, then I tried to come back and correct it, and could not, the machine said the talk file was too big. I also put this reply on my own file. Please tell me if you get it.)

David P. Stern
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Hi David. Thank you for your message. Glad to help! So, let me try to answer what you wrote to me, one by one.
  1. I still think that one should not make external links bold, but that's up to you. Arranging them by relevance is good indeed.
  2. External links are of course very good, and I am sure that yours are relevant (I checked one or two), so thank you!
  3. Information about me is available at User:Oleg Alexandrov. I am not Russian, rather Romanian with a Russian name. :)
  4. Don't worry about warning that this talk page or any other file is too big. That's a leftover from old days, when web browsers would just cut off pages over 30KB in size.
  5. You said things looked horrible on the page. I would like to suggest some style tips. On wikipedia, you should not start a paragraph with an empty space or tab like writing an e-mail (that's why things looked horrible). You don't need to use <P> to start a new paragraph, just leaving an empty line is enough (but no more than one). There is not much need for <BR> that much either, again, just an empty line should do the trick of separating two paragraphs.
Let me know if you have any questions. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:28, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

My new pages have been removed[edit]

Sorry about the Math portal thing. The individual pieces/templates/whatever did not seem to merit the same care as full articles do. Anyway, I got me review and resolve the diffrence and Portal:Mathematics now uses the same template as the other Top 8. That is what I really wanted. It was not until I reformatted the template invocations, one param per line, could I really make sense of it. Now that it is a little more clear, I am inclined to leave it as it. If you think that we would benefit from even greater uniformity, feel free to do the moves. My point is: now that there is one-param-per-line, it is fairly easy to see the diffs in the history if you go ahead regularize the eight corresponding file paths (or page or aritle names, or whatever you want to call them).

Also, I am not saying that all must use the Portal template. I do think that those who can make the concssions of style and vareity will allow for slightly easier collaboration. -- Fplay 22:07, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Fplay, keeping the edit histories and not moving things by doing cut and paste is important also for a different reason. The portals are a big target of vandalism, and by moving the components of the math portal to other pages by cut and paste you effectively removed them from other people's watchlist. I am grad that's solved now.
One more thing. It is OK if it took you some time to fulfill my request; all of us are busy and have many things to do. But I would have appreciated an acknoweledgement on your talk page that you had read my post and had plans to work on it eventually. A small thing which can go a long way. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:28, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Jordan block article redirection[edit]

Hi there

I've just recently noticed that you reverted Jordan block back to the Jordan normal form. May I ask what was your motivation behind the redirect and why was it done so without being subjected to public scrutiny?

Thanks in advance --Mecanismo | Talk 01:07, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The reason is that for now, there is no material in Jordan block except one sentence stating what a Jordan block is. Also, the concept of Jordan block makes no sense except in the context of the Jordan normal form. Following you, I could start an article titled A(2, 3) whose content would be:
A(2, 3) is the element row 2 and line 3 in matrix A. (math-stub)
Not helpful. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:16, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean and I agree that not only the article doesn't add much information as it is but it also, at least according to my knowledge, doesn't have much hope of being expanded. Still, the jordan block matrix is a special and notable matrix pattern and at least I believe that wikipedia can only improve if it lists that kind of information. For example, thanks to Jordan block now category:Matrices, which lists special matrices, has an entry about it. That, at least according to my oppinion, earns that article the right of being a stand-alone article instead of a simple redirect.
About the revertion, I believe I labelled the reverting as such. Should I had labelled it differently? --Mecanismo | Talk 01:26, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
OK. About reversion, all I said that "Revert for blah blah reason" is better than plain "revert". :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:57, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Simple group (with technical template)[edit]

I added some examples at Simple group. I would like to ask you to comment at Talk:Simple group and see if more needs to be done. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:05, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

By the way, do you keep on your watchlist articles on which you put the "technical" template? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:11, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Yay, I'm glad some experts were paying attention. I relied on Talk:Simple group as requested. I feel like I'm back at MIT, asking the math TA, "What does squiggly-line double-dot arrowhead delta mean again?" 8) When I make a suggestion for improvement and I am afraid someone will have a question about it, I do add the article to my watchlist, yes, and requesting better technical explanations definitely falls into that category. Unfortunately, I've only been adding to my watchlist and not checking it for the past few months. I've been busy with database-analysis to try to keep article defect reports up to date, and I've been distracted by real-world things a lot, so I fear I may not get around to checking back until sometime around 2008 unless someone drops a note on my talk page. So thank you for doing that. -- Beland 05:28, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The square root of a square[edit]

Hello Oleg,

You have recently reverted an edit I made in the article "Square Root", concerning the value of \sqrt{x^2}. I wanted to discuss this matter a little. I apologize for making a deal out of such a trivial matter, but this is important to me in resolving a dispute I have had recently.

While it is clear that the final conclusion of my comment (\sqrt{x^2} = \left|x\right|) has appeared already, it still serves as a demonstration as to why this is true. Furthermore, and more importantly, it emphasizes the important fact that \sqrt{x^2} is not x.

While this may sound trivial, it is surprising that many people, some of which considering themselves proffesionals, do not realize it. Even trying to explain this simple fact leads to a barrier of misunderstanding and prejudice.

This is why I believe this point should be stated in the most explicit way possible, having led me to make the edit.

I will be grateful if you let me know what you think, and if possible, help me edit the article in a way that clarifies this issue while not appearing redundant.


--Meni Rosenfeld 17:53, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Good point. I removed then the absolute value property from above, while putting back your text; so now that property is still stated only once (as I wanted) but in the way which addresses your concerns (as you wanted. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for everything. --Meni Rosenfeld 19:17, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

You have premium customizability now...[edit]

Oleg, I went have took out the PortalPage template from the Math portal. Customize to your heart's content and please leave the template alone. It is designed for less-demanding editors who just want to fit in. BTW: Philosophy has taken advantage of customization to good effect. Take a look. -- Fplay 19:50, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

That looks like a silly reaction to me. And I have no idea what you are talking about. Is it edit where I removed the Almanah from the navigation bar? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:42, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
That characterization is fair. I am figuring out what the existing patterns are and then hammering out the irregularities so that the users are not put off by them. You do not want the stuff from the browenav template in the Math stuff. You want the category UI to point to the math Portal. So be it and have it your way. Others felt put out by you taking the the browsenav out of the PortalPage. This not tit-for-tat, it is the path of least resistance. Let me predict what will happen with the Math stuff: users will learn to skip over it when they want to blow throught the Top 10 cats. Eventually, some other Math editor (probably someone you like and respect) will overrule you and hammer the Math cat navigation UI back into the standard config so that people will not skip over it when they want to blow through the cats. That is what I am already doing. What else do you want? To merge the portals back into the cats? That is fine with me, as long as it is done for all of the more than 100 portals that exist. What else is there to discuss? Do what you want. If it sticks out like a sore thumb on usability, it will get hammered by someone besides me. If you need to, think of it this way: There is a price to be paid for being on the Top 8. You should try to fit in. You should take that responbility and make the necessary concessions for this little, top-of-the-page UI stuff. -- Fplay 22:56, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Dear Fplay, you make me feel as if I commited a crime. It is fine with me that you forked the portals from the categories, although it seems that you did it without consultation with anybody or edit summaries. Our only disagreement is on which items should be in the navigation bar. A healthy reaction on your part would be to talk this out, rather than this kind of messages on my talk page. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:08, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, let us continue at Template talk:PortalPage. Good, if belated, idea. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:25, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Differential entropy[edit]

Hi Oleg, I've just created my first article, viz. differential entropy, and would very much like it if you gave it a quick read-over and checked it for any errors I may have comitted. I come to you as I do not really know any other math editors, and value the input of an experienced editor such as yourself. Thanks, and I hope it's not too much of a bother. toad (t) 23:43, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Toad. The article looks good. I did some minor copyedits, but only for style, as my knowlege of entropy is rather superficial. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:55, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Great, thanks a bunch. toad (t) 23:59, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Oleg[edit]

Just trying to keep out of your way, is all. To give everybody what they want. Go for it! 01:11, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

See Template talk:PortalPage. I guess we should have talked issues to start with rather than each pushing his view in the template itself. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:34, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


Thanks Oleg for your comments on Wronskian - and your suggestion that I sign up - I was but now I'm free! Also dig your stuff on optimization - keep up the good work. Cheers, Ben Spinozoan 02:12, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

On change summaries[edit]

Thanks for the input, I will start to add summaries. the preceding unsigned comment is by Robertetaylor (talk • contribs)

Has anyone in America actually seen the Modulus Fantastic Four villain yet, or is it just us Brits? the preceding unsigned comment is by Robertetaylor (talk • contribs)

I had the bad luck of seeing the Fantastic Four (2005 film) (while in an airplane) , and probably the evil Modulus was there, but it was such a silly movie that the second part I watched without headphones (sound off). :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:56, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Typo in User:Mathbot[edit]

In User:Mathbot, the sentence "there is is no need for example to spellcheck the math formulas" appears, where the word "is" is obviously duplicated, and one instance should be removed.

Generally, would it be okay for me to edit such errors in personal pages when I encounter them?

--Meni Rosenfeld 13:49, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Seeing your question here, I performed the fix. But it's a good question, and in general the answer is that there is no general answer. Some folks explicitly ask that others not edit their User page; others, including User:Jimbo Wales, encourage helpful edits. Without an explicit hands-off notice, a minor fix like this (accompanied perhaps by a courteous Talk note) should be fine; if it's unwanted, a revert is easy for the affected user. --KSmrqT 14:29, 23 December 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you edit a user's page, the user might get mad. However, a bot, as we know, is powerless and is supposed to obey people, so he won't get mad at you. :) Seriously, I agree with KSmrq, fixing small things on other users pages should be OK. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:51, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for all the guidance[edit]

Thanks for the editing help and cleaning up my use of the markup doesn't seem to be quite TEX or LATEX to me, but I might be missing something. My article on shattering... I have been working on adding to it and improving it, but the output doesn't look pretty.

Also, a Wikepedia contributer suggested that I join the Mathematics Project. Sorry to admit my ignorance, but how do I do that? I went to the link, but could not determine how I add my user name to the list.

Sorry for typing at the top of a page instead of the bottom.

But I noticed that some pages instruct one to "put new messages at the top". And also that the Wikpedia rules are not really rules but suggestions. So I need time to learn...

Thanks for the help to me while I am a newcomer...and I am still a newcomer; there is so much I do not know about the Wikipedia world. MathStatWoman 18:09, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Take it easy, you can't learn everything at once. :) Relax. :)
I edited a bit the article on shattering, but only for language, as I have no idea of the concept.
To add yourself as a participant, first edit Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Participants and then you will see the instructions in the text.
No problem with putting the message on the top. Wikipedia is an anarchy, you know. :)
Let me know if you have any other questions. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:56, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Information posted from MathWorld[edit]

Sorry! I was just trying to help!

It would definitely be nice if Wikipedia could find a mathmetican with extensive skills in numerical methods to post a few algorithms. Specifically Mullers method, and the Secant method.

Thanks for keeping Wikipedia relevant and up-2-date! I appreciate the service! --anon

OK, I guess you are referring to this. It looked to me that you basically copied that info from MathWorld, which is not OK. But we do have articles on Secant method and Müller's method, and the latter has been improved since that time (October?). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:32, 25 December 2005 (UTC)


Just wanted to let you know that I asked your question from User talk:Arabani#Question about redirects on the Village Pump (Policy) page. There does not seem to be a consensus on the issue, there are arguments for both points of view, but it basically comes down to "Use common sense, and do what seems best at the time".

Oh yes, go Bears, err... Bruins. ;) --Falcorian 18:40, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

About the Bruins, they lost really badly to USC Troyans this year, and I do mean it, really badly. :) On the other side, was not too bad. I live in Westwood, the UCLA student part of the town, and had the Bruins won, they would have made and noisy drinking parties all night. The way things turned out, the did not have much to celebrate so things were quiet. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

pascal-triangle /matrix exponential (your mail to me)[edit]

Hi Oleg -

thanks for your mail! Nice to see, that some work was noticed by someone...

Well, I won't argue for the layout of articles, I think wikipedia is a great deal and good enough as it is. But... a little bit it stitches me with the relocation of the pascal-matrix... You see, it has the character of a introducing-card (would you say so in english?), more than an "important" property. In a list of important properties I think it is not needed for an encyclopedia. It has more the character of a gimmick, pleasant, amazing, and with a styleful shortness and understatement I think the best place would be in fact at the introduction, saying "hello,look here"... and then proceed to the more general and important things.

Positioned at this place I'd rather feel to retract it, but, well, I'll try to get used to it next days ;-)

And generally: it is nice to get welcomed in the way of your mail. Thanks again!

Gotti --Gotti 18:49, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Hi Gotti,
my name is Meni and I am about as new to Wikipedia as you, but I do however have several hints amd suggestions for you.
First, note that users other than the owner of a talk page (in this case, Oleg) may reply to your questions (which is exactly what I am doing right now), so it is useful to add links to the article you're discussing and the topic in discussion. This way anyone can quickly understand what you are talking about. Links are basically created by enclosing an article name with [[double brackets]]. There are some other tricks to it, but this will do.
You don't have to worry whether your work will be noticed or not. Hard-core mathematical Wikipedians such as Oleg closely monitor pretty much every mathematical article in Wikipedia, and administrators (again, such as Oleg) always welcome newcomers warmheartedly when they encounter one.
Be sure to add important articles to your watchlist and check it once in a while. This way you can know about any changes, possibly comments about your contributions. Also, if you'd like, you can add some information about yourself in your user page, so that everyone will know who you are.
About the location of the matrix exponential identity, I think your notion of an introduction should be the other way around. The introduction is where the most important information about a topic is located, pretty much those things that everyone must know. Specific properties, curiosities and "gimmicks" should be farther down, in approporiate sections or in a section of their own.
And I don't think the phrase "introducing card" is widely used. I'd go for "introductory fact".
I hope I have been helpful.
--Meni Rosenfeld 19:47, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Well -

thanks for your input! After considering a bit, I still think, that a property like that, put up into a simple,single point, would be appropriate at the introduction. But - according to the wikipedia rules about original work I come tending to the opinion, it would be better to retract and to try to get it into the printed version first and make it common this way.


Styling an encyclopedia is not so easy, I learn by this ...

Gotti --Gotti 20:29, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Ahh - Meni and Oleg, also I had to say thanks for your hints; I'll try to follow them.
And I just put some things together to introduce myself a bit Druseltal2005 - Gottfried Helms

--Gotti 22:58, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

That's nice, I've been drinking all day, and when I am back, I don't even need to answer questions, things are taken care for me. :)
I would agree with Meni, it is good if the introduction is a short elementary description of things to come (see also the math style manual). After that, it is good to have a section on motivation. Your example might work there, but I would think that it is more like a curiousity, and it might confuse people the first thing in the article (or in the first section). So, I would still think it is good if it went a bit below, but that is all subjective. Decide for yourself. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:26, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Temporarily freezing a page[edit]

Hi Oleg --

If I wanted to temporarily freeze a page so that I can do some tedious notation replacements without worrying about other people making changes in the meantime, how do I arrange to get the freeze put in place? And how long does a temporary freeze usually last? FYI, the page is Discrete Fourier transform, and there is a general consensus behind some simple notation substitutions. Please let me know. Thanks.

-- Metacomet 02:12, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Try to put the {{inuse}} template on the page. That should work (do a preview first) see how it looks. And as you guessed, it is good if you don't keep that for too long. An hour, maybe two, should be fine, but not till New Year 2006. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:22, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Regarding changes to Leibniz and Topology pages[edit]

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I appreciate your suggestion and will follow it. As you might have noticed, I am just beginning to learn the etiquette necessary for being a proper "comensal" in this place. Can I ask you for a favor? Do you know how to add hit counters to articles? We want to add one to the Leibniz page.

Best Regards

Dr. Gabriel Gojon 17:06, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't know about hit counters. I never head of them, and I don't know if people like those. But you could try asking that question at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) where a lot of knowledgeable people hang around. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:52, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Hit counters were enabled quite some time ago, but the technical people found that updating them caused too much strain on the servers, so they disabled them. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:56, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Specific links[edit]

Hello, Oleg

Thanks for your help in the past, but I am still learning about Wiki.

Right now I am writing an article about the magnetosphere of Earth. It will be very long and maybe I will divide it into "Magnetosphere' and "Magnetospheric physics." I am not sure.

With a long article, the question of references arises. You do not want to send all users to the beginning of the article, if the part you want to point out is deep inside. You do not want the user to start a long search.

Does Wikipedia have anchors, the way HTML does, something like <A name='substorm'>  ? If so, how do you place them, and how do you use them in links inside Wikipedia, or for outside users?

    Also, is it OK to indent paragraphs for better appearance, like this one?

Happy New Year

David Stern

Simply use the # charcter to specify a section. for example [[Magnetosphere#History of magnetospheric physics]] will link to this section. I hope this solves your problem.
I guess you shouldn't indent unless necessary. In talk pages, for example, it is customary for each writer to use a different indentation (so I'm using one level of indentation, and if Oleg replies he will probably use 2 levels of indentaion.
--Meni Rosenfeld 19:43, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Meni, that's helpful! That's what I had in mind also. You may also try what you said earlier, <A name='substorm'>. I don't know if it will work, I never tried, but the wikipedia markup language is close enough to HTML that most html constructs work.
About indenting, indeed, I agree with Meni that indenting on the talk page is good indeed, actually recommended. Also agree with Meni that indenting in main article is good if you indent sparingly, only for a very important result let us say. And indenting only once should be enough (meaning, one should not push the text too much to the right in articles). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:52, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
You can make anchors by typing <span id=anchorlabel></span> and link to them by typing [[#anchorlabel]]. See the link in the first cell of the table in Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Participants for a practical example (this is where I learnt the trick). Of course, if you want to link to a specific section, you don't need to make an anchor; just use Meni's technique. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 20:56, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Your edit at Point (geometry)[edit]

Hi. I am not sure I understand your edit at that article. What is an ideal in that context? It cannot be an ideal (ring theory), can it? Anyway, I would really appreciate it if you would revisit that article, and make links to the relevant concepts in your contribution, and maybe making it more clear. Thanks a lot, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:52, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Hello, i was just hoping that someone would approve or correct this definition that i have found on

i'm not sure about it :-) the preceding unsigned comment is by Unixer (talk • contribs)

Well, would you give a link to the article at planetmath? I strongly suspect that information is either not correct or not in the right place. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:12, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

here is the PDF file: the preceding unsigned comment is by Unixer (talk • contribs)

I read that. OK, what you wrote is not right away wrong, but it is not helpful as there is no description of the assumptions involved, what kind of ideals are that, in what ring, etc. Maybe your contribution could be fixed, but would require a careful job by a person who knows all that stuff. The simplest thing to do would be just to remove your contribution, which I will do now. I would suggest that in the future when you contribute you be familiar enough with the topic at hand to know that what you are writing is in the right place and correct. That because it seems that when people complain about Wikipedia, they don't mind so much when information is missing, rather when information is incorrect. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:30, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

more examples in external links[edit]

The reader is not blind, but is trusting, perhaps, and when the "Examples" section ends, they may believe that there are no more resources with examples. Can I add my link inside the examples section since it is all example problems? -Tbsmith

No. External links inside Wikipedia articles are not really encouraged, especially considering that you are doing self-promotion here. So, please write your external link as modestly as possible, and in the external links section. And make sure it is well-formatted and gives the appearance of a relevant link. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:45, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

not relevant[edit]

Do you really think all those examples aren't relevant to path integration? How so? I don't understand how it's not relevant.

Yes it's self promotion, but so what? The link is extremely useful to anyone in graduate school that's learning how to compute these integrals.


Well, if you read carefully what I wrote on your talk page, external links are fine, as long as they are in the right section, called ==External links==, they are relevant, are written such that they appear to look relevant, and one follows the accepted Wikipedia style practices. Does not clarify things a bit? :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:15, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Matthew Vassar user vandalism[edit]

I appreciate the objectivity of your edit, but take a look at the history of that entry and the IPs editing it. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with a user who does this ? -- TrinityC 21:05, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

OK, vandals are eventually blocked. I guess the standard procedure is to give repeated warnings on the vandal talk page, to ask the person to stop. One may the {{test1}}, {{test2}} all the way to {{test5}} for that. If there is enough evidence that the user is not willing to smart up, and there is a lot of recent vandalism, the user is blocked. With that particular user, I guess one may want to wait a bit, the vandalism is bad, but not a lot.
By the way, you can also report vandalism at Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress, usually there is good response there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:19, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Question about wikipedia[edit]

Hi Oleg. Do you know offhand if there's a way for me to modify my username? I originally signed up with this one, which is an alias, but in retrospect I would rather use my real name. Thanks. --Adfgvx 00:17, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Changing username. But you could as well make a new account, and redirect the old one to the new one, since you have few edits. I did that with my old account, User:Olegalexandrov. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:19, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi Oleg. I've edited probability current and revised the introduction (although inadvertantly under my old name still...) I removed the link from probability density to probability amplitude because these are two fundamentally different (though related) things which are often confused. I think it would be great if someone would create an entry dedicated exclusively to probability density (not just as it relates to quantum mechanics). As I've said on the discussion page for probability amplitude, I think the probability amplitude entry is redundant and should just point to wavefunction (which is the same thing). --Joshua Barr 00:48, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for your work! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:23, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Seasons greetings to you too[edit]

I was excited when the yellow bar appeared atop my page, thinking perhaps it was a late "Merry Christmas" or an early "Happy New year" — only to discover it was a boring heading "fix". Oh well I guess I should be thankful (even tho it isn't Thanksgiving) for whatever care is shown for my talk page. And since I'm here, happy whatever holidays a heathen like you celebrates ;-) Paul August 16:21, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Sorry Paul, I just could not resist seeing a misformatted page. (Of course, how you will react to the yellow bar was the last thing on my mind!) :) But if you used that an occasion to congratulate me with the holidays, well, maybe that fix was not in vain! Thank you for your wishes, I will pass them on to a certain somebody, and I wish you also all the best in the year ahead, Julius Caesar and all that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:52, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Wait now... a heathen? Who said that? And if the New Year is not my primary holiday, so what of that? So that you know, I am no heathen at no time! My primary great great holiday is Jimbo's birthday and don't even think even for a moment of questioning that! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:57, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Idefinitely Blocked?[edit]

Thanks for unblocking me. Any clue why I was Indefinitely Blocked by "" Agerard 17:13, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

I really don't know what all that is about. I did not block or unblock anybody recently, and I don't see any blocks applied to you at any time. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:59, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh I see, you are talking about this and then this. That was not really a block, just a vandal slapped an inappopriate text on your user page. You could have just deleted yourself if you saw it before others. A block is when you can't edit, from what I know. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:00, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the help man. I'm slowly working my way around wikipedia. Appreciate the help. Agerard 18:03, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi Rick. You have been doing good work and you did talk at talk:mathematics as I asked you.

As such, I have no right to ask you to slow down when you make huge changes to math article, it is your right as editor, and I may do the same.

So let me put it as a favor. You basically rewrote function (mathematics) and did a huge change at polynomial. OK, you can do that. However, if I were you, and knowing that a lot of other people watch those articles, and that a lot of work went into that before you, so if I were you, I would be slower and more cautioous.

The reason is the following. It will take me a lot of time now to go through all the changes you made at polynomial, and see what I like, what I don't. I had a vision for that article, I knew it very well, and now it is all changed.

OK, I don't know how to say it. Let me try that way. There is no rush. You could have changed just a paragraph or two today, waited for comments, inquired on the talk page. Again, you don't have to do that, this is not the mathematics article, but again, it is easier on others that way.

It is not the end of the world, you could write a bit today , a bit tomorrow, etc. This is the strategy I employ, and very suscessfully. So think of it as a piece of advice, no more.

You can reply here if you have comments. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:05, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I had already replied on your talk page before your advice to reply here sank in. My impression is that it is more wiki to reply on the other person's talk page. Yes? No? Rick Norwood 14:55, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I explained my goal, in the polynomials article and also in the rational function article, more than a week ago, and waited for comments. As you suggest, I will not change the names of the articles. However, there really is a difference between an expression, and equation, and a function. I've been working through the math articles trying to make that difference clear, but each change necessitates other changes. First, I had to work on the article on mathematical expressions. Then on the article on equations. Then on functions. Then on polynomials. Everything I do I do carefully, writing, rewriting, proofing (and, of course, no matter how careful I am, errors slip through).
That said, I'll try to slow down. I'll await your and other comments and corrections to what I've done so far before I go on to the rational expressions article.
By the way, I seem to almost alone over on the History of Mathematics article. It was in dreadful shape. I'm trying to do two or three short sections a week, as time permits. Help would be appreciated.
Of course, the fact that classes aren't in session helps. On the other hand, I'm also writing a textbook, publishing a monthly magazine, writing a twice-a-month column for sfsite, and going on a trip to Las Vegas, so it is not as if Wikipedia was the only thing I spend time on.
Thanks for your help and advice. Rick Norwood 14:51, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know about rules to whether to reply on your own page, where the text was originally posted, or to reply on other person's page. I prefer the former, as it keeps the conversation in one place.
No, I did not get the impression at talk:polynomial and talk:rational function that "beware, big rewrites to many articles are to come!".
You did a very good job at polynomial (don't worry about a bug or two, yes, they are unavoidable even with the preview button).
So I am just bugging you for no good reason. Often times an edit has to be big, as you said, as some things just fit together. And also, talking things in advance on the talk page may be too much to ask in all circumstances. But again, I meant it as a advice, and to reiterate it, is as follows: if you think a big change can be split in several small changes to be done over a longer time span, and if you feel that your edit might generate discussion/attention, just some caution could be in order, not because you have to, but because you choose to, to make sure you and other editors are all on the same wavelength, working together rather than arguing, with the common goal of making the articles better. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:03, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I would like to echo Oleg's comments above. In particular I would like to discuss somewhere my concerns about the rewrite of function (mathematics) (my comment at talk:function (mathematics) has generated no response.) The problem as I see is that while I like a lot of what Rick has done there, I think the article is now too didactic, that it reads more like a high school text book than an encyclopedia article. As this is a question of proper encyclopedic style, I would like to work this out before Rick replicates this style elsewhere. Paul August 17:09, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree strongly with Paul here. I liked the old intro paragraph better, where it summarized the article in three sentences before getting into particulars. The new intro paragraph does read like a grade/high-school text, and that does turn me off in a big way. I suppose this should go to talk:function (mathematics), I'll repost there. linas 05:56, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Acharya S[edit]

Could you protect Acharya S? There is a guy editing it from a number of IPs, getting himself into worse and worse trouble because he has lost his cool while under a short 3RR ban. He is emailing me, but seems too obsessed to stop. Charles Matthews 19:31, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't know the details, but from the page history I see at least 6 reverts in the last 12 hours, so for that reason I put a temporary protection. I listed the page at at Wikipedia:Protected_page#Full_protection. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:49, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

My thanks. Hope you are having a good New Year's Eve. Charles Matthews 19:55, 31 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi. About "Christianity is a dying fad", I have never said anything of the sort. This is one voter who it's useless to argue against so I did not wish to respond to him/her. I work on Christianity and Islam articles a lot aside from the other articles I edit and also revert vandalism and POV on those articles. So it really isn't useful for me to argue with someone who just took one look at one of my contribs and made a conclusion. Maybe this helps to understand the situation. :) Thanks Oleg. --a.n.o.n.y.m t 23:58, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I did not said you said that. :) Actually, I asked for evidence. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:00, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay then. Thank you for doing that. :) --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Anonym, just a suggestion. It is not a good idea to delete text from other talk pages or even your talk page. If the talk page gets too big, you can just archive it. I believe that's the best. Thanks. You can reply here if you have comments. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh sorry Oleg, I just felt that since maybe I said the wrong thing before that it's would be useless to keep it there. But every user has different opinion on the issue. Thanks --a.n.o.n.y.m t 00:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Nothing to be sorry for. :) I just feel uneasy when people delete stuff from my talk page, be it even their own comments. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
You are quite mistaken, any user can delete comments on their talkpage at any time without reason. Misstress Selina Kyle's allegation that AE called Christianity a dying fad is not directly shown on the diff. If you look on the left Scorpionman made the allegation and said he saw it in the Islam page archives. As to whether or not it's there...I don't know —Preceding unsigned comment added by Freestylefrappe (talkcontribs)
I wrote on anonym's RfA page a comment saying that it is not a good idea for people to delete right away comments they don't like from their talk page. That's my own personal view. So, I am mistaken about what?
Yeah, I asked Misstress Selina Kyle for evidence, I thought that was clear enough from what I wrote there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Happy New Year[edit]

Oleg the Great rings in the New Year

All the best for 2006. Paul August 06:27, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! All the best to you too, August Paul, Ceasar of the lands northwest of Cape Cod and all the great Atlantic sea! (Be that 2006 AD or 2006 BC, I don't know which one you are more comfortable with :)
Oleg the Great needs to dig up his rusted sword and go make justice to the Republic of Moldova page, from where you stole this picture and which is now protected for fighting edit wars. It never ceases to amaze me by how many passions are inflated around such a small country, with 2/3 of Massachusetts population. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 07:08, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Ed Poor[edit]

Gateman1997, your decision to start an RfA for Ed Poor without asking him first, and without posting it on the main RfA page, was not a good idea I believe. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:14, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately I disagree. First the RFA was started pending Ed Poor's approval per the RFA process. Secondly, RFAs aren't to be posted on the main page UNTIL the user has accepted. This RFA was done exactly according to policy. The people who have acted inappropriately are the users who have voted on his RFA before he accepted.Gateman1997 01:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Hi Oleg - your input on the scalar (physics) talk page would be welcome. I am having a discussion with another editor and the more opinions the better. PAR 16:57, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


Thank you Mathbot for adding my edit summary use. ;) --a.n.o.n.y.m t 04:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot and rfa[edit]

I think it should add edit summary stats after prior comments, if any. In one of the rfas, it has added the stats before a pre-existing comment by me - it makes reading the page difficult. Or you may want to create a separate sub-section? btw, does it look at edit summary usage in Template space? If not, it may be a good idea to say that it looks at edit summaries in the article namespace. Also, you may want it to generate a table (a 2X2 matrix) to show edit summary usage for major and minor edits on one axis and for Article and other namespaces on the other axes generating four boxes. Also, implicit assumption is that the user would have made 500 edits to article namespace. Pl. feel free to disregard ;) any of these suggestions. --Gurubrahma 09:42, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

That's a lot of things. OK, first mathbot adds the usage right after the Comment heading because it is easier to parse text that way, and is good that mathbot's message is always in the same place. I don't see how putting mathbot's comment first (one or two lines) would make the page less readable. For now, I don't know about a separate subsection, I doubt it is worth the trouble.
Yes, the bot does look in the template namespace, the message states that it ignores just talk pages, wikipedia, image, and user namespaces. About making a table with edits to all other namespaces, I don't know how useful is that, I don't think people care much if somebody does not consistently use edit summaries when votign for deletion for example. Anwyay, I will post this at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship and wait for comments. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:00, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I´m sorry, mainly i just done little and quick modif and i forgot to put summary >.<.
PS: i din´t know of which article youb are talking about, but i forgot often time.
As a courtesy for other editors, it is a Wikipedia guideline to sign your talk page and user talk page posts. To do so simply add four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comments and your user name or IP address and the date will be automatically added along with a timestamp. Signing your comments helps people to find out who said something and provides them with a link to your user/talk page (for further discussion). For further info read Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. Thank you.

I don't know myself which article I am talking about. :) But there was one I guess. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:32, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
On a second look, it appears that you almost never put edit summaries, too bad. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:33, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Weak solutions[edit]

Thanks for starting the article on weak solutions. I edited it slightly to indicate that there are other definitions of weak solution besides the distributional one. Also I added Evans' book as a reference, but he doesn't talk about n-th order equations so the article needs a reference for that material (Hörmander?). Brian Tvedt 02:49, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

That's such a weak way of thanking somebody. :) Let me give you though a strong you are welcome. :) I mostly wrote that stuff out of my own head, I tried to look for references with Google books but was not very lucky (not that I tried really hard). Thank you for working on that article. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I think you did a good job. The omission of references is just something I'm sensitive to lately. At some point I might want to start a project to track them down for some of our older articles. Brian Tvedt 23:43, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Root-finding algorithm[edit]

Hi Oleg.

I made a minor change to root-finding algorithm and you reverted it. Thank you for your interest. It is of cause not very important whether a free variable is called x or p. If there is only one free variable, x is the conventional choice. If there are four free variables, p q r s seems natural. We need four variables, but not five, so p q r s is sufficient and x is unnecessary. Happy new year to you and thanks for our fine discussions. Bo Jacoby 07:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is the edit in question. I don't understand why one should change variables in the middle of the paragraph with no reasons given. If you start with x, you go with x. It is the next paragraph which says: initialize four variables, p, q, r, s. Thus, if you switch to p several lines before that, where it should be x, and then you say below "initialize p", I believe that is confusing. Did I understand it right? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:52, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Somewhere I must change from one variable x to four variables p,q,r,s. When I claim that the two observations are the clue to the method, then I had better let the formulas of the observations look like the formulas of the method as closely as possible. The method uses no x. That's why. I'm sure you understand it right. You are the reader - if it is confusing to you, then it is confusing. Perhaps I must be more explicite:

If (q,r,s) \approx (Q,R,S), then the substitution \ (:=) approximates (\approx)

\ p:=p-\frac{f(p)}{(p-q)(p-r)(p-s)}\approx p-\frac{f(p)}{(p-Q)(p-R)(p-S)}=P , and if  p \approx P , then the substitution \ p:=p-\frac{f(p)}{(p-q)(p-r)(p-s)}\approx P-\frac{f(P)}{(P-q)(P-r)(P-s)}=P

In both cases the new value of the variable p will approximate the root P:

\ p :\approx P

Am I clear ?

Bo Jacoby 13:47, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I see. I think you are right, I got that after I reworded the text. By the way, do you have a source for it? Does it always converge? It looks to me that it uses a fixed point iteration, which means that it is much slower than Newton's method. But your method might be superior if it always converges to the four roots of the polynomial. Wonder what you think. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:18, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
See Talk:Root-finding algorithm. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 17:13, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean by fixed point iteration, or why it must be much slower than Newton's method. For pencil-and-paper computation with 2 decimals of a real root to an equation of degree max 3, I prefer Newton's method. Even if Newton himself, of cause, didn't use neither complex numbers nor PC nor pocket calculator, his method can be programmed to use complex numbers and find one of the roots of a polynomial, but which one depend on the initial guess, which is not desirable. So for the PC I prefer the present method which finds all the roots reliably. Alas I know of no nice geometrical explanation like the well-known drawing of the intersection between a tangent to the curve, and the x-axis. The lack of pictures makes complex numbers hard to grasp for many people. Bo Jacoby 09:02, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

continued at Talk:Root-finding algorithm. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:12, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Please comment on the current Math Collaboration of the Week[edit]

Hello Oleg - since you listed statistics as an interest in your user talk, I was hoping you could lend your expertise to the current Mathematics Collaboration of the Week: Multiple Comparisons. Obviously it's a interesting and important topic. We are also in the midst of a discussion as to the distinction between multiple comparisons and multiple testing. Your thoughts would be much appreciated. Let's get a math article up on the front page! Thanks for any help. Debivort 10:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

La Multi Ani Oleg![edit]

Sa ai un an bun. De la Bonaparte talk 17:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Edit summary[edit]

I was wondering if you could do me a favor and find my edit summary usage using Mathbot. If you're too busy, just forget about it. Thanks. Gflores Talk 01:10, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The bot is running hourly. The next update will be in one minute. :) I will now switch my bot to running every 15 minutes (this will be no bigger performance on the server, as it will just wake up to see what's new, and go back to bed if nothing it to be done). Gosh, people got addicted to that edit summary usage. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:12, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh wait, you are not on the RfA list. OK, got your request now. Here we are:

Edit summary usage: 79% for major edits and 81% for minor edits. Based on the last 150 major and and 150 minor edits outside the Wikipedia, User, Image, and all Talk namespaces.

Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Cool, thanks! Gflores Talk 01:23, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Redirect on Mathbot[edit]

I have redirected Mathbot's talk page to this page as that is how the bot's user page requests feedback/talk be given. --Nick Catalano (Talk) 07:57, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I believe that will be confusing, as people will not understand what mathbot and me have in common. For that reason, I redirected the talk page to the User:mathbot page, where people can read about who his boss is, and if necessary, contact me. So, there is one more click that way, but things are more clear. :)
I will now undo your change, but if you give other arguments, I will think about it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 08:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I was more confused because when I would press "discussion" it was sending me to the page I just came from... I found that insanely annoying... At the very least remove the redirect and give some sort of written clue about what to do to leave a comment --Nick Catalano (Talk) 09:01, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, I undid the redirect altogether, see if you like it. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:08, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for edit summary usage[edit]

Salut Oleg, poti sa-mi spui si mie procentajul cu MathBOt? Bonaparte talk 12:52, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Here we are:

Edit summary usage: 54% for major edits and 8% for minor edits. Based on the last 150 major and and 86 minor edits outside the Wikipedia, User, Image, and all Talk namespaces.

Plenty to improve on. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:08, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Mersi. Asa zici? Ce importanta are? e drept ca eu nu prea obisnuiesc sa scriu nimic acolo. Bonaparte talk 21:47, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
The edit summary is very important. It documents what you changed in article. And as you see at the requests for administrator page, plenty of people pay good attention to that factor (admittedly, nobody is obsessed about it, as I am :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

On reverting[edit]

You may find the debate at WP:VPT#Rollback_text_changed of interest. My experience is that a significant number of admins do, on rare occasions, use rollback on non-vandalism edits. I've never seen any action be taken. It is the appropriateness of the edit rather than the button used to make it which is regarded as the important issue. David | Talk 19:01, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

That some other people also use the rollback button for non-vandalism is a lame excuse. You used the rollback button against a good-faith edit by a fellow Wikipedia editor; that is not acceptable. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:06, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

cp index[edit]

thanks, I just tossed this stuff up from memory as practice review for a stats exam. I tend to only add to Wikipedia now and then, in a pretty random fashion. I appreciate you folks who keep it cleaned up to spec, I try not to leave things too ugly. Phil 05:47, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


In your opposition to my candidacy for ArbCom, you wrote "I belive Kelly did a very good job as an arbitrator so far, but her behavior on the infoboxes debacle and subsequenent comments on her talk page were not appropriate for somebody wielding so much power on Wikipedia." Could you identify what behaviour or comments lead you to that conclusion? And just how much power do you think I wield on Wikipedia, and how do you think that my not being on ArbCom will decrease that (from my standpoint, if anything, it'll increase it). Kelly Martin (talk) 20:07, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Kelly. Thank you for your inquiry. The behavior in question I was not happy with is documented in the section Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Kelly_Martin#The_actions_in_question. In my opinion mass deletion of the templates without community consultation was inappropriate. And I don't quite see how all of those templates qualify under criteria for speedy deletion.
About comments on your talk page, I mean User_talk:Kelly_Martin#Chat_transcript. Also that section, I don't see why User:Mistress Selina Kyle deserved to be blocked (I do know she is a problem user in general). I don't think her comments fit into Wikipedia:No personal attacks#Examples, a page which recommends a rightaway block only for extreme/repeated personal attacks. I don't consider the warning on the top of your talk page about blocking for personal attacks appropritate, and your referal to it as a reason for the block either.
About your power. The job of an arbitrator seems to me the most powerful job on Wikipedia (yeah, there are bureaucrats, but they mostly promote admins; there are stewards and the Wikipedia board but what they do is not so visible to the regular user; and there is Jimbo, but he seems to have less and less time to interfere in day-to-day operations of Wikipedia). Anyway, the higher a person is, the more I believe they should lead through community consensus rather than single-handed actions; regardless of whether they turn out to be in the right or not at the end.
In all, these are the opinions of a user who definitely has much less experience than you on Wikipedia, but you asked for clarification, so here you are. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:13, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I never tried to justify those deletions under the criteria for speedy deletion, which I don't believe are exhaustive anyway. They were deleted for violating our policies about civility or about the use of unlicensed media, or for contravening our fundamental goal of writing an unbiased, neutral encyclopedia -- specifically by trying to turn Wikipedia into a soapbox and/or into a forum for free speech.
As to that chat transcript: those comments were taken out of context and were posted in contravention to the rules related to the IRC channel. I freely admit that I use the IRC channel as a place to blow steam, and what was posted there was something that was deliberately edited to appear far worse than it reasonably should have been. I'm naturally a very sarcastic person; I try to avoid it on the Wikipedia, and one of the channels I use as a release for that tendency is the IRC channel.
I implemented the policy on my talk page after having a string of people using my talk page as a place to attack other people. My talk page is already a very busy place and I don't need forest fires being ignited there. The policy I implemented is not that much of a stretch, and it has cut down on the personal attacks. Note also that it only applies to attacking other people; I won't block for attacks on myself (although there are other admins who will block people who attack me on my talk page; I have good friends in high places -- which itself should give you pause for consideration). Mistress Selina Kyle was blocked for attacking Ambi. Frankly, I probably would not have blocked someone else, but she had been blocked previously for personal attacks before my block (by ZScout370 on January 1st), so she was already on warning for personal attacks; I feel my block of her was well within my perogatives as an administrator when dealing with a repeat offender. (Were you aware that she was a repeat offender? I was.)
Arbitrators actually have less power than most editors; while it is true that we have the power to ban people and otherwise impose sanctions, that power is only available in combination. One Arbitrator acting alone actually has less power than a regular admin, because of the limitations imposed on the Arbitrator by the obligations of the office. Wikipedia's power structure is really very flat. (Of course, Arbitrators often have a great deal of influence, but that is the case whether or not they're Arbitrators; the role is a recognition of their capability, rather than the other way around.) I submit that your inexperience with Wikipedia is causing you to view things inappropriately and make incorrect conclusions as a result. For example, one of the roles of the Arbitration Committee is to lead the community in situations where it lacks a consensus but needs to act anyway. Jimbo certainly doesn't wait for a consensus before acting, at least not all the time. We act with consensus when we can, but boldly when we have to, in order to get the job done.
Anyway, I ask you to reconsider your decisions in light of the foregoing. If I can help you in any way to resolve your confusions about Wikipedia and how it operates, please feel free to ask me further questions. Your humble servant, Kelly Martin (talk) 22:57, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't find your above message to be appropriate, Kelly. That in spite of you being here a boatload longer than me and knowing all the things in great detail. And no, I won't explain why, you should be smart enough to figure it out by yourself. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way, and I do find that I am perplexed by your last comment (I did not realize that attempting to discuss an issue with another Wikipedia would be "inappropriate"). However, if you do not wish to discuss the matter, that's your call. Please don't ever accuse me of not trying. Kelly Martin (talk) 23:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot edit summary calculations[edit]

When Mathbot is calculating edit summary information that is being posted on RfA's does it count automatic edit summaries from section texts as being an edit with a summary or without, assuming nothing else is added between the /*'s ? xaosflux Talk/CVU 03:17, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot ignores anything between the /* and */ whether it is changed or not. that because the text in question is most of the time the default summary, indicating which section was editing, and the editor is supposed to be more specific than that. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:20, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Bots & Computers[edit]

Well, yes... but I'm also in the process of looking for employment too. --AllyUnion (talk) 05:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

That's a better explanation. :) Otherwise, Mighty AllyUnion having computer problems just doesn't cut it. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:12, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


i was taught an isomorphism is a 1:1 and onto mapping at uc berkeley. you say it's not. thanks for your insight and deletions. i'll have to do some research and get back to you. thanks The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bryanmcdonald (talk • contribs) .

Well, at uc los angeles we disagree. :) An isomorphism is more than just a one-to-one and invertible map. Also, isomorphism already had good examples of isomorphism, just several paragraphs below the text you wrote in and I undid. But we can talk more on that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

From a category theory point of view, an isomorphism is any "invertible" morphism. That is a morphism f from A to B is an isomorphism provided that there exists a morphism g from B to A such that g o f = idA and f o g = idB. So what an isomorphism is depends on what category you are in. In the category of sets and functions (SET) the isomorphisms are the bijections (1:1 and onto). In the category of topological spaces and continuous functions (Top) they are the homeomorphisms. In any concrete category where the morphisms are functions, then every isomorphism will be bijective. The converse "that every bijective morphism is an isomorphism" is true for some other categories besides SET, for example the category of vector spaces and linear transformations, and the category of groups and group homomorphisms, but is not true, for example, in TOP. Paul August 19:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I am aware of that. :) However, I doubt that the user above meant this. :) I believe the user thought an isomorphism is one and the same with an invertible map, regardless of there is any structure involved or not.
A more to-the-point disucssion would be the actual contribution of this user at isomorphism, whether it was apppropriate or not (see its history). 20:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok I've now looked at isomorphism and Bryanmcdonald's edit, and it was certainly appropriate to revert that edit. However I wanted Bryan to understand that, in the context of "sets", what he said about bijections being isomophisms was correct, while in other contexts, it was not. (I figured you understood all this already). By the way, I think that that article needs to be rewritten, particularly the formal definition. Paul August 23:20, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Enjoy the rewrite. :) That's the favor you owe me for my hard work at function (mathematics) the other day. (Evern Rick thanked me :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Motivation for complex numbers[edit]

I've just seen that you rv-ed my motivation sentence from the intro at Complex number. So I picked up the glove :-D and started a discussion at Talk:Complex number. If you have the time I'm sure that your opinion will be helpful AdamSmithee 08:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

LaTeX formulas which become PNG images[edit]

... in the same line as text (now a discussion on whether Unicode characters should be specified in the HTML by use of character references or without character references)

Hi Oleg, you left a note on my talk page on December 23rd which I've only just noticed. Thanks for the info, I had been planning to do more research into the Wiki policies.

But you reverted a change I made to the Cardinal number article. Now, the aleph symbols appear as squares just like any other unrecognized non-ASCII character. The problem is that the current representation is not actually HTML.

Here are a number of different aleph representations I have found on wikipedia:

  • א This is HTML and it works for me. I entered &#1488;
  • א This is not HTML and it works for me, but I would avoid using it.
  • \aleph This is MathML (It's just been pointed out to me that it's not MathML. I think it's Tex. Anyway, the browser often sees it as PNG. See below. Sorry about that.) and it works for me, but it does look a little out of place due to it's size.
  • ℵ This is not HTML. I copied it from the current version of Cardinal_number, therefore I can't be sure I've copied and pasted it successfully. Do you see an aleph at the start of this line?

I recommend &#1488; It's HTML and it works on the standard Windows XP + Internet Explorer computer I'm using no. I'll test these on my home Computer (Linux + Firefox) later tonight.

To write HTML, even when representing funny characters like aleph and infinity, you should use only ASCII characters (i.e. standard US/British English letters and punctuation). You should not simply copy and paste the symbol from an article into the Edit box. This means &infin; for ∞ (infinity) and &#1488; for א (aleph).

Thanks for your time. I hope the above makes sense. Aaron McDaid 11:04, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Aaron. I hope you don't mind my butting in. Why do you say that non-ASCII characters can't be used in HTML? At least on Wikipedia, it is common to use non-ASCII characters: if you edit a page, you will see a bar under the text box which reads
Insert: Á á É é Í í Ó ó Ú ú …
and clicking on a letter inserts a non-ASCII character. There are even people that actively replace numeric character references by non-ASCII characters, see User:Curpsbot-unicodify. I found some more background in Character encodings in HTML.
In your list of representations, the first and second one should be rendered the same by the browser. The third one is not MathML, but an image in PNG format showing the alef as rendered by TeX. The fourth one is the same as ℵ (&#8501;) and looks very similar to &#1488; on my setup. I'm not sure why there are two different symbols, but &#1488; is called "Hebrew letter alef" and &#8501; is called "alef symbol". I guess the first one should be used when writing Hebrew and the second one when writing maths.
Cheers, Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The Insert characters you mention don't work fully for me. The first few lines are fine, including the letters you listed above, but the last 100 or so do not work, instead they are squares.
I'm fairly sure that HTML is specified such that only US-ASCII characters should be used and that all other characters, including Á, should be specified with the ampersands. The Math_style_manual specifies &infin; for infinity, so why should aleph or Á be any different? Unicode support is still incomplete in many browsers (including Internet Explorer) and there's not reason to use Unicode in HTML when ASCII is just as good and more portable. It would be nice to use 'alef symbol' over 'alef letter' but I suspect that only the latter works well in most browsers.
User:Curpsbot-unicodify should be stopped. Unicode support is incomplete. There is no reason to break ASCII HTML. Aaron McDaid 12:26, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The HTML 4.0 standard says
"The ASCII character set is not sufficient for a global information system such as the Web, so HTML uses the much more complete character set called the Universal Character Set (UCS), defined in [ISO10646]."
"Authoring tools (e.g., text editors) may encode HTML documents in the character encoding of their choice."
I don't know how complete Unicode support is in Internet Explorer, but I do know that Unicode is used widely on Wikipedia. If you want to change that, I suggest you raise this on Wikipedia:Village pump (technical). -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:25, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the Village pump link. You mention HTML 4.0. Only HTML 4.0 specifies Unicode. Earlier versions (most websites are still written in HTML version 3) would specify plain old ASCII. All browsers have problems and rarely correctly implement what they are supposed to implement, so we should aim for the lowest common denominator where practical. Breaking Internet Explorer (the most popular browser) should not be an option. You rightly point out that Unicode is used quite a lot in Wikipedia, but it is often used with spoken/written languages (not maths symbols) and it may be fair to assume that somebody reading the Hebrew Wikipedia will have made sure to configure their computer to view the Hebrew Unicode letters. But mathematical symbols will be the same in every language, and users will not have gone to any effort to set their browser up for Unicode, meaning that many users will not be able to make any sense of the formulae on Wikipedia.
I'll go to the other pages (Village Pump, Style manuals et cetera) and get back to you guys later. Thanks for you time. Aaron McDaid 15:31, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
The Math_style_manual points to Wikipedia:Mathematical_symbols. That second page specifies that we use the &x9999; style for all symbols, including Greek letters and general Unicode letters, including aleph. This means aleph (א) should be entered as &#x05d0; (which is just the same as &#1488;).
It could be argued that we use #8501 instead of #1488, but whichever is used, it should be ented with the by "&" method. Aaron McDaid 16:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
So, is there a browser which displays &#1488; correctly but does not display the Unicode character? Apparently, both work on your browser. The advantage of using Unicode is that, when you edit the page, you do not get a meaningless number. I concede that you have a point distinguishing between languages like Hebrew and mathematical symbols. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 18:05, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
There isn't. I've been getting mixed up. On Internet Explorer 1488 does work no matter how it's entered, and 8501 does not work, no matter how it's entered. I had been arguing that I "preferred" the & method but that's not really important. The & method does seem to be in keeping with the style manual, but it doesn't affect what appears on my browsers. So I agree with you on that. It seems that \aleph is the only one that'll work on both browsers that I use. I like the look of that, even if it does look a bit big (changing your Wikipedia preferences to "HTML if possible, else PNG" will display it like 8501 - i.e. \aleph will look the same as ℵ. ).
Also, I just noticed that my home computer (Firefox running on Linux) displays 8501 no matter how it's entered, and fails on 1488 no matter how it's entered.
But for me personally, I'm happy that Firefox is working with the 8501. So, in summary, I'm happy with the current setup. Thanks for you patience.
Oleg, Jitse, I'd have no objection to this thread or my comments being deleted. I started it but ultimately agreed that I'm happy with the status quo. Aaron McDaid 19:02, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Let us keep this on for posterity. :) Thank you for having such a good discussion here, and Jitse, thank you for doing the work for me. Let us pray that MathML will come and save us sinners. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 20:21, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
OK. In summary there are a number of different ways to specify aleph in wikipedia. Please edit or improve this table. Aaron McDaid 00:00, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Entered into the edit box Example Notes
&#8501; or &#x2135; or ℵ Unicode, it's called called "alef symbol". This particular character may or may not display for you. Aaron finds that it works in Firefox on Linux, but not IE. This is the current preferred method, using the last of the 3 input strings on the left: ℵ . Each of these 3 input strings should give the same result.
&#1488; or &#x05d0; or א א Unicode, it's called "Hebrew letter alef". This particular character may or may not display for you. Aaron finds that it works in IE, but not Firefox on Linux.
<math>\aleph</math> \aleph Tex. More portable because Wikipedia will usually render it as a PNG image (depending on your Wikipedia preferences, it might display one of the above two instead). Will probably look different (larger) from the other examples in this table. It can look out of place amongst the surrounding text.

As the guy who originally changed that article from png to unicode, let me just say that I (and I think everyone) is aware that there are problems with the solution. I agree with Oleg. Let's just hope that unicode and mathml become widespread very soon. -lethe talk 07:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot thing[edit]

Hi. Mathbot has calculated my edit summary usage in Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/JzG but I recently changed my account from User:Just zis Guy, you know? - can you run a count on the other one manually please? - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] RfA! 12:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


I note your comment at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/JzG. Ever one to learn from my mistakes I have now added the "force edit summary" script to my monobook.js and am resolved to mend my unsummarising ways :-) Thanks for the input. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] RfA! 12:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I changed my vote to neutral at your RfA, as I take the above to be a promise that you will be much more careful with the matter. Notice that one may still ignore javascript's prompt for edit summary, so I still count on you more than the software to do a good job. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:13, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks :-) Actually the biggest problem is when I go in to just fix one of my own typos. I forget to mark minor. Bah! - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] RfA! 17:05, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


Salut Oleg,

It means "Tag, you're falling under the shadow of Bonaparte. But I anticipated that."

Cheers. --Node 01:06, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Newton's Method[edit]

I noticed what appears to be a error in the Newton's Method page. As you seem to be the de-facto editor there, if you have some spare time maybe take a look at the discussion page there and see what you think. 02:49, 11 January 2006


Hi Oleg. FYI: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Anittas#More offensive remarks by AnittasHumus sapiens←ну? 07:21, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

"Section-stubs are awful"[edit]

Of course they are; I have no idea why I did that. Perhaps to create incentive for myself to get rid of them by filling them in :-) Fredrik | tc 09:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Good motivation. However, sometimes people write them in and they linger on, with nobody smart enough to fill them. I would then argue that empty sections with only {{sect-stub}} in them must die. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

WP:PNA/M & WP:WPM/CA[edit]

So, first you are strong-arming me to include all articles listed at Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Mathematics in Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity and now I discover that this tin filled with oil and grease is making a bloody mess of that page. I guess that's quite an achievement, but nevertheless, we are not amused.

Seriously, in today's update, the pages Assignment problem and Zariski topology were added and the pages Baire function and Isometries in physics were removed, all for reasons that my poor human brain cannot fathom. What's going on? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 18:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

My bot is innocent! Here is the deal. Baire function has the {{context}} template. But now, the template:context template does not show itself linked from Baire function, see all that links to {context} template.
This is a Wikipedia bug. See, I got this from Wikipedia:Village_pump (technical)/Archive#Template_links (I had posted my issue there a while ago also, but can't find my post).
That is to say, until that bug is fixed, but bot's work on the Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Mathematics page is as good as useless. I did not disable my bot so far hoping that things will get fixed, but they did not, that in two weeks. Any suggestions? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:15, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, that just shows that you should never trust what is written in Wikipedia! I thought that Tim's email meant that the bug is fixed now, but I guess not. A suggestion is to look at Category:Wikipedia articles needing context instead. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 19:40, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I will just have my bot not update that list for a week or two. If that still does not help, I will write some code to search the categories too. But let us hope the bug is indeed temporary. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

new tool[edit]

Hello again. I wrote a new tool that might be even more useful to RFA than my edit counter was (and to some extent pays penance for any editcountitis I might have encouraged). It's a hierarchical view of a user's history:

I'm just announcing it now though, so I don't know how well people will receive it (or how much it overlaps with other tools), but if you think it's particularly useful for RFA, you could add it to (or replace) the link you're posting to my edit counter on the RFA's. And of course if you have any comments/suggestions, I'd like to hear any feedback. --Interiot 20:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Interiot. The new tool looks good, I played with it a bit. I can't judge it it myself though, as I never look into so much detail on people's contributions. I will add a link to it in the RfA's, sometimes later today. That may give people some exposure to it. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, you are the wiki math god. ;) You have an impressive number of edits to an extremely impressive number of core math articles. [1]
Anyhow, it looks like some people at RFA rather like the tool, so it looks like it will be well-received when it shows up in individual RFAs. --Interiot 22:46, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you are of course referring to the prank by my colleague which I hoped nobody noticed. :) OK, I added your tool to my RfA edit summary usage bot. Next time a person will post his/her rfa request, your link will show up. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:27, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course people notice :) Great tool, Interiot. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 00:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Oleg, if your really hoped people would not notice the prank, it wasn't particularly clever of you to put up a link to it. It's a good thing you're the wiki math god, 'cause a secrent agent is one thing you won't be. :-) --Meni Rosenfeld 07:14, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


I know this may be spam, but I'm looking for an answer and I don't yet know how to talk to someone else. Is this a new Pokémon? Scroll down, you'll see it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jenaisis (talkcontribs)

I don't know anything about Pokémon, sorry. I know math though. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Meh, it's okay, I was proved wrong anyway :( from Jenaisis

Alex Bakharev[edit]

Hi Oleg, please forgive my coming by to discuss your vote at Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Alex Bakharev. I just wanted to share with you that while I agree with you that edit summaries are very important, their presence or absence may make a difference between a good and a better editor. But note, that an excellent editor and a good admin, while often found in one and the same person, are actually two rather different things. We all know what a good editor means and there is no need to elaborate.

But good admin is first of all commitment and the highest standards of personal ethics (not to use the tools you are empowered with inappropriately). Alex expressed the highest virtues in both the commitment and personal ethics, especially in view of an exemplary decency of how he handled certain individuals that committed to derail his Adminship and even dared to use sockpuppets for that. Besides, since Alex actually checks all new articles created at wiki (an amazing commitment) the admin tools will come very handy since he is willing to do a cleaning part of admin duties, unlike most of our admins who, usually, just remain regular editors.

There is no doubt that have been pointed out so clearly at this nomination about the summaries, there is no doubt that he will not be forgetting about them anyway after this discussion and votes.

By no means I intend to pressure you and should you choose to keep your vote unchanged, I will not be contacting you with further pressure regarding this issue. --Irpen 01:58, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Edit summaries are important. If Alex does not use edit summaries in article edits, how is he to be trusted to use edit summaries when he deletes pages or blocks people? Edit summaries are a way to be accountable of your actions. You should explain why you do something. Things are not self-obvious. I wonder what you think about it, and if you have any comments. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:05, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

About Modulus....[edit]

(The Marvel character, not the maths thingy.)

Does anyone think it'll come back?


Thanks. WikiThanks.

I would like to express my thanks to all the good people who spent their valuable time time and effort working on my (failed) RfA voting. I agree with your judgement and it is fair abakharev abakharev 13:50, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


Just wanted to say thanks for the corrections. Heraclesprogeny 01:58, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Comment line[edit]

Thanks for the tip. But I would think it a greater problem if it was the habit of some to revert an edit based only upon a superficial look at the comment line (via recent changes or whatever). I would think that reverts were or should be made with more literacy, no? -MagnaMopus 20:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Nobody should revert based on the comment line, in the same way as one should not judge an email only based on the subject line. Does that answer your question? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Categories/list tool?[edit]

I was reffered to you - can you help me with this project? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:27, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, so you want to see what articles are missing from a list, but exist in a category.
You need to go to Talk:List of szlachta (the talk page of your list) and paste there at the top the line:
[ Refresh the above lists]
Save the talk page. Again, it should be the very first item on the talk page.
Then, click on the link. The bot will make some sections. After that, insert the category you want in section C, in your case you will want Category:Polish nobility there. Then save the talk page, and click on the link again (after this the link will move from the top a bit down).
See how it works. Let me know if there are problems. Basically the important thing is pasting the link above (the very first step), then following the instructions you will see on that page. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:56, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Tnx! That's mighty useful. I think there ie is however some issue with unicode Polish characters, and the bot seemed to have crashed around letter L:
Detected new category:Category:Leszczy%C5%84ski
sleep 2
Fetching :
Error! No articles in : !!!
sleep 2
Any ideas how to improve it?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:23, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, my tool has problems with Unicode. I will work on it this weekend. In the meantime, it seems you have plenty of new articles to deal with. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:31, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Yep, this should be enough for a little while :) Btw, the article about Aleksandra Lubomirska that the bot 'broke' on was apparently the 201 article (i.e. the first article on the second page of the category) - this may be somewhat important.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:41, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I fix that now. Actually there were two bugs there, one unicode related and one not. Now works fine.
If you want more categories to be searched, you can move them up from section D to section C. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:43, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I did this. It appears there is still a problem with searching categories with special symbols:
Now we are in category: Category:Cho%142odecki
Error! No articles in !!!
--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:25, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Should be fixed now. Now, when are you going to come once and say "thank you", instead of just mentioning bugs all the time? :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:21, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Redirects. Now you have to go teach your bot to follow redirects *cracks a whip*. ;p Yes, thank you for this wonderful tool :D --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:37, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
[[Image:WikiThanks.png Award]] Thank you for creating and maintaining the mathbot!

Having the bot going after redirects is hard. I don't know how to do that. So far it just looks in categories, no more no less. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot edit summaries for RFAs[edit]

Hello. The edit summaries being left by Mathbot on WP:RFA point to a non-existent section of the talk page:

Add edit summary usage for SVera1NY. This is an experimental feature. Please write your comments at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship#Edit summary usage for RfA candidates?.

--TheParanoidOne 10:37, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

The RfA talkpage got archived in the meantime, so that subject is useless indeed. I will remove it. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:37, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


hi ,The Current opening defenition of Integral is very not scientific and very not Mathematical. Yet ,the need to appeal to layman term's in understandable ,that is why I kept this opening stsement Yet still ,an integral is not a volume etc' ,rather it can be used to calcualte it ,depepnding on the function's meaning. -Procrastinator talk2me 00:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey Oleg ,hope that after this alteration the text constitute a decipherable syntax for your OCR algorithms.

Please rectify if needed at Talk:Integral--Procrastinator@talk2me 16:32, 15 January 2006 (UTC)


What the eff? Why am I not allowed to blank my own user talk page? And don't give me any of that "Oh, you're banned" garbage. I would sincerely appreciate a real answer.


You added an inappropriate link at IRC bot. My message was about that. Yeah, you can blank your talk page, but please stop making bad edits. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:58, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for edit summary[edit]

When editing an article on Wikipedia there is a small field labelled "Edit summary" under the main edit-box. It looks like this:

Edit summary text box

The text written here will appear on the Recent changes page, in the page revision history, on the diff page, and in the watchlists of users who are watching that article. See m:Help:Edit summary for full information on this feature.

When you leave the edit summary blank, some of your edits could be mistaken for vandalism and may be reverted, so please always briefly summarize your edits, especially when you are making subtle but important changes, like changing dates or numbers. Thank you.

Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:50, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

??? --Cool CatTalk|@ 10:09, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
What's so unclear? Admittedly it is a silly template, but the point is clear enough I guess. :) Just use edit summaries more often. :) Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:08, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

My arbcom vote[edit]

Contrary to popular perceptions, I was only in favour of Kelly's intention. I disagreed with her method. Perhaps the reason that I appeared strongly in support of her was that I was in strong opposition to the behaviour against her. Just to note: this isn't asking you to change your vote; I am just keen to avoid any ambiguities or misunderstandings. Cheers, [[Sam Korn]] 12:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Sam. I had read read rather carefully your posts to Kelly's RfC. I had indeed noticed that you tried to see both sides of the matter, which is good of course. What made me wonder though, and what ultimately made me vote "Neutral" for your arbcom candidacy, was this edit of yours. I believe one should not judge an arbcom member based only on arbcom performance. If that person behaves as a poor team player outside of arbcom duties, that's a good sign (for me) to vote against this person for a new arbcom term. That may have been a lame reason to vote neutral for you, of course. :) But thank you for your clarification. I hope with this post I made myself clear also. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:30, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I understand now. I placed that notice because I was concerned at how Kelly, who has been an excellent arbitrator, was being opposed for matters that were entirely unrelated (as I saw it) to her abilities as an arbitrator. My conscience gave me no option but to make this point. [[Sam Korn]] 17:49, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Redirects and subsets[edit]

(Sorry for recent edits, my keyboard is having a disagreement with me)

Hello Oleg,

  • Some users have recently created a redirect from Empirical process to Empirical Process. I think this is inappropriate because:
    • Article names should have only the first word capitalized
    • There shouldn't be redirects to different capitalizations
Am I correct? What should be done about it?
  • The article Shattering uses the symbol \subset in the sense of "(not necessarily proper) subset", instead of \subseteq, justfied by the claim that this is common practice in probabilty theory (to which this article relates). I don't think that's a sufficient justification. What do you think?

Thanks, --Meni Rosenfeld 14:10, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I moved the article to empirical process (lowercase p). About the \subseteq notation, you better ask at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. We may need to make a convention about that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Formal calculation[edit]

Hello Oleg, I have just created an article about formal calculation. It is in a rather bad shape right now due to lack of good sources on it (and due to this being my first significant edit), but I'd be delighted if you check it out as well as the accompanying discussion. --Meni Rosenfeld 16:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Meni. I tried to do some copiediting. Looks like an interesting concept, but I am not proeficient enough to make edits of substance there. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Articles For Deletion[edit]

Hi, a while ago you made some comments about the presence of bible-verse articles, and/or source texts of the bible, and you may therefore be interested in related new discussions:

--Victim of signature fascism | Don't forget to vote in the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee elections 18:18, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Current activity[edit]

As you might have noticed, I change my script updating Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity to ignore your bots contributions to Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Mathematics and look in the categories instead. Comments are welcome. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 21:11, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

How dare you? :)
Well, since you went that far, you could as well replace my bot in listing things at Wikipedia:Pages needing attention/Mathematics, as my own bot is broken, as you know. For now you link from Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity to the categories, but they have huge numbers of nonmathematical articles, so that's not so helpful.
By the way, I noticed your change at Portal:Mathematics/Intro, adding the current number of math articles. I guess your bot will update that number daily. Then maybe it is a good idea to make a standalone template which your bot will update, which would be transcluded in the portal and maybe other places. Then your bot would not need to complicate the history of Portal:Mathematics/Intro. Wonder what you think. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:26, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Both good points. I'm working on the first point, but I probably won't finish it today.
I acted on your second suggestion. What was the situation again about inclusion: will Portal:Mathematics be updated automatically when the page being included (Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Count) is updated? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 22:38, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Right, the inclusion within inclusion thing. I think it will be updated automatically. Otherwise, you may need to "touch" it, as you have been doing in other places. (PS: Do it gently). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
On the first point, you can see a rough draft at Wikipedia:WikiProject Mathematics/Current activity/Lists. Needs to be cleaned up though; explanations should be added etc. Sorry about not cleaning up the mess after me ... I guess I missed that lesson :) ... but it is bed time. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 23:37, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Jitse, looks good and ... clean. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:42, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the input and the help. Cheers, MathStatWoman 13:40, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


  • YOUR BOT IS BROKEN!-- 15:03, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Care be more specific? My bot is doing a lot of things. They can't all be broken at once, can they? Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:59, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

LMS (Least mean squares) adaptive filters[edit]

Hi Oleg, I had a look at the LMS adaptive filter site. This site needs a make over: First, there is no background information on the adaptive filter topic. Second, the update equations are not derived. Third, there are several inconsistencies in the update equations. Last, there are no external references.

I have a bit of time and if nobody else is working on that topic I could give it a try.

Greetings, Oliver Faust

Hi Oliver. I guess you are talking about least mean squares. Oh, you are more than welcome to work on that article, or any other! A good idea is to make an account by the way, which will be more convenient for you, and easier for us to keep in touch with you. Anyway, let me know if there is anything I can help with. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:02, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Template for new admins[edit]

Hi. Thank you for adminning Fropuff, a great user. I have a comment though about the template you used for that, at user talk:Fropuff. I find that choice of colors to be not very attractive, and above all, I find the black banner to be awful (sorry :). I would think one would use a black bar on white surroundings only for obituraries or something like that. In case you don't feel strongly about it, is it possible to change it to something else, say make the banner white or some other light color? :) Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I use the same style for new admins, bcrats, and welcoming users, so I would need to change those, but I don't feel strongly in the least, so I will get around to it. The templates are subst'd, however, so all the uses of them can't be changed, however. — Ilyanep (Talk) 05:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC) colors are blue, white, and orange (as opposed to black, yellow, and white). See User:Ilyanep/AdminIlyanep (Talk) 05:54, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, looks good! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:08, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

RfArbCom re Anittas[edit]

Hi Oleg! I'm thinking of starting an RfArbCom against Anittas for the recent personal attacks he made, which came after the second RfC - see here. Previously, he's also made a number of personal attacks against you, particularly anti-Russian statements. What do you think about this request for arbitration? Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 05:51, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I will study your evidence tomorrow and think about it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Oleg, what's there to think about? Just open the champagne bottle and celebrate! --Anittas 06:11, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Ronline. Yesterday I had to speedy go to bed, and that's the reason I postponed the matter for today. Now, after reading your evidence, and the recent events at User talk:Anittas and WP:AN/I#Displaying another's image on one's user page, and taking into account that there were already two RfC's against Anittas, I believe an RfArb is all we have left on the table. If you start one, I would like to be a party to it.

Anittas, this is not a celebration. Sadly, you never quite learned the rules of polite engagement on Wikipedia, and not for lack of time or lack of attempt from others. I would think that a reasonable solution from the ArbCom would be to request that you be blocked for a certain period each time you commit a personal attack. But we will see if Ronline goes forward with the ArbCom request. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:39, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Oleg. I've talked to Anclation about this issue, and he suggested that I give Anittas a second chance. While he's received numerous chances so far, I think that the fact that he retracted the remarks about Node from his talk page is a step in the right direction. Also, he was banned for 24 hours for the picture of Node, so he has received some form of "punishment". Of course, the issue with calling me and Orioane traitors has not bee resolved. Anyway - I've written a message asking him a last time, very nicely, to reconsider his actions. If he makes any personal attacks from now on, I'm afraid an RfArb must be started. There's really no other way (since mediation wouldn't really be appropriate in this case). Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 07:04, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Edit summary analysis[edit]

Hello, Oleg. We have been working on a new editcounter to be a backup for when the toolserver is down or has a huge replication lag, like it had recently. However, I've kept running into trouble while trying to parse edit summaries, specifically, when those edit summaries have automatic section-edit summaries that have been malformed by a user editing over them. An example of such malformed diff is here. My question is, how does Mathbot process edit summaries? Flcelloguy told me that you could know how to fix that problem. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 06:43, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Titoxd. The simple answer is that I did not take into account if an user malformed the automatic section edit summary or not. I just strip that out. That is to say, I do not count the part between /* and */ when deciding whether a user put or not an edit summary. Admittedly that may decrease a bit the edit summary count, but not a lot, most people don't bother editing the part between /* and */ anway.
I don't know if that will be helpful, but here is the relevant chunk of my code. Note that it is Perl.
       # strip the autocomment (the part between /* and */, regardless if an user modified that or not 

      # decide  if the current edit is minor or not
      if (/\<span\s+class=[\"\']minor[\"\']\>m\<\/span\>/) {
      } else {

      # see if the user put an edit summary or not 
      #  (if the edit summary has parentheses inside of it, the script will be confused and not count that) 
      # I will fix that bug soon, it is not too hard

      if (/\<span\s+class=[\"\']comment[\"\']\>\s*\(\s*(.*?)\s*\)\s*\<\/span\>/) {
      } else {

Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:18, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry I hadn't replied before, but I've been a bit busy. The way I understand it, Perl automatically finds the start and end tags of an HTML element? I'm not completely sure, and if it is that way, that gives me an idea as to how to fix our problem. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 21:22, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't know how to find the start and the end tag of an html element. There is a module called HTML::Parser, which might do that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:28, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Please tell me why?[edit]

I am sorry that my English is not good. In recent day, I found that some of infomation in wiki are useful for me However, some administrator stated that. Stop nonsense vandalism in wiki For me, i just pressed the search button in wiki.And search some useful infos for me I have not changed any things or delete anythings in wiki. Oleg, What can i do in wiki?? Nana21 17:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any contributions by you except what you wrote on my talk page. My best guess is that you used Wikipedia as an anonymous user, and ran into a message addressed to another anonymous user who used the same IP address as you and who did something bad, like inserting vandalism.
If you use your account, you will not get this kind of strange messages not addressed to you. And the reason this kind of confusion happens is that often times internet providers (like AOL) use a variable IP address, so it may have belonged to another person shortly before you used it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I had been the anonymous user previously. I received several message about the vandalism.

I don't know whether the ISP use a variable IP address. It is very strange that I won't read any things about maths. But, you sent me a meassage that i have deleted a page about maths.I would like to ask about the wiki translation. I am the wiki user in Chinese wiki. I would like to translate some of articles from the chinese wiki. Can i do this? Or it require permission? Nana21 17:36, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you can do this; it would be very useful. No permission is required. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 19:17, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

red linked user name?[edit]

What does it mean when a user has a name but it is red-linked? There is a user with these qualities who is being something of a nuisance on Peano axioms. Randall Holmes 18:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

This means that this user did not create a user page for himself. Since most serious users do create a user page, the one you are talking about is perhaps not a serious user (or just too new to understand user page creation), which could explain his behavior. --Meni Rosenfeld 18:54, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Randall, what do you think of Typographical Number Theory, created by the same user? --Jitse Niesen (talk) 19:03, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I (Holmes) suspect that Typographical Number Theory should be deleted: it is a specific formal implementation of Peano arithmetic found in Hofstadter's book, and an article on it is redundant. But while I am a mathematical logician of long standing, I am a Wikipedian of quite short standing and will defer to others on this kind of question. Randall Holmes 22:23, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I asked Charles Steward for his opinion, see User talk:Chalst#Typographical Number Theory. I'm afraid that the finer points of logic, like the differences between Peano arithmetic and a implementation of Peano arithmetic, are beyond my understanding. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 23:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Hi, thanks Jitse. Why don't we just make it a redirect to Peano arithmetic, and put a brief note about Hofstadter's book somewhere? If the nuisance user keeps recreating the page, then we AfD it, but I'd generally prefer to avoid the bureaucracy. --- --- Charles Stewart(talk) 02:30, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with having a page on Hofstadter's formulation, provided it's accurate and provided it doesn't characterize it as mathematically original. There could be lots of readers who have read GEB and would benefit from having an article that puts Hofstadter's version of PA into context and relates it to more standard treatments. --Trovatore 02:30, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree with Trovatore that there's nothing wrong with having a page on TNT with the indicated caveats. Randall Holmes 19:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
This might need copying to the appropriate talk page, if anybody cares. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:53, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Meni and Jitse, thanks, that was helpful. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:32, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

The ISP of this individual seems to be Special:Contributions/ (also see Special:Contributions/Evildictaitor); his contribution list looks like (probably well-intentioned) vandalism. Randall Holmes 22:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I copied (part of) this section to Talk:Typographical Number Theory. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 15:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

The numbers, the numbers are coming[edit]

Hi Oleg, I was just wondering if I could base one of my fictional characters on you? He's a maths wiz, kind of like yourself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jenaisis (talkcontribs)

Oh dear, Pokemon business again. I don't know what kind of character are you talking about, or what that has to do with Wikipedia, but if you need a stereotypical math person, I guess I could work as well as anybody else. :) (But no real names please :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:21, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I do hope that you will show us a picture of the Pokemon :) Jitse Niesen (talk) 22:27, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Function (mathematics)[edit]

Hi Jorge. I read some of your comments at talk:function (mathematics). I did not research well-enough the issue to give a qualified opinion about the discussion there, but I have a general remark however.

The rule of thumb is that one should not try to make things too complicated, at least in the openning paragraphs. More precisely, the introduction must be as acesssible as possible (without being silly, of course). More complicated content can go down the text. Some more information is avaiable at Wikipedia:Make technical articles accessible.

Again, this is a rule of thumb. I don't quite know what position to take on function (mathematics), but I thought I would give you my general perspective on things. You can reply here if you have any comments. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I hope that I am not being too rash on my edits, but the latest rewrite was not just "non-mathematical", it was wrong in many essential points.
Unfortunately I don't see how to give a correct definition of "function" that can be understood by someone who has trouble with the concepts of "set" and "ordered pair". It is like writing an article on dolphin for people who do not know what a "mammal" is, or a defining titanium for readers who have never heard of "chemical element" or "atomic number".
All the best, Jorge Stolfi 12:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Mike Neville (anchorman)[edit]

Hi Rich. I have a strong suspicion that in this edit at the above-named article you made a mistake by inserting the planetmath template and putting it in the combinatorics category. I removed those for now, but please let me know if I was wrong. You can reply here. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:53, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

That was a definate "whoops!". Rich Farmbrough. 13:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


My last post wasn't really about Pokemon and the one before that was confirmed to be an item, not a Pokemon, but next month a new Pokemon will be shown to tie in with the 9th movie, so I'll try and get a picture of it if someone could tell me how you post pictures on Wikipedia. I'm also now one of the main editors of the Pokemon articles, if that interests you :) So like you're the 'Wiki maths god' that someone stated, I'm the 'Wiki Pokemon god'.

From Jenaisis, 18th Jan 2006

By the way, you can sign your posts with four tildas, like this: ~~~~. Will produce a nice signature, like mine: Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
About uploading images. See the link to "upload file" somewhere under the "search" box on the left side of the screen. You will need to specify what licence you give for the image. It is best if you use either GFDL or public domain, which would mean that others may also use your images. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:39, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I respect your feedback[edit]

I'm thinking about requesting adminship, and have written a draft of my request. I would appreciate it if you would proofread it for me, and let me know what you think. --Go for it! 23:17, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for bumping in and being so rude, but I noticed you have a tendency to break WP:ASR (for example, Wikipedia Almanac) indicating you are not aware of every basic guideline. This would be one of the minimal requirements, before becoming an admin. —Ruud 23:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi Go for it!. Thank you for asking my opinion in a matter which I am sure is very important to you. You have 3878 edits, well-distributed across namespaces, and you put edit summaries most of the time (around 95% to be exact). I remember only good from my interactions with you, although I must say that those interactions were not that many to allow me to knowledgeably vote in your adminship (either supporting or opposing).
One note however. It seems that you created an account on 2005/11/11, which means you have been editing with it for around two months. Many people, me including would prefer at least one, and even better, two more months. Only for that reason, and taking into account Ruud's comment above, I would suggest you try to nominate yourself say in March. I know you may be impatient, but from my own experience (I got my adminship after being here for 9 months) I learned that it is better to wait if that greatly improves the chances of one having a successful adminship nomination.
And back to your original question, about the draft of your request. I believe it better be only one paragraph long, while yours is much longer. So I would suggest you concentrate a lot your statement. Don't worry if you miss some good info that way, usually people who know you would comment on your good work when they vote.
Oh, and the beginning sentence "I appear to have reached the limits of a standard user account, and therefore I request adminship." is rather clumsy, and may make people wonder if you really understand what adminship is about. So that better be cut.
If I may be of help in any way in the future, please let me know. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback, both of you. You've given me a lot to think about, and I appreciate it. Cheers, --Go for it! 01:11, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

And Speaking Of Which[edit]

In regards to Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters' rfa, what would his edit summary percentage need to be for you to support him? He's a good guy, but he's had a bad past awhile back, and this would be a fitting ending to a long road back to redemption. Karmafist 03:54, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I would not support this user in any case as I never encountered him before seeing his RfA. And my vote being neutral, would not influence his election in any way.
That is to say, I vote oppose for people who don't really use edit summaries, I vote neutral for people who do use edit summaries, but not that often, but I don't vote support for people just because they happen to use edit summaries. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:00, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Are sigma-algebras families?[edit]

From sigma algebra:

"In mathematics, a σ-algebra ... over a set X is a family Σ of subsets of X that is closed under countable set operations..."

Is "family" meant here in the sense of family (mathematics), or is it just a loose way of saying "set"? Just curious, and thought you might know. Dbtfz 05:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it is a loose way of saying "set". A better word may be a "collection", but I am not sure. But I don't think it makes much of a difference. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:05, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I hate it when people say "collection," "group," "family" etc. when they mean "set." But that's probably just a quirky pet peeve of mine. Dbtfz 16:24, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Saying "set of sets" can be confusing to people. That's why they prefer to use a different word. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:27, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Thinking about Category:Set families - would calling it 'Set sets' be clearer? Charles Matthews 16:43, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


Thanks for the help. Jenaisis 13:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


Discussion continues at talk:shape

Hi Oleg,

I adjusted the definition on the shapes page.

I changed the definition, because I am interested in comparing shapes. If two shapes are exactly the same, then there is no difference between the definitions. That there is no difference between the shapes after Euclidean transformations are filtered out, is equivalent to there being no difference between all properties invariant to Euclidean transformations.

The difference between the two definitions becomes apparent when comparing two objects which do not have exactly the same shape. It may not be possible to filter out the effects of location, scale and rotation. Methods, such as Procrustes analysis, are based on heuristic algorithms to filter out these transformations. It may be more precise to write that the difference between two shapes is described by the differences between corresponding invariant properties.

I will not pursue the issue. I do not agree, however, with your description of the extra words as 'clumsy', and do not see how such a description helps anybody.

Best regards. --anon
I see your point. I still believe you were trying to insert a rather confusing definition of shape (and now I see it was motivated by complicated heuristical algorithms) in an otherwise general purpose article called shape. Maybe if it was better written or better motivated, it would have made sense. The way it was when I removed it I still believe it was not helpful. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:17, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps we should just reword the sentence into anon's version, to remove ambiguity? In either case, the definition discusses scale, location and rotation. What about reflection? Shouldn't that be mentioned as well? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk)
On second thought, less chat, more hat. I will now do the above changes, revert them if you disagree. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually this is a question of whether mirror images are considered different shapes? They aren't as far as I know. Am I mistaken? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:58, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
"Maybe if it was better written or better motivated, it would have made sense. The way it was when I removed it I still believe it was not helpful."
Dear Oleg, there is no need to be rude. If you are going to make such comments on the clarity of my writing, please remember that people in glass houses ought not throw stones.
My argument was not motivated by complicated heuristic algorithms. I merely wanted the word 'filtered' taken out. The word 'filtered' suggests a, potentially complicated, heuristic algorithm.
Dear Meni, you ask whether mirror images are considered the same shapes. It depends on whether different parts of the shape have labels. A mirror image of a cube has the same shape. If the corners of the cube each have a unique label, however, they will not be considered to have the same shape.
Best regards, anon.
So I guess Meni found the right solution. No, what you did, duplicating the definition and taking one word out was not helpful. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:49, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Statistical shape analysis by Dryden and Mardia, 1998, uses your original definition. An invariant approach to the statistical analysis of shapes by Lele and Richtsmeier, 2001, uses the newer definition. I feel that the latter definition implies the former, more than the other way around. I did not duplicate the definition. I gave the two, competing, definitions. I also gave the reason that there were two definitions.
"No, what you did, duplicating the definition and taking one word out was not helpful. " Stating your opinion as if it were fact does not make it fact. I would assume a fellow mathematician would know that.
About anon's edit: I apologize for speaking in Oleg's name, but I'm sure he did not mean to be rude, and that he just wanted to simply state his opinion against your edit, without any cumbersome silk gloves. And I will have to agree with him that the way you have put it was too much of a duplication, and that the article is about a mathematical concept, not a computer science one. So whether there is an algorithm that filters out those properties is irrelevant to this article - in math, you can do things without algorithms (isn't math great?)
About mirror image:anon's answer missed the point of my question - there is no argument whether the cube you have mentioned cannot be transformed to its mirror image with translation and rotation. But are these two really considered different shapes? Oleg, what do you think? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I guess the matter is easier to decide in 2D. But even there, I don't really know if two shapes which are mirror image of each other would be considered the same shape. My best guess that that they won't. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:20, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi again guys,

"And I will have to agree with him that the way you have put it was too much of a duplication, and that the article is about a mathematical concept, not a computer science one. So whether there is an algorithm that filters out those properties is irrelevant to this article - in math, you can do things without algorithms (isn't math great?)" Nobody mentioned computer science. The Procrustes algorithm dates to Gower, 1975. It has only recently been used as a mathematical tool in computer science.

Just in case you think algorithms are confined to computer science, I got this from wikipedia: "Al-Khwarizmi, the 9th century Persian astronomer of the Caliph of Baghdad, wrote several important books, on the Hindu-Arabid numerals and on methods for solving equations. The word algorithm is derived from his name, and the word algebra from the title of one of his works, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah."

With respect to the word 'duplication', is this not an encyclopaedia? There are two definitions in the mathematical literature. Is it not more comprehensive to include both? That my original alteration lacked sufficient clarity is unfortunate, but not necessarily a reason to discount it entirely.

I used a cube because it is easy to visualise. I should have made that more clear. As in Oleg's original definition, two objects have the same shape if one can be transformed to exactly match the other, using only Euclidean transformations. These Euclidean transformations are also called rigid motions, or Euclidean motions, in geometry. The question of equivalence of reflections comes up quite a lot. The definition of shape is sometimes extended to include all orthogonal transformations, plus scaling, i.e., transformations that preserve relative distances and angles (google mathworld, orthogonal transformations for a good definition). Orthogonal transformations include reflection. This implies that the shape of an object is equivalent to the shape of its reflection.

"But are these two really considered different shapes?" This question is not clear to me, I am afraid. I would appreciate it if you would expand a little. Are you asking if the object and its reflection have the same shape? Or, are you asking if the object and its reflection are the same objects? Euclidean transformations involve scaling, rotating and translating. The reflection question is a good question, and there is no perfect answer to it.

Finally, Oleg, if you knew what you were talking about, you would know that shape is clearly defined in $n$-dimensional space by the likes of Kendall and Le, and Goodall. And reflection is discussed.

I admire your enthusiasm in extending Wikipedia. My intention was merely to do the same, by adding the extra knowledge I had about the definition of shape. Your reaction was not appreciated.

Okay, before you two start throwing punches, I'll say that what I understood from Oleg's reply is not that defining shape is technically harder in higher dimensions, which we all know is not the case, but rather that in lower dimensions it is easier to visualize the problem and have an intuitive feel for what the definition should look like. So I believe your comment "if you knew what you were talking about" was not appropriate, and just potentially lead to a more hostile argument. Regarding my original question, I agree that if "identical shape" is taken to mean you can transform one object to the other using a rigid transformation and scaling, then mirror images do not have the same shape.
Regarding algorithms, I agree that algorithms are used not just in computers. But note that "computer science" is a somewhat misleading concept. Most of what is studied in it has no direct relation to modern computers - It's just that it makes much more sense when using such machines. So, it is possible to discuss algorithms in pure mathematics, but to most questions they are irrelevant. For example, you know an equation such as x^5+x^4+x^3+x^2+x=2 can be solved (has a solution), regardless of whether you have an algorithm to find the solution or a data structure to represent it. Similarly, "properties that remain filtered" and "properties that are invariant to..." are identical in the context of mathematics - it doesn't matter if you have an actual algorithm to filter these things out. In CS (which has, again, a loose relation to modern computers) they are different, and the latter is probably a more successful one. ---- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 13:53, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

"According to one common definition, the shape of an object is all the geometrical information that remains after location, scale and rotational effects are filtered out. This definition implicitly assumes that it is possible to filter these effects out. Another definition is that the shape of an object is all of the geometrical information that is invariant to location, scale and rotation."

The definition used in the first sentence originates, according to Dryden & Mardia, 1998, in a 1977 paper by Kendall, "The Diffusion of Shape". Kendall's 1984 paper started off the whole Procrustes analysis methodology, linked to at the bottom of the shapes page.

I agree that I may be incorrect in concluding that the first definition "implicitly assumes" a filtration method is possible. It would be better, in my updated opinion, if I had said "suggests". I feel that this definition unnecessarily motivates Procrustes analysis, a filtration method, to mathematically analyse differences between shapes.

So, yes, the definitions are mathematically equivalent. They are not, however, equivalent. Both definitions are in common use in modern mathematics. As such, it seems reasonable to me that both definitions should be included in an article in an Encyclopaedia, and the reason that there are two definitions should also be included. This is why I had three sentences; two definitions and a reason.

My alterations may have needed improvement. I do not, however, think it is good practice to just try to wipe them out, and call the words I used clumsy without justification. My last comment may have been somewhat antagonistic, but I am not yet ready to retract it. --anon

Anon, I would still be weary of putting all that compicated stuff i the second paragraph in the introduction. But I have an idea. Since you are the expert, could you please write a good new section in the article on shape analysis, discussing both definitions, differences between them, uses, etc, with references? I am weary of having all that complicated stuff in the introduction, but a standalone section somewhere down the article would be much appreciated. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:23, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi again Oleg,

may I have the reference for your opening paragraph? The bit about size being dilation, specifically. Regards, anon

Discussion continues at talk:shape

Mo business[edit]

Да ди ши олег ту крези кэ ар фи гини сэ винэ ши алции? Кум ар скимба аста ситуациуния? аму дакэ ому ну штие лимба сау ситуация нуастрэ, кум поате сэ-ши деа ку пэрерия? ну-и корект фрате, ну-и корект. унде маи пуи кэ дакэ вреи сэ вотези требуие сэ аи 25 де контрибуции ла актив. Аста е нормал; аша се прочедиязэ де обичеи пе теме де астия маи песте тот. Дечи чеи каре ну штиу лимба нич ну пот сэ контрибуие. Маи гини дечидем нои аколо ши гата. Салутэри ши нума гини! Ия зи, ну-и аша кэ ну скриу рэу пи малдавияниеште пентру ун ромын?Constantzeanu 01:45, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I guess you are talking about the mo wiki again. I must say that you write "Moldovan" well enough for a Romanian; I did not write Romanian in cyrillic since middle school. :)
The reason I would like more (international) opinions at the mo wiki is because for now it is the Romanians vs Node ue primarily; and both sides have obvious strong biases. You would need somebody more detached from the situation to give a good solution. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Păi da Oleg, da cum să-şi dea lumea cu părerea despre chestia asta dacă nu cunosc situaţia. Multă lume compara limba moldovenească-română cu malanieza-indoneza dar nu au nici un pic de dreptate. In insula Sumatra se vorbeşte altfel decât în Malanesia. E alt dialect. Ori noi nici măcar nu vorbim în dialecte diferite. Eu de exemplu pot să înţeleg şi "moldoveneasca" de Chişinău cu toate rusismele ei. Şi oricum limba de stradă de Chişinău nu este limba literară. Oricine altcineva nu prea şi-ar da cu părerea. Sincer îţi spun, eu cred că numai Românii, Ruşii(dacă ar fi ruşi care ştiu româneşte nu aşi avea nici o problemă-dar atunci ar vota oricum dacă au 25 de contribuţii) şi cei câţiva Moldoveni de pe wiki şi Node ar avea un interes în chestia asta. Deci până la urmă tot atâţia oameni. Sigur că românii sunt "biased" dar şi ruşii(care habar nu au de limba noastră) ar fi la fel de biased dacă nu şi mai rău. Şi oricum cred că biased-ul românesc este cel mai aproape de adevăr. Si tu, cred că îţi dai seama de acest lucru. Constantzeanu 02:11, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, other (say non-Romanian) people don't know the true situation, but it is not very hard to explain. Just read the existing Romanian language, Moldovan language (biased, but has good info) and Republic of Moldova, to get a good idea. The problem is not with the lack of information, it is with people feeling too strongly about the issues.
You are Romanian, and say "I believe the Romanian bias is the closest to the truth in that issue". Heh :) OK, you are right, but then, I am Romanian too. :)
By the way, I must appologize for an incident a couple of months ago. It is not right to blame all Romanians for the behavior of some. But I am heartened that Ronline recently took a serious stance against a Romanian troll (you know whom I mean).
All in all, thank you for your questions. I am not sure how helpful that will be, as I gave up any feeble attempts I had at trying to sort these issues out. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:57, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Re: Style remark[edit] "Hi David. Just a tiny remark. Per the math style manual, one should make variables italic. I fixed that at Borel algebra. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:55, 19 January 2006 (UTC)" -- Oops! Must have missed that. Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for the correction.

could your bot help?[edit]

What is the quickest way to find all the links that are in both list of rappers and list of hip-hop musicians and remove the repeats from the latter? we're trying to get rid of redundancy, but this seems like it would take forever without a method or program or something. Thanks--Urthogie 15:39, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, so you mean list of rappers and list of hip-hop musicians. Removing repeats for the latter is easy enough to do (I can work on it tonight, meaning 12 hours from now on). But I would like to ask you to point me to a talk page where it was agreed to do that, as I don't want people to argue with me latter why I removed a great many hip-hop musicians just because they happen to be rappers. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:13, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, check this out[2]-- It's been twenty days and noone has voiced opposition to this.--Urthogie 22:10, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Wait a second, it seems that they are one and the same article, with list of rappers redirecting to list of hip hop musicians. So I guess there is nothing to do. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:48, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, how about copying links from (Category:Rappers, Category:American_rappers, Category:British rappers, Category:Canadian_rappers, Category:White_rappers, List of gangsta rappers, List_of_female_rappers and Category:Female_rappers) to List of rappers (which is no longer a redirect) as well as removing them from List of hip hop musicians? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Urthogie (talkcontribs)

You are suggesting a big change. As before, I would like some discussion before hand. Say you post this suggestion on both talk:list of hip hop musicians and talk:list of rappers and wait around a week for an answer. Some people might disagree with this split. No rush. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:39, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Noone really watched list of rappers because its only recently not a redirect. I'll repost my question about splitting at hip hop musicians though. We'll give it 3 days?--Urthogie 20:28, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. Bug me again in a few days and I will do the work. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
One other thing...if this move goes through without problems, could you possibly then also move the red links out of both List of rappers and List of hip hop musicians and move them to List of rappers/Redlinks and List of hip hop musicians/Redlinks respectively? (So I and others can sort through and reinclude the notable ones). Thanks!--Urthogie 22:04, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Its been 3 days without any opposition, so I guess its time to bug you. Need anything done for this to happen? Thanks!--Urthogie 10:09, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, so I created list of rappers by getting people from the categories you told me about right above. Then, I removed these people from List of hip hop musicians. I moved the redlinks from List of hip hop musicians to List of hip hop musicians/Redlinks .
I did not create List of rappers/Redlinks, because so far we don't have any red links in List of rappers. I also did some sectioning at List of rappers. I guess that's all you asked. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:05, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
This is great! Thank you thank you thank you! There's only two things I could think of asking at this point: 1)At some point(can be in several weeks, whenever is good for you) could you further split the lists along the lines of List of hip hop groups and List of hip hop DJ's and producers-- to the point where list of hip-hop musicians is just a disambiguation page that links to the others? and 2)Is there a way for the bot to pipe the links that have (rapper) and (band) in their name to just have the group name?
Thanks so much. You have no idea how much easier this makes it for people to find who they're looking for and for editors to add content to week articles. Thank you!--Urthogie 13:17, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I copied your new proposal to talk:list of hip hop musicians, and let us see what people have to say. If there is no opposition, I will work on that towards the end of the week. And let us continue the conversation there, I might forget to check this section later as it moves higher and higher in the table of contents. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:38, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Bonny alert[edit]

Bonaparte is trying to sneak back! --Ghirla | talk 18:20, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Jensens Inequality[edit]

I undid your change at Jensen's inequality. The exponential is very much convex. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:03, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Apologies. I wasn't thinking straight. The preceding unsigned comment was added by AJR 1978 (talk • contribs) .

No problem. I did some convex thinking which straightened it out. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:22, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


Hai ma Ronline, chiar asa? Bonaparte a vorbit frumos cand ti-a scris cateva email-uri, si asta e un motiv suficient sa fie deblocat? Postul tau evident nu va fi luat in serios. Si sper ca inca nu ai uitat ca el vota cu mai multe conturi pentru administraor, care din punctul meu de vedere inseamna ca Bonaparte nu are nici o onoare. Si sa stii ca cineva care a cazut asa departe nu este usor de reeducat. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:18, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Salut Oleg. Sunt cam supărat acum fiind că mă simt tras de ambele părţi după opiniile lor. Când, pe bună dreptate, am început RfC împotriva lui Anittas, au venit alţii şi mi-au spus "Ce mai, dece ai început RfC-ul împotriva lui?". Când l-am blocat pe Mikka, a venit Ghirlandajo şi a zis "Ce mai, dece te coalizezi cu troll-ii?". Acum că îl suport pe Bonaparte în acest caz, vii tu şi îmi spui "Ce mai, dece îl suporţi pe Bonaparte?". Şi după aceea spui că postul meu nu va fi luat în serios! Dacă nu ţi-ai dat seama până acum, eu nu fac interestul nimănui aici - nu-s nici omul lui Anittas sau al lui Bonaparte, nici al lui Node - pe scurt, apăr dreptatea şi celelalte valori în care cred eu aici la Wikipedia. În orice caz - Bonaparte a vorbit frumos cu mine şi cu alţii, fapt care mă determină să cred că el nu este un troll şi că a făcut ce a făcut fiind că nu a fost total înţeles aici la Wikipedia. Pe când Anittas, de exemplu, a fost aproşat de zeci de persoane care i-au spus atât de frumos că ce face nu este corect, lui Bonaparte nu i sa spus în acelaşi fel. El a fost repede blocat, repede i sa dat ultimatum, etc. Din cauza asta, din cauza că se simţea că nu este înţeles, a făcut lucruri care păreau tot mai mult anti-politică. Cred că prin puţină toleranţă şi înţelegere - şi empatie - Bonaparte va face un contributor bun. El nu a făcut, de exemplu, insulte ad hominem repetate în acelaşi fel ca şi Anittas, iar uite că Anittas e cel neblocat şi Bonaparte e cel blocat. Sigur, trebuie discutat mult cu el înainte de a fi readmis, şi posibil ar fi bine să fie "watched" când va veni înapoi, dar altfel eu suport deblocarea sa. Poate că este şi din cauza faptului că eu sunt destul de anti-blocare, cel puţin pe termen lung de peste 24 de ore. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 07:42, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

So you are antiblock you say? Ronline, a big problem of Wikipedia is that there are a few (like Bonaparte) who are wasting the time of the many. A few trolls who are a drain of resourses. Even if they may make some good contributions, removing them from Wikipedia will be much more gain than loss.

And don't you follow WP:AN/I? Bonaparte is world-famous. Basically all administrators on Wikipedia know him. And cheating by voting with multiple accounts, that's much worse than anything Anittas ever did. That's a shame to us, Romanians. This kind of people must go. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I understand what you're saying. It's just that Bonaparte, believe or not, is intrinsically good-faith. This can be seen by his positive contributions, but most of all by his dialogue with several users, including me, Guy and others. This leads me to believe that he should be given a second chance and that a lot of what he did was probably because the dispute resolution system couldn't deal well with him (i.e. no RfC was ever started against him, he was given few warnings, it was all on AN/I, all about blocking). Lastly, I'm not saying I agree with what he did or necessarily disagree with the decision to block him. However, I think that, as in the criminal justice system, when one genuinely feels that they want to return and pledge not to those same things again, it's important to take some measures to re-integrate them. That's why I think he should be given a second chance. If he wastes admins' time on the second chance, then he can be blocked indefinitely. But the chance should still be there. We gave Anittas too many chances. Why can't the same be applied to Bonaparte? I think Bonaparte is on the whole more good-faith than Anittas. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 22:08, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I see you still talk behind people's back. I never asked you to give me a single chance. I told you to go start your ArbCom, because I didn't want your mercy and, because, I didn't want you to point out how many chances you gave me. Bonaparte is my Wiki-pal and I'm not too happy that he's blocked, either, but to compare him with me to make your argument stronger, is simply gay. --Candide, or Optimism 22:19, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Anittas, I gave up talking behind your back a long time ago, it is impossible to hide anything from you.  :) Besides, you may not have my own page on your watchlist, but I am sure you have Ronline's, which you check very carefully. So, no consipracy against you, gay or otherwise. :)
Ronline, I see your point, and I disgree. Either way, Bonaparte better stay blocked for at least a couple of months, to understand that just saying "sorry" after massive cheating does not imply an immediate pardon. Anyway, this matter is not in our hands. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it's true that this matter is not in our hands. For this reason, I'm really staying uninvolved for the moment. If Bonaparte will contact me or anything, I'll raise the issue again, but so far I don't even know if he wants to come back. Flag of Europe.svgFlag of Romania.svg Ronline 06:02, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

from jayanthv[edit]

thanx,i dont know wat a admin does anyway.but please dont block me.--Jayanthv86 14:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

--+I withdraw. Hello everybody,thanks for opening my eyes.I am such a loser,I dont even know what a admin does and i have nominated myself.from now on,i will leave edit summaries.I am barely two months old in wiki and i was audacious enough to ask for adminship.Sorry for wasting your time.--Jayanthv86 15:15, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Hello jayanthv. Please be more careful with your edits. To add a comment to a talk page, use the "+" sign on the top of the page. The way you have done it messed up the page a bit. If you're not confident of your Wikipedia editing skills, be sure to read about the subject; the welcome page is a good place to start. Thanks. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 17:58, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Nobody's blocking you, relax. :) Yeah, you had an unsuccessful admin nomination, but worse things happen. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Request for edit summary[edit]

Thanks for the reminder to write edit summaries. I'll try to be a more disciplined Wikipedian. Shoefly 23:52, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Your bot and edit summary usage for admin candidates[edit]

I know this might sound like a minor quibble, but when your bot prints out the edit summary usage of adminship candidates, there is a doubled "and". For example:
"Based on the last 150 major and and 150 minor edits..."

Could you remove the doubled "and"? Thanks. Graham/pianoman87 talk 04:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! I never noticed that! Will fix right now. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:01, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

USC Trojans Football[edit]

hello oleg -- i would appreciate you unblocking the USC Trojans Football page. i have put in a short explanation about the dispute about several of sc's claimed national championships. it is done is a respectful way. there are no nasty comments. it is straight forward. it seems many people (i can only assume sc supporters) want this to be a type of entry that would be approved by the sc p.r. department. as you notice there has never been any challenge of any of the facts i have in this entry. in includes the championships (most of them) which are not disputed. the biggest complaint is that this doesnt belong here. there is also a complaint about my brief explanation about about the national championship process. it is a very short explanation. there is never a complaint when i put factual material that the sc supporter find positive. but lo and behold when i try to put some balance in here (mentioning that TWO of the national championship claims are disputed) they constantly remove it and put in a couple lines. it is like putting in the lyndon johnson section -- "the vietnam war was controversial." THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME EXPLANATION -- this is not a space issue. also -- and i am sorry if i am getting personal here -- one of the main people who has been changing my entries and replacing it with one or two lines glossing over the issue -- is MisfitToys. this gentleman -- if you look at his wikipedia history -- seems to have a great alligence and partisenship to sc. he complains about the unecessary amount of infomation i have included (he says it is too much and doesnt belong there.) PLEASE look at the entry written by MisfitToys about a man by the name of sam barry. sam barry happens to have been an sc athletic pioneer. MisfitToys has TONS of info in his entry about Sam Barry. When it comes to Sam Barry, MisfitToys doesnt seem to have problem with the amount of information. I think it would be fair to say that Sam Barry in the overall scheme of things is far less important to the world sports than USC Trojans Football. This is suppose to be a free and open encyclopedia. I NEVER TRIED TO BLOCK MisfitToys. We have a choice. Do we want an encyclopedia where people who are partisens are allowed to remove items where a balanced view is presented? AGAIN MisfitToys has not found one thing in my entry that is inaccurate. He simply doesnt like it. I dont think it is fair to allow people who clearly are partisens to remove entries and replace them with entries that skirt over controversy. if we can have a VERY LONG entry for sam barry -- i think we can have a few extra paragraphs to explain this issue of the sc national championships. --unsigned

I believe you need to go to WP:AN/I#USC_Trojans_football, and post your comment there. Let us see what administrarors have to say. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:03, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Edit summary tool[edit]

Hi! I see that you have a tool that counts – among other things – users' edit summaries. Is it an open tool, or does it rely on its boss? Thanks. --Eddi (Talk) 15:30, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

No, it does not rely on its boss for most tasks, edit summary included. And what do you mean by an open tool, if the source is available? I don't make it public because it is some poorly written Perl scripts, but if somebody wants it, I can give it away. And of course mathbot counts, a mathematician has to know at least that. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Is there a url where you can type in a username and get his edit summary count? This could be useful, I've noticed several users wanted to know their own and made you go through all the trouble of retrieving this information manually.
BTW I'll appreciate your feedback on my questions regarding the real projective line and positive infinity. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:43, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I will make an URL about the edit summary count. About your questions, I will take a look. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:47, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
An URL which takes the user name (and perhaps project) as parameter and returns the edit summary count would be very welcome. By "open tool" I was thinking just that – a tool which can be operated by all users at any time. --Eddi (Talk) 20:51, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I implemented that, see More needs to be done, but must go to bed now. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:30, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Brilliant! Thanks. Maybe some will demand further parameters, e.g. project name, or breakup into namespaces, but it's fine for now. --Eddi (Talk) 01:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
If you notice some of the talk down this page, the demand of the day is that the tool not be so buggy :) Let us worry about features later. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, correct numbers outweigh nifty features. Especially parsing contribs in foreign wikis might be buggy. Sorry if letting Mathbot loose has caused any trouble... --Eddi (Talk) 23:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, that's great :) But... are you sure it gives correct results? It displays very low percentages for me, when I am fairly certain that I have used summaries on all of my main space edits. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Meni Rosenfeld (talk • contribs) .
Hey, you are right! There was another bug in my tool. I was dividing by the wrong thing when calculating the percentages. That was not a problem for people with a boatload of edits (over 150 major and 150 minor), but is a problem for people with fewer edits. Fixed now, and you are at 100% :) Gosh, I thought I make bugs only when I program for my research. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:45, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
That's more like it :) Some nerve Mathbot had, after I've spent my whole life hiding from him knowing that he's always lurking behind the corner, to give me 8% :) Oh, and sorry for forgetting to sign my last comment. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 07:17, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Equation labeling[edit]

First, thanks for moving my Gerhard Hessenberg page - I noticed the capitalization problem too late. I'm in the process of making my first math article (its Plotkin bound). One difficulty I am running into is equation labells. Is there any way to label an equation so that I can refer to it later on? The latex \label{} and then \ref{} don't seem to work in wikipedia and I've been unable to find the answer anywhere. Thanks, --Pierremenard 17:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, equation labels don't work. All one can do is just insert a number in parentheseis to signify equation number, and no, it will not change if you add or remove equations. So, this latex feature is just not avaiable. :( Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:06, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Example of all one can do: (x+y)^2=x^2+2xy+y^2\quad\quad (1). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia's mathematics handling is far from full LaTeX support. With CSS, however, other options are available. For example,
\int_0^t 3x^2 \,dx = t^3(2)
should put a label (2) to the right. Here the position of the label is managed with respect to the page; but it can also be positioned relative to the equation. --KSmrqT 18:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks! --Pierremenard 02:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the label (2) to the right with KSmrq's equation. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:39, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I used "position:fixed" instead of "position:absolute". Should work now. --KSmrqT 04:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Division by zero[edit]

I am having a dispute with Rick Norwood concerning Division by zero. I really don't like where this is going, and I'll be grateful if you give us some feedback. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 19:58, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think I will get to it today, and not sure about tomorrow. Give it a try at the usual place, the talk of the math wikiproject. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Duplicate edit summary counts[edit]

Your bot is doing something odd to my RfA. Could you look into it? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

(copy my reply from Ilmari's page) Hi. I am sorry you had the misfortune of being spammed by my bot on your own RFA. The bot got rightfully blocked, and now I am looking into that problem. Again, sorry for the trouble. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:51, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

preferences/edit summary[edit]

thanks for the help! I'll change my preferences. JamieJones talk 12:34, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Your bot's going wild[edit]

Your bot's repeatedly added edit summary counts for RFAs it's already posted in. If this keeps up I might have to temporarily block it, otherwise... NSLE (T+C) 13:18, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I blocked it three hours, hopefully you'll have solved the problem by then... NSLE (T+C) 13:29, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I was sleeping. Shoot, I have no idea what could be. I interrupted the bot for the time being. I will look into the problem today. Thanks a lot for letting me know. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
It was an old bug with local variables/global variables which got exponsed when I did some cosmetic changes last night which should not have caused problems. The bot won't touch RFA's until I am sure that everything is fixed. Once its three hour block expires, it will go on doing its business in other areas where there are no bugs. Sorry for causing you trouble, and again, thanks for your response. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:54, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

edit summaries[edit]

Sure, I don't mind at all... I just forget. This is how it happens, often: I look at "show preview" to check how the markup looks, and then click on "save page" before I enter an edit summary. I'll try, but I am a bit absentminded... sorry. MathStatWoman 03:08, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I told you you'll upset him :-) You can try writing the edit summary before making the edit, this way you won't forget it for sure. Of course, this way you are at risk of accidentally saving the page before making your edit... :) -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 07:22, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow, your talk page is big! I can definitely do edit summaries when I do stuff. Have a good one. That CS Guy 23:04, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

RfA thanks[edit]

Please accept my embarrassingly belated thank you for your input in my RfA, which much to my surprise passed 102/1/1, earning me minor notoriety. I am grateful for all the supportive comments, and for those who switched following my finding the edit summary tool, and have already started doing the things people wanted me to be able to do. And hopefully nothing else... Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 12:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

the list maintenance[edit]

Heya, not sure if you're watching that old section, but I posted up there that another 3 days have gone by without opposition. In addition, I also suggested an idea about redlinks which may be helpful. Thanks so much!--Urthogie 15:21, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Great! I will work on it later today! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:41, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks so much for doing so much good work!--Urthogie 17:11, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Done, see above. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Great work! I just have 2 more things(one major one minor[see above]) as far as those lists that your bot could do. This is so helpful, thank you thank you thankyou!--Urthogie 14:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

relation (mathematics)[edit]

Dear Oleg,

I would not say that things are looking up for the relation (mathematics) article. The actual situation is that I (and I think Arthur Rubin, though I can't speak for him) are reluctant to start an edit war like the recent one in function (mathematics). But I will start one shortly if Awbrey does not listen to us. Please read the discussion. The definition of relation given in the intro is incorrect and does not agree with the formal definition given subsequently (which is correct for one style). Respectful consideration must be given to the definition which identifies the relation with its graph, which remains the dominant definition of this concept (and which is also simpler and so should be given first). For content rather than style (it is a draft and it needs examples and certainly some rewriting) see my User: Randall Holmes/Sandbox/relation (mathematics), in which both styles of definition are discussed from a neutral point of view. Randall Holmes 17:00, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I request mediation on relation (mathematics)[edit]

Dear Oleg,

I request mediation on relation (mathematics). Jon Awbrey must be stopped, to put it bluntly. Randall Holmes 17:47, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

to put it less bluntly, he needs to listen to others, and he needs to be disabused of the idea that he can impose a program of his on the whole field of relations and related entities. Randall Holmes 17:48, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
this now extends to an attempt to reimpose his eccentric version of function (mathematics). Randall Holmes 18:21, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I made a note at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. I will try to study the matter and give some more specific comments tonight. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I apologize for being quite so blunt; I have been getting increasingly upset, and will try to moderate this. Randall Holmes 19:51, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

measurable function on an atom[edit]

Hi Oleg. I don't know if you saw my edit summary here from last night. I've been thinking about it, and now I actually think it's not true that a function has to be constant on an atomic set of a measure space. Consider for example the Dirac measure δa(E)=χE(a) for some fixed a. Do you know anything about this? I kind of want it to be true. -lethe talk 20:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Lethe. That article is still on my watchlist (no surprise, I started it). It is just that I was swamped today, and did not check my watchlist for the day yet.
I believe a function on an atom is constant up to a set of measure zero. I mean, let A be an atom. It is then a measurable set. Let f be a measurable function defined on that atom A. Then, for any real number c, the subsets f^{-1}((-\infty, c])\, and f^{-1}((c, \infty))\, can't both have nonzero measure, because of atomness.
If c is big enough, then f^{-1}((-\infty, c])=\mu(f^{-1}(-\infty, \infty))=\mu(A)\,, that should be easy enough to prove by contradiction. Consider the smallest such c, which can be shown to exist (by contradiction). It should follow that \mu(f^{-1}(\{c\}))=\mu(f^{-1}(-\infty, \infty))=\mu(A)\,, which means that the function f takes the value c almost everywhere on A, so it is constant almost everywhere.
I hope what I said is true. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:25, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the response Oleg. It is of course your fault that I've been obsessing over dual spaces for the last week or two, and this issue is tied up in all of that. Anyway, of course that must be the answer: it's constant almost everywhere. isn't that pretty much every statement in measure theory? Stupid of me not to see that immediately. I haven't filled in the details of your proof, but it has convinced me. I've also come up with my own which I like better:
Let A be an atomic set.
A=\bigcup_{y\in f(A)} f^{-1}(y)
\mu(A)=\sum_{y\in f(A)}\mu(f^{-1}(y))
From which we can infer, using the atomicity of A that exactly one of the f–1(y) has measure μ(A) and the rest have 0. I think there is some argument that has to be made about choosing countable unions here, but probably that's OK. Anyway, thanks for letting me bounce my thoughts on this matter off you. -lethe talk 04:03, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Your proof of course cannot work, because you cannot take the measure of an uncountable union. It is fixable I think, by taking instead of the y's a countable union of small intervals. That will zoom in to the place where most values of f are concentrated. Then one would split that interval again in smaller intervals, eventually converging to a point. But then your proof would end up being also technical, although not as technical as mine above. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:13, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... not going to let me cut any corners, eh? And well you shouldn't! Let me just think this through. I thought it should be OK, but I didn't check. I have
A=\bigcup_{y\in f(A)} f^{-1}(y)
therefore, for any sequence yn,
A\supseteq \bigcup^\infty_{y_n\in f(A)} f^{-1}(y_n)
\mu(A)\ge \sum^\infty_{y_n\in f(A)} \mu(f^{-1}(y_n))
therefore either all of the f–1(yn) have measure zero, or else exactly one has finite measure, and all the rest are zero. If it's the latter, then we're done. If it's the former, then ... um.... I think probably you're right Oleg. It might be the case that A cannot be written as a countable union. Like the first uncountable ordinal cannot be written as a countable union of smaller ordinals, and what if my measure assigns zero to all countable ordinals? There won't be an easy way around. Ok, well let's stick with your proof then. And uh... thanks for keeping me honest. -lethe talk 06:21, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I thought I had a counterexample, but it violated the assumption that you use the Borel sigma-algebra on the reals. It's been a while since I did measure theory; I guess this assumption is so obvious that it needn't be mentioned? -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 13:39, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, as far as I know, that's usually implicitly assumed for measurable real functions. Can we see your counterexample anyway? -lethe talk 17:27, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
It's embarassingly simple once I brought it back to its essence. Take as sigma-algebra (X, Σ) with X = {0,1} and Σ = {∅, X}, so that X is an atom. The measure is defined by μ(X) = 1. Then the identity on X is measurable but not constant a.e. on X as an atom. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 18:08, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


Oleg, the Bot seems to still be a little under the weather, as you can see from this edit at RFA. Got your screwdriver handy? Chick Bowen 03:26, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Chick. Thanks for letting me know. This RfA script of mine turned out to be rather buggy, although I was not drunk when I wrote it. However, in this particular instance I believe it was Wikipedia's fault, the server probably failed to satisfy bot's request for information. I told my bot to recount, and it gave the right answer. Thanks again for the heads up. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:30, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
No problem--I'm glad it's not a serious problem. I was editing around that time and (now that I think about it) getting some weird incomplete pages and so on, so I'm sure your explanation is right. Chick Bowen 03:36, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, if I think about it, I believe my bot's original answer was right. You tried to intimidate my bot! What's got a poor bot to do, it delievered the 100% edit summaries, poor soul. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:38, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I do confess it! But I had no idea mathbots were so emotionally fragile--the politics at RfA must be very upsetting for it. Do give it this chocolate to cheer it up. Chick Bowen 04:10, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Does one infer that sometimes Oleg writes bots while drunk? -lethe talk 04:04, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
No! I know you are able to write good math while still drunk, but I can't do bots without bugs even sober. Besides, I am a bit afraid to drink when around my bot. If you look at my bot's page, he has a hefty square root on his back. Couple that with 200 horse powers and you may understand what I am afraid of. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:17, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

I patched my script to cry wolf and exit when it repeatedly fails to get information from the server. Hopefully that will avoid the situation as above, when a user was given a 0% edit summary usage, when the actual figure was 100%. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 08:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Since I'm dropping by. . .[edit]

Seeing all that math above reminded me of something, Oleg. A couple of weeks ago I had an exchange with a new user, since apparently disappeared, about Herzog-Schönheim conjecture, which he had just added. I asked him to provide some context but I guess he never did. Any thoughts, or should I just put an {{expert}} tag on it? I don't know if any of the stub categories here would work better, too. Thanks. Chick Bowen 04:43, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

You can of course put {{expert}} on it, or even better, {{context}}, but that article seems to be about a rather technical topic to start with. It would be hard to make it more elementary, and even with more context, very few nonmathematicians would ever care about the subject of that article. So if I were you, I would just not worry much about it, but I am a mathematician, so I am biased. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:13, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'll leave it as it is. My conscience is eased--thanks. Chick Bowen 13:24, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Refering equations[edit]


I have a question

In latex I would write

The blablabla....

\begin{equation} ax^2+bx+c = 0 \label{eq:quadratic} \end{equation}

According to equation \eqref{eq:quadratic} ....

How can I numerate and make further references to the formulas that are written inside a page?


Diego Torquemada 13:06, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi, hi! Unfortunately, TeX does not work that well on Wikipedia, and you can't reference formulas like you do in TeX, by label. All that one can do is written above on this page, see #Equation labeling. Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

The rollback button[edit]

Hi Enochlau. I have a comment about this edit you made. I believe that was a typical example when one should not use the admin rollback tool, but rather revert the old-fashioned way, and with an edit summary. I believe Mikka's edit was in good faith, the category he put the article in was sound, and everything was OK. Thus, you owe Mikka, and everybody who has that article on the watchlist, an explanation for why you reverted the edit.

That explanation can go on the article talk page, but even better, the most appropriate place is the edit summary. In short, also per the new Wikipedia:Administrator Code of Conduct, I would like to ask you to not use the rollback button when an edit summary is necessary. Also note that Mikka is an old wolf, but people may also take offence at being reverted with the vandal tool, if their edit was in good faith.

Wonder what you think, you can reply here, I will keep your page on my watchlist. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC) (copied my above post from Enochlau's page who replied on my page instead of his Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:33, 28 January 2006 (UTC))

I've reverted myself and made a comment on the talk page. It was a mistake, but I stand by my use of the rollback button: I've already stated my views on this matter at Wikipedia:Admin accountability poll. In the past, I have used edit summaries in reversion when there is already a content dispute where all parties should explain their edits, but not if there isn't an outstanding dispute. enochlau (talk) 06:07, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I read your view at Wikipedia:Admin accountability poll. You wrote there "Use it [the rollback button] when you need to use it". That is too vague to argue about. However, above, in this discussion, you wrote "In the past, I have used edit summaries in reversion when there is already a content dispute where all parties should explain their edits, but not if there isn't an outstanding dispute.". With that I disagree. You see, an easy way to start a dispute where there is none, is for an admin to revert a good faith and apparently valid edit without bothering to say why. That is to say, I believe all edits except minor typo fixing and vandalism reversion should be explained. Wonder what you think of that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 06:33, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Least common multiple[edit]

(copied from User talk:Beoknoc) Please stop that. The text written there is much clearer and more accurate than what you provided, and we don't sign our names in articles either. Dysprosia 02:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes please. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 22:05, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I think this is how i talk... if it is, i'll know by your response.

A) i didn't put my name on it. I am not ben cook.

B) no, I feel that what i put is a better summary and is easy to understand. if we could put both, that would be OK (I had done this originaly but someone deleted my thing). you could even have yours first. if you could pass this on to what's his name, that would be great. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Beoknoc (talk • contribs) .

I find your text to be naive and poorly written. It is no better than existing text, as the way you do, you still have to find the gcd of the two numbers. Please don't insert that text again, it has no value. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:11, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

interesting, i find your comments strange and agrivating. as dy--- said, this is an encyclopedia. Look in any encyclopedia and you will find the more complex version and a simpler version for studentsdoing research (my 2 kids use wickipedia for almost every assignment, and they were unable to understand your formula). because of this, i feel that it is nessesary to have both formulas posted. also, no offence meant, but, as my 12 year old would say, "up urs". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Beoknoc (talkcontribs) 20:11, 29 January 2006

An encyclopedia is more of a reference work than teaching tool for 12 years old. But that is not the problem. Your text is poorly written. And for the n-th time, you don't need to mention it was developed by a 12-year kid called Ben Cook. Developing that trick might have been a great achievement for Ben Cook himself, but clearly is not as important as to record it in the encyclopedia.
And please read WP:3RR. Doing more than three reverts in 24 hours results in a block. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:54, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Could you keep an eye on I. M. Vinogradov? It seems we have a revert war - I am going to bed. Charles Matthews 22:56, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Will try. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:13, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your help from me as well! --BACbKA 13:05, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

new edit war at Acharya S[edit]

Take a look at here. --Ragib 02:15, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I had noticed that, but not the most recent developments. Thank you for your note, I protected the page again. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:20, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I hate to ask you again, but the talk page of the article has started become quite nasty , with words like "Bigot", "Liar", "Coward", "waste of space". Since I had edited the article in the past, and had some disagreement with the parties involved in the current edit war, it would be a conflict of interest in my part to take any admin action over these type of personal attacks between the editors. I think it is time for an RFC, because the conflict has been going on for more than 3 months now. --Ragib 05:52, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

RFA bot request[edit]

For what it's worth, my edit counter, and contribution tree are somewhat merged... that is, the edit counter link is probably sufficient to access a person's contribution tree. So, it's probably sufficient to only post the link to the one tool in RFA now, if you want. As for edit summaries, I don't know how long it will be until that's available from the toolserver... possibly not for a long time, because there's no database index that covers it, and I haven't figured out any user-friendly ways around that yet. So it's good you kept your code working the whole time. --Interiot 10:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

So you are saying mathbot won't be fired anytime soon, that's good to know. :) Actually, I don't know why people would want more information about the edit summary usage than the percentage that my bot provides. Having charts, etc, for that, would be too much I think. :)
I fixed my script to only link to the first of your tool. Thanks for merging them, I also thought that would be a good idea. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 17:25, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

re:Request for edit summary[edit]

I have been using those more often, though I sometimes refrain from doing so to avoid confusion. Thanks! --hello, i'm a member | talk to me! 18:37, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

My Request for Adminship[edit]

Hi, this is Mb1000. You recently voted Neutral on my request for adminship. Is there anyway you could reconsider and vote to Support me? I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. --Mb1000 18:34, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

P.S. If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, just post them on the comments page. I'll answer them as soon as I see them. Thanks.

As other people noticed, you have too few contributions in the Wikipedia namespace, see here. And from what I see, 20 of those 87 edits are related to your own nomination.
This kind of request as above also shows your inexperience. You are welcome to ask people why they voted Neutral, but stating it plainly that you want me to change my vote to supporting you is not a good idea. Oleg Alexandrov (talk)

You sent me a "welcome to wiki" message and I have a question[edit]

how do I sign my name? I tried (Beoknoc) but it didn't work.

By the way, if you are able to send me that un-editable message, you must have some sort of power in the wiki world. Please fire yourself promptly for abuse of a new user.


I think i have it...

beoknoc 04:13, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Yay! May I ask why you care about some wierdo's desire to add something to the LCM article?

beoknoc 04:15, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

That welcome message is not uneditable, you click on "edit" tab at the top to edit it. So I guess this settles the question about firing myself for abuse. :)
Yeah, I would be interested in why you add stuff to the LCM article. But please keep in mind that I am no fan of your text. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:59, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Perl Programming[edit]

Privyet Oleg! I notice that you like perl programming as do I... It is one of the best languages that I have found to write in. I like the intrinsic ability to deal with hashes. 0waldo 13:39, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Yay! Perl rules indeed. What I myself like is that it is so easy to work with regular expressions. They are built in the language, rather than as an extra package. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
eta pravilna :) the R.E. parser is so fantastic! I started writing a multi-thread SMTP server in C but decided it was a total waste of time so I wrote it in perl. (just imagine parsing an buffer in native C?). I wrote my entire web-site in Perl, why use comical languages like .NOT? 0waldo 13:33, 31 January 2006 (UTC) P.S. did you see the two line R.E. that was barred from export by the U.S. state department because it did encryption? - two lines of Perl R.E. code!

Image License[edit]

Thank you for cropping the image I uploaded: RightTriangleWithIncircle2.jpg

I made the image myself, using Microsoft PowerPoint. I would like to correct the license so that it is not deleted (the image should be in the public domain). Can you tell me the steps for doing this? I've looked in the on-line help area and can't find the steps that I need.

Thank you! The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bronsongardner (talk • contribs) .

About Image:RightTriangleWithIncircle.jpg. I think, all you need to do, is go to that image,, and type there




That will specifiy that the image is made by you and is in public domain, and there will be your signature. Hope that helps. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 01:58, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh thanks for pointing that out[edit]

Thanks for pointing that out. I knew that box was there, but never really tried to utilize it. Now that I am a changed Wikipedian I will make sure that the box is filled, so that people realize that I am not vandalizing anything. Again, thanks for the heads up! Thistheman 05:19, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Hey, I changed a life! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:22, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I need a little advice[edit]

Could you take a look at Talk:al-Khwarizmi#Al-Khwarizmi has Turkish Origin.? A user keeps inserting that al-Khwarizmi was Turkish without providing sources which back this up. He seems to be immune to discussion, but I think starting an RfC over this would be a bit over the top. Cheers, —Ruud 19:13, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I just wrote a few articles[edit]

ok, that wasn't the best heading but it does not matter anyway. What exactly was it about my articles that seemed non-encyclopedic, can I not explain stuff out or what? TheHorse'sMouth 01:58, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Your work is appreciated, of course. It is just, an article like Finding the centroid appears to be a page from at textbook. I don't quite know how to say it. You focus too much on derivations of things, rather than on stating what the facts are. See for example the centroid article, for an encyclopedic style. One should write first the formulas, maybe derive one or two of them, that's how I would myself approach things. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:18, 1 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi. I undid your edit at divisor, because, as far as I am aware, 0 is indeed a divisor of zero. No problems of dividing by zero show up, and the definition works just fine. Wonder what you think.

By the way, it is good if you use an edit summary when you contribute, and also, it is good if you use the notation Z or \mathbb{Z} for integers, than just Z. These are two small tips. :) Welcome! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:52, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm now studing CS. I've finished electrotechnic high school. Mathematic was my pretty favorite object in high school. Also, I've get some price at math contest during it. I write this for reason that you can see that I'm not so unrelevant - not for reasons of glorifing myself.
I do not have time to read about you. To get some knowledge about you. But, what you did make no sense. I think that still in elementary school teacher said that no one number can be divided by zero. So, please turn back what you did.
Try to divide an apple to no parts. How many you can get? Try to divide to one part. It's goes. About black board notation: I'm pretty new at Wikipedia and I still do not have quite technical knowledge about writing in it. Please, if you want to answer me - ansver at my pages.
Greetings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cikicdragan (talkcontribs)
I will reply on your talk page too. The thing is, you don't need to divide by zero to deal with divisors. I would suggest you read carefully the definition in divisor, then we can talk. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:03, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

You have been very patient with me. If I remember that night now I could say that night I was very tired. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Cikicdragan (talk • contribs) .

Just a note here: Zero certainly divides zero, but I'd be careful about calling it a "divisor of zero". Sometimes that phrase is used for a nonzero element that can be multiplied by a nonzero element, resulting in zero. That is, an integral domain is a ring that has no divisors of zero. --Trovatore 01:02, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Logically, if one number divide another number, why we cannot call it divisor, without further staff? Now, I'm learning discrete math, and there we have this definition of divisibility: Let a and b are integers. We say that a divide b if a is not zero and there exist integer k so that b is equal to a*k. a is divisor of b and so on... --Čikić Dragan 12:13, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I guess in some situations it is convenient to not have zero in when talking about division. So, in the definition above there is no need to require a be nonzero, so 0 divides 0, but people choose to put that restriction that a is not zero. I don't quite know what to say. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:37, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Who knows it might work?[edit]

Hey Oleg. I share your concerns about Tony's behavior. Let's see what happens at Aaron's draft "RfC". We can always file a "real" one, or reformat it or whatever we feel is appropriate later. I would urge you to engage Tony, there and elsewhere, about your concerns. — Paul August 19:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I did not miss your comment, but thanks for the reminder. :) Yeah, I would have preferred a real RfC, but this one already seems to have given results, with Tony promising I think to not do wheel wars (he had a weird explanation for that, but at least he said he won't do it). Any other thoughts on the matter? ('Cause for myself I don't have any.) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Hoi all. I eschewed the normal format because we'd end up with a continuum of outside views from "Ban Tony" to "Knight Tony", steamingly uncivil at either end, with little discussion going on in the middle. - brenneman(t)(c) 03:28, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Greetings and thanks[edit]


Greeting, Oleg. Thanks for helping to clean up my talkpage. What do you suppose this Gobtude thing is all about? I'm a bit confused. All the best, – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 19:57, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks from me as well for the same issue. No Guru 20:08, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I will add my thanks. Does anyone know what that message meant? Lady Aleena 20:10, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
PS. Do you have any idea why we were targetted? Have we had dealings with the same issue somewhere along the way that I can't see? Lady Aleena 20:42, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I got that Japanese message as well, that's how I found out about it. I guess that's just a troll writing on random people pages. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Cross product - 3X3 and lagrange[edit]

Hey, i just looked back at the cross product page, and I noticed that you put back Lagrange's formula in its original spot after I thought we had come to a compromise. I still think Lagrange's formula does *not* belong in the "properties of a cross product" section - since it is most certainly not a "property" of the cross product.

Secondly, you reverted my un-signed-in edit about the 3 component vectors. I read the edit note. A cross product can be done on a vector with ANY amount of components. I think this should be stressed in the article, and as a first stress i wanted to note that the section on matrices is very very narrow.

Fresheneesz 04:50, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I did not move the Lagrange formula, I just change the heading name, as there were too many heading levels.
Now, the way the article is now, it is all about three dimensions all the way from the beginning to "Higher dimensions" section, so specifying in a section heading before "Higher dimensions" that we are talking about three dimensions is not necessary. It just confuses people at that spot, I would think.
Wonder what you think. By the way, it is good to use your account, and surely use an edit summary; there is less misunderstanding that way. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:15, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I sorta think of the headings like computer file addresses, renaming is moving and vice versa ; ) . Anyway, I think the Lagrange formula is misplaced. The triple product (and lagrange formula for that matter) has a link in the "see also" section, but it also uses the cross product.. so it seems sort of inconsistent to have one random relation that uses the cross product in the main article, but not others. I sort of like the idea of either removing lagrange formula and just linking to its main page, or putting it with the triple product in a "relations using the triple product" section or something.
As for the 3 component vector thing, I really think this article should be about the cross product in general, and shouldn't focus everything on only 3 component vectors. Perhaps that should include a comprehensible definition of a higher dimensional cross product (the current one isn't quite.. and the main article is even shorter than the section under cross product!). Anyway, thats my thoughts. Fresheneesz 21:05, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
Hey, Fresh-man, I don't know what you're saying. Cross product only exists in 3 dimensional vector space. This is explained in the article. Why would you want to talk about more general cross products, when more general cross products do not exist? -lethe talk + 21:12, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
A cross product exists for ANY two vectors - whether they be in 3D space, 5D space, or 100000 D space. so.... yea. Fresheneesz 02:33, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Oh really? Can you show me a definition? -lethe talk + 06:44, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
mmm.. i think i got really confused, sorry... Fresheneesz 08:17, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually a Lie algebra can be viewed as a generalised cross product! And the Killing form can then be recognised as the generalised dot product `associated' with it. Hawthorn 13:16, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Mathbot geo-stub[edit]

Hi - any reason why User:Mathbot/Page1 is listed as a geography stub? Grutness...wha? 05:51, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi Grutness. I was using User:Mathbot/Page1 as dumping ground for some logs, without paying much attention to what is in there. Fixed now, thanks for letting me know. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:05, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

page move[edit]

Could you move Biruni to al-Biruni for me? Thanks —Ruud 05:58, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Someone seems to have done a copy-paste move a few months ago so I think the page histories need to be merged first. —Ruud 06:01, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I did merge the page histories. About moving Biruni to al-Biruni, I suggest you propose it on the article talk page, and if people agree, I can perform the move later (just to make sure the article won't have to be moved back and forth). Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 16:07, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Sorry if you already knew this, but I just wanted to tell you that I replied on the talk page for list of hip hop musicians a couple days ago.--Urthogie 10:45, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Hello Mr enforcer![edit]

Only one way of doing things? Hmmm. :)

Though I'm back, I'm not too active. I'm particularly eager to see what's decided on the Hewitt affair, although don't want to get involved in the "vortex" arguments he's spinning over there.--CSTAR 16:52, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Great to see you back, if only semi-actively for now. :) About this, that's not the worst I am capable of :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 18:27, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Check the latest exploits by Anittas' buddy. Also check the contributions. --Ghirla | talk 18:36, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I think you should report this at WP:AN/I, there is not much I can do about it. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:07, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Article found on dead-end pages[edit]

I found Binomial proportion confidence interval in the dead end pages, It has been on there for about 3 weeks and its author has made no other contributions. As I have no skills in this area, perhaps could you take it under your wing. If it is not salvageable, i will recommend it as an AFD or perhaps a redirect MNewnham 19:54, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't know statistics well-enough to do much about it. I made some links, categorized it (so my bot will add it to list of mathematics articles tomorrow), and slapped some attention tags on it. I believe it is salvageable, but an expert is needed. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:05, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

On being ordered[edit]

  • JA: Hi Oleg, my thinking on that is a bit like this. It's not unusual for me, and I know many others who do this, in trying to decide whether to read a journal article or to buy a book, etc., to scan the headings or the TOC, then skip right to the end and scan the Bib, the Refs, and in this case the QV's, as this often provides the quickest idea as to whether there's anything in it that I need to know. So both in reading and in writing articles here, it's not such a bad thing to collect the more important, if technically redundant QV's at the end, as it provides instant conceptual context for the topic of the article. Of course, it's possible to spend time organizing the links logically, which I do when the list gets too big by introducing collective subheads, but since it's just a scan list, and since many different logical orders are possible, and since other folks will add items in a way that is random, or that seems random to anyone else, anyway, it's just good IR to go with alpha as the routine default. Jon Awbrey 02:18, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
OK, so we are talking about ordering links, not about anybody ordering anybody anything. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:36, 3 February 2006 (UTC)


Hi Commander Keane. A couple of days ago, when I removed the links to the wikipedia bootcamp from the welcome template, you put the link to {helpme} back, citing consensus on the talk page. Well, it seems that now you are breaking that consensus, by adding in the bootcamp link.

I am sure that Danny feels very strongly about the bootcamp, but as you noticed, the opinions are leaning towards removing that link.

I could use my administrator's privileges to undo your edit, but I will not do that. I have spent a week arguing that matter on the talk page (with the bootcamp link in), and am willing to spend a week more. But for future reference, I suggest you act with more discernment in these matters. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk)

Thanks for not removing the additions. I know what I am doing, I trust Danny.--Commander Keane 03:51, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Commander Keane, it is not about Danny; I respect your trust of him, and I believe it is warranted.
It is about all the people who worked hard to establish a consensus. Oleg Alexandrov (talk)

It's nothing to do with consensus, it's about helping new users. Danny wants to help new users (he has to deal with them on the phone every day), I want to help new users. Take a look at User talk:Jrbrunger. Read it. In two minutes I was there, we got a new article, we probably secured a fantastic new contributor. That's what this is all about.--Commander Keane 04:05, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

As I wrote on template talk:welcome, there are plenty of ways of helping users, none the least being {helpme}.
I also like to help users, and I understand your excitement about the new project.
However, Commander Keane, consensus is a good thing to have. All of us are well-intentioned people wishing the best for Wikipedia. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 04:14, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank You For The Respect on AN/I[edit]

My Gratitude was EATEN BY A BEAR!

I figured I was a rouge admin, but i'm glad i've come a long way into the realm of respected admins(apparently anyway, from your comment). Even when I disagree with others within the project, I consider it my duty as an advisor at Esperanza to maintain a calm and cool demeanor when doing so. Who knows? Maybe I can make it onto the Arbcom in 2015 or so ;-) Karmafist 12:53, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

[3] Yeah, you are welcome. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:57, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Re: Request for edit summary[edit]

Mulţumesc pentru atenţionare. Am să încerc, însă nu promit ;-) --Romihaitza 15:04, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

User Account creation[edit]

I will take your advice and guidance. Actually, one of the first things I did was to create a user account with Wikipedia I thought Wikipedia saved a cookie so that I wouldn't have to log in each time, but I suppose that doesn't always work. Also.I do use the preview button, but probably not as much as I should. I'll do better in the future in that regards. Thanks for the heads up and your patience with my learning the system.


Please consider stopping Mathbot from posting the little chunk of statistics on RfA. It promotes a form of statisticsitis which is not conductive to the intended purpose of the page. People should be getting their own stats if those are part of their personal criterion. Thanks. Rob Church (talk) 02:15, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I had unversal approval when I suggested it, at Wikipedia_talk:Requests for adminship/Archive_44#Edit summary usage for RfA candidates? If you wish to restart the discussion, be my guest, but please note that in the next week or two, people will be preocupied with other issues at Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship, as you may tell by visiting that talk page. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:20, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Lasalle's invariance principle[edit]

Hey Oleg. I tried several ways of making the vector bold (e.g., \bf, \textbf, \boldmath) None seem to be working. Then I resorted to underline. Do you know how to do it? For all x is correct. Thanks! deeptrivia (talk) 04:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

One can do <math>\mathbf{x}</math>, which appears as \mathbf{x}. Cheers, Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:00, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Re: {{welcome}}[edit]

Hi Flcelloguy. Despite of the numerous people who object to the link to the bootcamp in the welcome template, and the fact that it is not in fact necessary, with the {{helpme}} template being enough for their project, the people from the bootcamp project keep on using their administrative privileges to put the bootcamp link back in. I don't plan to get involved in such a game, as I find it silly to push one's point with edit wars using admin privileges rather than talk, but something should be done about it. Wonder what you think. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:56, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

How odd - I had just clicked the "edit" to the talk page of the template when the "new messages" banner came up. :-) I'm going to leave a note on the talk page, citing a quote from above, and remove the link while we discuss this even more. From my impression, it appears that more people support removing the template rather than keeping it in. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 16:01, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Vile attacks[edit]

Oleg, could you please look at this discussion Talk:Many-worlds interpretation.. This guy has accused me of practically everything, including being educated by Jesuits (which is true but irrelevant).--CSTAR 00:02, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

This is wrong. I never claimed that CSTAR was educated by Jesuits. --DenisDiderot 00:15, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Don't be coy. Why did you bring up Jesuits in the discussion? Because I was engaged in a discussion with User:Lethe in which I brough up my jesuit background. --CSTAR 00:20, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
No, do you know about Denis Diderot? --DenisDiderot 00:25, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
I replied there, I guess you guys need a break. :) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 00:39, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Mathbot: submitted for your approval[edit] --Trovatore 05:07, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

(But it does look like I got the past tense wrong. Corrected now.) --Trovatore 05:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
So the word in question at Foundations problem in mathematics was not missspelled after all. I guess I should have looked it up, rather than casting doubt on people. I was just rather sure it was wrong. :) Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:48, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

New Picture[edit]

Thank you for the newest picture at Pythagorean triple. But things are rather hard to see in the picture. I would suggest you make the fonts much bigger, and move almost all of the text from the picture to the article. Wonder what you think. Thanks. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 21:57, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. I have increased the size of the image so that it is much easier to read on the page. I'll work on moving the text from the picture into the body of the text. Thank you again for your suggestions.

Bronson Gardner

Great, thanks! Removing the formulas from the picture would be nice indeed. (replied on your talk page also). Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 02:49, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Moldovan vote[edit]

Dear Oleg, the final term is approaching for the moldovan wiki vote. Considering the status of this wiki, would you consider changing your vote from "neutru" to "contra"? Having a clear-cut internal vote will probably strengthen the position when discussing the problem on meta. Dpotop 11:48, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Re: Thanks[edit]

Hi Flcelloguy. Thanks a lot for your excellent handling of the bootcamp issue at template talk:welcome. I must say that I have been very impressed with your diplomacy and insight in a number of places on Wikipedia. I believe you would be a valuable addition to the arbitration committee, should you decide to run for the job. Keep on doing the good work! Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:55, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind words; they were greatly appreciated. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 21:54, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, Flcelloguy is now an arbitrator. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:41, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Semi-automated template substitution[edit]

Lynching et al[edit]

Hi Tony. I just stumbled upon your responses at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Holding a Lynching?. I must say that I agree with you that my comment, in its own heading (RFC against Tony Sidayway) was an overkill, and may have been interpretted as a lynching. That was by no means my intention, and I appologize.

To explain myself, that was a somwhat "natural" reaction to the comments above that heading, which amounted to "Tony is perpetually wheel-warring, and RfC's against him won't work". I believe most people got my intention, with a few exceptions, but of course, that approach did not please you. So, again, that was a bit heavy-handed, and again, I am sorry.

However, I do not think it was necessary (as you suggested) to talk about this in advance with you on your talk page, or that you and me should have had some kind of prior encounters to justify such a statement as I had written at WP:AN/I. I am sure that you are aware that Wikipedia is overall a small place, and that you had gained some kind of notoriety about having disagreements with other administrators which would lead to "wheel warring" (yeah, I know you don't like the term, I know you believe it is abused, and I know that you have your own explanations for your actions).

That it to say, public criticism from persons you never encountered and who never wrote on your talk page I believe is something acceptable and to be expected. So I don't think that one I got wrong. But again, I could have handled it better.

You can reply here if you have comments, I will keep your talk page on my wathclist for a while. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 23:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with your suggestion that launching into an RfC at that point and in that way was appropriate. If you have problems with my behavior. do bring them to the talk page in the first instance. Do use the dispute resolution process. Just because some editors for their own reasons like to make a noise on WP:AN/I does not mean that I am Wikipedia's aunt sally. I do need to be told, person-to-person, what your problem is with my actions. If I do not have this courtesy, then I cannot hope to address the problems. Such personal disputes cannot be solved through "megaphone diplomacy". --Tony Sidaway 23:56, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

This is getting interesting. Paraphrasing you from your RfC, I might learn something. I would think that you would be right, if we assume that there was a personal dispute (say between you and me). But this is not how I saw it. I had never met you before that time, so I did not have any dispute to solve.

What I saw, was a note at WP:AN/I about a wheel war, with you part of it (with the proper disclaimer for "wheel war", written above). Given your history of wheel wars before, and how troubling that is for the community, I would think that in that context an RfC was more appropriate way of doing things than a dispute resolution. Wonder what your comment is on this. (As stated above, I take it more as an opportunity to learn rather than attempting to be confrontational, I believe the issue with the lynching to have been closed, and with no damage on any side.) Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:13, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

RfC is dispute resolution. I don't know what ypu imagined you were using it for when you opened the current one, but the purpose of an RfC is to resolve a dispute. If you don't make me aware of you dispute, and give me the opportunitty of addressing it, what's the point of taking it to RfC, the very purpose of which is to outline the failure of your earlier attempts and to find an alternative resolution? --Tony Sidaway 04:51, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

RfC is also request for comment on user conduct. By no means do I mean to make this into an argument, but I would like to point out that I believe you were aware that you were engaging in wheel warring, and of people's comments about that. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 05:02, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I was aware of lots of loose talk on WP:AN/I. Such accusations are not the way to resolve disputes. --Tony Sidaway 05:18, 7 February 2006 (UTC)