Talk:A History of Pi

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Best. Book. Ever.[edit]

I read this book a few weeks ago and really liked it, so I decided to look up Petr Beckmann on the wiki. I didn't expect and article on the book though. Wow. Also, the books correct title is "A History of π (Pi)", but I don't know if you can put π in titles on the wiki. - Pacaman 17:04, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Good point - I've just moved it to the correct title. - DavidWBrooks 19:02, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! I think I have a good image [1], but I'm not sure about the copyright information. Also, is there a book template? Pacaman 22:05, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Not sure. I don't see any on other vaguely equivalent (e.g., popular science) books. Go ahead and create one! - DavidWBrooks 22:11, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I made a template at Template:scibook. I'll add it when I get back home. Pacaman 11:56, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
AHHH! When I added the template everything got sucked into it. [2] Pacaman 20:35, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
My version is published by St. Martin's Press. I can't seem to add it to the template, though - and the year should be 1976 in literature - DavidWBrooks 22:35, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I added them. What else do you think would be useful on the template? Pacaman 02:19, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Nothing I can think of, except a cover image. I think templates often go way overboard. - DavidWBrooks 02:53, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Would you have copyright information for the cover on your book,for an image? (assuming you own the book) I got the book from a library. Pacaman 03:09, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Hmm... It seems Petr Beckmann and this page have some conflicting information. From Petr Beckmann:Petr Beckmann, A History of π, Golem Press, 1971, ISBN 0911762124 Pacaman 20:19, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm looking at my copy and it says copyright 1971 the Golem Press, for information write St. martin's Press Inc., and St. Martin's is the name on the spine. Golem must be a subsidiary of it - except it's not listed under the company's Web site. Perhaps it's a one-off that Beckmen set up for his own book; actually, yes, our own article says he created the press. St. Martin's must have handled the printing and distribution. - DavidWBrooks 21:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I'll update the year. Maybe whoever added the Golem press to Beckmann's page would know something...? Pacaman 23:57, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Interesting... I found this on History of Pi:

This conflicts with Petr Beckmann. Pacaman 11:51, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it matters much; I think Golem did the editorial side of it (because it was Beckmann's baby) but St. Martin's did the printing, binding and distribution, and now probably owns republication rights. I'm not sure Golem Press even exists any more; I have trouble finding it online. lists the publisher as St. Martin's, so we should probably go with that - just because people looking for a copy nowadays will find that as the publisher. - DavidWBrooks 16:06, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree with that, but when I went back to the school library today and the addition there said Golem Press and '71. Pacaman 20:19, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Editing my past wiki-self[edit]

I have just removed a sentence ("(It) may be best known for the author's colorful and free-wheeling cultural and political opinions.") that I wrote when I created this article back in October 2006 - almost three years ago. (It had since been tagged as needing a citation, and I couldn't find one.) The fact that it seemed fine to me in 2006 and unacceptable to me in 2009 reflects on the way that wikipedia has changed. (end of navel-gazing; we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming). - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:40, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Book title[edit]

The original (and as far as I know, the current) cover[3] shows the title as A History of π (not A History of Pi). I think the article should use π instead of Pi to be consistent with the actual title. I'm referring specifically to the edit made by Kauffner (2011-04-06), which changed all the title references to Pi. — Loadmaster (talk) 16:58, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

There are several different covers for this book and each gives the title in a different way. The cover is just art anyway. Or do you think we should give the title as { a history of } π PI ? The "official" title is the one given on the title page. Golem Press, which published the 1971 edition, puts A History of π on the title page. But St. Martin's Press uses A History of Pi. The St. Martin's Press version is the one being currently being sold on Amazon. IMO, the real title is the one that booksellers, libraries, and reviewers use to refer to the book. They never use the Greek letter, not even when referring specifically to a Golem Press edition. As explained in the footnote I added, A History of Pi is the version of the title given by Amazon here. WorldCat gives A history of pi (pi) for the 1971 edition and A History of Pi for the revised title. Kauffner (talk) 03:41, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Putting a Greek letter in an article title creates various software issues discussed here. Since there is no issue of the current title being incorrect, I would oppose moving the article to a title that included the Greek letter. Kauffner (talk) 10:33, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree that WP readers should not be required to type a Greek letter to get to this article. That being said, there are numerous WP articles with non-ASCII titles, almost all of which have all-ASCII redirects to them. However, it's not a question of ease of use, but of accuracy; the article should reflect the actual title of the book as used by the publishers themselves. I don't know the answer, so I'll defer the solution to the experts. — Loadmaster (talk) 14:43, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
Since different publishers use different titles, there is no "actual title of the book". We can - and should - go with the most convenient variant, as we have already done. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 15:07, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

The St Martin's Press edition currently on Amazon here obviously says π and not "pi" on the cover. We should undo the move. Issues about screen reader software can be handled with WP:WPUS and we should do it that way instead of by changing article titles to accomodate screen reader vendors' buggy software. (talk) 10:04, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

As I explained above, a cover is just art. The cover you are referring to is good example of this since the artist has cleverly set it up so that you can read it either way. The official title is the one on the copyright page. But if you are into covers, here is another one. I should add that A History of π is already given as a title of the book right at the top of the article. When a book has more than one title, you can't put both of them first. Kauffner (talk) 10:29, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
That picture (an edition whose cover says "A History of Pi") is a Marlboro Books edition from 1990 and it's fine if we mention it. (talk) 05:36, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Kauffner (talk) 14:18, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I mean mention the edition (e.g. in a list of editions), not make more links to cover images. The ones there are wrong anyway; the amazon one says π (with the word "pi" in a circle undereath), not "either way"; and the worldcat one (at least for me) shows no picture at all. (talk) 06:05, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
IMO, the article title should be version of the book's title that is most useful to the reader. If you want to buy or borrow this book, or find a review, you need to look it up under the title A History of Pi, and not under the pi symbol. The cover of a book is art. The title proper is found on the title page. This is from title page: "The title page (as distinct from the cover) ...and its verso (together known as the 'title leaf') are used to establish the 'title proper.'" This is from Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books: "Parallel titles, other titles, and other title information preceding the chief title on the title page are considered part of the title proper."[4] If you go by the Amazon cover, the title has curly brackets in it. You read the title on this cover A History of π, but people who are not used to thinking of π as a word will read the same cover as A History of Pi. Kauffner (talk) 19:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)


What are the chapters about? --The Doctahedron, (talk) 21:54, 13 June 2012 (UTC)