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About me[edit]

  • Professionally I'm a software engineer. I guess nowadays I would be considered somewhat old school, having started college when Pascal was the current standard, C was the up-and-coming language, and things like C++ and Java and Perl were years away. Most recently I developed software for Google, but today I am self employed.
  • My current interests are early metallurgy and industrial chemistry, from the earliest copper smelts to the newest cobalt catalysts for the Ostwald process.
  • I'm writing a newer chemical-formula text layout package that aims to make copy/paste operations "just work" so if you copy something like 2CH3COOH + CaCO3 = Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2O + CO2 into your buffer, you can drop it directly into wikipedia instead of having to rewrite it as {{chem|C|H|3|C|O|O|H}} etc. Likewise the current subscript/superscript, spacing between coefficients and molecular expressions, formatting of state "(aq)", "(s)" vs oxidation level "Iron(III) Oxide" are a pain to learn and harder to implement. Putting all that work into one piece of code and letting everyone leverage it seems like a better idea.


I met most of these people when they adjusted things I wrote. I'm glad they did.

My edits[edit]

  • The vast majority of my wikipedia edits are just grammar/spelling/punctuation cleanup, with "duplicate data removed" and "section reorg" coming next. I think I've edited potassium nitrate so often that I could recite most of the article from memory. :)
  • I'm definitely bold when it comes to edits, but I'm a big believer in backing off when the experts show up with their opinion. (I'm actually filling out this page years after I started editing because smokefoot suggested it) I encourage a lot of people to become Wikipedia editors, since I think the more critical eyes on the text the better.
  • I try to write according to POLA and "do the sane thing". I try to balance the text I write for to be educational for people without area knowledge but useful to people with it. I salute the people who build things like the chembox so that fixed data can be found in a repeatable way. And don't get me started on how cool the stacked categories are. Today I was at isoflurane and only had to skip to the bottom to find the list of related compounds laid out in a simple list. Huzzah!
  • Old citation requests are something I weed out often: If the citation request is more than a year old and I can't find supporting data with a quick Google, I'll delete the statement and let someone put it back in if they really feel strongly about it. I'm fond of citing patents in technology areas now that there are so many patent search databases to reference - patents are an online source of text that are unlikely to be retroactively modified, which sets them apart from (say) anything ending in "".

New pages[edit]

Sometimes there's a gap that just needs to be filled. :)


In short, I'm a tech nerd who loves Wikipedia and imagines that everyone who reads my work will be excited to learn, grateful for the readability, and impressed with my prose.

I hope this explains why I edited whatever it was in whatever way I did which led you to read this page. I meant well, I promise.

- Riventree (talk) 05:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)