I have an alternative account User:Robert C. Walker when I use if things become heated here in wikipedia. I log out and that way I don't get any notifications or message alerts when I visit wikipedia so can take a break from it.
My real name is Robert Walker. My business is called "robertinventor" and I'm a sole trader in the UK selling my own software (written by myself) over the internet. I'm also a mathematician as well as a programmer, but haven't done much by way of research for a long time now. I have a special interest in microtonal music as programmer, also dabble in microtonal composition as an amateur with occasional short pieces. And use my Fractal Tune Smithy program to make more elaborate demo microtonal fractal tunes - similar approach to visual fractals. I have a keen interest in astronomy and space exploration, and grew up in the space age, remember watching the Apollo landings in the late 1960s on TV watching the missions for hours on end. One of my Astronomy heroes is Patrick Moore. Also Carl Sagan.
As well as that, I write answers for Quora, where I was selected as one of their top writers in 2014 through to 2017, on many topics. I also write a column on Science20 mainly about Mars and space colonization issues and search for life, also sometimes covering topics in music and maths and microtonal music, and artificial intelligence (I get no remuneration for this). I've also appeared a couple of times as a guest on The Space Show hosted by David Livingston, to talk about planetary protection for missions to Mars, and about possible future experiments in artificial gravity in LEO. See Robert Walker - on the Space Show
(this will help in remote chance that someone hacks into my wikipedia account, see Committed identity)
Declaration of interest
I'm a software developer and I have written various programs including Tune Smithy and Tune Smithy#Bounce Metronome, the others are Activity Timer, Virtual Flower and Lissajous 3D. These are shareware programs which I sell commercially.
I created an article on Tune Smithy after the review in Sound on Sound because I thought that established notability, at an early stages of understanding of the wikipedia policies and guidelines. In hindsight it might have been better not to create this article myself, and leave it for someone else to do it. However, it is done and I have done my best to deal with COI issues in the article and to deal with the requirements to provide citations etc.
Apart from that, I also sometimes add links to articles to relevant resources on my web sites. Or use the software to create resources to add to Wikipedia. A recent example would be - the two animations I have added to the Polyrhythms page in wikipedia. The feedback I've got is that these animations enhance the articles.
I do the best to retain NPOV and to make sure I only add resources or links to resources that are directly relevant to the article in question and that will enhance understanding of the topic.
As I said above I also write articles on Mars and space issues on Science20. I have strong views in the area of planetary protection particularly. However I am careful never to put my own views on the matters into my work here.
For an example of my work see Planetary protection - about half of that article is my work, pretty much the entire second half, also first half rewritten. I follow NPOV and present all the available views on the subject, as far as I know of them. You would not be able to tell from the article what my views are on the subject, indeed, they are not covered in the article as I don't know of any source except my own articles for Science20 that come to exactly the same conclusions as I did.
I've recently got involved in a controversy about some articles on Buddhism. I'm a Buddhist, and have been so for many years now, but have never edited any of the articles about Buddhist views except trivially - I once fixed one broken link using archive.org. I have no wish to do so as I am not a Buddhist scholar, just a practitioner. I got involved in this issue as a reader who was dismayed to see an article that I thought excellent ruined, as I saw it, by an over rapid hasty major rewrite mainly by a single editor.
Over lengthy talk page posts
I'm used to writing in areas of the internet where long posts are welcome and indeed enjoyed. This includes quora, facebook, and comments on Science20 articles by myself and others. In those areas, I often write extremely long posts, sometimes running for many pages, with sub headings etc etc. And get nothing but complimentary responses to them.
See for instance this long comment I made to one of my articles on Science20: Yes, I totally agree.... Or this long comment to David Brin's article: Thanks, enjoyable read to which he replies "fun ruminiations" in his reply. There are many more on the web as long as this or longer - and nobody has any issues with them anywhere except here in the wikipedia sections on Mars and Buddhism. I think I also got a few comments once in an online forum several years ago about length of my posts. That is about it as far as I remember.
It has proved surprisingly difficult to adjust to these requirements for short posts, perhaps because I am so used now to writing long posts elsewhere. Though I was trying as best I could to be less verbose, a case was recently brought to the ANI to restrict my posts to 1500 characters a day and 3 edits a day on any given talk page. Just because the posts were too long.
Yet to see how it plays out, but hopefully it won't go through now as it has several clear oppose votes. (Update - it was closed with "no outcome").
This is not meant as an excuse for writing long posts here. But as a reason why it is understandable that I did them in the first place, and to please be patient with me as I do my best to adapt. It's not easy to write short posts when you are used to writing posts that run for sometimes many pages. Thanks!
I've written these guidelines to help me to keep to short posts in the future, in areas of Wikipedia where it is expected. See Work arounds for lengthy talk page comments
It obviously depends on the topic area and expectations of readers - as in some areas of wikipedia extremely long talk page posts are the norm. For other article pages though, then it seems talk page posts have to be short. So it is mainly a matter of noticing what is the norm for a talk page before you comment on it, I think.
Too many edits for a talk page post
I also often find it hard to write a post in one go. No idea why. But that is also true for my posts on quora, facebook and Science20, so the main difference between wikipedia and these other places is just that you can check the edit history and see how often I edit, also that the edit history is something editors often need to look at.
So my edit histories often get filled with numerous minor edits. Seems that this is a significant issue - so - apart from my own pages - probably in future I'll need to get used to doing user space drafts of posts before I post them. Unless it is something I can say straight off in a few words.
Patroling proposals for deletion
I've just joined the proposal for deletion patrollers for wikipedia. After just a half dozen or so searches in the Wikipedia:Proposed deletion pages, I found a couple of articles already. You can see why they were tagged as the articles had no references or links at all. And on a quick read you might think they seem a bit unlikely to be genuine just because of e.g. eye catching title for first one Festival on Wheels. But it didn't take much of a search in Google to find out that it is a notable Turkish film festival. Absolutely no room for question that it is notable according to wikipedia standards, just as the author of the article claimed. And clearly the article was by a novice to wikipedia. The other one was an article about an international pianist by someone who was so new to wikipedia he hadn't yet figured out how to do links within the text. A short search in google again backed up the claims and showed that the pianist was indeed notable enough to deserve an article of his own by the wikipedia criterion for musicians.
It's interesting, for me, I enjoy researching into things on the net like that, and you find out about things you wouldn't think to research into. And - it must be rather scary for a newbie to wikipedia. Think about it - it is your first attempt at an article on wikipedia. You have only just worked out how to edit things, and have something notable you want to contribute, and you dive in and create it as encouraged to do. And then not long after you create your first article you get a big red banner at the top of it saying it will be deleted within 7 days. Must be very disheatening. If you read the details of what it says, right to the end, and especially if you know a bit about how wikipedia works, it's not really scary at all, but to a somewhat bewildered newbie it must be a bit scary I think.
And in those cases at least, all that was really needed was a tag to say that they need to provide references to back up their article. So that's what I've done, well add a references section with at least one link to show how it is done and help the author get started and change the tag.
Nice thing about this patrol also, if anyone removes a proposal for deletion tag, then no-one else can put it back again. It can only be re-tagged as an article that requires discussion about whether to delete or not.
And anyone can remove one of these tags including the author of the article if they address the concerns. Basically just adding one link that shows notability is enough so if reserach shows it is notable, just add at least one link to confirm that and remove or replace the tag and that's it done.
So easy to do at any moment when you have a bit of time, and won't get into any of those long debates as part of this work and hopefully will help make wikipedia a better and friendlier place :).
I plan to patrol now and again when I have the time.
- Note - I haven't done this for some time now, because of other things, but it is something I enjoy doing so may well come back to it again in the future. Also, on the few occasions when I've checked, there seemed to be less need of rescuing articles than when I started, on this. I remember searching through articles that had reached the end of their time period, about to be deleted, and couldn't find any that obviously needed to be rescued from deletion - at least, not in subject areas where I knew how to check for notability. It could though still be useful to patrol recently tagged articles, like the first day of tagging - if a newbie has an article they wrote which just needs a few citations to fix it, and someone has slapped an AfD banner across the page - then the sooner it is removed the better. Robert Walker (talk) 14:30, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Inventor / mathematician / shareware software programmer.
I did some research while at Wolfson College Oxford on a style of mathematics in which everything is finite, in which exceedingly large numbers take the place of the infinities of classical and intuitionistic logic.
It uses a logic intermediate between classical and intuitionistic logic.
This page describes some of the philosophy behind it. The research was done some years ago, and in fact I have forgotten most of it, and would need to look it up again if anyone was interested. Reactions to it were unfavourable, so I never tried to publish it. However, I was satisfied with it myself, as it answered the basic question that motivated the research and lead to new areas for research which I enjoyed following up, so could possibly be of interest to others too. It's also been suggested a few times that I could return to it and publish the research, though I have no immediate plans to do that right now. Large numbers as infinite
After that I did some research into cellular automata, trying to find one with simpler rules than Life that had a similar undecidability proof. This was unsuccessful, but got me involved in programming again after a lapse of many years.
I then did some research on non periodic sets of tiles, and found some new non periodic sets in 2D and 3D with interesting properties - research not yet published. Sent it for publication but after getting it rejected from the first mathematical periodical I attempted to place it in, didn't try again (sorry, just wasn't very persistent at publication in those days, with a bit more work, it would probably have got published somewhere). I certainly plan to publish this as soon as I get the chance to work on it for long enough to get it publication ready.
I also did research into recreational mathematics including some topics in peg solitaire including three dimensional peg solitaire. Also researched into discrete approximations to Euclidean geometry. Again obtained some interesting results which I hope to publish when I get the time to work on it properly.
Then I got involved in writing music software, originally to explore an idea I had for a fractal tune built up from a simple seed. This was far more successful than I expected, the results were very musical. So I tried selling the program and was encouraged further by the enthusiastic feedback from users.
Later I added in scales from the SCALA archive with permission from Manual Op de Coul. This lead to microtonal fractal tunes. It turned out then that my program was useful for microtonal composers to retune their keyboards and pieces composed in notation software. So I developed that side of it further. It also turned out to be useful for music therapy in connection with Barbara Hero's Lambdoma keyboard - I adapted Tune Smithy so that it could be used to play the notes for her keyboard. Other spin off additions to the program include the chord progression player, the polyrhythm metronome, and the audio pitch tracer used to transcribe bird song. I then developed the polyrhythm metronome into Bounce Metronome Pro which uses visual techniques used by conductors to show the rhythms cleanly.
My top selling programs are the music ones. But I also wrote some other software as well. Lissajous 3D was written in order to make Lissajous Patterns in 3D - originally for use with Tune Smithy for the music therapy connection, an implementation of ideas by Barbara Hero, and a suggestion to develop them in 3D by the composer Charles Lucy.
Virtual Flower originated in a discovery that it was possible to make very compact fractal trees in VRML - a few KB instead of the usual several MB that would be required for such complex 3D shapes. It also developed as a way to make geometrical shapes, polyhedra and animated star spheres.
Other programs I've written include the Activity Timer which is used to track time spent on projects on the computer, and Text Field Echo a text tool with a few special features - including a wild word search and replace, and search and replace all the files in a folder.
My web site, where you can find out more, is robertinventor.com