User talk:CBM/Archive 13

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Seasons Greetings

Artsy Christmas Tree.jpg <font=3> Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all the best in 2010! Yours, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 02:16, 25 December 2009 (UTC) Candy Cane Lane 4.jpg
Thanks. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)


Could you please delete User:SMcCandlish/Sig? It's no longer being transcluded anywhere ("What links here" notwithstanding; a few purges have not caught up yet). — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō  Contribs. 02:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Sure, no problem. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:01, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:External links has been marked as a guideline

Wikipedia:External links (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a guideline. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Peer review

Hi Carl, Happy 2010! I stabilized Wikipedia:Peer review/November 2009 and the top PR shows, but without the header. I have no idea what the problem is. I also asked Geometry guy about this.

I think I am all done with the rest of the monthly PR chores - I made the new Veblenbot category. I was not sure if I was supposed to remove the Nov. 2009 category from VeblenBot (when I made the new January category). If you could double check that I did everything OK with the new cat, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 16:42, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Priority for articles on mathematicians

How do you decide the priority for articles on mathematicians? I feel weird rating a great mathematician's article as "mid" priority. For general math topics I use a subjective criteria -- my own judgment about the topic and how important it is for Wikipedia to have an article on it. I haven't been able to come up with a good way to assign priorities to mathematician articles. Any suggestions? --Robin (talk) 02:15, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

OK, thanks! --Robin (talk) 03:22, 4 January 2010 (UTC)


actually hw we can find domain nd range is there both r equal.....????????? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject EastEnders/Manual of style has been marked as part of the Manual of Style

Wikipedia:WikiProject EastEnders/Manual of style (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as part of the Manual of Style. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Build number

I have added a build number to the "date maintenance tags" run as requested. Rich Farmbrough, 01:17, 8 January 2010 (UTC).

OK, great. Does this build disable the reference reformatting and stub tag removing? I'd like to unblock the bot so I can remove it from my mental list of things to remember. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:39, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes it disables GFs and tagging. Rich Farmbrough, 15:43, 8 January 2010 (UTC).
OK; I'll unblock right now, and make a note of the number when the bot starts running. The idea is that the number should change whenever the configuration settings change, so that once it's clear that a particular number is OK nobody has to worry about looking at further edits with that number. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:47, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

maths rating tools

Hi. I've noticed that the "find articles without math ratings tool" doesn't catch all articles. For example, consider Matchstick graph. It is in the List of mathematics articles (M). It does not have a maths rating template. And the tool doesn't show this article [1]. I don't know how your tool works, but I'm going to guess this is because that article does not have a talk page at all? (I'll be watching your talk page, so you can reply here.) --Robin (talk) 15:56, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm glad you caught that; it should be fixed now. If it means anything to you, I just changed a join to a left join to handle the non-existent talk pages. The tool works via this query. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:05, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
select distinct mp.page_title
  from page as lp
   join pagelinks
     on pl_from = lp.page_id
   join page as mp
      on (mp.page_title = pl_title and mp.page_namespace = 0)
   join categorylinks as inside
      on (mp.page_id = inside.cl_from and inside.cl_to = ? )
   left join page as tp
     on mp.page_title = tp.page_title
       and mp.page_namespace = 0
       and tp.page_namespace = 1
   left join templatelinks
     on tl_from = tp.page_id
       and tl_namespace = 10
       and tl_title = 'Maths_rating'
   where lp.page_namespace = 0
     and mp.page_namespace = 0
     and pl_namespace = 0
     and isnull(tl_from)
     and lp.page_title like 'List_of_mathematics_articles%'
Great, works fine now. --Robin (talk) 17:07, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
By the way, my "rate math" tool is known to not work on non-existent talk pages. I need to investigate how to fix that sometime. I am not really familiar with the framework it uses. 17:52, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've run into that problem before. Due to the previous bug, luckily I've mainly edited only those articles which had a talk page. Now that you've fixed that, I'll start rating articles without a talk page. If you do manage to fix that problem with the "rate math" tool, I'll be happy to hear about it. --Robin (talk) 18:51, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Dated stub article

You have left a duplicate diff in your list. Can you provide the stub diff please. Rich Farmbrough, 18:10, 9 January 2010 (UTC).

Yes it is harmless, but... Now I see it it looks like it may be related tot he others. There is a regex that appears to be running on. Rich Farmbrough, 19:19, 9 January 2010 (UTC).

Wikipedia:WikiProject EastEnders/Manual of style is no longer marked as part of the Manual of Style

Wikipedia:WikiProject EastEnders/Manual of style (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has been edited so that it is no longer marked as part of the Manual of Style. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Where is the axiom of foundation in von Neumann 1925 ?

Thank you. This is what I got from reading von Neumann. But my question was somewhat related to the history of set theory. It is said or at least understood that von Neumann attitude had an influence on research in set theory by somewhat blocking research on non well-founded set theory. I think at the gap between Dimitry Mirimanoff and Peter Aczel. Is it right from your point of view? --Pierre de Lyon (talk) 11:26, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not completely familiar with the history of set theory in the 1920s–1950s. As a logician from the mathematics side I have always thought of non-well-founded set theory as somewhat strange, but motivated well enough to be of interest. I don't have enough historical knowledge to say how influential von Neumann was individually. My guess is that the interest at the time in using set theory as a foundational system for mathematics was probably an important factor in the focus of research only on well-founded sets. This is an interesting historical question, so I'm sorry that I don't know more about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:10, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:In the news/Recurring items has been marked as a guideline

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Golan Heights

Yes I know about that , it was one of the first that I did as a manual test of the new build, and since the changes were correct I saved them. Rich Farmbrough, 05:07, 12 January 2010 (UTC).

Your rating for Riesz–Fischer theorem


I notice that you recently added the "maths rating" tag to the talk page for Riesz-Fischer theorem, but that you categorised the article as a stub. Prior to your adding this rating, I removed a stub marker from the main article page as I thought that the article was far from a stub. As such, I'm a little confused by your new stub rating. I notice that the edit summary says "script assisted", so this might explain things?

If you disagree and think that this article should be categorised as a stub, I'm more than happy to defer to your judgement, as I'm still a fairly inexperienced Wikipedia editor. However, if this is the case, please let me know why it should be categorised as a stub. After all, WP:stub says that "a stub is an article containing only a few sentences of text which is too short to provide encyclopedic coverage of a subject" and this article is far more than that (even far more than the "few paragraphs" that are referred to later, which I don't think apply to this article anyway).

Thanks in advance for your help. I'd appreciate if you'd put the reply on my own talk page. :-) Tcnuk (talk) 16:48, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the answer. Somehow, when I looked at the history I managed to get the mistaken impression that there was no rating on the talk page before, hence my cautious message to you rather than just changing it (somehow I looked at the diff and read it as you introducing the "maths rating" tag for the first time). My mistake. :-) Tcnuk (talk) 10:53, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Smackbot's edit summaries


Smackbot's edit summaries end in "build 391:,". It seems a little peculiar. Is that intended behaviour? - Richard Cavell (talk) 06:23, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

SmackBot was having some trouble with editing references, which would come and go as the code was updated. I asked Rich to put on a number so that once I know that a particular build isn't doing it, I don't have to keep checking the edits. — Carl (CBM · talk) 09:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

script editing

I followed your suggestion to hack the ISBN script. I've rewritten it, but my experience with JavaScript is minimal and I need help debugging. Do you know anyone who might be able to help debug? Thanks, DarkStarHarry (talk) 14:24, 13 January 2010 (UTC)


I saw that you did some edits on this template and was wondering if you know how and would create a collapsible perameter for it. Thank you. -TriiipleThreat (talk) 19:31, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Manual of Style Register has been marked as part of the Manual of Style

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Register has been marked as part of the Manual of Style

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Register has been marked as part of the Manual of Style

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Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Register has been marked as part of the Manual of Style

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)/Register (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as part of the Manual of Style. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Refs in stubs

I noticed a couple of times you reverted the noreferences tag due to the article being a stub. My understanding is all articles, even stubs, should have references to avoid OR and inaccurate information being added. I've checked WP:Stubs but didn't see anything about not needing references. Is there a place where this issue has been discussed or is given in a guideline or policy?--RDBury (talk) 23:54, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

The only mention of it is on Template:Unreferenced itself, which says, "Consider not adding this template to extremely short articles." The stub tag already says that the article needs expansion. For most short stubs, adding references and adding content will happen together: someone will decide to expand the article, and will add references at the same time.
Of course, if the topic of a stub article might seem odd, then adding a reference is one way to avoid questions about whether there should be an article at all. But the "unreferenced" tag doesn't convey that point very clearly (for example, {{notability}} or {{prod}} would be more clear).
So my argument is not that stubs don't need references, it's that they need more content in every sense, and the stub tag already conveys that fact. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:03, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the short articles thing is referring to articles that basically consist of a common knowledge definition. It does seem to be a bit vague though so I'll ask for clarification. I don't agree with your usage of the term stub. WP:Stubs states "Lastly, a critical step: add sources for the information you have put into the stub; see citing sources for information on how to do so in Wikipedia." To me that means that being a stub and lacking sources are separate issues and not having references is much more serious.--RDBury (talk) 04:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
The better thing, instead of randomly tagging a few stubs with {{unreferenced}}, would be to simply add sources to the ones you are worried about. For an article such as crooked egg curve, everyone can see plainly that there are no sources, so adding a tag to that effect, when there is already a tag that says the article requires expansion, seems redundant.
Another way of saying it: what is it that the unreferenced tag has a chance to accomplish, that the stub tag itself won't already? It's not as if there's a group of people who go through every article that is tagged {{unreferenced}}. But people who want to expand articles from a particular area can already do so via the stub tag. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:01, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it's just me but I've been checking the list of unreferenced math articles and fixing them where I can. Stub articles I generally just ignore unless it was something I was planning to work on anyway. I generally don't look for articles with no references so I can tag them, but if I come across one I often add the tag. Sometimes I look for references and add them, but I feel it's the responsibility of the person who created the article to do this.--RDBury (talk) 21:12, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Non-free content review has been marked as a guideline

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ArbCom's latest motion

I saw your comments on the ANI thread on mass unref'd BLP deletions, but are you ware that ArbCom allowed that by motion? Pcap ping 15:10, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

The motion has not passed yet, but given arbcom's history it likely will. The arbitrators mean to help, but arbcom also has a history of enabling editors who use admin tools aggressively, so the outcome is not really surprising. In any case, I will be disengaging (I hope) from the BLP discussion shortly. If you would like more candid thoughts, feel free to send me an email. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:15, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deletion of unreferenced BLPs has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Deletion of unreferenced BLPs (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change (more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Deletion of unreferenced BLPs has been marked as a policy

Wikipedia:Deletion of unreferenced BLPs (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs) has recently been edited to mark it as a policy. This is an automated notice of the change for WT:Update (see User:VeblenBot/PolicyNotes for more information). -- VeblenBot (talk) 02:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

How did you generate the list of unsourced math BLPs?

Is there some category intersection tool (on toolserver or the like), or did you use mathbot's output? I was thinking of doing the same for Romanian BLPs and Computer Science BLPs, with the caveat there's no mathbot equivalent output for those... Pcap ping 21:01, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

I ran a query on the toolserver. I can try to write a query to do it using the talk page tags and stub tags, if you want. The CS pages I found this way are
Nick Pippenger - Ken Forbus - Martin Newell (computer scientist) - David Moon - Judith Donath - Bill Griswold - Srinivasan Keshav - Laszlo Belady - Ian Watson (scientist) - Simon Cozens - Jim Kurose - Nikolai Bezroukov - Stephen J. Mellor - Birger Møller-Pedersen - Alan Harshman - Kevin Lenzo - Ali Jafari - Nikolay Brusentsov - Jack Cole (scientist) - John Day (computer scientist) - Tadao Takaoka - Brian Fox
For the Romanian ones, are are there particular stub types I can look for? And what wikiproject templates do they use? — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:36, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the CS stuff. The Romanian ones should all be listed at Wikipedia:ROMANIA#Templates. Pcap ping 21:44, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I will be able to do those in a few hours. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, but it doesn't look like you've got the full lists. I've got more than those by using catscan for the CS people, and the much faster intersection tool for the Romanians (catscan failed to produce any output there, probably because there were about 400 matches.) Perhaps you should run those on the mathematicians as well in case you've missed some by your method. Pcap ping 02:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

What lists did you generate? I did not use article categories for mine, I used talk page tags and stub tags. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:51, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia_talk:COMPSCI#Unref.27d_CS_BLPs_in_danger_of_immediate_deletion_thanks_to_ArbCom and Wikipedia_talk:ROMANIA#BLP_articles_in_danger_of_immediate.2C_no_warning_deletion. Pcap ping 03:56, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I see. The query I used to find the Romania ones is below. It looks for the Romainia wikiproject tag and for Romania-type stubs, based on the page you linked to me. Articles such as Constantin Cernăianu are neither tagged as Romania-type stubs nor tagged on the talk page by WikiProject Romania, so I didn't find them. This is the underlying motivation for the bot maintaining List of mathematics articles - it is too hard to manually tag every article of interest to a WikiProject. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
 select distinct(art.page_title)
    from page as art 
    join page as talk 
         on art.page_title = talk.page_title
            and art.page_namespace = 0 
            and talk.page_namespace = 1
    join categorylinks as unref
      on art.page_id = unref.cl_from
    join templatelinks as tla
      on tla.tl_from = art.page_id
         and tla.tl_namespace = 10
     join templatelinks as tlt
       on tlt.tl_from = talk.page_id 
         and tlt.tl_namespace = 10
    ( tlt.tl_title = 'WPRO'
      or ( tla.tl_title in
    and unref.cl_to = 'All_unreferenced_BLPs';

Wikipedia:Abuse response/Guidelines has been marked as a guideline

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Online Assessment Database Question

Please see my question about the new online assessment database (the thing connected to the new WP 1.0 bot) at Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index.--Danaman5 (talk) 04:50, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Re: User talk: Unsourced BLP

Hey, no need to be so aggressive and threaten with blocking IPs. You cannot expect John Doe to know all the exact definitions and guidelines of Wikipedia. It just seemed to me that the article on Sourav Chatterjee was still way under-sourced - that's why I put the tag back into the article. Patschy (talk) 06:55, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

PS: Anyway, thanks for editing the article and making it more factual. Patschy (talk) 07:01, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Do not talk to me unless essential

And do not erase discussions off talk pages.Likebox (talk) 10:20, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Requesting_topic_ban_or_extended_block_of_User:Likebox. Pcap ping 11:12, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Logical truth

Carl, Logical truth is the single most fundamental concept in logic. It should be no surprise to anyone to see a sentence in the fist paragraph describing a topic's relation to logical truth. Furthermore, it is my intention to insert such sentences in many articles as appropriate. I shouldn't have any problems AT ALL doing this. Please tell Emil explicitly to stop. I would appreciate it. Be well, Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 18:20, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

I had asked about that material on the talk page. I didn't remove it myself, but without any specific idea what is being referenced, it is hard for me to make sense of why valid inference rules of arbitrary formal systems (whose semantics may have been created very arbitrarily) would be "logical truths" in the sense that a philosopher would use the term. In general I don't mind the idea of expanding the article to talk about validity, though. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:03, 21 January 2010 (UTC).
I appreciate you so much, but do you see the ideological thing you have said here? What makes you think that how philosophers think about a term is somehow different from how you are supposed to be thinking about it? (and yes I did say "supposed to") Lets talk about logicians such as Quine (probably the single foremost expert on logical truth?). We are starting to get into very deep topics which I have studied quite a bit, and I cannot imagine explaining everything to you and everyone else sufficiently for people to understand, much less accept what I say (even with plenty of supporting material). This is primarily because of your people's disposition. I would like to work on logical truth and articles related to it (which happens to be some articles that you and the other may be interested in). If I am having this problem, then there is bound to be a lot of conflict.
Carl, to attempt to partially answer your question..."it is hard for me to make sense of why valid inference rules of arbitrary formal systems (whose semantics may have been created very arbitrarily) would be "logical truths" in the sense that a philosopher would use the term." Carl, what exactly is your notion of a "valid rule of inference" that could possibly not be a logical truth? That's what valid means!! Even if you attempt to show me some non-classical thing, the point of that is not to construct things which are not logical truths (non-classical logics hold that their different forms are logical truths and the classical logic has is wrong.) The example with the hearts and clubs is completely consistent with my formulation. Either what is being said is that one can validly "infer" or "derive" three clubs from two hearts, or the word "infer": is just a meaningless word. If it is not intended to mean "validly infer" then the statement I put in the article doesn't apply. The statement I put in refers to valid rules of inference, not just any scrap of clubs and hearts whatever. Shal I also presume truth values with these hearts and clubs too? Presumptuous. Presumptuous . Presumptuous.
Inevitably, invariably, and universally "Every valid rule of inference is put forward as a logical truth and every logical truth can serve as a valid rule of inference." Furthermore this statement is fundamental, notable, well supported, encyclopedic, and apparently informative to people who should know better.
Be well, Carl. I hope you will see fit to intervening on behalf of that sentence. Pontiff Greg Bard (talk) 21:39, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
"Valid" means "true in every interpretation". However, if I define a formal system, I am free to define the collection of interpretations for it. For example, the inference rule is valid if I limit my interpretations to only include those in which the variable x and the variable y are assigned the same object. But "x = y" is not a law of logic in general.
When philosophers speak of "laws of logic", they are not speaking about formal systems like the one I just mentioned. Like I said, Quine is probably referring only to predicate calculus, and to the usual set of interpretations of it. But without context, I can't be certain. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:52, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Rule of inference

Thank goodness for you Carl. As you know I am the pontiff of my own religion. I have, in the past, named people I know to be wonderful people as "saints". Well you are not quite a saint, but you are all right.

You took out the category "propositional logic" from rule of inference, and I think most people would find that strange. Those categories are supposed to inclusive. If a person is an American analytic moral philosopher, the article is in Category:American philosophers, Category:Moral philosophers, and Category:Analytic philosophers. I realize that all kind of systems can have rules of inference, however I think people who are searching in that category are going to find it odd to not find it there. If we do get exclusive with the categories, perhaps we can establish some conventions regarding these things in an MOS for logic (See User:Gregbard/MOS. I think a lot of issues can be resolved by organizing things and adopting some of these guidelines). These articles should at least be relegated to the category of the most basic system which uses the concept (e.g. rules of inference of a propositional logic). Anyway I felt bad about reverting something of yours without mentioning anything about the issue.

I am still pretty sure Ayer intended to state a general principle, not explicate vocabulary. I don't think even systems which reject (or are otherwise not consistent with) the deduction theorem intend to construct things which are not both true and logical. I also do not think they intend to infer in an invalid way. I do not see how the general statement 'every l.t. can serve as a r.o.t...& vice versa.' can be rejected without abandoning logic. Like I said even non-classical systems aren't trying to be nonsense they are trying a new way to construct logical truths.

I have been studying logical truth recently. It is perhaps the single most important concept in logic. I expect, in the future to be inserting content explicating, in the lede, the relationship of all of the following articles to logical truth: Logic, Logical form, Logical consequence, Validity, Satisfiability, Syntax (logic), Tautology (logic), Formal proof, Salva veritate, Classical logic, Non-classical logic, and Logical connective (and each individual logical connective). There are at least a couple of other ones. There should be no shock or surprise at all about this, but I expect that someone will find a reason to create problems, rather than collaborate. As always, I invite your correspondence. Be well, Greg Bard (talk) 22:26, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources

I noticed you were contributing the a debate on primary secondary and tertiary sources at WT:NOR. Are you aware of the draft separate guideline on PSTS? The idea is that it would allow WP:NOR to concentrate on the NOR aspect of PSTS. The definitions etc. etc. would be in the guideline. Take a look at User:Yaris678/PSTS. Yaris678 (talk) 21:26, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


Tournesol.png Thanks for participating in Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people, which will delete the vast majority of 50,000 articles created by 17,400 editors, mostly new editors. Have a great evening. Ikip 05:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Requesting your opinion

Hi. I've started a discussion here. (Actually, it's a restart of a prior discussion that went cold; you can just scroll directly down to the first post I made today in that section if you want.) Can you offer your thoughts? I think it's very important. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 02:06, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Maybe you have a suggestion

for dealing with this mess. Pcap ping 19:18, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Help on index for Wikipedia 1.0 projects

Hi CBM, I've had a couple of people recently express an interest in POSSIBLY helping with the indexing - you should probably read the comments here (there's also someone from the strategy group I spoke with). Can you comment there, or here, or somewhere, on where someone can get the code, and what the issues are from your perspective? I can work with them regarding the semantic information (which I think you said was the main issue), if you can get them at least started. This is one of the main things to fix for 0.8, so I would like to harness someone's enthusiasm before they go off elsewhere! Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 18:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Reply to your thanksat User talk:SimonTrew

I looked at that, indeed read it all, and felt I had no need to stick my oar in more. Thank you for leting me know, but all I could add would be a drift along the river of general consenus, occasionally hitting one bank or the other. So take it as supporting what the consensus is, if that is possible, because a generally very interesting argument, and thanks for asking me.
If you want technical pointers to WP:MOS etc I will happily dig those out, I am not a policy person but am an engineer so if a point comes to that sort then I can pick that out, NOT to batter opponents with but to show where it has been discussed before. But seems to me it is best to let real people make what is best to real WP. I mean it that I am good at pulling out WP policy you have to be when someone throws one at you), but really I think best to let real people decide. 01:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Reading that, it sounds like I am accusing you of standing on WP:POLICY etc. I am not. I just said it straight, that I am good at finding these things, and I suppose take "Break all rules". The discussion there is intelligent and good, and I just meant if it *helps* to point at policies etc I can, but disdain using them as a drunk uses a lamp-post, more for support than illumination.
Or, as my mother says, "you are confusing me with somebody who gives a ~~~~". Si Trew (talk) 01:26, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I am certain you intended these comments for someone else. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Biggest page size one save here?

I've got a decent listing of Category:Software after I snipped the tree in all the right places (basically all that I bitched about at WP:CATP), but apparently I can't save it here because it 17Mb in size. Tried a few times and all I get back is a blank HTML page (not even blank wiki page). Any idea how to work around that? Save in increments maybe? Pcap ping 03:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Getting a blank HTML page is not uncommon when you try to save very large pages. The only reliable solution is to break the page into several smaller pages. I think that the overall maximum size for a wiki page is actually 2MB, but actually it is common for pages smaller than that to make the parser time out, especially if they have a lot of HTML structure (lists, tables, etc). There are also template limits that come into play if the page transcludes a lot of templates or the same template many times. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:12, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Yes, I was definitely logged-in into JIRA. I only was able to create issues for the "Account Request" project. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 09:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

It was suggested that your username in particular may be affected by a bug in the software suite that runs JIRA. I don't think they have any ETA for a fix, but River recognized the problem right away. I'll try to follow up on this in a couple weeks to see if anything changes. In the meantime, just let me know if you would like me to file any bugs for you. Hopefully you can still comment on them once they are created. — Carl (CBM · talk) 12:51, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Should PeerReviewBot monitor talkspace for {{oldpeerreview}} templates so it can incorporate them into T:AH. It seems like there is a lot of bot-friendly work that I am doing manually.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 07:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Can you explain in more detail? At the moment PeerReviewBot does some minimal checks for the ArticleHistory template, but I'm not sure exactly what you mean. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:50, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
There are some bots that crawl for fixes. In this case, I was thinking that you might be able to set your bot to crawl and determine pages that have both {{oldpeerreview}} and T:AH. Recently I have had to consolidate several peer reviews such as John Beilein and others.--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 22:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it is a good bot task to consolidate peer review information into the ArticleHistory template, but I think it is a separate task from the one that my bot performs in archiving peer reviews.
At the moment, the bot doesn't really add an oldpeerreview template; it simply replaces a peerreview template with the oldpeerreview template. If someone already used articlehistory to record the peer review, then the bot does not add an oldpeereview template. For example, with Talk:John Beilein, if the original peer review notice had been made via action=PR in the ArticleHistory template, rather than with the peerreview template, then my bot would not have added an oldpeerreview template to the page.
My concern with actually editing the contents of the articlehistory template is that it is hard to do robustly, so it would take a lot of work to write a bot to do it. At the moment I am completely tied up with the WP 1.0 bot. — Carl (CBM · talk) 00:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi Carl, I just noticed that Wikipedia:Peer review/Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga/archive1 is still listed on WP:PR although it has not been edited since Dec 18 (by me, doing the partial translcusion trick for PR size). Not sure why the bot did not archive it. I did not archive it by hand as I thought it might be useful for you to see it as it is. Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure why, but the bot was confused about the encoding of the special characters in the page's name. I changed something and ran the bot again, and it seems to have worked. Please let me know if you see any more of these. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:06, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for taking care of that - I will let you know of any other possible errors I find. Thanks again, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 13:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


Thanks I know that a similar situation certainly applies to CfDs (as you pointed out, this helps users judge whether or not the categories should remain) and I would certainly agree with you about a TfD for a non-deprecated template. I suppose I will read up on the X-for-deletion literature to see if this is mentioned. Either way, your suggestion merits consideration. Please respond on my talk if you want to reach me. —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 17:22, 29 January 2010 (UTC)


in mathlogic topics. See Special:Contributions/IsleLaMotte. Pcap ping 21:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I saw it. The book itself seems respectable, so I was not too worried. Over time, people can worry about how relevant the book is to each article. One can not discount the possibility that someone is simply adding a reference that they themselves have found valuable, with no personal motive. — Carl (CBM · talk) 03:27, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The refs are generally on-topic based on what I can see trough google limited preview. But not everyone thought the same. Pcap ping 12:58, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I generally agree that some of the referenced topics (for example, in higher-order logic) seem more apropos to the book title than others. But I was going to get a copy of the book before thinking too hard about it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:07, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Discussion invitation

British Royalty Hi CBM/Archive 13, I would like to invite you and anyone watching who shares an interest in moving forward constructively to a discussion about Biographies of Living People

New editors' lack of understanding of Wikipedia processes has resulted in thousands of BLPs being created over the last few years that do not meet BLP requirements. We are currently seeking constructive proposals on how to help newcomers better understand what is expected, and how to improve some 48,000 articles about living people as created by those 17,500 editors, through our proper cleanup, expansion, and sourcing.

These constructive proposals might then be considered by the community as a whole at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people.

Please help us:

Ikip 05:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC) Refactored this message a bit. thanks, hoping to hear from you. Ikip 17:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Ikip looks like a bad actor. I left a note on his page, and this on DGG's talk page -- he refuses to participate:
Bravo! This sort of thing truly pisses me off. "By invitation only": what a bunch of horseshit.
BillWvbailey (talk) 16:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I refactored the comment. Thanks for considering it CBM. Ikip 17:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

A kitty and a question

First a kitty for you

now to business. I love the link on your userpage [2] when I click it there is a 3/5 chance of my mind exploding. I was wondering if you would provide the source for it? Anyway thanks for all the great contributions! andyzweb (talk) 03:52, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

It's nothing fancy. I make a static list of math logic articles by recurring down the category tree from Category:Mathematical logic (and excluding a few unrelated categories). Then the CGI just picks one at random. I put a link to the source at [3] and the list of articles at [4]. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC) WP1.0

I'm user of the I see the WP1.0 and will aply this on the Why can I make this?! Thanks. Fabiano Tatsch (talk) 13:54, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

If you want to use the code on ptwiki, that's fine with me. The source code for the bot is publicly released and under a free license. But it would take a knowledgeable developer to edit the bot to make it work on ptwiki. Also, the articles at ptwiki would need to be tagged with the quality and importance information, if they are not already tagged. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:36, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Stub removal

I am sorry to bother you, and I left messages at my talk page and tb at Rich's and I would prefer really if they were at BON. I know this is a storm in a teacup, but I am at my wit's end over it. Since this article we have finished well not finished you know but done the whole of the translations for Hungarian revolution, and did some biographies and some maps and slowly working our way to putting it all together. This kind of silliness does distract I think from editors who just want to make content better. So I spotted it, but it must have done it in many other places with less active editors, but equally good ones, who may not watch an article every day. I posted right at the start the link to the "unfinished" version as we were editing it, and of course it is better now cos we finished editing it (which is not to say the article is finished, just that we finished and did another few after we thought it is all right). I find it bizarre that Rich seems not to want to understand that some things need human judgment. I also lend a hand at WP:PNT, rarely are there areticles there that are in languages I speak, but I think I am respected there cos I take those I can and leave those I can't. Do you think a bot could do that, shall we just put Google translation in for everything?

I am not asking for much I think, just that some things are best left to human judgment. I have said so all along. But with that, SmackBot should be allowed to do the genfixes etc that are uncontroversial, at least to me they are. SB does seem to overstep the mark quite a lot in suddenly doing something new that has not had approval, e.g. reordering references. When I am told that there is now a backlog of 200,000 minor edits because it's been stopped, well sorry about that, but the world still goes round the sun.

Really I wanted to leave WP because of this, and just give up. I think still I probably will just leave it. But I know Rich is a good man and honest and true and hard working, and I hope he thinks I am too, so I carry on for a bit.

Si Trew (talk) 21:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I am not completely sure exactly what you are saying. I have no objection to SmackBot doing uncontroversial things – how could I? Unfortunately SmackBot runs on AWB and the AWB developers do not always have a good sense of what can be done automatically; so a few AWB features need to be disabled in bots.
None of this is a big deal, and it's certainly not worth leaving Wikipedia over a bot. I would suggest just ignoring SmackBot and doing other things here that interest you, as a possible way to move forward. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:44, 31 January 2010 (UTC)


Could you have a look at the latest thread on ANI as an uninvolved admin, please? Pcap ping 00:59, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It looks like that editor needs some time to relax after the AFD come out delete. I would say just undo the prods and try to wait it out; it the same situation comes up again, that would be more problematical. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:45, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't look he's going to stop trying to strip all references from that stub [5], but at least he moved to the talk page. Pcap ping 05:10, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

By the way, I'd be interested to hear you comments on the stuff at the bottom of Talk:Microsoft Macro Assembler#Notification. Of course someone can deny HTTP referrer from Wikipedia, but should that act have no impact on their standing here? In particular, when they also attempt to delete articles here? WP:AGF some more? Pcap ping 09:43, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

This is something to remember. Lulu voting delete on a piece of software. He doesn't know that the link is "broken" only when referred from Wikipedia. Pcap ping 10:04, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Denying WP as a referrer is very odd. I guess you could just turn the links into plain text, with a note that they must be copied and pasted into a new window to work. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:09, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Apparently, he's upset with that too: Wikipedia:ANI#Copyright Violation in MASM page. Pcap ping 00:08, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Vopěnka's principle misclassified?

See Talk:Vopěnka's principle. How do you figure that Vopěnka's principle is discrete mathematics rather than foundations? JRSpriggs (talk) 02:22, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It was an error. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:29, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Peer review update

Hi Carl, I updated peer review for Feb. 2010, but when I went to the VeblenBot account on the toolserver, the "February 2010 peer reviews" category was already there, so I did not do anything there. Is this correct? Thanks, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 11:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It is there, and the bot is seeing it. Maybe Geometry guy added it along with the new GAR category. He and you are the only two people with passwords so far. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks - Gguy must have done it - I had to do some of the monthly PR tasks here, but he'd done at least one already. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 11:33, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually I did all of them, apart from the PR page update, on 22 January. If you check your contribs for yesterday, you'll find that you created the archive, category and template for March. That's not a problem: less to do at the end of this month! Geometry guy 11:51, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Bot problems

See [6] --Rschen7754 00:37, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

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Citation style

You can be serious about that revert. {{Reflist}} is a style template, it does not change anything within the citation style. Anyway, an article's citation style is not set in stone. It actually has several advantages to include {{Citation}} in that article (or any other), not only because it produces a consistent citation style throughout Wikipedia, but also because it produces machine-readable meta data. --bender235 (talk) 03:10, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Responded on your talk page. — Carl (CBM · talk) 22:54, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

WP 1.0 bot double post error

Hi. The WP 1.0 bot just duplicated the quality log at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Politics of the United Kingdom articles by quality log.[7][8] Regards. Road Wizard (talk) 01:41, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Sigh. The bot was running a second instance to catch up on a different bug. It does have code to detect if it has already uploaded logs for the day, so that it won't upload them twice. Unfortunately the replication lag on the toolserver was too large (about an hour) and so the data on the existing edits wasn't seen. I will be more careful not to run two instances close to each other now that I know not to trust the toolserver database to be completely up to date. Thanks for the report. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:26, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Class again

Hello, in you said

When people say "all models of NBG" or "all models of ZFC", they are speaking in a metatheory. If you take that metatheory to be ZFC itself, then "all models" means "all models that happen to be sets". Thus a model of NBG is simply a structure that is a set and satisfies the axioms of NBG.

I did not understand this when you first said it, but I gave it some thought yesterday. Suppose the meta theory is ZFC, and we want the class of all models of the object theory ZFC, which you say are sets in the meta theory that satisfy the axioms of ZFC. The thing I don't understand is that the meta theory ZFC is simply a bunch of wfs with axioms; there's no interpretation for this meta theory so "where are the sets" in this meta theory? Do we just assume that the (meta theory) ZFC is consistent and thus has a meta model M and then define the class of all models of (object theory) ZFC to be all members of M (which are sets ofc, not proper classes) that satisfy the axioms? Money is tight (talk) 03:36, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The first thing to keep in mind is that talking about models of ZFC is not really different than talking about models of the group axioms or models of the axioms of a dense linear order: in every case a model of a theory is simply a structure that happens to satisfy all the axioms of the theory. Things only seem more confusing when you think about models of ZFC, but really there is not much difference between one first-order theory and the next.
The clearest way to visualize a formal set-theoretic metatheory is to assume that you are given a particular model of the metatheory as your "starting model". So if you want to take your formal metatheory to be ZFC, you start with a model U of ZFC. Visualize yourself as "living inside this model". For example, when someone says to you, "Consider the collection of all models of theory T", you read this as "Consider the collection of all models of T that happen to be sets in my U". Similarly, every claim about sets in the metatheory is viewed as a statement about sets inside the model U.
Now, all that you know about your model U is that it is a model of ZFC; so you will not be able to prove anything about the sets inside U that you could not prove from the ZFC axioms alone. Later, if you want to stop thinking model-theoretically, you can use this fact to recast everything you did into syntactic proofs in the metatheory. So the "given model" can be thought of as a sort of convenient fiction that allows you to work semantically in the metatheory without sacrificing your ability to work syntactically later. This "convenient fiction" viewpoint (a kind of formalism) means you don't have to actually commit to the existence of sets in the metatheory.
However, the "platonist" viewpoint is that there really is a model of ZFC (somewhere) in existence. From that viewpoint, you don't have to take U to be a convenient fiction: you can just take U to be any arbitrarily chosen model of ZFC that exists in this platonistic sense. Because you are using ZFC itself as your formal metatheory, it doesn't actually matter which model of ZFC you choose. Each one is as good as any other, since all you know about U is that it is a model of ZFC.
Note that, because you work "inside" U, from your vantage point U is actually a proper class. If you wanted to step "outside" and view U as a set, that would put you into a meta-meta theory, at which point you would need a meta-meta model of whatever formal meta-metatheory you want, containing U as a set. But the point of working "inside" U is to avoid that sort of infinite regress. You simply pick one meta-model U as your universe, and work inside of it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 04:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I thought for example the "class of all groups" means every possible group you can define/exist. The problem is that when we accept such a collection X, we might be able to define a group structure on X itself (and this is paradoxical for the naive sense of set of all possible sets - Cantor's paradox).
I'd say the syntactical approach is better. If we just reason with natural language about groups, it definitely seems to apply to every group you can think of or possibly exist. But we can't naively collect "all possible groups" so we try to work in a meta model M and collect all group that have set domain in M. When I say naively I mean ignore Russell's paradox by rejecting unrestricted comprehension; the problem here is much more philosophical. But then we can define a group structure on M itself (I'm not sure a group structure can exist on any collection but we can use topological spaces instead and endow it with trivial/discrete topology). And there's a group that isn't in our model, but our reasoning will apply to it. So I think it's best to understand it first by imagining what you say is "convenient fiction" model (because everyone must reason with the help of imagery in their brain) and then take it all to mean the syntactical proof itself. Money is tight (talk) 03:23, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

I do hope this was an error

I seriously hope that rollbacking someone you are in a dispute with on their own talkpage was simply an error... Fram (talk) 14:06, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

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Request for Amendment to Arbitration

Hi, CBM--- I know we don't see eye to eye all the time, and I don't know if I should bother you on your talk page, but I heard you were interested in the speed of light/Brews ohare case. If so, it might interest you to know that I have brought up a request for amendement regarding this case. If you are no longer interested in this case, I am sorry for bugging you.Likebox (talk) 05:16, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Positive definiteness

Your comments are requested on a discussion about whether or not a particular page is a disambiguation page or a stub here. Neelix (talk) 20:05, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Philosophy/Anarchism/Participate/Solidarity? has been marked as a guideline

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Ships table

Thanks for the custom table for the ships project. The B-class column was left out however. I left comments here. --Brad (talk) 00:40, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Gregbard's ANI thread

Hi Carl, I think you may not have seen the ANI thread that Gregbard has started. Maybe you want to contribute some background information. (See ANI notice on my talk page.) Unfortunately I am in a hurry and can't look closer at the situation. Hans Adler 10:49, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Speedy of Kepler's laws of planetary motion (Derivations)‎

Hi, Do I really have to take Kepler's laws of planetary motion (Derivations)‎ to AfD. It will be a complete waste of my and everybody else's time, partciularly since the page was only ever created by Brewe ohare as a duplicate of Kepler's laws of planetary motion to try and prove a point. The said user has long since been topic banned for amoung many issues including content forking. The "substantial edit history" that you talk of was 7 edits by Brews ohare from their attempt at forking this article all that time ago. I thought for the sake of tidyness it should go. Of course I'll respect your decision whatever but I thought you should know why I tagged it for speedy in the first place. Cheers Jdrewitt (talk) 13:27, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I already commented on the talk page, just now. We can discuss it there. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:28, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your careful consideration in this matter. Best regards. Jdrewitt (talk) 13:45, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your response at the reference desk.

Are you sure the arithmetical language doesn't contain nonligical symbols? Aren't Peano axioms formulated in an arithmetical language?

Another question:

Let's say we would like to formulate a bijection (or rather: a permutation) - from the class of invertible functions - to itself. So we can take: X - to be a free function-variable [or to be a function symbol] representing any invertible function, and Y - to be a free function-variable [or to be a function symbol] representing X's inverse function. Thus, we can build a bijection defined by the following trivial formula:

"∀a ((Y(X(a))=a) ∧ (X(Y(a))=a))".

(i.e. "for every a: if X is defined for a, then Y returns a for what's returned by X for a; and if Y is defined for a, then X returns a for what's returned by Y for a)".

Note that this formula involves a quantification over individual-variables only, not over function-variables: All of function variables [if any] are free here - as one should expect, since this formula is intended to define a correspondence (bijection), rather than a proposition.

My question is: how should we technically classify - by a common term - the logical language in which this formula is formulated (first order language? second order language? arithmetical language? logical language with pure identity?), while we would like to assume that this formula is formulated in the "minimal simplest" language needed for building this formula.

Thank you in advance,

HOOTmag (talk) 13:57, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

The language of arithmetic certainly does contain nonlogical symbols. I was giving an example of something else. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:09, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
So the language of arithmetic enables to build formulas which aren't arithmetical, right? HOOTmag (talk) 14:32, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
In the normal way that people study higher-order logic, every function symbol is interpreted by a total function. That is, is logically valid, so you don't need to mention it. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:09, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I know that, but I wanted to include also irregular logics permitting to use functions which are unnecessarily total (in order to justify my usage of connectives in the formula mentioned above, so as to make sure that the language includes all possible logical symbols). HOOTmag (talk) 14:32, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I doubt there is any common term for what you are looking for (and my professional work is with higher-order logic). — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:09, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Can we call this bijectional formula: an "bijectional arithmetical formula"? HOOTmag (talk) 14:32, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
In the context of arithmetic, an "arithmetical" formula has no higher-order quantifiers. So there are indeed formulas of higher-order arithmetic that are not "arithmetical". For example, is not an arithmetical formula. I don't think I would use the name "bijectional arithmetical formula" for the formula you put above; if I needed to refer to it later, I might call it Φ or something like that. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:40, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Is the term "arithmetical formula" used also for formulae containing nonlogical symbols? I need a proffessional term for describing the simplicity of the formula "∀a ((Y(X(a))=a) ∧ (X(Y(a))=a))", e.g. by saying that it's "arithmetical", or that "its (second order) language is empty", and the like. What would you suggest? HOOTmag (talk) 16:19, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The term "arithmetical formula" is used for formulas in the language of higher-order arithmetic that have only natural number quantifiers (or no quantifiers at all). So yes there can be non-logical symbols, but this is a specific language I am talking about.
For your original formula, if you are not working in the context of higher-order arithmetic, I would simply say that the formula "has only type 0 quantifiers". — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:29, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The context is mathematical, i.e. the domain of discourse is the class of numbers.
Note that the formula I'm talking about is simpler than formulae that have "only type 0 quantifiers", because "my" formula (when built in a second order language) has just logical symbols. So, for exhausting its simplicity, should I call it: "an arithmetical formula in an empty logical language"? Again, note that the domain of discourse is the class of numbers...
HOOTmag (talk) 16:44, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Usually, the property that a formula only has equality is not considered very important. In particular, in the language of arithmetic, equality is the only predicate symbol. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but again: note that - not only do my formula have no predicate symbols other than equality, but it also has no function symbols! So, it's simpler than most of the formulas that have only type 0 quantifiers, isn't it?
For giving an exhaustive description of the simplicity of my formula, shouldn't I say that it "has only type 0 quantifiers and is formulated in an empty logical language"?
HOOTmag (talk) 17:34, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

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hey howlong u been on here —Preceding unsigned comment added by Babygirl100 101 (talkcontribs) 17:12, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


Wow.... Thanks for your work and the work of so many others on the inverse iteration page.

it may seem like an obscure area, but I have found this article a tremendous help in my work

Wayne S —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

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"Documentation of texvc is sorely lacking"

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Documentation for the Wikipedia/texvc LaTeX dialect or some program options? m:TeX looks resonable for the former. Pcap ping 19:02, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I mean that documentation of exactly how texvc works is lacking. This is an ongoing problem because texvc is written in caml, so the devs avoid editing it when possible because they don't know caml. Without specs, it's very hard to think about replacing it with a more maintainable system. Detailed documentation of exactly how texvc works would be very helpful as a step towards getting a better math system on Wikipedia. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:05, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I know Ocaml well enough. I can look at the code and probably reverse engineer some documentation. Any priorites? Pcap ping 19:14, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
For me, the main thing that would be nice is an exact specification of the input and output formats. I remember looking at texvc before and not seeing this documented, and thinking that the output format was very strange.
In the end, I'd like to see us use a more mathml-based system. The STIX fonts are almost ready to be released, and I'm hoping that once those are out it will be feasible for more people to switch to MathML on Wikipedia.
There was a project called BlahTeX that could be a candidate for replacing texvc, with some work. But I think the first requirement would be to switch to a language that more of the developers know (maybe PHP, maybe C, certainly not caml). A second requirement, of course, is that any replacement has to be just as fast as texvc.
This is not an immediate project for me, just something that I have been thinking about from time to time. Seeing the AFD just made me think about it again. — Carl (CBM · talk) 19:19, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
About speed: texvc uses ocamlopt (the compiler to native code), so anything short of C would likely be slower, even Java probably. PHP is out of the question unless there's a free optimizing compiler for it (not that I know of). And C would be fairly hard to get safe: it's over 50Kb of caml code; make it at least 100Kb of C, probably more given how many string manipulations are involved. Ocaml is a pretty good language compared to C and PHP; I trade it for either of them any day of the week, but google "ocaml sucks". :-) Pcap ping 19:49, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I would think the only issue with performance would be if we switched to PHP. On the other hand, the advantage of PHP is that the devs all know it and the rest of Mediawiki is written in it. There is now a free optimizing compiler, written and tested by facebook, which is being tested for use on the live Wikipedia site.
Really the language is not the most important thing; what would be nice is:
  • A way for us to specify inline/display math, as in TeX
  • Smarter use of MathML so that we don't have to display so many formulas as images
  • Personal pet peeve: a decent way to display without an image.
I just think that moving away from ocaml will be a prerequisite for those things. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:01, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, when I mentioned this on the wikimedia-tech channel just now, they think that even without the compiler, the performance would not be an issue. If that's right, the main resource is programmer time to rewrite either texvc or blahtex in PHP. — Carl (CBM · talk) 20:17, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, I've looked at the parsing code for now, and the basic idea is that it implements its own crude AMS LaTeX parser in ocamllex plus ocamlyacc [9]. It accepts a fixed, hardcoded set of control sequences. Anything failing this parser does not go forward. The parser is pretty restrictive, e.g. <math>\mbox{ 1 {2} 3 }</math> fails to parse because, gasp, the mbox code is a crude lookahead in the lexer, which doesn't support nesting. Lots more kludges like this; the relevant files are lexer.mll and parser.mly in the math dir. It's not a real LaTex parser, but it does use some Ocaml parser specifics, like the ability to run code and return complex tokens from the lexer itself (this can be used to overcome the LALR1-ness of ocamlyacc, I've used this trick myself with multi-stage ocaml parses/lexers -- they can nested to arbitrary depths unlike their C equivalents, but this feature isn't well used in texvc). You cannot \def any LaTeX tokens either. Also the contents of boxes excludes any control sequences, e.g. \mbox { \sin } fails to parse. Supposedly, this is all done for security purposes, but lacking any comments in the code it's a wild guess what's a bug, and what's a security feature. I don't think you'd want to replicate this undocumented mess in any reimplementation. I haven't looked at how output is generated yet. Pcap ping 21:45, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Oh, no; I don't think we should simply rewrite the same code. But at least knowing what we have seems like a useful thing; that was my thinking at the AFD. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


Hi Carl,

I think you tend to under-prioritize set theory articles. Certainly I could have the opposite bias. But do you really think projective hierarchy is low priority? --Trovatore (talk) 05:42, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

In general, there isn't much agreement about how to assign importance ratings. But I don't mind if people change some of my ratings from "low" to "mid". I'm more conservative about priority ratings than some other people are. Also, while I give some thought to each article as I rate it, I'm often rating a series of articles all at once, so I don't expect to be perfect about it. So feel free to change my ratings. I rarely bring up the topic when changes to ratings appear on my watchlist.
My general philosophy about priority ratings is:
  • They refer to the mathematics project as a whole, rather than just to the field of mathematical logic or the field of set theory.
  • They refer to the priority for including the article in a general mathematics encyclopedia, rather than to any inherent importance of topics.
  • The number of articles at each priority should drop off quickly as the priority increases
Based on that, I think that most topics that one doesn't encounter until graduate school are going to be either Mid-priority or Low-priority. To decide between these, I usually ask whether the topic has much impact outside the field of logic, and whether the topic is particularly well known (for example, is it described in undergraduate or popular literature, or otherwise especially famous).
I think that Boolean-valued model and projective hierarchy are sufficiently isolated inside mathematical logic that, although they are crucial topics in that field, they're at a sort of "default" priority for a math encyclopedia as a whole. There are similar topics inside algebra, inside topology, etc. — Carl (CBM · talk) 11:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, but you put recursive set and recursively enumerable set at Mid. I would suggest that these are comparable cases. --Trovatore (talk) 16:37, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. For example, most undergraduate level logic textbooks mention computable sets, but very few (to none) discuss the projective hierearchy or Boolean-valued models. At least, that's why I rated those as Mid. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Independent of this, once I get the majority of math logic articles assessed at all, I'd like to make a list of Top, High, and Mid priority articles all on one page, so that interested people can discuss the selection as a whole, rather than discussing priorities on an article-by-article basis. I think that might be more fair in terms of treating similar articles in a similar way. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:43, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Adding C-Class

I know you monitor WPM but just to make sure you're aware, there is another discussion on adding C-Class for math articles. This would seem to require an update of VeblinBot so I thought you'd want a chance to have your say before the discussion goes too far.--RDBury (talk) 21:51, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics/Wikipedia 1.0#Proposals for change of math ratings

Could you chime in at the above mentioned discussion? Thanks, Nsk92 (talk) 22:02, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Final discussion for Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people

Hello, I note that you have commented on the first phase of Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people

As this RFC closes, there are two proposals being considered:

  1. Proposal to Close This RfC
  2. Alternate proposal to close this RFC: we don't need a whole new layer of bureaucracy

Your opinion on this is welcome. Okip 02:05, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Script for index generation

Hi CBM, thanks again for getting the new 1.0 bot working. It seems to have gone remarkably smoothly, considering the thousands who use it - congratulations! Sorry I've been so busy with the conference I'm helping to organize, I've been quiet on WP.

I was wondering if you could comment on the discussions over at Wikipedia_talk:Version_1.0_Editorial_Team, particularly the new script that Kevin has written to create an index. You can probably follow the mathematical concepts better than I can! Do you think he's on the right track? Is there anything major that he's overlooked? No need for you to get involved with the index again, but your insights on this could be very valuable. Thanks, Walkerma (talk) 07:01, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

No problem, I commented there. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:21, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

including/excluding victim names

Hello - as someone who has discussed the inclusion/exclusion of amusement park victim names in the past at Talk:Incidents_at_Six_Flags_parks#tower_of_power.2C_victim.27s_name, you may be interested in joining us at Talk:Incidents_at_SeaWorld_parks#RFC:_including_or_excluding_victim_names, which continues the discussion after another incident has occurred. SpikeJones (talk) 22:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

SB dates

Thanks for your note, details here. Rich Farmbrough 10:54 2 February 2010 (UTC).

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It's just that I do get the impression that if I say black, you say white. I apologize if I have the wrong impression. As for your posts to Smokey, I felt they were were misleading. I don't think you can expect others to sit back and watch that. Smokey is either a very inexperienced editor or a sock. Either way, his presence on the page isn't helping anything, and posting a misleading explanation adds fuel to the fire.

I agree that the writing in the policy could be better, but I've explained the problem. Ideally, the people who wrote the policy should be able to keep it evolving as their experience, and that of the community, grows. But that isn't allowed on that page.

Perhaps we should try to work together from now on, and not in opposition; focus more on what we agree on, in other words, and less on our differences. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:46, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

LOL!! And I will try to be less caustic. :) SlimVirgin TALK contribs 16:49, 11 March 2010 (UTC)