Talk:Main Page

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Welcome to the general discussion page of $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$.
Please add any new discussion topics at the bottom of this page.


Main Talk Page Archives

Archive 1: $\text {$-\infty$}$ – $\text {24 Sep 2008}$
Archive 2: $\text {25 Sep 2008}$ – $\text {20 Dec 2008}$
Archive 3: $\text {21 Dec 2008}$ – $\text {21 Feb 2009}$
Archive 4: $\text {22 Feb 2009}$ – $\text {14 Jun 2009}$
Archive 5: $\text {15 Jun 2009}$ – $\text {21 Feb 2010}$
Archive 6: $\text {22 Feb 2010}$ – $\text {10 May 2011}$
Archive 7: $\text {11 May 2011}$ – $\text {28 Mar 2012}$
Archive 8: $\text {29 Mar 2012}$ – $\text {10 Oct 2012}$
Archive 9: $\text {11 Oct 2012}$ – $\text {18 May 2013}$
Archive 10: $\text {27 May 2013}$ – $\text {18 Oct 2014}$
Archive 11: $\text {27 Oct 2014}$ – $\text {21 Dec 2015}$
Archive 12: $\text {22 Dec 2015}$ – $\text {1 Aug 2017}$
Archive 13: $\text {2 Aug 2017}$ – $\text {8 May 2018}$
Archive 14: $\text {26 May 2018}$ – $\text {9 Apr 2020}$
Archive 15: $\text {9 May 2020}$ – $\text {31 Dec 2021}$
Archive 16: $\text {1 Jan 2022}$ – $\text {1 Jul 2022}$
Archive 17: $\text {6 Jul 2022}$ – $\text {12 Feb 2023}$


I have moved everything up till now into Archive $17$.

Keep on truckin'. --prime mover (talk) 10:32, 12 February 2023 (UTC)

Looking for Algebra

I cannot find a variant of algebra defined in my source. Namely, it states that "An algebra is a vector space V in which an associative and distributive multiplication is defined". Do we have such a thing? Also, from Definition:Bilinear Mapping I can recover distribution, but not associativty ($(x \oplus y) \oplus z = x \oplus (y \oplus z)$). A disambiguation will be needed. --Julius (talk) 23:25, 13 February 2023 (UTC)

Have you seen this page? Definition:Algebra (Abstract Algebra) It looks like what you're talking about is an Definition:Associative Algebra. Is this right?
We use disambiguation if the same word is used for two completely different things. If what you're talking about *is* the same as an Definition:Associative Algebra, just that your work assumes associativity by default, then what you're looking to do is set up an "also known as" section, which we are now implementing as transclusions. --prime mover (talk) 06:23, 14 February 2023 (UTC)
Thanks. I will map the details accordingly without introducing a new definition. Although, technically, the given definition involves only one operation. Shouldn't we say "associative wrt $\oplus$" if there are multiple (not necessarily associative) operations involved?
Another addition that is really needed is a simple proof that a vector space with a bilinear product is an algebra over field. A lot of books only bother with vector spaces, but we don't, so we should establish this link and save ourselves from reinventing the wheel.--Julius (talk) 11:28, 14 February 2023 (UTC)

Change in behaviour of double-click in "Edit source" tool

A few days ago I noticed that the behaviour of double-click has changed subtly in the "Edit source" tool.

Previously, if you had for example a string "Definition:Circle", and you double-clicked "Circle", the editor would pick up the whole string "Definition:Circle".

Then the other day the behaviour changed, and double-clicking on "Circle" picked up only "Circle". This was a brilliant enhancement, because it then made editing so much easier.

But now it's back the way it was. Clicking on a string with a colon in the middle of it picks up the entire string, colon and all.

How easy would it be to go back to the way we had it a few days ago, where the editor recognises the colon as being a word delimiter? --prime mover (talk) 08:02, 15 February 2023 (UTC)

Sorry -- ignore this. It's browser dependent. I had logged on using Google Chrome this morning. That one behaves so as to pick up the entire string, colon and all.
When I use Brave, which I usually do but not earlier, it picks up the part of the string either side of the colon, which is what I want.
So, as I say, no problem. --prime mover (talk) 08:37, 15 February 2023 (UTC)

Incoming opinions from scientists using Proofwiki

During the previous week I took liberty of reaching out to various people who, accoriding to Google Schoolar, used Proofwiki in one way or another. The rate of response is modest, but there are a few distinct recommendations. I will not display all of them here at once. Instead, comments about specific articles will land in their discussion pages, while here I will gradually present those concerning the website as a whole.--Julius (talk) 00:27, 1 March 2023 (UTC)

Failure to pay attention to house style

I'm considering deleting with extreme prejudice some of these recent pages which are contemptuously non-compliant. Come on, everyone else can pick up the rules, so can you. --prime mover (talk) 21:43, 9 March 2023 (UTC)

"Left-Truncatable Prime/Various Number Bases" was amazingly bad. Just a wall of numbers. No proof. No logic. No coherence. I am in favor of deleting nonsense. --Robkahn131 (talk) 23:38, 10 March 2023 (UTC)
Okay let's talk about this: should we feel obligated to provide webspace for research projects? Good to support such endeavours in the philosophical, but are we going to go so far as to allow people to decide they are going to use $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ as their publishing platform? What's the consensus please, regulars? --prime mover (talk) 00:20, 12 March 2023 (UTC)
Too many contributors have put a great deal of time and energy into contributing something of value. Junk pages reflects poorly on all of us. I am in favor of holding each other accountable. All pages must adhere to house-style. If a page goes rogue and defines things differently, it should at least mention how the topic is defined elsewhere. --Robkahn131 (talk) 01:37, 12 March 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure what openning up $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ to original research would mean and how it might impact me. So far much of the original research put up on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ has been questionable or non-compliant. And that is deflating. Like yourself, in principle I want to support original research, but originality can't be allowed to trump quality.
Then there is the question of using $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ as a publishing platform for their work. This seems to be at odds with why most of us are contributing, which could become a source of conflict. --Leigh.Samphier (talk) 04:22, 12 March 2023 (UTC)
If you have reached the point where you are unable to give someone the benefit of the doubt that they are genuine then you have no choice but to delete the pages. If there is still some willingness to give them a small benefit of the doubt, then move the offending pages under the apropriate User: page. --Leigh.Samphier (talk) 04:22, 12 March 2023 (UTC)
It will be noted that I have temporarily blocked User:Richard47 as I am fed up of tidying up his non-compliant pages, most of which appear to be nothing but copypasta from OEIS and whatever other sources. The user a) has shown little willingness to write compliant pages, b) insists on asserting a non-standard definition of Definition:Minimal Prime because he "likes it", c) pastes up pages of unformatted lists of numbers with no attempt to justify their validity.
While there are one or two definitions raised of concepts that we currently have no record of, the effort of tidying them up for $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ compliance is too tedious to be contemplated.
IMO it is not unreasonable to expect that a mathematician should be intelligent enough to be able to learn how to use this site, particularly when encouraged to do so repeatedly.
If anyone has any reservations about this, and are concerned that we may be cutting off a source of valuable content, then feel free to comment. --prime mover (talk) 09:42, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

Problem uploading image

Just tried to upload a png file "Field-lines-negative-charge.png" but it throws an error:

Upload error

Could not store file "/tmp/phpPMUdp9" at "mwstore://local-backend/local-public/e/eb/Field-lines-negative-charge.png".

I have just successfully uploaded "Field-lines-positive-charge.png" which is practically identical, but for the directions of the arrows and the text in the centre.

Anyone able to troubleshoot? --prime mover (talk) 19:23, 22 March 2023 (UTC)

Yikes, looks like we're out of disk space. Give me a few minutes to fix. --Joe (talk) 19:29, 22 March 2023 (UTC)
Should work now! --Joe (talk) 19:31, 22 March 2023 (UTC)
Nice one, thanks bruv --prime mover (talk) 00:09, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Proof-needed Template

Is it possible to add a template for assertions which do not have proofs in any section of the page nor is it linked on Proof Wiki, similar to the "Citation Needed" statement on Wikipedia?

We have {{ProofWanted}}, is that what you're after? Or {{TheoremWanted}} maybe? --prime mover (talk) 19:37, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
That'll work! --PeterJohnson (talk) 19:40, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

Adding Extension DiscussionTools

It should be a very easy process. Would it be possible to install DiscussionTools? This will allow users to write talk discussions like they would on Wikipedia. It requires very little setup on this current MediaWiki instance (see Special:Version). Of course, this is your wiki, so do what you please. However, I feel that it would make it much easier to contribute to talk pages.

What do you get that you don't got with what we got? --prime mover (talk) 17:48, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
I'm fine with installing this if there's general consensus. --Joe (talk) 18:05, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
No problem with this in theory, as long as the operational overhead does not outweigh the benefits, and as long as it does not compromise the look and feel. --prime mover (talk) 19:48, 27 March 2023 (UTC)


If you end up deciding to install DiscussionTools, the setup instructions are on the page, but I will write an install tutorial here as well, since I ended up adding it to my wiki as well.

1. Download DiscussionTools. If you are on Windows, the easiest way to do this is to use 7zip and extract the files. Depending on where your server(s) are hosted, it may be easiest to directly upload the .tar.gz file onto your server(s). This will only work if you are running a Linux server.

2. Download and add the Linter extension. This extension is required by DiscussionTools. Just add wfLoadExtension( 'Linter' ); to your LocalSettings.php wherever you prefer. You also need to add

$wgParsoidSettings = [
    'linting' => true

to your LocalSettings.php.

3. Load DiscussionTools with wfLoadExtension( 'DiscussionTools' );.

4. Something not said in the tutorial on MediaWiki is that you need to configure VisualEditor to work on Talk Pages. Otherwise DiscussionTools won't appear on the talk pages, which is the only thing it's supposed to do. This is very easy to do, you simply need to add NS_TALK the the list of namespaces allowed in wgVisualEditorNamespaces.

About that VisualEditor: is it possible to disable it from all but talk pages? Its use compromises the page layout and hence the consistency of our presentation. --prime mover (talk) 19:50, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

For example, my wiki currently has it set to:

$wgVisualEditorNamespaces = array( NS_MAIN, NS_TALK, NS_USER, NS_USER_TALK );

Then, just run the update script (located at maintenance/update.php from the directory you installed MediaWiki), and it will create all the necessary database tables for DiscussionTools to work.

Anyhow, feel free to do whatever you feel like, this is your wiki.

Oh and on a side note, I feel you should consider collecting donations over using Google Analytics, however, you may be for-profit instead of non-profit. I don't know, I'm not you. Is it simply the tax concerns from collecting donations is far too large?

Thanks for the write-up. With respect to the ads, I would also like to move away from them but I'm undecied on the best path. The simple issue with donations when I did them in the past is that very few people donate. It was spiratic and did not come close to covering the cost of running ProofWiki (not that it's a gigantic amount). I've consdiered memberships or Pateron but I'm not sure it's the right approach. --Joe (talk) 18:05, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
I see. That really sucks. I'm planning on running a large-scale wiki at some point, but the costs, and the setup pains (installing not just normal extensions but extensions such as WikiSeo) are immense, so I empathize with you greatly. Well, we'll see what happens in the future, and I wish you the best of luck (ProofWiki's super cool). Peter Johnson (talk) 21:31, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Glad you like it. I'm almost getting to the stage where I'm generally happy with both content and presentation -- we've made a solid start in most areas now, at least of pure. I'm taking on applied and physics. Contribute whatever you have, we'll work out how to squeeze it into our format. --prime mover (talk) 22:31, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

Should we standardise the expression of the complex numbers?

While I was browsing pages on complex numbers, I noticcd that there're $a+ib$ pages like this; $a+bi$ pages like this. And I also found this page writing $\ds 2 i \, \map \Im z$.

So where on earth should we place $i$? --AuroraAeon (talk) 02:11, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Multiplication in this context is commutative. --prime mover (talk) 05:24, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Orthogonal Curvilinear Coordinates

I invite anyone with an opinion on or familiarity with the business of three dimensional coordinate systems to follow along behind me with a bucket, so to speak. I'm taking my time with this because I'm not fully convinced that I am filling in the details correctly. I do not know whether the underlying definitions of some of the objects that I am using are completely accurate, but have not found easily understood source materials.

First stop after this will be to define spherical coordinates, the absence of which makes the physics coverage embarrassing. Cannot really progress with electrostatics until we've properly pinned down spherical coords. --prime mover (talk) 21:54, 10 April 2023 (UTC)


I have found myself embarking on an exercise to rationalise the section on inequalities, e.g. Hölder's Inequality, Chebyshev's Inequality and so on.

We have a number of approaches: some are presented on the real number line, some extend to the complex plane, some are set in a Lebesgue space, some implicitly assume the underlying space is Banach, and so on.

Starting with the rationalisation of Definition:P-Sequence Space, I intend that each inequality is presented:

a) in the most abstract space to which it can be applied
b) in the specific context(s) of the real number line and/or complex plane
c) if applicable, to a general Cartesian space $\R^n$ or even $\C^n$

The above will of course depend to a certain extent on what sources we can find online.

I have already started using both Spiegel and Abramowitz & Stegun as my compendia, to which the various implementations can be added according to whatever sources we find them in.

I would like to encourage anyone who has the requisite knowhow (and sources to back it up) to (continue to) contribute to these pages as appropriate. --prime mover (talk) 08:35, 20 May 2023 (UTC)

AI editors

Are there any AIs out there? It occurs to me that some of our contributors may actually not be human. I wondered if they might want to introduce themselves? Be delighted to meet you. --prime mover (talk) 17:58, 25 May 2023 (UTC)