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What are the most important features our Q&A software should have ?

The two most indispensable things that should work with the Q&A software the new physics site will use are that LaTex / Mathjax can be implemented and that the Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange data dump can be completely imported. Both things seem to be (with more or less effort)  technically feasible for a number of SE clones, which is good. In addition, for those who are accustomed to what a Stack Exchange site looks like, it would probably be good if the design of the new site would be not too different.

This discussion is intended to evaluate and discuss in some detail, what features and functionalities, known from SE or elsewhere are important for us to have.

 

So here are again some polls:

 

 

At some Stack Exchanges clones we have already looked in some more detail:

1. Q2A

Q2A looks quite similar to Stack Exchange, there is a good manual how to install the software on a laptop, and people on Stack Overflow find it easy to install. However, hosting is not free.

It allows for several administrators / moderators, there is a quite flexible rep dependent privilege system. At least at present, closing and reopening questions works only unilateral.

There is a support Q&A site, where it is quite easy to obtain answers.

2. QSQA

QSQA looks quite similar to Stack Exchange too, however people on Stack Overflow find it difficult to install.

To obtain answers at the support Q&A site seems to take its time at times.

3.  Askbot

Askbot seems to have a good privilege system and good moderation tools. However, hosting is not free and the prize to pay depends on the expected number of users that will join the community. A support Q&A site is available.

4. Shapado

Shapado does not look like Stack Exchange, it has no voting / reputation system, hosting is not free. Close and reopen of questions seems not to be possible. Even though there is a support Q&A site, it seems not to be very active as I obtained no answer when asking about importing SE data dumps and installing LaTex.

5. Answerhub

They have a very nice and friendly support site, LaTex is not installed at present, but importing SE data dumps should work.

 

 

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62 Comments

  1. I think this is an important blog post and an organised way to have this discussion.

    Comments on the poll options:

    – Up / downvote of questions and answers

    This is indeed very important, as it allows future visitors (who don’t know about the topic, and are here to learn) to decide the validity of the posts.

    – Accept an answer

    Not really required, as this only reflects the view of the OP.

    I (unfortunately) had to recently solicit an accept, because I needed to shut Larry Harson’s mouth, who was trolling and trying to tell me that the trollking and his friend-ly (you can guess whom I’m talking about from the “ly”) are reputable people whose works are citably reliable.

    However, this would not be required on a site were larry harson et al would have only deleted accounts.

    – Up / downvote of questions and answers

    Well, not that required (I accidentally voted, upon later consideration, I think it’s not really right) since we are allowing more discussion – y (not as much as a forums, of course) posts, so they don’t need to go as comments.

    – See vote counts

    While required indeed, it is possible to make a userscript for this. In fact, we can just use the source of this userscript: Stack Apps question 3082 .

    – Edit posts

    Well, *obviously* .

    – Anonymous Contributions

    Has shown to be more harmful than not on Stack Exchange.

    It doesn’t hurt to simply register an account.

    Then again, people like Lawrence B. Crowell were unregistered, and the bad spam can be done away with by strong moderation.

    Q2A allows this, by the way.

    – Community Wiki, set bagdes

    Well, not required that much. If we have such advantage (no interference from Stack Overlords), then we’ll obviously need to adjust to a lesser functional software…

    – View delteed

    Definitely. Accidental submissions.

    By the way, on Q2A, deleteing is called “hide”ing, and is certainly viewable by OP and admins. It’s not necessary for high – rep users to be able to see, but it may be adjustable in the Demo Admin Centre.

    – Badges

    Either way, what difference does it make. c.a. one of my recent meta.physics.se answers on the question “Why aren’t badges removed?”.

    – Meta

    On Q2A, there is the category feature, which can be used to categorise between main and meta.

    – Chat

    Can be externally set up, through wikia, for e.g., which has a nice chat room feature. However, messages are getting deleted in my testings, so I may need to ask at the community central for help.

    – Social Newtorks integrates

    Not necessary on an academic community.

    – Search

    Buh.

    – Shareing

    What’s the point? One could easily copy the url.

    – Following, specific user asking

    I don’t see any point. It could just be a good to have, like the last one.

    Sorry for the numerous grammatical and spelling errors, I can’t seem to be able to construct proper sentences today.

    I’ll write my commeants comment for the thirdw section tomorrow or something.

    • Dilaton says:

      Thanks for this detailed feedback, and dont worry too much about grammar stuff … ;-).
      Maybe the typos accumulate in your posts in the same way as they do with mine, when being annoyed or upset about something …?

      Sometimes your funny comments make me LOL, for example the one about the need of an accepted answer to shut Larry Harrson’s mouth …

  2. By the way, Shapvado, *does* have a free hosting.

  3. I think I’m having trouble posting comments again : ( …

    Let me try posting non-reply comments:

    This comment was supposed to be a reply to Comment # 65:

    “Well, I noticed that Larry Harson doesn’t really bug accepted answers.”

  4. – More than one admin / moderator assignable

    Of course. Although it’s possible to set – up a separate admin account for all the mods to use for moderation purposes only.

    – Priviledge system

    Yes, for the sake of democracy.

    – Community close / reopen

    Definitely important, though we could use a manual process of typing “Vote to Close as XYZ” in the comments, and if more than 5 people with a certain rep type that, a moderator can close it.

    – Community (un)delete posts

    Not so important, but still good to have. The above can also be impflemented.

    – Flag posts and comments

    Buh. How else will there be community moderation?

    – Protect posts

    Naah, effective moderation would get rid of such a need.

    – Review queues

    Would be a good – to – have, definitely. But if there is no close / reopen vote system or suggesting edits, then it’s not so important.

    – Mark / merge duplicates

    Mark: Of course. Closeing as duplicate manually would do, too.

    Merge: No, since a link to the duplicate would suffice.

    – Lock posts

    Locking is an evil of SE and should never be implemented.

    – Detect serial vwotes

    May be a good to have, but it may often fail, and even detect genuine votes (such as my downvoting of Saurabh Raje’s posts) as “serial”.

    – Delete votes

    If there is a user whose votes are worthy of deleteing, the user himslef/ will be worthy of deleteing, so such users would not exist, and theyi’re votes will go with them.

    – Ban / delete spammers

    Of course!

  5. I see that it is not necessary to install any userscript to see vote counts in Q2A.

    All you have to do is go to admin – viewing where there is an option to show separate up and down vote counts.

  6. Comments on the various hosts available:

    – Q2A

    Great, and in some aspects, even better than Stack Exchange.

    Features:

    —– Easy to customise theme
    —– Both categories and tags possible
    —– User page with talk page
    —– Customiseable user fields
    —– Customiseable logo: a nice logo possible is https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Stringinteractions.svg
    —– TO BE CONTINUED…

  7. —- Advanced editor tabs (although I don’t exactly like the fact that it isn’t markup or similiar.)
    —- Can be customised to have to display a custom message when posting.
    —- Customisable “Minimums”; can be set to 0 or 1, and Customiseable “Maximums”, can be set to a large number.
    —- Example tags can be displayed
    —- #Views can be displayed
    —- Vote Counts can be displayed
    —- Answers can be sorted by time or votes
    —- It is possible to not make the accepted answers go to the top.
    —- Comments don’t need to be hidden.
    —- Has a “HOT!” page for famous questions.
    —- Subcategoryies
    —- Customisable permissions
    —- Navigation links can be customised
    —- Points gained can be customised so that downvotes are just as murder3ours as upvotes are good.
    —- Recalculation
    —- Mass Mailing
    —- Plug – In for Revision Historye

    By the way, there’s a maximum of 2,147,483,647 reputation points.

  8. In my humble opìnion, the very most important feature the new site should have is the following: everyone should be explicitly allowed to be not politically correct. Closing answers or deleting comments should be based only on filtering out spam and out-of-topic (physics/maths) texts, but out of that, this place should be allowe to be the wild west if needed: insults and even personal defamation should be allowed and protected. Of course nobody wants that, but moderation should be fully insensitive to politeness or rudeness, being nice or being an asshole, just as insensitive my compiler is to the fact that I create variables called “fuck”, “asshole” or “goebbels” instead of “horizontal_distance”, “a” or “x”.

    Allowing to be “not nice” should be made explicit from the beginning. If not, we will merely mimic SE, and it will only be a question of time that moderation will ban and close answers based on political correctness.

    In other words, we want this place to be a site with full freedom of speech.

    • Thanks for deciding to join this site.

      I absolutely agree.

    • twistor59 says:

      In fact rudeness should be compulsory, you bunch of titty fucking smeg licking arse wranglers! LOL!

    • m says:

      One of the canonical motives to condemn rudeness is because it can evolve to a useless exchange of insults. BUT, I think that giving the power to someone (a moderator) to delete or close a post can be too dangerous. Also, being always polite is not only boring, as it can take a lot of time if you are going to think exactly what word you will use in each situation. Clearness and objectively is fundamental to physics and math.

      I remember that in my Linux days I had the curiosity to watch the discussion of the Linux Kernel community (see kernel.org), and they are everything, except “sweet” or polite. And you liking Linux or not, their production style works very well! 😉

  9. Regarding how the site must work (downvotes, badges, etc) the safest thing would be merely trying to replicate how it is done in StackExchange, because it works quite well. What is wrong in SE is not any of that things, but having people moderate the site based on political correctness instead on the mere physics/math contents.

    Well, I must say there is an exception, one thing I don’t like about SE. I don’t like the possibility of other people editing my answer (apart from grammar and spelling corrections to my non-native english; that are always welcome) or turning it into a wiki-engender. Answers are genuine creatures from the person who wrote them, and every modification should only be allowed after the explicit permission of the author, no matter how low reputation that author has.

    • I agree that it is good idea to mimick SE for most of the things.

      About the editing part,

      It is often that the OP reveals what exactly he is saying in the comments. I’ve noticed, that especially for new users, they don’t bother editing their posts.

      Since people may not really bother searching the comments, so it’s quite important to clarify the posts, in my opinion.

      Also, I think formatting answers is very important, as some people may not know how to format their posts using the given features. Of course, Q2A is WYSIWYG so this won’t be a problem. But there is always the problem of people using all-capitals.

      Also, retagging, etc. is quite important,

      And I’ve seen certain posts in which the poster trolls about a certain topic, or advertises a certain organisation. Such parts must surely be removed.

      So many sorts of editing apart from grammar is important, as long as they don’t change the meaning of the post, completely.

      If contributors to the site know this, it would probably not be a problem.

      • Well, it’s true. Editing other people’s answers is most of the times useful. This again shows that we should probably not change how SE works too much.

        Perhaps an intermediate solution would be the following: the author of each answer could choose to protect his text. This should be a somewhat hidden option, not easy to find when you are a beginner in the site or not much interested in formatting the question.

        This feature of protecting your answer (only if you are really interested in doing so and take the effort of finding out how to do it) I think it is a necessary complement to our “full freedom of speech and rudeness” feature. There is not going to be a moderator here stopping spontaneous war between two users (and that is going to happen more than once, we all know, it is human nature) and part of this war cannot be that a user edits his enemy’s answer to discredit him…

        Let me quote a fragment of Ron Maimon’s text in Quora, talking about what he expected every time he devoted his efforts to offer an answer to the comunity:

        <>

        I would add, I think in nearly the same spirit, “4.Don’t change its contents without my explicit permission”.

        • The quoted Ron’s text didn’t appear, probably because of the symbols I used. Here it is:

          “Writing text is work, and writing original text with new ideas is not so easy to do. This text is a contribution to the site, it is a gift, freely given, in exchange for the implicit contract that the site will treat the text with respect, preserve it, and allow it to be read and discussed. The site is trying to make a living off user contributions, after all.

          So in return for a contribution, I always expected the following:

          1. DONT DELETE IT.
          2. allow fair voting
          3. keep comments, visible.”

        • Dilaton says:

          Hi Eduardo,

          thanks for coming here and your nice and wise thoughts, I feel exactly the same as you 🙂

          When the site is running, it would then certainly be a good idea to make it cristal clear in the descroption of the site that there will be no “niceness rules” to cut the freedom of speech, no closing of good interesting physics/maths questions the community likes for obscure superficial political reasons, etc …

          I will probably add some corresponding bullet points in the lower part of the moderation article

        • I don’t think it is possible to “protect” a post in any question-answer site hosting.

          I agree with your “4” addition, although I’d change “explicit permission” to “explicit permission or acknowledgement that such an addition is correct”.

      • Dilaton says:

        I think on a higher-level site, there will be naturally less needs for edits, as the number of people who capitalize whole texts, write strange demanding or attacking not a real questions, include trolling paragraphs, etc should be much lower than what can be observed currently on Physics SE or the number of such bad things should even be negligible right from the start. As it has been the case on Theoretical Physics SE …

        What would then be maybe be left to do sometimes is help with the language, LaTex (however most people interested in learning physics at a technical level know how to use it), and tags (which are important for the right people who are interested in the topic and can answer a question to see it).

        I fully agree that people who offer their time, effort, and wisdom on the new siite and their contributions (including comments) should be treated with the full respect they deserve.

  10. Dilaton says:

    Eduardo and Dimension10 (and others such as Ron, etc ),

    If you think there are important things/topics that should be discussed and/or clarified in the context of the new site, you are welcome to write blog articles here too if you feel like it… 😉

    … still thinking that I am not necessarily the best writer and therefore to not have to be the only one …

    Cheers

  11. Sam W. T says:

    A suggestion: maybe it would be a good idea to encourage the future members to use their academic e-mails and let their University affiliations explicitly available. But you see, just “encourage” them, and not transforming it in a rule. I think that this would help to valorize the expert opinion and the credibility of the information. A downside is that it this can be too stringent for students who do not have any affiliation yet.

    • Mark Mitchison says:

      I see what you mean, but I actively disagree with this nonetheless. One of the exciting things about Stack Exchange for me was that it tapped into a community of experts (and idiots) from both inside and outside academia. Some of the best answerers on Stack Exchange had/have no information about university affiliation, or indeed have none; take Ron Maimon and Qmechanic for example. Obviously people can put their information on their profile if they want. I do on SE, but more because it’s useful for me to promote my real-life work and not because I expect people to take me more seriously because of my institution. I think we should be encouraging an environment where answers are judged only on their quality, and not because people are namedropping on their profile page.

    • Dilaton says:

      Hi Sam,

      I understand what you mean …

      However, from my observations on different physics blogs, Physics SE, and the former Theoretical Physics SE, I am not sure how strongly the quality a physics site can have depends on a real name + affiliateon rule.

      I have seen some real jerks badly trolling using their real names (I guess), and there are people who are very knowledgeable and do many quality contributions posting under a pseudonym, such as for example Qmechanic on Physics SE (I am somehow really curious about who he is, he must be a great theoretical physicist…), and a bright advanced theoretical physics student used to post very nice questions on Theoretical Physics SE under the name Squark, and so on

      And last but not least, for some reasons I prefer posting under my proper name Dilaton too …

  12. Mark Mitchison says:

    Hi guys, I like what you’re doing and I hope it works. I’d very much like it if we could make a research-level physics Q & A site viable. I voted on everything; here are a few points I feel strongly about on this list:

    -Up/down votes: it goes without saying that there is no point in even making a site without this feature.

    – Accept answer: I think this feature should *not* be on the site. It is pointless at best, since the best answer is visible by having the most upvotes, and highly misleading at worst. If an OP really, really likes one answer they can always say “thank you, this is the best answer” in the comments!

    – Set bounties: I think this is a good feature that is useful for encouraging answers to interesting questions that don’t get enough attention.

    – Meta: I think all of the social stuff is extremely important. If the idea of this site is to put the community first then it’s essential. In particular some kind of meta board to discuss issues of global relevance to the community. Without this, “the will of the community” becomes the will of those who shout loudest.

    – Privilege system: This is also important so that everyone can contribute to the upkeep of a quality site.

    – Edit posts: I think this is very useful but *only* with express permission from the author.

    About talking physics in the comments, I think this is absolutely fine. Some of the best bits of StackExchange are written in the comments. However, the habit people have of answering questions just by writing in the comments is counter-productive to a Q&A site and should be discouraged in my opinion.

    Apart from that I’m all for a bit more havoc and mayhem than SE, we should be free to call each other stupid etc., insult each other’s ideas and so on. However, I think that encouraging profanity is just vulgar and pointless. Also: I take the point of view that everything in physics is interesting, be it polymer physics or string theory (I do neither) and it would be nice to have a site and community that agrees with that point of view. So I’d rather not partake if it becomes commonplace that whole fields of mainstream physics get sneered at, as often happens with, for example, quantum foundations or string theory.

    • Dilaton says:

      Thanks for coming here and your nice wise thoughts Mark, I like what you say 🙂

      My hope is too, that the new site will become some kind of a refuge, where all parts of by the real world physics community accepted mainstream physics can be discussed reasonably, which is unfortunately since quite some time no longer the case in most physics blogs and below too popular news articles …

    • I agree with you for all except bounties.

      Why would anyone answer *just to get a bounty*?

      Of course, it “features” the question.

      However, it is possible to manually set up a bounty on Q2A, which means requesting an adminstrator to transfoer the bounty to the answerer from the OP’s account.

      • Mark Mitchison says:

        People answer to get rep. This is most certainly the case: getting reputation is the incentive that drives lots of people to give quality contributions on StackExchange. Especially newer users who might have something valuable to contribute but need a bit of encouragement. I don’t see why it would be any different on this site.

        • Dilaton says:

          Yes, and it is important that good knowledgeable people can earn rep for a priviledge system (with the goal of allowing for community moderation by good users who know what they are doing and are knowledgeable in the topics of the site) to work properly.
          I hope expertise and rep will be a bit stronger positively correlated on the site to come, than on for example not explicitely research-level sites in the SE network …

          • I don’t think bounties are the only way people should be given reputation.

            If we don’t like the idea of accepting answers, why would we want the concept of bounties, which is also unilateral, like accepting? .

          • Mark Mitchison says:

            I don’t think anyone is suggesting that bounties are the *only* way to earn reputation. The main way will surely be getting upvotes on lots of answers, as usual.

        • I can’t seem to get your point at all here…

          Why would we want people who run after reputation?.

          • Mark Mitchison says:

            Right… so of course you wouldn’t care at all if your reputation was suddenly reset to zero on StackExchange, hmm? I totally agree that the most important thing is to attract people who are interested in physics and have interesting knowledge and ideas to contribute. People who just want rep should be discouraged. However you need some kind of incentive, something to make people proud of. You worked hard to gain 1000s of rep points on StackExchange, as did I, and it is this recognition that is part of the motivation to keep giving quality contributions.

            This means if someone is really good at physics and also wants to earn loads of rep, that’s good for the site. If someone is really good at physics and doesn’t care about rep, that’s still good for the site. And if someone is an idiot douchebag who only wants to earn rep, then they won’t hang around long because no one will upvote their crappy answers and they’ll get no rep anyway.

            Bounties are different from accepts because they can only be given by people who have reputation to spare. This means they are much more likely to be given to a worthy answer, since the person giving it has earned lots of reputation themselves and presumably knows what they are doing. You see quite clearly that bounties rarely appear on StackExchange except from highly-valued contributors with 1000s of rep points. Also they are only likely to be given out for very good answers, otherwise the giver wouldn’t waste the rep.

            Accepts, on the other hand, can be given out by anyone asking a question on the site. **Accepts don’t cost anything**, that’s the difference. This means that if a question only gets mediocre answers that are all equally bad, one of them can still always be singled out as *the* answer. This can be misleading. If an answer gets a bounty, this tells you definitively: this was given by a person who the community thinks is good (otherwise they wouldn’t have enough rep to give a bounty), and this person also thinks that this answer is really good (otherwise they wouldn’t have paid for it). I think that’s much more meaningful than an accept. In order for this to work, though, we should maybe only allow bounties of 100/200 rep or more, so that it represents a significant cost.

            Anyway, I really don’t think it’s that important either way, but I hope I’ve at least explained why I think accepts and bounties are quite different from an idealist point of view.

          • @Mark Mitchison:

            OK, fine, I’m convinced (+1) although the only reason I’d care if my rep would be reset to 0 is that that means no privileges. Then again, people want to answer questions with bounties to get priviledges… OK, makes sense.

            By the way, accepting gives 2 rep to the accepter : ) …

            • Dilaton says:

              Yes, for the priviledge system to work automatically, there has to be some means to determine who are the good guys who should have the right to vote to close / reopen questions etc …

              Rep is not always optimal for this, as for example on Physics SE I know some closevoters (or people who are at the verge of becoming ones …) who are not knowledgeable enough to judge the merits of questions about rather theoretical advanced topics but (will) vote in a very (SE) political way, whereas many good askers contributing nice questions about theoretical physics who clearly know quite a lot of physics (and maths), have 500 < rep < 2000 because they are exclusively interested in the physics and give a damn about rep …

              Of course, with Q2A one could assing priviledges manually to specific trusted users, but for real community moderation I think it is better done automatically using for example rep (or something else in addition) as a criterium.

              I would say too that accepting answers sometimes rather sucks, as many good physics questions have no unique canonical standard answer …

  13. Hi, Dilaton, In my opinion, everything must not be mushed up together on the Main page. Then the usual thing about space and fighting for space and clutter will follow. The questions must be segregated broadly, as

    Newtonian mechanics
    Quantum Mechanics
    Statistical mechanics and Condensed Matter Physics(includes fluid mechanics and thermodynamics )
    Quantum Field theory and Particle physics
    Special and General relativity
    String theory and Quantum Gravity
    Astronomy and Astrophysics
    Cosmology
    Mathematics
    Homework
    Applications in Engineering
    Applications to Biology and Chemistry
    Epistemology of Science
    Questions in Academia
    Reference Requests
    Meta questions

    If you wish you can also add a For Cranks and Crack Pots section.
    You get the general idea, You should still have a Main page with recent activity, But when and if the site grows. Main page will eventually turn cluttered.

    I like the way Physics forums segregates its question, and further classifies them using tags.

    • I agree with you about the general idea.

      Q2A has the advantage of having sub-categories. So it can be something like:=

      – Main
      — Mathematics
      — Mathematical Physics
      — String Theory and Supersymmetry
      — LQG and Friends
      — Condensed Matter
      — Advanced QFT
      — Advanced GR
      — Other (COMMENT: Including Epistemology, Academia, etc.)
      – Meta
      — Feature Request (COMMENT: Some of these woud be impossible)
      — Support
      — Bug
      — Discussion

      It’s also possible to have an “Uncategorised” category, to let others classify them.

      I don’t think it is useful to have crack or applications sections, because of the results of the poll in this post: https://tpproposal.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/what-topics-should-be-welcome-on-the-new-physics-site/

    • Dilaton says:

      Hi Prathyush, thanks for coming here and your thoughts 🙂

      I like the idea of categorizing things a bit, in case the site grows nicely …

      I personally would not make too many subsections, from looking at this discussion https://tpproposal.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/what-topics-should-be-welcome-on-the-new-physics-site/ just

      – Theoretical Physics
      – Phenomenology
      – Experimental Physics
      – Maths (or Mathematical Physics)
      – Astrophysics

      and then work with (more meaningful than some examples on Physics SE …) tags, which discribe subfields or other physics / maths terms meaningful to and applied by the targetted audience of the site.

      BTW On the new Astronomy site, they have a summery of the most importan things that should be considered when building a new site and community. I will very soon steal some of these ideas :-P, to summarize in a new post what we already have discussed a bit, and what should still be talked about….

      So stay tuned 🙂

      • m says:

        I also agree that it could be a good idea to have only few sections. I even think that it can be possible to mix Theoretical and Mathematical Physics together and qualify their respective posts with tags, because there exists many research fields (string theory being a rich source of examples) that are very difficult to separate if it is just mathematical or theoretical physics.

        As to the tags, we could use the arXiv as an inspiration, like math-phys, gr-qc and etc.

  14. If you want a purely theoretical focus, skip the applications and homework sections. Even epistemology of science can possibly attract cranks, so safer to avoid it. The specific sections are upto you. I was joking about the Cranks and crack pots section, Ofcourse all our cranks will be redirected to Physics Stack Exchange. 😛

  15. Regarding the other options for Q and A sites:

    – OSQA

    Free, some plug-ins, but is very limited in features compared to Q2A.

    – AskBot

    I tested it out (30 day trial) here: http://physicsoverflow.askbot.com and it seems the features are the same as Q2A. It looks a little nicer but the top bar is overloaded and it’s actually harder to use in practice. Simply a waste of money.

    – Shapado

    Ugly, and my test free site (not a trial) some how got deleted the next day, so it’s not reliabkle.

    – Answerhub

    Beautiful, and all that, but expensive. Very expensive.

  16. So, if we are settled about Q2A, you could add a new post for voting about which settings should be enabled on the Admin Dashboard.

    • Dilaton says:

      We’re gonna test Q2A probably on laptops next weekend, to see if the TP data can be loaded, LaTex enabled, etc …
      So maybe the final settings can wait until we see how these things work, not sure …?

      What is important for the community to be, can already be quessed a bit from some earlier polls. Non unilateral community closing and reopening could be slightly a problem, as it is not possible at present …

  17. rmaimon says:

    Hi everyone, it’s Ron. What’s going on with this? I recieved an email regarding a new site called “physics overflow”, is it happening? I am licking smeg hoping it’s going to happen.

    • Hi Ron,

      You can see that the domain name for the site has already been booked : http://physicsoverflow.org

      There is already an offline site to which TheoreticalPhysics.SE questions, and many interesting questions from Physics.SE have already been imported.

      A technical private beta will happen soon, you can read more at https://tpproposal.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/going-online/ . I think Dilaton has informed on the TRF thread that you have signed up for this.

      I suppose that the email you recieved was from me using the “Ask to Answer” feature this question on Quora to alert you (and dushya, too), since that was the only way I could alert your attention to the technical private beta of Physics Overflow. I now know that you have been blocked from Quora. : (

      However, maybe the email was something different, and was sent by someone else, in which case you should be a bit careful of phishing attacks or something.

  18. Dilaton says:

    Hi Ron 🙂 !

    Yes, as Dimension10 said, the Physics Overflow is coming. The mail was from my new adress takeoff@physicsoverflow.org installed just to manage the technical private beta phase. Polarkernel and I are presently taking the last technical and organizational preparations to make the site look already at this state not too dilettante ;-), think about what we want to achieve before going public (beta), etc …

    Unfortunately I am still on my “recovery holiday” (till next Wednesday) where my WLAN connection more often than not greatly sucks; this drives me up the wall as I am really eager and impatient to bring things forward now … :-(0).

    I will try if I have better internet access in the “interaction center” (cafeteria) this weekend, during the week I have a very tight time-table …

    Cheers

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