Schrodinger's Cat Strikes Back

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Going Online :-)

As you have already seen, we have a host now with a first short introduction for the new site. Don’t bother about details now (the link is now blue), I had only very few time available and in my ecstasy I wanted to show you something already running. For a computer scientist, an automatic web-editor, as it is available on our host, is sometimes quite confusing. I do not like these automatisms. However, in let’s say two weeks, I will have set up a first version of our new site and will not require such an editor to do that.As a first step I would like to set up a technical beta version with the following purposes:

  • Debugging: I have a more than 40 years of practical experience with IT-projects and I am sure that there will be some bugs in my code. It will be the task of some dedicated test users (you?) to help me finding these bugs.
  • Parametrization: Setting all the parameters of the site by the super-administrator.
  • Completion: Many details are not yet ready: Logo, introducing text, texts in emails, etc. During the technical beta, the site should be completed for takeoff.
  • Organization: During this phase, the first organization should be prepared (administrators, moderators, ?).

During his phase, new registrations will be prohibited, only test users will have access to the site. However, the site will be visible from outside (which could be some advertising?).  I could also place it at a secret place known only to the test users. I could also exclude robots (Google etc.) from the site during this run. Note: There will be a (small) probability that the content of the site at the end of this phase has to be deleted. This could only happen if tables in tha database would have to be altered, so the risk is small.

In order that we are able to organize the technical beta, please contact Dilaton if you are interested to participate. We will contact you with details for the registration, as soon as the site is up.

I will finance the hosting of our site for a while. However, we should also start to think about the responsibility for the site. Actually, I am the only one that is no more anonymous, because according to ICANN I had to provide my complete contact data. So, from a legal point of view, at the moment I am the only one who is responsible for the content of this site. I would not like to stay alone in this position. At least at the end of the beta phase, we should have some regulation (legal notes, about us, etc ?) about this subject. Has somebody alrady thought about that?




  1. Dilaton says:

    Please join the technical private beta of Physics Overflow 🙂

    People who are interested in helping us as test users with uncovering hidden bugs in the first online test version of Physics Overflow, find out which (not yet discussed) settings of Q2A work best, complete important tasks before publicely going online such as find a cool logo etc, and figuring out details of our organizations such as how to procede to get the best most reliable moderators and administrators for example, are invited to send an email to

    with the following information:

    a) a user name
    b) an email address (to be used during the technical private beta)
    c) a preliminary password (can be changed later)

    As soon as the first test version of Physics Overflow is prepared and everything is ready, we will send you an email with further instructions about how exactly you can take part in the technical private beta and your login data to access the site.


  2. Thank you so much!

    About the financing for the hosting of the site, I think that as discussed earlier, we can allow AdSense (which is permitted by Q2A), to earn the money for the hosting of the site.

    Is it essential to have someone who is “responsible” for the content of the site? I don’t understand this concept much, since it doesn’t make sense, in my opinion, for a community-owned site…

    What exactly does being “responsible” for the content of the site mean? If libelious material is posted on the site, they are responsible for it? That doesn’t seem to make much sense, in my opinion.

    • polarkernel says:

      I am not an expert on legal issues. However, you may find some text about responsibility for websites for example here ( and here ( I don’t know how to insert links in a comment 😦
      Imagine for example that StackExchange would not agree with our way of attribution and hires a lawyer, who attacks Physics Overflow. Who in this case would be “the community”? The only “real” person that could be attacked in this case would be the webmaster, because he is known from outside. I also have only poor knowledge about the (international) rights that apply for QA websites. Infos are welcome.

      It’s a pleasure for me to put this site up and running, there is no need for additional financing. I do not bind any claims or rights on that

      • Dilaton says:

        Maybe we should take again MathOverflow as a role model: they have founded some kind of company which was then for example able to negotiate the conditions for their joining the SE network. And a lawier assisted them too. Will have to look further into what exactly they did…

        Good that we have weekend now …;-)

        • Dilaton says:

          Ok it seems some people are attacking Dimension10 just because he dared to mention PhysicsOverflow in chat …

          see also the comments above and farther down (involving myself for a short time, darn).

          I will probably ask the nice people on MathOverflow on their Meta, about how they handle the issue of being responsible for the content of the site. Now they are (unfortunately) in the SE network, but it would be particularely interesting to hear about how they did it before joining SE …

      • Dilaton says:

        Now I have asked a corresponding question on MathOverflow:

        Now we have to wait and see how they will recieve it …

  3. Eugene S says:

    Hi, first time visitor here. On first glance, it looks good. Navigation seems to work with Javascript turned off, I consider that a plus. (Am a little paranoid about allowing Javascript everywhere; a site might get hacked by a malware distributor.)

  4. Argonut says:

    Hey Dilaton,

    It’s Argonut here.

    It seems as if the site is up — I had emailed the username/password to takeoff, will I be able to log in now?

    If so, where’s the login page? I can’t find it :/


  5. Dilaton says:

    Now they are completely going nuts on Physics SE: The ruling powers banned Idear

    a nice contributor of research-level theoretical physics, citing whimsically and highly unplausible pretexts.

  6. […] contact to register as test-user is still […]

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