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User talk:Peter Schmitt/Archive 1

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Welcome, new editor! We're very glad you've joined us. Here are pointers for a quick start. Also, when you get a chance, please read The Editor Role. You can look at Getting Started for other helpful introductory pages. It is essential for you as an editor to join the Citizendium-Editors (broadcast) mailing list in order to stay abreast of editor-related issues, as well as the mailing list(s) that concern your particular interests. It is also important, for project-wide matters, to join the Citizendium-L (broadcast) mailing list. You can test out editing in the sandbox if you'd like. If you need help to get going, the forums is one option. That's also where we discuss policy and proposals. You can ask any constable for help, too. Me, for instance! Just put a note on their "talk" page. Again, welcome and thank you! We appreciate your willingness to share your expertise, and we hope to see your edits on Recent changes soon. David E. Volk 22:44, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

speedy deletions

Hi Peter, glad to see that you're joining in! I'm the Constable who does most of the Speedy Deletes these days -- please put a *reason* for the request in each of the templates that you fill out. With Caesar, who's done a ton of them lately, I don't bother to *check* his reason in most cases, but I do like to see that it's there. So I'd appreciate it if you'd fill out the templates for the ones that you've already requested.

For instance, here's a template that Caesar just filled out:

Thanks, Hayford Peirce 16:59, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I deleted that particular template after I wrote the message above.
Look, when you make a speedy delete by putting in the speedy delete thing, it is a little more complicated than I remembered, since I've been busy deleting templates for the last couple of months instead of marking articles with the deletion request. When you have a template, or, I guess, anything else that you want a speedy delete on, this is what you add to the page:
THEN you delete the word REASON and replace it in the center of the new template with your own text, for example,{{speedydelete|I'm sick and tired of looking at this damn template and I ain't gonna take it anymore!|~~~~}}, leaving the four tildes in place. This should then give you:

{{speedydelete|I'm sick and tired of looking at this damn template and I ain't gonna take it anymore!|[[User:Hayford Peirce|Hayford Peirce]] 21:45, 27 May 2009 (UTC)}}

I'm frankly not up on the difference between <nowXiki> and <noiXnclude>, but I suggest your check this page here, and maybe you'll understand it better than I do:

In any case, I'll now delete that template that you wanted me to.Hayford Peirce 21:45, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I have added a short explanation of this to CZ:Article Deletion Policy. Peter Schmitt 22:31, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I saw that -- thanks! I've discovered as a Constable that there are *lots* of places where instructions are not quite as clear as we might like -- I've had to rewrite some of them myself. Hayford Peirce 00:07, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi Peter -

I was wondering why this article has been speedy deleted and/or is not appropriate for the Citizendium:

Lawrence A. Stanley 11:42, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Renaming Neighbourhood (Mathematics) to Neighbourhood (topology)

Peter, you do not need to delete or redirect either of them. You simply need to "move" (also known as "rename") Neighbourhood (Mathematics) to to Neighbourhood (topology). However, before you can do that, Neighbourhood (Mathematics) really should be made into a CZ articles which it is not at the moment:
  • Neighbourhood (Mathematics) needs to at least have subpages and a Metatadata page before it is a CZ article. Also, the edit page of the main article page should have {{subpages}} written as the very top line.
If you wish, I think I could straighten it out for you ... but both you and Hayford Peirce should first stop making changes to avoid our having edit conflicts. Milton Beychok 21:59, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
  • I tried renaming/moving first, but it did not work because the target already existed (as a redirect).
  • Well, the Metadata page was already missing when I started to rewrite the article. I wanted to finish the edit before trying to do this (this would be the first time ...) However, {{subpages}} was (and is) already at the top. Peter Schmitt 22:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure I can do the Talk suppage and the Metadata template and straighten out the Move. Do you want me to try? Milton Beychok 22:55, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Why not -- I can delay my "first time". (I'll stop editing until I hear from you) Peter Schmitt 22:58, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. Neighbourhood (topology) exists and it has a Metadata template and subpages. I also re-formatted the Related Links subpage and redirected the old Neighbourhood (Mathematics) to the Neighborhood (Disambiguation) page. Milton Beychok 23:33, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. (I will have to edit some of these subpages.) But how did you succeed and overwrite the redirect? Moreover, we now have some "double" redirects from subpages to "Neighbourhood" (a redirect to "Neighbourhood (Disambuigation)") which redirect to "Neighbourhood (topology)". It probably would be best to delete these unnecessary subpages?! My beginner's humble impression is that the process of moving is a little complicated and yet perfect. Peter Schmitt 23:53, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)To change a redirect page, simply go into its edit page and redirect it to the new place. As for Neighborhood and Neighbourhood, they should both be redirected to Neighborhood (Disambiguation). The reader then clicks on Neighbourhood (topology) or another choice on the DAB page. That is not a double redirect .. that is how it should work. Must go now. Be back in about 4-5 hours. Milton Beychok 00:05, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

That was (and is) so. What I meant are redirections such as: Neighbourhood/Bibliography →‎ Neighbourhood (Mathematics)/Bibliography →‎ Neighbourhood (topology)/Bibliography. These redirects can be edited. But does a redirect need a "Bibliography" subpage?? (no hurry! and probably not important anyway. I'll go to sleep ;-) Peter Schmitt 00:25, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Peter, when an article is moved (also renamed) correctly, all of the subpages and all of their Histories are also moved (and renamed), so there is no need to redirect them. Milton Beychok 04:12, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Garbage after moving

Milton, I think I understand this. I meant something different: The redirects created automatically by moving will usually be what one wants. However, in some cases (e.g. in this case) it leaves clutter: see Special:DoubleRedirects. "Neighbourhood" is a redirect to "Neighbourhood (Disambiguation)". It does not need -- and officially does not have {{subpages}} -- but there are redirects like
Neighbourhood/Bibliography (Edit) →‎ Neighbourhood (Mathematics)/Bibliography →‎ Neighbourhood (topology)/Bibliography
which are neither sensible nor useful (but could be confusing if someone accidently hits them). They could, of course, be edited to
Neighbourhood/Bibliography (Edit) →‎ Neighbourhood (Disambiguation)/Bibliography
but I think that even this is not really useful. I think they simply should be removed (Maybe I should not be concerned?)
Peter Schmitt 09:35, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree, Peter, and I think they would normally be deleted.
In fact, I think some subpage and definition templates don't work correctly if redirect pages have certain subpages.
Caesar Schinas 09:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

speedy delete requests

I see that there are a whole bunch of speedy delete requests here: but when I click on one of them, there is no speedy delete template *at all* and no explanation of why it should be deleted. So I'll leave them until there's more info on each individual one. Hayford Peirce 13:49, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Hayford - this is because Peter has placed the speedydelete temlate on a redirect page after the redirect code. Due to a MediaWiki feature, this doesn't break the redirect, so you are being redirected to a different page. And due to a bug in MediaWiki, even if you do go to the relevant page - eg - you won't see the template unless you try editing the page.
Peter - the speedydelete template should always be the very first thing on the page. Here's an example, until Hayford deletes it...
Caesar Schinas 13:58, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I learn a lot about technical matters these days ;-) Peter Schmitt 14:10, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh, we all do... I see you've added a note to CZ:Article Deletion Policy‎; well done. Caesar Schinas 14:21, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Status change

Peter, some things only get updated after the Talk page is updated. Try adding 1 blank line to the Talk page. Other things just get updated on some sort of time schedule. David E. Volk 12:58, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, this worked. Incidently, I thought to have read something similar somewhere, but I tried it with the article page. (And by doing this I somehow managed to replace the article by a single subsection ...strange) Peter Schmitt 14:42, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
By pure chance, I just discovered this: Maybe a null edit deleted the text? Peter Schmitt 00:34, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Beware the null edit! One day I thought I would save time while adding the Biochemistry subgroup to dozens of pages, and instead of adding a space or blank line, I did null edits which deleted all text except for intro section. David E. Volk 11:51, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure this is caused by editing just the intro section. If you click the main edit link which edits the entire page, I don't think it can happen. Caesar Schinas 12:47, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
It happened, unintentionally (I thought that I added at least a newline). Because of "undo" it is not really a problem. However, I only noticed it a day later ... Anyway, before reading about "null edits" I sent an eMail to "bugs". Peter Schmitt 18:34, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
But had you clicked "edit", or "edit intro"? Caesar Schinas 06:31, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
And if you had changed the page in any way, it's not a null edit. Caesar Schinas 06:32, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I do not know precisely what I did. As I said, then I was not aware of the problem of a null edit, and my intention was to add a space or a line, but I did not pay much attention and, maybe, I failed to do so. However, it certainly was not the "edit intro" button because I edited a short subsection (as can be seen from the piece of text that got saved). I did not want to call the complete text for this purpose. Peter Schmitt 22:13, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, OK. It comes to the same. My point is that I think the problem with null edits can only occur if you are editing a single section, not if you edit the whole page. Still, it is a bug which needs fixing. I wonder if it happens on Wikipedia too... Caesar Schinas 05:57, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
By the way, note that if you change the page at all, even add one space or newline, it is not a null edit. Null edit means you changed nothing, and doesn't show up in the page history. Caesar Schinas 09:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
That is not quite true. I just wanted to add the result of some experiments (and got an edit conflict ;-) The problem occurs not only with null edits, but also if one adds newlines and/or spaces at the end of the section. It seems that in these cases no diff is observed, and then (as with a null edit) the section edited is saved instead of the (unchanged) article. Obviously, if one edits the whole page this shows no effect, even if the bug may be present in this case, too. (So far, I received no reaction on my mail to "bugs".) Peter Schmitt 09:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh; I know the same problem occurs, but I just wanted to point out that it's not actually null if you make a change, and it then does show up in the page history. Like this.
As you say, the bug will have no effect if editing the whole page; I hadn't thought abut that. Perhaps it should be reported to the MediaWiki developers.
Caesar Schinas 09:28, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Adding spaces at the end of a line or newlines in the middle of the text seems to work (as in your example above), but then, of course, you have to be careful not to change the appearance of the text. On the other hand, a space or newline at the end of a page is neglected and does not show because no new revision is stored. Peter Schmitt 09:41, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
wikipedia does not show this bug (I tried it in the sandbox). Peter Schmitt 09:54, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Block cipher

The discussion on the talk page includes Roger Lohman asking:

Why is "Linearity" on the Related Articles page the only item lacking a definition? (An oversight most likely; It should be added before approval.)

and my reply:

I'm reluctant to attempt a definition of linearity. I understand some of the applications, but I'm not certain I'd define the general and abstract concept precisely right. Is there a math editor in the house?

Is that something you could fix? Sandy Harris 00:35, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure what material you want to put there. In any case, I doubt that the title "Linearity" is a good choice. I wouldn't use it in mathematics, either (rather: "Linear method", or something more specific). In the case of cryptography, would "Linear cipher" and/ or "Nonlinear cipher" fit (or "Linear method(s) (cryptography")? Peter Schmitt 14:24, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I've never seen any of those terms used. The terms I know in crypto are "nonlinear" as an adjective describing some operation or entity, "nonlinearity" as the property, and "linear cryptanalysis" for a specific class of attack that works with linear approximations to parts of a cipher and massive amounts of data. If you want an example of how cryptographers use the terms, see [1] or the Mister & Adams paper cited in the block cipher article.
It wasn't me who either added linearity among the related topics (probably Howard) or suggested that it needed a definition. I'm just trying to cover all the loose ends so the article can reach approval. My guess would be that it is "nonlinearity (cryptography)" that should be there. My discussion of these issues is at Algebraic attack. Like RSA and several others, that could use a look from a math editor. Sandy Harris 15:52, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
I shall think about it. But my current impression is that no such link is needed since "nonlinearity" only means "not being/using linear functions", and there is no proposal what should be put there. Peter Schmitt 23:41, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Continuum hypothesis

I understand your reluctance to nominate your own article, but many people have done so. It is perfectly acceptable for you to nominate the article as New Draft of the Week. Milton Beychok 17:00, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Milton, I just saw that you already did it. Thanks. Peter Schmitt 19:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Peter, now you should add yourself as a supporter and change the score to 2. That is perfectly acceptable and quite often done. Milton Beychok 20:09, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Non-Borel set

Peter, could you please look at my new article Non-Borel set? It is a short article intended for a reader not acquainted with descriptive set theory and curious to know whether a specific example of a non-Borel set can be constructed.

Your comments are welcome, the more so that I am a newbie here. Do you think this article should be developed further? If so, --- in which direction? If not --- can it be approved? Boris Tsirelson 17:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Colosseum of rhodes

I don't know where I got that, thanks for fixing it...Drew R. Smith 11:58, 24 June 2009 (UTC)


Hi Peter. Thanks for your help. I did not know the proper functioning of the categories. Greetings.

Do find the current suggested lede for 'chemical elements' okay to put up as working version?


I believe I responded to your latest comments my sandbox version of 'chemical elements'. If you're okay with that version as a working version for continued collaborative development, please indicate so on:

If Paul does the same, I will seek Milton's okay to replace the current Main Article with it, so authors can start working on the article again.

You can view the current version of the sandbox article at:

Thanks for your input. Anthony.Sebastian 19:53, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Complex number

Congratulations on your first approval! (It is your first isn't it!?) Thanks for taking the lead on this one - hopefully there are many, many more to come. D. Matt Innis 03:22, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks (delayed after a week of absence). However, I consider it rather as the zeroth approval because it was a merely copyedit to repair an unfortunate formulation. Many more approvals? Unfortunately, this will not be easy -- so far, I did not see an article I would like to approve as it is. Peter Schmitt 17:25, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
It was a good one for you to "get your feet wet!" I am glad to hear that you have high expectations for approvals of articles. We are actually counting on that quality in our editors. It will be a lot easier when we get three editor aprovals and you can actually edit the articles. In the meantime, you are welcome to edit all of them as you see fit and then when other editors arrive, you will have already made your changes.
However you decide to do it, I very much appreciate your efforts and expertise. Thanks, D. Matt Innis 16:06, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Er, sorry I'm late. I guess I had forgotten to check back for replies and didn't notice the discussion I had started. Thanks for updating the page! I see, (now that you've explained that "of 1" could have been understood as being implied), that it could, as you said, be seen as a clarification rather than a correction.
By the way, re approving other articles: I'd like to see the Logarithm article (of which I wrote the first version) approved. If you don't think it's ready for approval as it is, I would appreciate it if you (or another mathematics editor) would give some guidance on it's talk page as to what types of improvements are necessary. (However, I might or might not have time to implement any such suggestions. It's my hope that if I don't, someone else will, and that the article will eventually be approved.) Catherine Woodgold 00:22, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Take good care of Catherine, Peter, we want to bribe her to spend some more time over here. She's a polished gem that we would hate to see waste her time elsewhere, lol ;) D. Matt Innis 01:25, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Hi, Catherine! Nice to hear from you. Doing this small edit was rather instructive. I'll look at logarithm, but I cannot promise when. All these charter discussions (and other things that pop up) distract from things one would like (or should) do ... Peter Schmitt 01:28, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
Oops - how could this happen without creating an edit conflict??? Peter Schmitt 01:31, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks. No hurry. I think the newer (last year?) mediawiki software often "resolves" editing conflicts even when two edits are within the same section. By the way, by updating Complex number I think you have significantly increased the probability that I'll start spending more time editing Citizendium; although it's still also possible I won't be able to find time for it. Catherine Woodgold 01:15, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Crypto articles

There are several articles, all mainly my writing, about cryptography that could use a look from a math editor. Especially RSA and Discrete logarithm, since those are directly mathematical, but also Diffie-Hellman, Algebraic attack. International Data Encryption Algorithm and Block_cipher#Resisting_linear_.26_differential_attacks. Would you have time for some of those? Sandy Harris 14:54, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Also, looking at finite field, I notice that the article defines only one type. However, in Discrete logarithm, I imply that there are multiple types. I thought that was the case, but now I'm confused. Can you clarify? Does one article need correction? Sandy Harris 15:49, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Replying to your comment on my talk page, I thought here were "multiple types" of finite field, one type defined modulo an integer (usually a prime, but does it have to be to make the multiplication work right?), another type defined relative to an elliptic curve, perhaps others I'm not aware of. Sandy Harris 11:00, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
There is a finite field for each prime power pd. You could say, the characteistic p is a type, or the "dimension" d is a type. For d=1 you have the residue class fields Zp. Aren't elliptic curves inducing a group only (and not a field)? Peter Schmitt 13:24, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I do not know; the last formal math study I did was intro calculus & linear algebra about 40 years ago. Since the Diffie-Hellman protocol can use "oakley groups" based on an elliptic curve (e.g. See RFC 2309) and that protocol involves exponentiation, I'd assumed there were fields involved. There are; the RFC has, for example:
  "... a EC2N group with the following
  characteristics. ... The curve is
  based on the Galois Field GF[2^155]. The field size is 155. The
  irreducible polynomial for the field is:
         u^155 + u^62 + 1.
  The equation for the elliptic curve is:
          y^2 + xy = x^3 + ax^2 + b.

However, fields do not seem to be involved in the way I thought. I've really no idea if my text in discrete logarithm, "There are several variants of the problem for different types of field. The IKE protocol uses two variants, either over a field modulo a prime or over a field defined by an elliptic curve." is actually correct. Sandy Harris 18:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Sorry that I did not answer earlier. I did not yet check how elliptic curves are used in cryptography (I only know that they are), but the excerpt shows that the are used over a finite field. That means that the values for x and y are elements of the field. The field used is the field with p=2 and d=255. Peter Schmitt 13:54, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


I left you a reply on my talk page Drew R. Smith 11:33, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Article on Sturm-Liouville theory

Hello Peter,

I want to bring the WP article on Sturm-Liouville theory over to CZ and add a proof that solutions with distinct eigenvalues are orthogonal. Since I am not an expert in S-L theory, I asked a collaborator (who knows more about the topic than I) to look over the article to see if it could be improved. He is actually the one who developed the proof and has given his permission to put it on CZ. He looked over the WP article and said it looked OK to him, although he felt the mention of "the Arzela-Ascoli theorem and the spectral theory for compact operators" was more advanced than the rest of the article. So, with your approval I propose to do the following: 1) bring the WP article over to CZ, ticking the box that states it originated at WP. 2) slightly modify it to eliminate the reference to "the Arzela-Ascoli theorem and the spectral theory for compact operators." 3) create an addendum page for the proof and link the main article to it. If this sounds reasonable to you, let me know and I will proceed. Dan Nessett 18:54, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello Dan, you do not need anybody's permission. However, if you want my opinion: I have not checked all the details, but the mathematics seems to be correct. Therefore, since you are mainly interested in it for "your" proof as a subpage, I see no reason why not to import it. I think it would profit from more context (including historical context), and perhaps some reorganization. But since it is basically ok, this can wait until someone is ready to work on it or to replace it by a fresh article. (I may not forget that I'll have to register the /Proofs subpage.) Peter Schmitt 00:52, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Forgot to mention: I do not see a reason why the reference to Arzela-Ascoli should be eliminated. It gives, in short, the argument why a property holds. Peter Schmitt 10:56, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll go ahead and import it. When adding the orthogonality/normalization constant proof to the Associated Legendre Functions article, I used an Addendum subpage. Do you want me to wait until a Proofs subpage class is added or should I put the proof on an Addendum page and move it later when Proofs subpages are available? Dan Nessett 16:30, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I have registered /Proofs as article-specific subpage. This is (as I understand it) sufficient to use it. But it means that it is not listed with the "unused" subpages. But this can be changed later. Peter Schmitt 22:27, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

I have moved the WP article to a sandbox so I can work on it. I have a couple of questions. As you can see from the imported S-L theory text, there are quite a few template references. What is CZ's policy on using WP templates? Should I move them over to CZ as well or should I attempt to create the effect those templates deliver using some other means? I have not imported the category links. Is this correct? I understand that CZ doesn't categorize as WP does. Dan Nessett 00:25, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

I do not know of an explicit policy for templates. As far as I see, there is only one template used to numerate some formulas. In my opinion, at least in this case, this is not really necessary. The formulas can easily be addressed directly (or a number could be given without template). Peter Schmitt 19:56, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Categories are for organizational issues. However, there is the Related Articles subpage for such references. Peter Schmitt 20:00, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I was temporarily side-tracked by some work on another project, but have now imported the WP article on Sturm-Liouville Theory. At this point I don't know how to add the proof subpage. Do I just create the page Sturm-Liouville_Theory/Proof ? Should that page be named Proofs, rather than Proof (since there may be other proofs directly related to S-L theory that in the future might find a home there)? Do I need to do something so a Proof tab appears at the top of the article page? Dan Nessett 16:03, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I moved the article to Sturm-Liouville theory (lowercase t), and added the Proofs subpage (via Metadata). You can move (or copy) your page to it. I choose the plural in analogy to Catalogs, etc. If there should be another page then it can be moved to a subsubpage. But until then this is not necessary. Peter Schmitt 19:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I have added the proof to the Proofs page and linked to it from the main article page. One thing I noticed. The main article presumes eigenvalues are distinct. My understanding is S-L problems may experience degeneracy, for which a single eigenvalue corresponds to a subspace, not a single eigenvector. I have mentioned the assumption of distinctness in a note to the side of the text that quotes the proof. However, it may be better to explicitly mention the degeneracy problem more prominently in the main article. What is your view? Dan Nessett 15:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

After reviewing the conditions specified in the S-L article (i.e., regularity), I see eigenvalue distinctness is guaranteed. I have removed the comment mentioning the assumption of distinct eigenvalues that was next to the proof reference. I have inserted a comment about regularity guaranteeing distinct eigenvalues at the top of the proof. Dan Nessett 19:06, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

So one question seems to be solved. I have not read the pages, so I cannot comment. But there is a formal issue: CZ has the Related Articles and Bibliography subpages for "See also" and bibliographic references. So this information should be moved. Peter Schmitt 21:22, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Done. Is the text: "Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification." supposed to remain in the Bibliography or do I need to do something to eliminate it? Also, I have modified 3 links in the proof that pointed to the WP article so they now point to the CZ article. Dan Nessett 21:36, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I remove the comments. (Though I don't think there is a "rule".) Peter Schmitt 21:46, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

I removed the comments from the Bibliography. However, the text: "Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification." doesn't appear to be a comment. It appears to be automatically generated. Dan Nessett 21:59, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Of course, they are automatically generated. They are "comments" because they only show when the page is edited, but not when the page is viewed. Peter Schmitt 23:16, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

They appear when I view the page. That is, they appear automatically generated when the page is rendered. I am speaking about the Bibliography, not Related Articles. Dan Nessett 00:08, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I didn't think of that -- that's the subpages template and only shows when you view the page. Peter Schmitt 00:39, 27 August 2009 (UTC)


Peter. I see you have removed the Sturm-Liouville article from the Ready for Approval list. That's fine. You are the Mathematics editor with the responsibility for this article and I appreciate you taking the time to look it over. However, I assume you had reasons for determining that the article is not yet ready for approval. Would you indicate how the article needs to be improved in order to get it ready for approval. This will allow me to work on it. Thanks. Dan Nessett 17:50, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Dan, I thought you would notice that I changed the status of the article. It is a WP import with only minor edits. It is therefore not even "live". (You also forgot to check the WP box.) But even if there had been more edits, I would not want to approve it. I think that approved articles should be genuine CZ articles. Moreover, so far a status for subpages or the approval of subpages has not yet been implemented. Peter Schmitt 23:37, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Peter. How much we are required to change a WP article doesn't seem to be specified. At a minimum we must make it conform to the CZ cluster structure (see CZ:How_to_convert_Wikipedia_articles_to_Citizendium_articles), which I believe I have done. However, beyond that, there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules.
Nevertheless, I am willing to do the work necessary to make it approvable. Can you give me some guidance on what is required? I may be able to get some help from John Fletcher (who did the orthogonality proof, the 2nd orthogonality proof for the Associated Legendre functions article and collaborated with me on the 1st Associated Legendre functions proof), if I can get a good description of what is required. As a retired theoretical physicist he is much better qualified than I on the details of S-L theory. Dan Nessett 23:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Look at Category:CZ Live and CZ:The Article Checklist for explanation of status. Of course, the WP attribution has to stay as long as the article is an edited version of the WP article even if it is status 1 or 0. But, in addition, as I have recently explained in the forum, I would seriously hesitate to approve an article of WP origin independent of its quality. I prefer original content. Peter Schmitt 19:31, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
John Fletcher once offered to write the S-L theory article from scratch. However, he stated that his viewpoint would be that of a physicist. There are a couple of topics that he said he was not competent to write about, e.g., the Arzelà–Ascoli theorem. I could contact him and see if he is still willing to do that. That would give us an original article, but it probably wouldn't reflect a pure mathematical point of view. Dan Nessett 19:38, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with a physicist's viewpoint (Paul usually has it). If something is lacking, it can be added, either to the article or in a separate page. In fact, both the applied and the historical perspective are missing in the current article. Peter Schmitt 11:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


OK. I'll ask him if he is still interested. Thanks. Dan Nessett 15:09, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

{{Community without category}}

Hab jetzt mal reingeguckt und {{Community}} so geändert. Der Sinn von {{Community without category}} ist mir immer noch nicht ganz klar. --Daniel Mietchen 14:26, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Das heißt, Du hast die Funktion, nach deren Sinn ich eben im Forum gefragt habe, auf CZ: beschränkt. Der Sinn von "without" ist der, dasselbe Template -- unabhängig von einer Bedingung -- ohne Eintragung einer Category zu verwenden. Ob noch jemand über die ursprüngliche Absicht und geplante Verwendung Bescheid weiß? Peter Schmitt 14:48, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

a speedy delete question

Hi, Peter, I just deleted a bunch of items you had put up for speedy delete. There's another one, however, showing on the page but when I go to:

I can't find a template for it *anywhere*. What's the story on this? Hayford Peirce 17:00, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi. Hayford. I only marked "Datalog of British cuisine" which I moved to "British cuisine/Catalogs" where it belongs. I did not mark Cream tea/Related Articles. But it has "Template Speedydelete" on the edit page.
I think the following happened: The Related Articles of Sandwich, Whisky, Marmite all pointed to "Catalog of British cuisine" and transcluded the Definition which was marked "speedydelete". Then you deleted this definition, and it wae no longer present to be transcluded in Cream tea. This poses three questionss:
Why is the Template still listed for Cream tea?
How to remove the Category from the page?
How to avoid that pages get deleted because they transclude the speedydelete request?
You remember. It already happened once that files wer listed for deletion which did not have the template. Perhaps then it was for a similar reason. Peter Schmitt 19:09, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Daniel wrote a reply to me on my talk page about this with an explanation. I don't understand it, of course, but I'm sure that you will. Between the two of you, you will probably work out something or other so that it doesn't happen again. Cheers! Hayford Peirce 19:40, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I think the Speedy delete template may be fixed now. I just transcluded daniels test article into my sandbox and the speedy tag is only showing for his test page. Don't know what you did, but it seems to be working. Drew R. Smith 00:33, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow. How brilliant of me. I'll take a look and see what can be done... Drew R. Smith 01:03, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Article on Associated Legendre Function

Hi Peter,

Before a Proof subpage existed, I added a proof to the Associated Legendre Function article. I put it into an Addendum sub-page. Now that Proof sub-pages are available, I would like to move the proof to a Proof sub-page. However, I don't know how to create a Proof sub-page, nor do I know how to delete the Addendum sub-page when it becomes empty (or whether deletion is appropriate). I would also like to clean up the Proof sub-page (when I move the material to it) by getting rid of the "See Also" and "References" section and moving the relevant text to the Bibliography and Related Articles sub-pages. Can you help me? Dan Nessett 15:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

To create a Proofs subpage you have to enter it into the Metadate (tab1, however, older Metadata don't list this).
Then you can move the subpage (using Move). This is better than copying the text because it retains the page history.
The redirect created by the move is no longer needed. Mark it for speedydelete.
I have done all these steps. Peter Schmitt 22:10, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I will get to work cleaning things up. Dan Nessett 22:15, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I just noticed: All subpages should begin with {{subpages}} . This provides the grey box and is needed for the subpages system. Peter Schmitt 22:31, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I moved the reference given in the original addendum sub-page to the Bibliography sub-page and eliminated the See Also section on the Proof sub-page (the articles quoted were already on the Related Articles page of the main article). I indented the Orthonormality proof so other proofs that may be added later fit logically. I added the {{subpages}} template call to the Proof sub-page. Dan Nessett 22:45, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I forgot to mention that I updated the link on the main article page to point to the proof on the Proofs sub-page. Dan Nessett 22:47, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi Peter. Paul Wormer and I have been trying to get the Associated Legendre Functions article approved. Since you left for 2 weeks at about the time we decided to go for approval, we asked Jitse Niesen if he would do the necessary editorial work. However, we have not heard from him for almost 2 weeks. He has not even acknowledged the request. So, both Paul and I are wondering if you would be willing to do the editorial work on the article? Also, I asked Jitse if he would work on the approval of the Sturm-Liouville theory article. Would you be willing to do the approval work on that article as well? Thanks. Dan Nessett 16:01, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
As I said in the forum thread: Of course, I shall cooperate. However, it may be that you will need some patience. You certainly noticed that many topics are discussed at the moment -- theyd distract and take time. Moreover, I'll be away again next week, with limited time and online access. Peter Schmitt 22:49, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Hi Peter. Now that I have decided to concentrate on the work I originally came to CZ to do, I wonder if you could give me a rough estimate of when you will have a chance to look at the Associated Legendre Functions and Sturm-Liouville articles. I realize you are busy with other matters, both inside of CZ and outside it. However, these articles were submitted for approval over three weeks ago and I am simply trying get an idea when they should make it to the top of the queue. This will give me the opportunity to plan how to spend my time on other projects. Thanks. Dan Nessett 16:24, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Citizendium charter drafting commitee nomination

Hi Peter, You've been nominated by a fellow Citizendium member to be a candidate for election to the Citizendium charter drafting committee.

If you haven't been following the discussion in the forums, we're getting ready to establish a charter for Citizendium that outlines the project's goals, ideals, and basic structure. To get the process moving, we put together a plan for electing a group of Citizens to compose a draft of the charter, which will then be submitted for community review. You can find more about the plan here.

You've been nominated by another Citizen to be a candidate for election to that committee. The next step is up to you: you may either accept or decline the nomination by going here and following the instructions at the top of the page.

If you have any questions, just let me know. --Joe Quick 15:15, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Charter drafting candidacy

Hi Peter,

Thanks for accepting your nomination to be a candidate for election to the drafting committee for the Citizendium charter.

If you'd like, there is a provision in the plan that provides a place for you to compose a position statement. You are not required to do this in order to be a candidate for election to the committee, but it would be helpful to others during the voting period. Even if you don't compose a statement before the election period concludes, should you be elected it might be helpful for other members of the committee to know what you feel are the most important issues to address with the draft. You can find a red link to the page where you can write your statement here, along with instructions for doing so.

If you have any questions, just let me know. --Joe Quick 14:51, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Internet deletion template

I'm all ready to make the deletion BUT do you want to *also* delete the Talk page that is associated with it? Hayford Peirce 01:34, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

It turns out there is a way to move clusters without leaving a redirect behind

Peter. Take a look at how to move a cluster without leaving behind a redirect.

Drafting nomination

I was surprised to receive messages telling me I'd been nominated, seeing as I've been essentially inactive for months. I was even more surprised to see, on searching (which took some time), that I'd been nominated weeks ago. Odd that, as I've looked at that list a few times. the mind works in strange ways.

Anyway, as you seem to be the one who nominated me, I thought you were the person to ask whether an inactive member with quite limited time is appropriate. Peter Jackson 10:11, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

I think the history must transclude (is that the right word?) the present version of the subpage into past versions of the main page. Confusing. Peter Jackson 16:56, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Why I am interested in getting the S-L theory article approved

Peter. I think this particular issue is best discussed off-forum . As I mention in the forum message I posted this morning, the proof of orthogonality of solutions to regular S-L DEs is related to the orthogonality of the Associated Legendre functions. This relationship arises because the Legendre DE is an instance of the the more general S-L DEs. My interest in the Associated Legendre functions arose when I was studying quantum mechanics. The text I am using simply declares that Associated Legendre functions are orthogonal and provides, but does not derive, the normalization constant. When I searched the web, I could find no proof of orthogonality nor a derivation of the normalization constant.

Working with John Fletcher, we developed a proof of the orthogonality of the Associated Legendre functions and a derivation of their normallzation constant. John then pointed out that these functions are solutions of the S-L DE. When we also couldn't find a proof of S-L solution orthogonality on the web, John produced the proof.

Originally I attempted to get these proofs attached to the WP articles. But various self-appointed content monitors declared that proofs were not welcome on WP. This seemed contrary to the evidence, but I did not want to get into an edit war. So, I looked around for other ways to host the proofs. CZ was one of those options.

Why am I interested in getting these proofs approved? For the same reason that other authors want to get their articles approved. So someone doesn't come along at some future point in time and scribble all over them.

Finally, I chose this particular example because the other example infuriates me so much that I am concerned I will say things I later regret. This particular incident is not of that kind. I am not infuriated, but I do think there is a general policy question that the incident illustrates. Dan Nessett 21:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

In regards to John learning mediawiki markup. Yes, I could do the markup for him. However, the last time I did this, for the 2nd Associated Legendre functions orthogonality proof, he supplied me with the equations in MS Word. The work converting it to mediawiki markup was tedious and required as much of his time to proof my changes as it would have been if he did the markup himself. So, I told him I wasn't interested in doing that again. I hope he decides to do the article, because he knows orders of magnitude more about mathematical physics than I. If he decides to do the article, I am hoping he will decide to work on other things. That would be good for CZ.
In regards to adding material on the physical and historical perspective, I think I will wait until John decides before doing that. If he decides to rewrite the article, what is the procedure for replacing it? I don't want to get into the same situation we had with the Internet article.
Let me once again emphasize that my remarks on the S-L theory article in the forum thread were not directed at you personally. While I think the procedures for approval require some changes, I think you have behaved professionally and with patience. If I seemed irritated at times in some of my comments, that was the result of the other unmentioned incident that still makes me angry when I think about it. Dan Nessett 22:59, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
Concerning the first part: I know all that. But (1) adding good content should be more important than approval, and (2) I have already told you that, at least for now, I am not sure if the approval of a page can include the approval of a subpage. Concerning the second part, I wonder why your friend should bother to help you when you shy away from the work. Moreover, doing this conversion will help you to get practice in wiki and mathematics markup. And practice you will need when you contribute more articles. And that is what you want to do, isn't it? Peter Schmitt 00:23, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
How can we discover whether the approval of a main article includes approval of subpages? Actually, my friend wouldn't create the article just to help me. He would do it because he is interested. In regards to wiki and mathematics markup, I have that pretty much under control. I created the markup for the two orthogonality proofs attached to the Associated Legendre functions article and the one attached to the S-L theory article. The work is taking an MS Word document and converting it.
Finally, I intend to contribute to CZ in a number of ways, one of which is to create mathematics articles. However, my interests are probably more along the lines of tutorials (if they ever become legitimate material in cluster subpages), rather than mathematical proofs. I also hope to contribute by helping with the technical side of CZ, specifically, helping fix some bugs in the code; helping them set up a technical infrastructure so we can test bug fixes and develop some useful extensions; and helping them refactor the CZ specific modifications into an extension so we can more easily upgrade to higher versions of the software. Where I spend my time depends on where I can make the most useful contributions with the least amount of thrashing. Dan Nessett 00:46, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I relayed on to John your comment that the existing article requires enhancements in the physical and historical areas. He responded that the history of mathematics is a specialist area, about which he knows little. Would you be more specific about what you are looking for? If John decides to write the article, I might be able to research the history of S-L theory and add that part. Dan Nessett 03:52, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Subpages are already legitimate material. They quite likely will need as much or more mathematical markup than main pages.
History is not required, I mentioned it as a possibility to extend the import so that it allows a higher status. But, of course, historical material (if available) is always nice to have, though not every article will be suitable, and in some cases history deverses a separate article.
In the particular case of S-L "history" means, for instance, when and why have the equations been first investigated, where does the name come from, who were major contributors, ...
Peter Schmitt 08:56, 6 October 2009 (UTC)


Thanks. What I meant by "if they ever become legitimate material in cluster subpages," was tutorials. Is it already the case that tutorials are an allowed subpage type?

I have left a request with the Approvals Manager to clarify whether approval of an article implies approval of its subpages. With regards to the history issue, I will relay your comments to John. Also, so we can make the article as good as possible, do you happen to know any references that would provide answers to the historical questions you raise? I see on your user page that you are interested in the history of mathematics. Dan Nessett 16:41, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Joe just responded to my question about cluster approval. His response is found here. It appears that it is possible to approve whole clusters, but there is a technical problem in regards to locking the subpages. Dan Nessett 19:47, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Peter. Can I get a reading on how you wish to proceed on the Sturm-Liouville theory article? You first stated that you prefer original articles. Then you stated that the WP article would be approvable if some history and physical implications material is added. I don't want to encourage John to write an original S-L theory article and then find out that you have decided to go with the one that now exists. Dan Nessett 14:19, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
It is not how I "wish to proceed". Yes, I prefer original articles -- but, of course, I cannot guarantee that I (or someone else) will regard the new article as "ready to approve". Moreover, I pointed out that -- in order to get rid of status 4 -- sufficiently large changes of the import are needed. Such changes could be the physical and historical perspective. Moreover, the organization and presentation could be improved (e.g., of the examples). Orthogonality is mentioned in section 1 and 4 -- it is not explained how this is related. With enough changes developed status could certainly be gained. But since I did not want to "game with you" I honestly mentioned that I am not sure that I would proceed to approval for an "improved" and modified WP article. Peter Schmitt 23:57, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Peter. However, I am trying to decide how to advise John about whether he should take the time to write a new S-L theory article. If he produces something completely new, what do we do then? Do we replace the old WP article? Do we merge the two? I am asking you because in practice you are the only active mathematics editor. Dan Nessett 00:04, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


Peter. It appears you really aren't interested in being the editor for this article. Do you mind if I attempt to find another editor who is willing to work with me on it? The article comes under the auspices of both the mathematics and physics workgroups, so I could try to find a physics editor to work with. Thanks. Dan Nessett 17:47, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Do what you like, Dan. But what makes you think so? I have patiently answered your questions. But now it is up to you to proceed and make some edits. Peter Schmitt 18:59, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually, Peter, you haven't answered my questions. For example, I asked (see above) "I am trying to decide how to advise John about whether he should take the time to write a new S-L theory article. If he produces something completely new, what do we do then? Do we replace the old WP article? Do we merge the two?" Since you are disinclined to approve articles based on WP text, I don't think these are unreasonable questions to ask. Dan Nessett 19:24, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
How can I decide this (whether to replace or merge) without seeing the material?? Peter Schmitt 20:01, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Peter. I have advised John not to get involved with this article, since I don't want him to get in the middle of something that appears to have become a surrogate for a policy difference of opinion between the two of us. So, unless he decides to go ahead anyway, I will proceed alone.
There is still the issue of whether you will consider the article approvable no matter what changes I make. You have written, "but since I did not want to 'game with you' I honestly mentioned that I am not sure that I would proceed to approval for an 'improved' and modified WP article." This puts me in an intolerable position. No matter what I do, you may then decide to withhold approval of the article just because part of it was originally sourced from WP. This is the kind of adversarial editor/author interaction I criticized in the forum thread. If you have no intention of ever approving the article, the base of which originated at WP, no matter what changes I make, then clearly state that. That is, either declare that you have no intention of ever approving the article and recuse yourself so I may attempt to find another editor who is less prejudiced against WP imported material; or state that you will not withhold approval just because part of the article comes from WP. Dan Nessett 23:12, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I know of several Approved articles that contain material originally from WP; they were usually brought here by the original author at WP and did go through improvement.
That being said, Dan, do consider that if there are adversarial editor/author interactions, there may be contributions from both sides. Howard C. Berkowitz 23:26, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Dan, I think that you have now spent several thousands words in various places pressing Peter pretty hard on this proposed article. If he hasn't made himself clear to you by now, he is never going to be able to. I really think that you should now back off and leave Peter alone on this. If you want to find another Editor to address your thoughts to, please do. But if you continue to address Peter about this, I will seriously start to consider whether, no matter how politely you phrase your thoughts, this might finally constitute unprofessional behavior on your part. Peter, like all of us, is an unpaid, voluntary contributor to CZ simply because he wants to be. After the first couple of iterations by you on the matter, he no longer needs to be told by you (or anyone else for that matter) what his duties as Editor are. Please consider these words carefully -- thank you, Hayford Peirce 23:34, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Howard (and Dan), this article is not a WP import by its author. In my opinion, it is not yet live and thus cannot be approved as it is. (Tell me if I'm wrong.)

Therefore, in order to make it approvable, considerable rewriting has to be done. And this effort would be better invested, I think, to write an article which is completely independent of WP.

Peter Schmitt 10:53, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Peter. I am responding as a matter of courtesy. Unfortunately, I have been instructed by Hayford to drop the discussion with you on how to move the S-L theory article to approved status. He has warned me that I run the risk of censure for unprofessional behavior if I continue to pursue this subject with you. So, this is my last comment to you on the subject.
You may be interested to learn that Paul Wormer made some suggestions how the S-L theory article might be improved. Regrettably, the course he set out is beyond my powers to tackle. So, it appears that the article will remain dormant until someone with more expertise than I decides to work on it. You can read the interchange between us here. Dan Nessett 17:50, 13 October 2009 (UTC)


Both links now work. Thanks. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:41, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Peter. The third reference in External Links now has a working link. I'll start reading WebCite. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:24, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi Peter. The copy of Anycasting in my sandbox is full of editorial comments and footnotes for a discussion I'm having with Howard, so it's not suitable right now for replacing the original. Your comments on that copy are welcome also. Do you care whether I make the updates now or on the next draft after the article is approved? I want to do whatever is easiest for you and Howard. Howard knows far more about this subject than I do, so my edits are intended to make it easier reading for students. --David MacQuigg 01:21, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

"Das Kapital" definition

Hi, Peter -- The simplification you made to the definition makes sense if you get to the definition via "Capital", but not if you get to it via "Das Kapital," which is, of course, not the English translation of "Das Kapital". The confusion arises because "Capital" is a redirect to "Das Kapital." Maybe I should have left all versions of the title out of it, and just said: "Book by Marx & Engels," etc.? Bruce M. Tindall 03:39, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I did not notice this. The solution is, I think, to eliminate the redirect and replace it by a lemma article. Links should point to the correct title, not by a redirect, so this should not be a problem. Peter Schmitt 15:16, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Die Lemmas haben nichts zu verlieren als ihre Definitionen. Sie haben ein Metadatatemplate zu gewinnen. Lemmas aller Namespacen,vereinigt euch! Bruce M. Tindall 16:14, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Sie könnten ihr Existenzrecht verlieren. -- I would not have bothered about the lemmas, but I did not want to request deletion of the file. Moreover, there once might be a legitimate article on the translation of "Das Kapital" and its reception. Peter Schmitt 23:20, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Something missing from first sentence of Equivalence relation?

Peter, the first sentence of Equivalence relation looks to me as if some wording is missing. It now reads:

"... is a relation between (?) that formalises the intuitive notion that related objects have some property in common."

It seems to me that something is missing where I have placed the (?). In other words, an equivalence relation is a relation between what?

What do you think? Milton Beychok 20:36, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I responded last night on User Talk:Milton Beychok to your Properties template

Just want to let you know that I responded. Regards, Milton Beychok 01:22, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I have seen it and just made the changes. Peter Schmitt 01:28, 2 November 2009 (UTC)


Peter, is it true that S=k ln W is on Boltzmann's tombstone (as claimed by Wikipedia)? --Paul Wormer 18:06, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

S = k log W. --Daniel Mietchen 19:21, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, Daniel. I would have been slower ... Peter Schmitt 23:46, 9 November 2009 (UTC)
Can we use that photograph (in article entropy)? --Paul Wormer 08:01, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
PS. I sent an e-mail to the owner of the site asking him for permission. --Paul Wormer 08:09, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't get any reaction to my e-mail. Peter, how much work would it be for you to photograph the tombstone yourself?--Paul Wormer 14:31, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Responded to your questions about the properties template

Peter, see my Talk page. Milton Beychok 05:11, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

And mine.--Paul Wormer 14:29, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


Peter, did you ever see this page WYA:Offene_Fragen_bei_den_Pseudoprimzahlen? What does WYA stand for?--Paul Wormer 17:39, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

WYA is apparently What's Your Article, as at:'s_Your_Article%3F It looks to me as if a Citizen came in, went to the WYA page, deleted most of it, and put in a new title and the text. In any case, it's not in English, so, as soon as I get any feedback from you gentleman on it, I will undoubtedly either delete it or move it to the talk page of someone or other.... Hayford Peirce 18:53, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Hayford, what was deleted? To me, it seems it is an article as required by the WYA project, though some minor formating issues are not followed in every detail. The author User:Karsten Meyer recently made a few (small) contributions and is obviously mainly interested in prime numbers. This article is about pseudo prime numbers. I see no reason to delete this page. Peter Schmitt 21:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah, okay, thanks for the heads up -- I hadn't realized that foreign-language articles were permitted in this project. In fact, I think that this is a seriously obscure project: have any other articles been created under it? Hayford Peirce 21:46, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
As it seems, only one more WYA:Elementary diophantine approximations, also in mathematics. (And a "stub"). When going through the CZ namespace I found several initiatives that did not come far ... Peter Schmitt 00:39, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Pseudo-Hadamard transform

Trying to eliminate red links in block cipher, since that's now up for approval, I've just added a PHT article. It needs a look from a math editor. Sandy Harris 03:55, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


Peter, a wikitable is a special class of wiki table. See the Steam Table here and look at the coding on the Edit page to see the difference. It is essentially a table template that automatically sets the background color (gray) for the table's column headings and for bolding them as well as centering them. It also slightly colors all the other cells a very light gray.

There is a WP:XXXX article somewhere that explains them. I have used them for years.


Thank you, Milt (for both the message in the forum and this reminder). I did not yet use this style (I only rarely use tables) but it is always good to know about alternatives. It is a pity that there are so many different markup methods which are not all compatible. It seems that wikitable uses CSS instead of html, and therefore, what works in one does not necessarily work in the other ... (Personally, I would like to be able to use TeX syntax.)
By the way, did you see Paul's comment on the template? (David did not answer.) Should we continue? Peter Schmitt 22:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be good to wait for David. Do you ever sleep? Must be very late in Austria. Milton Beychok 22:50, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I usually go to bed late. (At the moment it is not yet 1 A.M. - not really late for me.) But I also rise late ... Peter Schmitt 23:53, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Print problem

Hi Peter, I noticed on the CZ:Wishlist about the print problem. This is actually a new issue it used to be that none of the subpage header was seen when printing. It is currently classified as being as being in "class=noprint". The current start of the Template:Subpage style is as follows:

<div align="left" border="0" style="background-color: #cccccc; margin:0.5em;position:relative;">

{|class=noprint width="100%" border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="background:#{{{background|}}}"


Obviously this does not work anymore. Do you happen to know what would work right now? Chris Day 20:31, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I do not know much about html and css. I just learn by example, trial and error.
It depends on the skin. When I noticed it, I used the default (too lazy to do anything), but when recently skins were discussed I changed to modern and noticed that it behaves differently.
  • Pinkwich prints the two menus (Page discussion ... and User My talk ...) (but not the subpages template)
  • Modern prints the subpages template instead.
(For me, the ideal way would be to send the page throught a TeX filter. Then printed CZ pages would look much better than from the competition. I have no idea, if this is possible.)
Peter Schmitt 21:07, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like we have a similar approach (trial and error). CZ continually has problems with different browsers, operating systems and skins not functioning identically. Usually I cannot fix such issues as they are beyond my working knowledge or I just cannot trouble shoot since I don't "see" the problem. As to TeX filter, I have not heard of it but anything should be better that what we have now. Chris Day 21:15, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Complex numbers again

I see that the section "complex numbers in physics" is no longer in the draft. Probably Jitse removed it. Would you like me to write a new section with the same title? --Paul Wormer 15:24, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

But it is in the approved version. And I do not want to touch the changes of the draft version right now. Therefore I would like to do it as the last time: Replace the current draft by a copy of the approved version, make changes, re-approve and then restore the current draft (with or without changes). I leave it to you whether you want to delete the physics section, edit it, or replace it. (And if you reword the division by z sentence, I shall not object, either :-) Peter Schmitt 16:26, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
When you do it that way you copy all the errors of the approved page (including the somewhat erroneous physics section) to the draft and you lose all the improvements in the draft that were made over the last 2½ years, for instance, the replacement of x by y in the history section. Why don't we simply use the draft? That's the basic idea of the system.
Looking back, the troubles all are due to having two versions, the draft and the approved version. I have written very many computer programs during my career and I learned a long time ago that having two versions of the same program is very, very error prone. I always maintained one version of my programs, the latest, and made sure it was backupped. --Paul Wormer 09:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
In principle, I agree. It would be better to have one version only. But in practice it is different: In the forum you have described the situation quite well. Deleting one sentence (or a section) of the approved version would be another "bug fix" while approving the draft would mean introducing a new "alpha" version (to which I probably would like to make some changes before releasing it). But this is currently not possible. Peter Schmitt 20:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I could work on a new version of the draft (I have some ideas about complex numbers in physics). When you let me know what changes you have in mind I could incorporate them. I have some further comments that I will list now.
In my working life I used complex numbers in group theory [cyclic groups, SU(2)], Fourier series, sometimes as singularities in functions on ℂ, and of course in quantum mechanics. I never, ever, met them as roots of polynomial equations. (Polynomial equations have to be solved numerically anyway for order larger than 4, so physicists very rarely bother to do the equations of order 3 and 4 algebraically). Hence, it would not be my choice to start with the historical example, I would move it much further down (or even to a subpage?). Furthermore, the example seems arbitrary to me and it is fairly complicated. Why would one, instead, not introduce a (much simpler) quadratic equation with negative discrimant?
On the whole it seems to me (but this is a debatable matter of taste) that the article has too much the tone of an introductory textbook, instead of the tone of an encyclopedia article. For instance: the sentences There doesn't seem to be much more to say. But there is more to say, and that is that the multiplication of complex numbers has geometric significance are perfect for a textbook, but too round-about for an encyclopedia.
I would redo the diagrams, and give much more stress to the geometric manipulation of complex numbers. I used to make less manipulative errors when rotating vectors in my mind clock-wise and anti-clock wise, than algebraically. For instance, (−1,0) is along the negative real axis (angle π), hence square root of −1 is rotation of vector (1,0) over π/2, and thinking of the complex plane I see (in my mind) that one can rotate the vector (1,0) over π/2 clockwise (gives i) and anti-clockwise (gives −i). The article strongly suggests i = √(−1), instead of i = ±√(−1), which is a source of errors right there.
PS I read the talk page of complex numbers, it seems that Barry R. Smith agrees with my opinion about the historical example. I also see that it was introduced by David Tribe, a microbiologist who made his last CZ contribution two years ago on the dot.
--Paul Wormer 08:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I am glad about your comments. They support the impression I had when I first read the article some months ago, and this impression was still the same when I looked at it yesterday. Already the introduction is not what I expect from an encyclopedia - a brief summary that provides the basic information for those who do not want or need the details. (And I do not like the lead, either.)

I have nothing against an informal style, and introductory essays, or textbooklike introductions -- but not on the main page. (My style would be different, but that is a matter of taste.) However, looking at other articles this style seems to have been quite usual in the early days of CZ (at least, in mathematics). I do not know whether this was official policy, but I remember to have seen several comments asking for "simpler" explanations.
When I moved a similar (but not approved) article Greatest common divisor to a subpage, and replaced it by a more "encyclopedic" entry this led to a (rather angry sounding) comment (by Barry R. Smith, who also objected the /Proofs subpages).

But it is not only the style, it is also the choice and the order of topics that I would change. E.g., complex exponential is not needed here.

As for physics and roots of polynomials: What about the eigenvalues as the roots of the characteristic polynomial? There should certainly be a section about complex numbers in physics, but a comprehensive treatment of this topic probably deserves an article of its own. (I think that articles should have moderate length -- a treelike structure is better than all in one.)

Returning to the question what to do with this article: There is a difference between correcting and (slightly) extending an approved article and completely rewriting it. How to handle this is a more general question that I shall mention in the forum thread.

Peter Schmitt 13:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

1. What do you mean by "complex exponential is not needed"? On the contrary, I would say that the polar representation z = r exp[iα] is extremely important and must be given ASAP.
2. Exactly, roots of characteristic polynomials are always calculated numerically (except those of order 2 that are mainly used as exam problems). Further, they are usually computed for Hermitian matrices only, where they are real.--Paul Wormer 13:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
1. I may have been hasty. But exp and its Taylor series belong to complex functions, not to complex numbers. Thus it would be natural to treat them there, and only use it here. (By the way, the geometrical interpretation works without exp, too.)
2. Do you solve the pendulum equation, or the vibrating string, only numerically, and without complex roots?
Peter Schmitt 14:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can see (but I don't oversee everything) classical physics can be done with real numbers only, even the damped harmonic oscillator. It is not always convenient, and complex numbers are used a lot in classical physics as a computational tool, because they are so easy to handle. But I believe one could always stick to real numbers. In quantum mechanics it is different, commutation relations and the Schrödinger equation contain i in an unavoidable manner.
About the representation z = r exp[iα]: I forgot how to prove it. Is the Taylor series really necessary? In any case, it could be introduced unproved, or maybe by plausibility from the "definition" r(cosα + i sinα) = r exp[iα], then it is plausible that exp[iα] = cosα + i sinα. I would have to read up on that.--Paul Wormer 15:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
For Euler's formula you need a definition of exp for complex numbers, and the natural way is the analytic continuation, i.e., the series. But the geometric interpretation can easily use polar coordinates and elementary trigonometry. (This, in turn, could of course be used to define exp.)
You can find sin and cos solutions without complex λ's, but not "automatically" with the y=exp(λx) ansatz.
Historically, zeroes of polynomials were the initial reason for using (cubic equation, the "casus irreducibilis"), insofar the "historical example" is correct (though I would not put it at the beginning). Physics came later ...
Peter Schmitt 16:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

[Unindent] Yes I know that physics came later, much later (Hamilton was the first perhaps? I don't know). I like history, but in this case an introductory approach along historical lines is not particularly illuminating, I would present history at the end of the article, or separately.

I checked the WP article—except for some duplications—it is very good, it will be hard to do better.--Paul Wormer 17:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Re-approval for version 2.1 completed. Thanks for your navigational skills :) D. Matt Innis 15:14, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Matt. I hope that this is the last time we have to handle this version. Peter Schmitt 15:33, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

French cuisine talk catalog page or some such

Hi, Peter and Chris,

The two of you are deleted *something*, I don't know what, that ALSO deletes this page:

Please note this this page has *dialog* on it. I absolutely want to retain this dialog. But it keeps getting deleted and I keep restoring it.

  • Why* is it being deleted? I don't mean because you two *want* to delete it necessarily, but what is happening with the templates and the mediawiki and what-not that it *is* deleted.

Please don't delete it again, or mark it for deletion until we have this figured out.

Thanks! Hayford Peirce 23:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

See Hayford's talk page. I think I have sorted this out. Chris Day 00:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC)


Peter, I made a new drawing: HERE to replace one in complex numbers. Please have a look and comment on it, I can change whatever you want. Read also the caption. I sometimes like long captions, I find them instructive, but you may have a different opinion.--Paul Wormer 09:38, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Peter, please feel free to edit the caption. Also let me know if something in the drawing itself needs to be changed (color, thickness of lines, perhaps r added to indicate length, × removed, etc.). The drawing is in AutoCad, so it is very easily changed.
I believe that you can do what you want around the draft of complex numbers, as long as you don't touch the draft itself. With regard to this article: I can easily write a new physics section, but this is not enough, IMHO. For instance, I don't like it at all that the article starts out with an (as far as I can see) arbitrary example, that yet is fairly complicated.
You could construct a new article in your sandbox, I could make it the draft, and you could then approve it. As far as I know that procedure is legitimate. When you do it that way I can help you by writing the physics section and maybe making some more drawings.
--Paul Wormer 08:46, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
PS In the mean time I wrote an Ansatz for complex numbers in physics. See HERE. Could you read an edit it?--Paul Wormer 11:43, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Paul, I am not sure that your view of the rules (copying text from elsewhere as long as the draft stays untouched) is correct. (See, for instance, Matt's remark on the caption on the complex number talk page. Anyway - to me it looks like "cheating". I hope that - after the Charter - a new Editorial Council will revise the rules and avoid empty formalism.) But I do not mind whether a rewritten version can be approved or not. At the moment, I am only interested to repair the current version. I am not sure if I have made myself clear: Since it is approved (and as such will stay around) it is important to have a corrected (but not drastically changed) version first. Thus I ask you to make a "minimal" correction to the current draft which I can approve immediately. Everything else can be made and discussed later. Peter Schmitt 18:32, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I replaced the draft by the approved version and made a minimal change to the physics section.
As far as I can see, you and I are the only active citizens left that know enough about complex numbers to work on this article. IMHO, two people don't need rules and bylaws, they can decide among themselves on a case by case basis what is best for their organization, even if it would involve breaking some law. Laws are meant to keep order among large crowds, not among two, and nobody would be harmed by the two of us breaking a law. The only purpose of CZ's laws is improvement of CZ. Creating a good approved article about complex numbers is in my view important for CZ and completely in line with the spirit of CZ's laws. --Paul Wormer 08:48, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) Excuse me, Paul. I forgot to answer this. Thank you for the changes.
I think there are more than us two who could work on complex numbers. But, probably, we are the only ones who care. I agree that only the spirit, not rules and laws, are important. However, if one aims for approval, the current laws have to be obeyed (formally). And I was interested in an approved revision of the current page.
For a completely rewritten version, I do not bother much about approval (as you said in the forum, too) though, of course, for CZ more approved articles would be important.
But I am also interested in an environment with less complicated — but more honest — rules and (still) hope that the new Charter and the subsequent review of guidelines will provide it.
Peter Schmitt 15:44, 27 December 2009 (UTC)