Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Introducing the PF Library!

  1. May 9, 2008 #1
    PF Library How-To

    What and Why
    The PF Library is simply a database of information on a wide array of sciences. Currently we are only including Mathematics and Physics as the system is still young. Considering the massive amounts of different topics being discussed, members and visitors are bound to come across terms or concepts they are not familiar with. Before the PF Library they then had to either post a question within the topic thus slowing down discussion or they had to go outside PF to research. And who knows what kind of information they'd find or if it were even reliable. Now these members and visitors don't need to go outside PF and can research and look up these concepts quickly on site. The Library also allows members to further define concepts and terms. Usually concepts are within specific problems in threads, but now members can discuss and expand into what could be thought of as concepts in the naked form. Like Wiki each item is editable per usergroup permissions.

    Where is it
    The Library URL is https://www.physicsforums.com/library.php and it will be added to the top navigation bar. There is also an auto post link feature that I will talk about later that lets you click on a concept and be sent to the library.

    How do I use it?

    Main Page
    On the main page you see a left side bar and three boxes in the middle right. The three boxes are self explanatory and meant to be a fun entrance to see what is new and what has changed. The left side bar you will see an "add content" link where you'd click if you wish to add a new library item. Under that you have two ways to find content. You can either use the three drop downs to browse a topic or if you know the specific item, you can search for the title.

    Defined browse
    Select a topic, then sub topic and then sub sub topic. Click browse and you'll be sent to a page listing all the items listed in that topic. Or browse by just topic or topic sub topic.

    Report Item
    If you see an item that needs to be looked at by authorities please use the report button. (will be enabled tomorrow)

    Adding Content
    If an item is missing that you want to add information about then click "Add Content". Make sure you search well to see if it isn't already added.

    Select from the three drop downs the topics that best categorize your item.

    Please use standard terminology when choosing a title! Remember the acronym KISS. Please do NOT choose something like "Cool Gravity" or "~~ Gravity ~~" or add "The" to the beginning or add punctuation. Also please use all lowercase letters in the word/phrase.

    Self explanatory. Please keep to max of 100-150 words. This should be quick and easy to read to get a gist of what this concept or term is about. LaTeX enabled

    This is for LaTeX equations listing. It is just a listing. Please keep to 1 equation per line. Standard forum latex tags are to be used.

    See Also
    This should be for further reading or related concept linking. Use easy titles for the URLs. First option should be to link to other items within the library. Otherwise you can link to external sites.

    This should be a listing of the scientists known to be responsible for developing the concept. This field is BBCODE enabled. Please use links to biographies inside the library, otherwise external sites.

    In the News
    This field is for a listing of recent news stories that might be related to the concept which may interest visitors. Again this field is BBCODE enabled.

    Extended Explanation
    This field is for more complete information on the concept and should be used to house most of the data. Examples can also be added and further explanation of the concept. This field is LaTeX and BBCODE enabled.

    This area is where you can attach images to the item. Only five at a time, replace images as better images are found.

    Once you are all done, you can click save, and your item is sent to the moderation bin to be reviewed. Once reviewed, it is either accepted or removed. No notification is sent either way.

    [Added by Redbelly98:]
    Also, normal image-tagging works in the Extended Explanation and Scientists section of a library entry. It does not work in the Definition/Summary or Equations sections. The format for image tagging is [noparse][​IMG], just as in a normal forum post. This may be preferable to using the designated Image section of the entry, as it allows multiple images to be viewed quickly and simultaneously.

    Editing an Item - currently only staff, Homework Helpers, Science Advisers & Item Creators can edit items.
    Editing is all done while viewing an item. Each box has an "edit" link to the right of it. Click that and you can begin editing. Simple as that. The breakdown box is used to show where the item is listed, if you think it is better off in another topic, then you may change it accordingly. NOTE: all edits are logged and if we find someone purposefully messing with items, it will result in an immediate permanent ban from the entire site.

    Commenting on an Item
    Commenting is done like quick reply. There is a comment box at the bottom of each item. Type inside it with your banter and click save. The comment box is LaTeX enabled. Everyone can comment.

    What is forum post auto linking
    Each time someone makes a new thread or posts a reply to a thread, that thread checks the content of the post and tries to match any keywords with items in the library. For example, if someone posts a reply in a thread with the keyword "triangle" and the library contains an item with the title "triangle" then that word inside the post is automatically made a link connecting to the item in the library. So this is easy for someone to quickly find out more about a concept without even thinking or leaving the site or post for that matter. To help avoid cluttering, we've setup the links to remain black text, but feature a dotted underline. Also only one instance of the keyword will be linked in each post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2008 #2
    Here is an example of the auto linking. Check out the new triangle pic. This square is definately not round.
  4. May 9, 2008 #3
    I love you! I had a similar thought a few months back in Forum Feedback. This is going to be so cool, thank you very much!
  5. May 9, 2008 #4

    No I didn't. :rofl:
  6. May 9, 2008 #5

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Can we arrange for the auto linking to not change the capitalization of the word linked?
  7. May 9, 2008 #6
    will this apply only to new threads, or will all the threads, even in the archives be reformatted with autolinks to be included?

    There are some great threads in the archives.
  8. May 9, 2008 #7
    All threads, present, future and past. FYI, I just added a column on the right side bar on the main page that will display the recent items.
  9. May 9, 2008 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    preview facililty ?

    May we please have a preview facility on the Add Content page?

    And does the auto linking work with plurals if the library title is singular?

    (oh … and I note all the smilies are available … does that mean they're encouraged? :smile:)
  10. May 9, 2008 #9
    Preview has been noted as a future feature, thanks! Plurals work, see my test below. Smilies can be added where appropriate :)

    test... triangles
  11. May 9, 2008 #10
    There's links on the bottom of each page under 'forum jump'--one of which is 'Library'----which now (at the present time) goes to 'archives'---

    ---can I make a suggestion to link that to the 'new' library' instead of 'archives' --and maybe the old link 'library' be renamed 'Archives'?
  12. May 9, 2008 #11
    ah good catch, I will change that
  13. May 9, 2008 #12
    How soon will all the threads be included?

    FYI--there's a HTML typo under:

    Physics/ "nuclear & Particle" and "statistical .."

    There's quite a few more of those " & " html 's in some of the other lists too
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  14. May 9, 2008 #13
    They are now, it's automatic.
  15. May 9, 2008 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Greg, it appears that there is one thread in the queue for moderation. However, if I click on the moderation link, the page is empty.
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
  16. May 9, 2008 #15
    Thanks, working on it.
  17. May 9, 2008 #16


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I've looked around, this will be a very nice resource.
  18. May 9, 2008 #17
    Thats really great!
  19. May 9, 2008 #18


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The Auto Linking feature is great! This looks like its going to be awesome. After finals are over, I hope to start contributing more articles.
  20. May 9, 2008 #19
    I tried to post something and it gave me this:

    Warning: mkdir() [function.mkdir]: File exists in /includes/functions_mgc_gloss.php on line 142
    Database Error Database error
    The Physics Help and Math Help - Physics Forums database has encountered a problem.
    Please try the following:

    * Load the page again by clicking the Refresh button in your web browser.
    * Open the www.physicsforums.com home page, then try to open another page.
    * Click the Back button to try another link.

    The www.physicsforums.com forum technical staff have been notified of the error, though you may contact them if the problem persists.

    We apologise for any inconvenience.

  21. May 9, 2008 #20
    Just a minor request/suggestion I had:

    If possible (and understandably it is often not), I think posters should cite all information to a published source.

    Even though the information may be well known and ubiquitous in physics textbooks, if each person provides where they personally learned about that specific piece it would be an automatic resource for anyone looking to learn. Plus, it's not that hard to simply think of the name and author of whatever textbook or journal you got your information from. If you didn't get it from a printed source (essentially hearsay or conjecture), it should be stated as such.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Introducing the PF Library!
  1. PF Library (Replies: 2)

  2. LaTex in PF Library (Replies: 7)

  3. PF Library is closing (Replies: 7)