MathHelpBoards.com merges with PF

  • Thread starter Greg Bernhardt
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In summary: It's not just about the MHB-tagged threads. It's also about the vision for PF and following standards. Ultimately I'd expect that the number of threads that talk about dollars as money is a small fraction of the total, and PF should not avoid change just to cater to those threads.
  • #1
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Big news!

MathHelpBoards.com (MHB) has merged with PF! Welcome MHB members!

Lots of dust still, please be patient. (I know some inline equations are not rendering)

Here is what this means for us:
  • MHB math threads have been moved to our relevant math forums using an MHB prefix. A few forums have been dumped into General Math. I'll work on permanent homes for these areas/threads soon!
  • MHB users have either been merged with PF members if emails and usernames match. If not, then duplicate usernames will have a 1 after the MHB username. DM me if you need your MHB username merged with your PF username.
  • We've gained a POTW initiative run by MHB members @anemone and @Euge
  • MathHelpBoards.com will eventually redirect to PF
 
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Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I know POW is "prisoner of war"; but I don't know what a POTW is? Google suggests "publicly owned treatment works".
 
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  • #3
Problem of the Week. :smile:
 
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  • #4
berkeman said:
Problem of the Week. :smile:
Was that the heavy data processing at peak time? I can't see the point of having a major problem with the site every week.
 
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  • #5
PeroK said:
I can't see the point of having a major problem with the site every week.
Dang. I hope not.
 
  • #8
Greg Bernhardt said:
but all MHB equations should now render.
At a cost of older PF messages with a dollar sign going into math mode.
 
  • #9
Vanadium 50 said:
At a cost of older PF messages with a dollar sign going into math mode.
Do you have an example? It would require two dollar signs in the same post. Not unlikely, but I am not sure of a way around this.
 
  • #10
Greg Bernhardt said:
Do you have an example? It would require two dollar signs in the same post. Not unlikely, but I am not sure of a way around this.
In theory every single $ in a post that does not have the MHB label could be replaced by \$. That should fix it permanently and everywhere.
As an example, \$123 will then render as \$123.
That's how we did it on MHB in the few posts where people referred to dollars as money.

That should only be dollars without another dollar next to it, outside of a CODE or ICODE tag, outside of something that MathJax already recognizes as math, not in posts with the MHB label, and before today.
Before today since people can and presumably will now start using single dollars for inline math formulas, which is standard latex after all, and is supported on every math related site I've seen including the stack exchanges.
 
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  • #11
Greg Bernhardt said:
Do you have an example?
This thread, messages 9, 15, 31, 40, 41, 43, 45, 68, 72, 84, probably more. I hope ten examples are enough.

It also causes some messages to format so long they need horizontal scroll bars.
 
  • #12
As a matter of fact, in this thread, many users supported using ## instead of single dollar signs as LaTeX delimiter. In post #7, @Ibix gave a good example why single dollar signs are not a good alternative. As of today, that post, and many others in that thread, are garbled up.

I understand that MHB threads use single dollar signs as LaTeX delimiter. But I would prefer if PF sticks to its old delimiter. It would be great if exceptions could be made in threads with MHB prefix, and the rest of PF remain what it was.
 
  • #15
Greg Bernhardt said:
Gah! Hmmm what to do…
Expect that eventually the legacy MHB-tagged threads will be a small fraction of the total, so try to avoid changing PF to cater to them. Ideally we would be mechanically process them to be fully consistent with current PF behavior.
 
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  • #16
What is the vision for PF? Talking about science or talking about money? I think most sciences here profit from latex and prefer to follow standards.
As for that thread about the latex delimiter, I don't really see a clear preference from the posters.
 
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  • #17
No problem with discussing money. Just Americann and Canadian money.
 
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  • #18
Nugatory said:
Expect that eventually the legacy MHB-tagged threads will be a small fraction of the total, so try to avoid changing PF to cater to them. Ideally we would be mechanically process them to be fully consistent with current PF behavior.
It seems to me that it's not just about the MHB-tagged threads. It's also about the vision for PF and following standards. Ultimately I'd expect that the number of threads that talk about dollars as money is a small fraction of the total, and PF should not avoid change just to cater to those threads.
Also, consider what would happen if another math or physics forum would be merged into PF. It will be the same thing all over again, because those other forums do use a single dollar as latex delimiter.
 
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  • #19
ok, I'm detecting the prefix and loading a config depending. Unfortunately, the prefix id is not available in the head or footer of the site so I have to load the script in the middle of the thread page HTML. Let me know if you see any issues.
 
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  • #20
Greg Bernhardt said:
ok, I'm detecting the prefix and loading a config depending. Unfortunately, the prefix id is not available in the head or footer of the site so I have to load the script in the middle of the thread page HTML. Let me know if you see any issues.
I've checked a number of MHB-tagged threads with different latex delimiters and they all seem to work correctly. The PF threads that were pointed out also seem to work correctly again.
If it's halfway the html, I guess it could theoretically be a problem if the title had latex in it. I found a couple of those and they are also working correctly.
So far no issues that I could find.
 
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  • #21
I like Serena said:
It seems to me that it's not just about the MHB-tagged threads. It's also about the vision for PF and following standards. Ultimately I'd expect that the number of threads that talk about dollars as money is a small fraction of the total, and PF should not avoid change just to cater to those threads.
That I'll buy. If we think the upside of single-dollar delimiters working properly across PF outweighs the downside of breaking or complicating those posts that refer to the dollar sign as money, then we should do it - whether we're merging MHB or not.
 
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  • #22
Honestly, I don't see a lot of value in single dollar delimeters, especially as it will cause a huge mess in Career Guidance, a smaller mess in Academic Guidance, and a handful of threads in GD. (Which I kind of mentally lump together as "Financial Advice from my Parents' Basement")

If we are going to change delimiters in existing messages, I'd suggest changing to tex and itex.
 
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  • #23
We're not changing delimiters. An accommodation for MHB threads has been found.
 
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  • #24
Vanadium 50 said:
Honestly, I don't see a lot of value in single dollar delimeters, especially as it will cause a huge mess in Career Guidance, a smaller mess in Academic Guidance, and a handful of threads in GD. (Which I kind of mentally lump together as "Financial Advice from my Parents' Basement")

If we are going to change delimiters in existing messages, I'd suggest changing to tex and itex.
I agree.

A single dollar is perfectly valid in the context of homework problems (or any post involving finance). It's, therefore, IMO, an obligation on the techies to chose something that is otherwise generally not used to do something technical, like delimiting Latex. Choosing a valid symbol for some some special, technical function is just a bad idea.

You can see the problem in this thread: the machinations required for essentially dumb software to distinguish the context of a dollar sign.
 
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  • #25
Vanadium 50 said:
Honestly, I don't see a lot of value in single dollar delimeters, especially as it will cause a huge mess in Career Guidance, a smaller mess in Academic Guidance, and a handful of threads in GD. (Which I kind of mentally lump together as "Financial Advice from my Parents' Basement")

If we are going to change delimiters in existing messages, I'd suggest changing to tex and itex.
For just a tiny second I actually thought you agreed that money in the US (not America) and Canada should not dictate the behavior on PF. If we go to different delimiters I'd actually suggest \(, \[, and \begin{environment}, which will at least not cause the single dollar dilemma we have right now.
Sorry for being a bit, well, rude. It's just that I was surprised.
 
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  • #26
berkeman said:
Problem of the Week. :smile:
Or, redirecting from a Batman-themed site, we can make it ' Kapow!'.
 
  • #27
I like Serena said:
For just a tiny second I actually thought you agreed that money in the US (not America) and Canada should not dictate the behavior on PF.
It has nothing to do with dictatorship. It has to do with $ being a valid symbol that predates computer systems. It's not legitimate that such a symbol be excluded from use in communication via computer. That is dictatorship (in a minor sense). It would be the same argument if you wanted to ban any legitimate symbol, like % or £ or & or * or #.
 
  • #28
It seems that the PF LaTeX system does not recognise the TikZ environment that is used in many MHB threads. See for example here or here.
 
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  • #29
Opalg said:
It seems that the PF LaTeX system does not recognise the TikZ environment that is used in many MHB threads. See for example here or here.
Still looking into options for TikZ
 
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  • #30
Greg Bernhardt said:
Still looking into options for TikZ
I like Serena and Jameson spear-headed the TikZ effort on MHB. Perhaps they could help out on PF as well?
 
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  • #31
Greg Bernhardt said:
Do you have an example? It would require two dollar signs in the same post. Not unlikely, but I am not sure of a way around this.
We can switch our currency to doggy coin to free up the $. :-)
 
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  • #32
jedishrfu said:
We can switch our currency to doggy coin to free up the $. :-)
PF switches to dogecoin? :-p
 
  • #33
I'm noticing an imperfection that I remember having on MHB as well a long time ago.
Typically a page gets rendered with bare latex, and then MathJax kicks in and starts rendering the formulas.
In the meantime the page keeps jumping up and down while the space used for formulas is changing, eventually ending up in a different location than we want to be.

I can't quite put my finger on it - yet, and it seems it doesn't always happen.
Either way, I recall seeing this behavior on MHB years ago at which time it was somehow resolved. I'm not sure how though. I guess @MarkFL would know.

Does anyone else see or know about this behavior?
 
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  • #34
I like Serena said:
Typically a page gets rendered with bare latex, and then MathJax kicks in and starts rendering the formulas.
LaTeX is configured to lazy load in PF, which means that the formulae are rendered as you scroll down, rather than rendering all the formulae in the page at once.
 
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  • #35
Greg Bernhardt said:
Do you have an example? It would require two dollar signs in the same post.


Greg Bernhardt said:
I am not sure of a way around this.
Do the change in the database: knock up a script to SELECT posts WHERE post originated on MHG AND "$" in post content; iterate over the results with a suitable regular expression and substitute as appropriate, logging the "before" so you can reverse it if necessary.
 

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