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    • CommentRowNumber101.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I used some superpowers to create some categories, but think we need to consolidate some. Many of the existing categories could really be subcategories of “Technical”. If agreed, could someone with super super powers consolidate them?

    For example, Organization, Lab Elf News, and Diagrams, could probably all be subcategories of Technical to reduce the clutter and preserve valuable real estate.

    • CommentRowNumber102.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    I don’t really like the sound of “n-Tea room”

    Sound a bit like “empty”.

    Isn’t the idea actually to make it a general math and physics discussion forum? With just a little nPOV sprinkled in? Maybe we should just call it “Math and Physics and n-Categories”.

    • CommentRowNumber103.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I’m still confused why we don’t call it [drumroll]… “The n-Forum”. General maths, physics, and philosophy (environmental, etc) discussions can simply go under a special category.

    • CommentRowNumber104.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I’m still confused why we don’t call it [drumroll]… “The n-Forum”.

    That’s true. I realize that I keep forgetting already all the things that have been said here.

    But aren’t we talking about how to name the forum- category in which general math and physics discussion is to take place?

    • CommentRowNumber105.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I realize that I keep forgetting already all the things that have been said here.

    Me too :) I’m confused.

    But aren’t we talking about how to name the forum- category in which general math and physics discussion is to take place?

    Oh! That is good. If that is the case, I already named it “Mathematics, Physics & Philosophy” :) See Categories.

    Sorry. By “forum”, I thought you guys meant an entirely separate collection of categories with a different look and feel.

    Like I mentioned above, many of the current categories, e.g. Organization, Lab Elf News, Diagram, and n-Forum, can probably be consolidated into Technical to clean house a bit.

    • CommentRowNumber106.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    But aren’t we talking about how to name the forum- category in which general math and physics discussion is to take place?

    Not exactly, because I was under the impression that we wanted to keep the technical forum separate.

    But yeah, I like the name “n-forum” for a discussion forum. Then we could just call this forum something else, like n-ControlRoom or something. Maybe just nLab Technical Forum? It really doesn’t matter what we call this current place, since the only people who will come here are people who are making changes to the nLab (or discussing articles on the nLab and how to improve them).

    • CommentRowNumber107.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    We should establish some semantics. In many places, a “forum” is nothing but a “category” on a given site.

    Do we want a separate site or a separate category?

    A separate category makes sense to me. A separate site does not. It is very common to have a special category “Technical” for technical discussions concerning the site. We don’t need an entire site solely for technical matters. Everything that the n-Forum has been used for to date can be maintained in its current form in a special category. We should simply add more categories (like I’ve already done using the superpowers bestowed on all of us).

    Since the word “forum” has multiple meanings depending on context, I propose for the purposes of this conversation using the words “site” and “category” to mean what they obviously mean (:))

    • CommentRowNumber108.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    Perhaps one reason I don’t like “n-tea” is that “n” and “t” are both alveolar consonants, so they don’t sit together very well. (-:

    I thought we had already decided on at least trying out using separate categories within the n-Forum for technical vs nlab vs etc. It may be good to distinguish some things a little more carefully, though, because “technical” could mean technical related to the nlab, e.g. lab elf stuff, versus technical related to the Forum itself.

    • CommentRowNumber109.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I thought we had already decided on at least trying out using separate categories within the n-Forum for technical vs nlab vs etc.

    Phew! Yes. Sorry if my confusion confused things.

    It may be good to distinguish some things a little more carefully, though, because “technical” could mean technical related to the nlab, e.g. lab elf stuff, versus technical related to the Forum itself.

    My suggestion would be to consolidate Organization, Lab Elf News, Diagram, n-Forum, and Technical into one category “Software”. “Software” is unambiguous. Or maybe rename Technical -> Software and make the others subcategories.

    • CommentRowNumber110.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    A “Software” category is one possibility, with the existing Diagrams, n-Forum and Technical as subcategories. Although perhaps “Technical” should be renamed to clarify that it is about the n-Lab specifically. I don’t think the existing category “Organization” is mainly about software, though, it seems to be more about policy and conventions. Lab Elf News is also somewhat about software, but perhaps not necessarily.

    I wonder whether it might make more sense to have an “n-Lab” category including the existing Technical, Organization, Lab Elf News, and even Latest Changes as subcategories.

    • CommentRowNumber111.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    Perhaps one reason I don’t like “n-tea” is that “n” and “t” are both alveolar consonants, so they don’t sit together very well.

    I once made an argument like this and was ridiculed for it, but I support this argument, mainly because I’m nicer than you guys =p.

    • CommentRowNumber112.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    About “opfibration,” you mean? I think there’s nothing wrong with that sort of argument in general; it was just your particular argument in that particular case that everyone disagreed with. (-:

    • CommentRowNumber113.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    To be honest, I really would prefer to have the ability to not see every discussion when I want to do stuff regarding the nLab. Having separate categories is not separate enough. First of all, it will scare away new people and be annoying to some of us. I don’t like to use RSS feeds, and I’d prefer not to have to see every discussion when I’m trying to follow technical stuff. For example, I’d prefer to not have to see some of the 50-100 post threads asking about basic definitions and how we can rewrite them in a totally bizarre and useless way. It’s too easy to get drawn into them, and they just make me really annoyed.

    Anyway, if you guys are using RSS feeds then it doesn’t matter if we split the forum into two parts, so don’t ruin it for the rest of us (which is at least me).

    • CommentRowNumber114.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    nTea incompatibility ? Non-anTicipated inTeresting inTroduction inTo en-ty anTagonism...

    P.S. l is also a liquid alveolar, as n is...so the same were for nlab...

    • CommentRowNumber115.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    By judicious use of subcategories, you wouldn’t see every discussion when you want to do stuff regarding the nLab. I propose three main categories, “nLab”, “not-nLab” (working title), and “Help”. Maybe a fourth called “Organisation”. Each of these has subcategories. So essentially the majority of the current forum would shift into the ’nLab’ section and if you go straight to that category, you see the nForum as it currently is. If we have the category names along the top, then it’s easy to navigate between the categories.

    I’m leaning towards playing down the titles a little, in that the “nForum” (no hyphen is fine by me) is the blanket term for everything that goes on here and everything goes on in parts of the forum. The word “forum” sums up pretty much everything about what we want to go on here. So I’d like people just to refer to the ’nForum’ rather than to a particular part of it.

    On that note, I tend to refer to you all as the ’nGroup’.

    What does anyone think about my logo, by the way?

    • CommentRowNumber116.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    logo ? scary... ;)

    • CommentRowNumber117.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    Where is there a logo?

    • CommentRowNumber118.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    Draft (daft?) logo was in comment 89

  1. merchandising! I want merchandaising! (jokin’! I’m jokin’! :) )

    seriously, should we add an nJournal? not that we have time or energies for being editors of a journal, but we could keep track there of survey notes we occasionally write which we would not submit to a journal, and which on the other hand are much more structured than an nLab entry should be. that kind of stuff one usually collects in his own home page under “Notes”. I’m thinking, for instance of the ongoing stuff I’m currently discussing with Urs on the DW model, or Giuseppe’s standard model dictionary. in both cases I would find nice to have a short and clean nlab entry, and an extended nJournal article.

    • CommentRowNumber120.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    Of course “nt” can occur in the middle of a word, but “n-tea” with a hyphen (whether or not the hyphen is written, it is there) is much more awkward to my lips than any of the other n-things. But we seem to have decided against that anyway, so let’s not continue down that road.

    I like Andrew’s suggestion for categories. The logo looks… interesting. The “n” in it looks kind of more like an eta, though.

    • CommentRowNumber121.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    n is pronounced as en here, so there is no substantial difference in being in the middle as in comparison to interesting, enticing, antagonism, German Entwicklung...and to some extent from nlab. I do not feel that the hyphen is more pronounced in "n-Tea room" than in enticing. Interesting in North Am. pron. is often in:eresin(nas.). It used to be that Pnom Penh was pronounced by all TV-radio speakers in USA as Nom Pen I was told, but later they got used to it.

    • CommentRowNumber122.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010

    I can say a single word “entea” but that is not how I would want to pronounce “n-tea”. For one thing the emphasis would be different; the former would sound almost just like “empty” as Urs said.

    • CommentRowNumber123.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    I feel the main stress on the second syllable unlike in empty. It is more like ET for the extraterrestial movie star. But never mind.

    • CommentRowNumber124.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    • (edited Apr 19th 2010)

    Logo?

    logo?

    It's not honest SVG, but we can generate them at any size since it's just LaTeX. Of course we would fix the kerning because I did a crap job. I think we'd be hard pressed to get a better looking n than the one from computer modern.

    • CommentRowNumber125.
    • CommentAuthorBruce
    • CommentTimeApr 19th 2010
    I've laughed quite a few times reading these comments. It's been good for my soul, since I'm stuck in an elementary calculation and feeling very frustrated. Andrew's logo comes out gimungous on my computer. The one above doesn't have enough of a category-feel to it. Still laughing about "nTea room". nChat is another variation.
    • CommentRowNumber126.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    Unfortunately nchat is taken already, Bruce.

    I’m sorry, Andrew, but the logo (which comes out v. large for me too :) is not very snappy. The eye is led in all sorts of confused directions and the left fizzling off down the bottom somewhere. Something that just hits you in the eye and says ’nGroup!’

    And Harry’s is not really a logo: For a start you’d have to be able to be au fait with the more caligraphic typefaces of latin characters: perhaps not tricky for mathematicians, but slow to parse for some non-native readers (russian/cyrillic, chinese, japanese, etc). (and anyone familiar with MO might guess you designed it, given your user pic :-) Unlike the popular cola drink, we are starting from scratch creating a brand (no 100+ year history to draw on), and so using the name as the logo is not enough (and even then, that familiar red and white label, narrowed bottle, particular typeface and sweeping curve are all part of the branding, not just the name in fancy letters).

    I’ll have a think, but I can’t promise that I can come up with anything better (since I’m not actually a designer, I just know the principles). I still put in my vote for something like the nLab graphic. If it isn’t unique to the lab then we’ll obviously have to do something else.

    • CommentRowNumber127.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    • (edited Apr 20th 2010)

    I’m obviously still confused. Are you guys trying to name a category within the n-Forum? Why not call it “Mathematics, Physics & Philosophy” (as I’ve already done) or maybe “Math, Physics, and n-Categories” as Urs suggestion? Why the fuss?

    @Andrew #115: I refer once again to NuclearPhynance. That is what a good forum looks like. No subcategories. No sticky posts. Just some useful categories. Instead of subcategories, I’d actually prefer to consolidate all the “technical” related categories to one category (with no subcategories) called “Software”. Is it possible to change a category of a post or merge two categories?

    We shouldn’t be trying to reinvent the wheel. Look at an example of a successful forum and copy it. The one I keep referring to is a very successful and well-designed forum. We’re already mostly there with Categories, we just need to choose better category names. My proposal is here, which I’ll reproduce below:

    • Latest Changes
      • This is the place to record significant changes to the n-Lab.
    • Mathematics, Physics & Philosophy
      • Where the professionals come to discuss their trade
    • University
      • Where aspiring students come to learn and teachers come to teach
    • Careers
      • Yeah right!
    • Software
      • This category is mainly for announcements and feature requests regarding the software behind the n-Lab and n-Forum
    • Preprints & Publications
      • Announcements and discussions about preprints and publications
    • Off-Topic
      • Where (almost) anything goes
    • Events
      • Announcements about upcoming conferences and seminars
    • Trashcan
      • The final resting place for garbage

    @domenico #119: Re nJournal… That is kind of the purpose of the category I called “Preprints and Publications”. Everyone is clear we are just naming categories that will appear here, right?

    • CommentRowNumber128.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    Eric, not every successful forum needs to look like every other successful forum. The nForum has different needs and serves a different audience than Nuclear Phynance. In particular, I think the proposal of subcategories addresses a very real issue, namely that in addition to being (potentially) a place for general discussion about various topics, the nForum also has an important role to continue to play as a “managing/backroom area” for the nLab – but people who are interested only in the former role don’t want to be bothered by sifting through the latter.

    • CommentRowNumber129.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    @Mike: I agree with your point about “managing/backroom area”, but don’t see why that requires a subcategory. A single category would be sufficient. it’s not like there will be hundreds of backroom discussions going on at once. Re NP, the needs are quite similar (if not identical) and the audience is not all that different either. We don’t need to be so extreme. It’s not like we need to copy identically OR reinvent the wheel. We can borrow what we like and create something new if it suits us. I use “us” liberally since it is really “you”. I’m merely an interested (but vocal) observer :)

    • CommentRowNumber130.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    I like the present delineation of current categories. If everything in the new forum that is essentially the image of the current forum under the upgrade map :-) is collapsed into one category with no subcategory, then one will no longer have the utility to sift for smaller categories of discussion (in the non-technical sense) when necessary. At the very least the image of the current forum in the new forum should be about the same, even if reduced to a category of the latter.

    • CommentRowNumber131.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    @David #130: That sounds reasonable, i.e. keep an image of the current n-Forum with current categories, but perhaps change some of the current categories to subcategories in order to clean house. Subcategories would be fine as an accident of history, but can’t think of any good reason to purposefully create new subcategories. I’ve suggested 9 categories. I would think that is pushing the limit already. Some of the current categories could (and should?) be made subcategories of Software.

    • CommentRowNumber132.
    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    @Eric: We mean the backroom/managing area for editing the nLab.

    • CommentRowNumber133.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    Isn’t the fact that 9 categories is pushing the limit a good reason to use subcategories?

    • CommentRowNumber134.
    • CommentAuthorEric
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    By “pushing the limit”, I meant a couple things:

    1. We will never need more than 9 categories
    2. For aesthetic purposes, 9 already starts looking a bit busy

    Any “backroom/management” discussion, whether it be about nLab, nCafe, the nForum, or the nGroup, it doesn’t matter. One category should suffice for all such discussions since there are not that many.

    Unless I’m confused about how subcategories work of course. By subcategory, I envision a situation where you click “Software” (or maybe “Backroom”) and are confronted by further choices, e.g. “Lab Elf News”, “Diagram”, “Organization”. To see those conversations, you need to click through again. Why click through twice, when one click would suffice for all practical purposes?

    NuclearPhynance is probably about the size and complexity of what I can imagine as the potential for the nForum. They have no need for subcategories. As a participant (or at least former participant) I can attest to the fact that your needs are quite similar to theirs (which is why I keep using it as an example).

    • CommentRowNumber135.
    • CommentAuthorAndrew Stacey
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010

    I should probably test this before saying it, but if it ain’t what I say then it soon will be!

    The way subcategories work here are as a filtering system. So if something is in “nLab -> Diagrams -> SVG Editor” then it shows up on the main page, on the “nLab category” page, on the “Diagrams” page, and on the “SVG Editor” page. So you pick the level you like, and stick with it.

    That’s why I want a nice snappy name for “Everything but the nLab”. (I did think of “not-Lab”, but that could get confused with “knot Lab”.)

    I also envision that the “category tree” be more prominent so that it’s easy to navigate around the different branches. If you look at my work website, http://www.math.ntnu.no/~stacey then you might get an idea of what I mean. The menus on the left-hand side change depending on where you are in the tree. (Just as an aside, my work website is technically a blog!)

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