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Is asking how to use wolfram alpha to solve an abstract algebra question on topic here?

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  • $\begingroup$ mathematica.stackexchange questions tagged "Wolfram Alpha" $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Aug 11 '13 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ I think if your question is maths-based, then fine. However, if your question is simply "how do I do a loop?" then...no. $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 12 '13 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ @user1729 Your point is well taken - while many use WolframAlpha for mathematics, its scope is much more broad than that. WolframAlpha is not a programming language, however, so "how do I do a loop" isn't a particularly natural example. On the other hand, something like digital cameras under $400 would clearly be off topic. $\endgroup$ – Mark McClure Aug 12 '13 at 13:56
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    $\begingroup$ @TheChaz2.0 The "WolframAlpha" tag at mathematica.se actually refers only to use of Mathematica's WolframAlpha command. For example, a question dealing with how to extract and manipulate data obtained from the WolframAlpha command directly within Mathematica would be considered on topic there. Questions specific to use of the web site are typically treated with great disdain on mathematica.se. $\endgroup$ – Mark McClure Aug 12 '13 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @Mark. I would have never known! $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Aug 12 '13 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure Sorry, thought I was talking about mathematica! $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 13 '13 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ @TheChaz2.0 would have never known unless you read the page to which you linked. It says on top: "Questions about Wolfram Alpha itself are off-topic." $\endgroup$ – user Aug 13 '13 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @user89499 that's assuming a lot about my mobile capabilities (I see no such statement. Sorry for trying to help!) $\endgroup$ – The Chaz 2.0 Aug 16 '13 at 3:47
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In addition to there being a WolframAlpha tag (as pointed out in the comments), the about page makes it clear that questions about software that mathematicians use is on topic. On the other hand, some questions that are on topic might receive more attention elsewhere so it might be worth pointing out that Wolfram Research has recently started a community forum with a WolframAlpha group.

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    $\begingroup$ NB. The W|A tag link is to Mathematica.SE, not Mathematics.SE. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Aug 12 '13 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Lord_Farin I hastily assumed the comment pointed to the WA tag on math.se, thank you for pointing out my error. I've now edited the link. By the way, what does NB refer to in this context? $\endgroup$ – Mark McClure Aug 12 '13 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ It stands for the Latin words Nota Bene; in this context, I used it to signify that it was a side remark. $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Aug 12 '13 at 14:24
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To add to Mark's answer, WolframAlpha questions are also on topic at WebApps.SE.

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  • $\begingroup$ So which is it? $\endgroup$ – Pacerier Jul 17 '14 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Both - many StackExchange sites have overlapping areas of competence. $\endgroup$ – dsolimano Jul 18 '14 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ So how do you decide to post here or there (or both)? $\endgroup$ – Pacerier Jul 18 '14 at 9:22
  • $\begingroup$ It's which community you think would be a better fit for your question, so probably the way to go is to look at some other questions and see how they compare to yours and how they were answered. A similar case is how Linux is on topic on both Super User and Unix.SE. Crossposting is usually frowned upon. $\endgroup$ – dsolimano Jul 18 '14 at 12:50

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