Change made to this tag wiki (2/14/15)

The current about box at the top of the math-software tag page currently directs users with questions regarding WolframAlpha to consider posting on Mathematica StackExchange instead. Here is the full statement:

For help with mathematical questions arising from software such as Maple, MATLAB, Mathcad, Pari/GP, R, and so on. Consider posting questions about Mathematica and WolframAlpha onto Mathematica StackExchange instead. For GAP, SAGE, and MAGMA, use computer-algebra-systems.

However, the What questions can I ask about? page over on the Mathematica StackExchange indicates that WolframAlpha questions are specifically off topic.

  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this should be tagged as (bug). The tag-info can be edited by users - see revision history. But below 20k any edit to tag-wiki has to be approved by other users. (Of course, I agree that important change to a tag-wiki/tag-excerpt should be discussed on meta before editing. So +1 for pointing out the problem here.) $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 12:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Unrelated, but as we are discussing this wiki: the distinction to computer-algebra-systems seems pretty unclear to me. 'A computer algebra system (CAS) is a program which is able to carry out various symbolic manipulations with mathematical expressions. Typically they include simplification, differentiation, integration, solving equations etc. Some well-known computer-algebra systems: Mathematica, Maple, Wolfram Alpha, GAP.' $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Feb 1 '15 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak I rather agree but every discussion on meta must be tagged as one of bug, feature-request, discussion, or support. I chose bug, since it seemed closest. Of course, other tags are reasonable. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I noticed that too. I even started to type that into my question but felt I should stick to the one very simple point. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 12:55

Looking at the math-software Questions containing Wolfram some are about using Mathematica to get the same output as W|A. These are on-topic, however most of these are off-topic on Mathematica.SE.

Those that are primarily on W|A will be closed in Mathematica.SE, so we should probably change the remark to

Consider posting questions about Mathematica (not the WolframAlpha website) onto Mathematica StackExchange instead.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As someone who participated in Mathematica.se since it's beta phase and particpated in exactly these discussions, I've got to disagree. The only WolframAlpha questions Mathematica.se that are on topic are those that directly refer to Mathematica's WolframAlpha command. How many of those are asked here? $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure Exemplary: math.stackexchange.com/questions/155894/… Can be rephrased as to how to do the exact same thing in Mathematica. Would this still be off-topic? Note that W|A would accept the Mathematica equivalent as well. $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Or math.stackexchange.com/questions/286692/… this is specifically about Mathematica. $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ The first question is definitely off topic at Mathematica.se - the user thinks his Mathematica experience should translate to WolframAlpha, which is just wrong. The second question asserts that the user has found an error in Mathematica but provides no code or even a sketch of code. I think that one should be closed on either site as insufficient context. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure Last try: Would this be off-topic as well? If so, I change my opinion knowing better than before and will edit my proposal accordingly. $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ That one would be OK over there. The user is specifically asking how to do something in Mathematica and the question is tagged Mathematica as well. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ I think we should not mention wolframAlpha at all. This will just cause confusion, while the upside is unclear. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Feb 1 '15 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Revised. Confusion should be impossible now. The upside is that people coming from here with a W|A question and the knowledge that Mathematica is from Wolfram are made aware that W|A is off-topic at Mathematica.SE. The value of this upside depends on how much noise is caused on Mathematica.SE by mislead users. $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure Did you reread my answer and consolidate your vote yet? $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ No, not the latest version until just now. It does look better. You mean "Consider placing", I suppose? $\endgroup$ Feb 1 '15 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @MarkMcClure I meant to C&P the existing. posting was intended. Thanks for pointing out. $\endgroup$
    – AlexR
    Feb 1 '15 at 15:03

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