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Here is the post: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1807791/what-is-the-most-practical-way-to-express-in-mathematical-notation-the-indefinit/1807814?noredirect=1#comment3696360_1807814

I tried to edit it, but the "on hold" state hasn't been lifted yet. I don't think it's unclear, at least now.

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  • $\begingroup$ Currently four votes to reopen (but you got, and accepted, an answer, so I'm not sure why you want it re-opened). $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 1 '16 at 23:44
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really want it reopened, I just wanted to know why it was closed, so when I ask future questions, the questions will be of better quality. $\endgroup$ – asher drummond Jun 1 '16 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ It seems to me that you do know why it was closed, and you edited it in an effort to get it reopened, and you are just one vote away from getting it reopened, so you should have a pretty good idea of why it was closed and how to ask better quality questions in the future. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Jun 1 '16 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ For a while (I had asked this question before), I did not notice that I was only a vote away, and since I am new to StackExchange, I thought that it would have been reopened by now if I had edited my answer correctly. About ten minutes ago, I found that there were four votes to reopen. $\endgroup$ – asher drummond Jun 1 '16 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ Receiving an acceptable answer is evidence that the question should be open, not that it should be closed. @GerryMyerson $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ The accepted answer does not address the question. For that, one has to read the comments, where the question is indeed addressed (once in a comment to main, once in a comment to the answer), twice correctly and with basically no explanation. At the least, all this indicates that something went wrong somewhere. $\endgroup$ – Did Jun 2 '16 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ BTW you link to a comment rather than to the question. Is this on purpose? (Is that particular comment important for this discussion on meta?) $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 2 '16 at 9:26
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I did not vote to close it, but given the chance to I might have for the simple reason that "most practical way" is not particularly well defined.

That doesn't make it a bad question, and I wouldn't downvote you or hold anything against you. I just don't think the question is answerable or within the scope of the site.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... I agree... $\endgroup$ – asher drummond Jun 2 '16 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ @asherdrummond That's not to say it's a bad question! Just in general on the site we prefer questions that can be completely answered (though this is not always the case). $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 2 '16 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ I thought @asherdrummond 's question was completely clear: whether there is a specific notation for the integral of Gamma(x), or if not then an expression of that integral in terms of other special functions for which notation exists, or neither. The posted answer says that the last is the case. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ @zyx They literally say "what is the best way" (emphasis mine) which to me, sounds "primarily opinion based". $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 2 '16 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ I see no difference between best and practical vs "what are some good/common/typical/preferred methods (if any)". If anything the two adjectives used in the question are shorter than some other way of saying the same thing. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx I think all of those adjectives could be perceived as primarily opinion based. $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 2 '16 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ I'm saying those are mainly social sugar that is added to many questions. They don't mean anything other than "I'm not an expert", "please give me something more to hang onto than a demonstration that an answer exists" or other invitations to go beyond a purely abstract response. Pretty much any request for a method to do something (or than the rare request for an existence proof only) implies the same. I don't think best or practical are worse than any other way of saying it, if it has to be said at all. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 4:01
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx I think the question, at its core was fairly opinion based. If someone gave you one representation using the $a$ function and the other gave a representation using the $b$ function, which one is "better/more practical/good/common/typical/preferred"? I didn't vote to close the question (I even upvoted it), but at its core there isn't a single answer one can point to and say "that's the full answer I don't need to read anything else I can checkmark that one". That doesn't make it a bad question, of course. But my impression of math.SE is that we want questions with well defined answers. $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 2 '16 at 4:09
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx Save for the fact that "there is no good representation" is such an answer, of course. But a priori. $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 2 '16 at 4:12
  • $\begingroup$ Well defined means that a given response can be determined to be an answer or not, not that there is unique answer. $a$ and $b$ can both be typical methods, and if not, given the statement of the question, it is reasonable to expect that someone posting a ridiculous method will mention that it is atypical. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 2 '16 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx "Well defined means that a given response can be determined to be an answer or not". In this case, I don't believe the question satisfies that condition (at least a priori). They want a "good" representation. Say I write "$\int \Gamma+7-4-3$". Is this a "good" representation? I don't think it's trivial to make the question precise. I don't think "good" in this context is just social sugar, it's an integral part of the question. Now as mature mathematicians we can generally interpret what "good" is, but there is some level of judgment there. $\endgroup$ – user223391 Jun 4 '16 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ There is a minimal and sufficient meaning of "good" here that can be inferred from the question. Good means a representation that is different from the integral of Gamma(x) dx, and is useful for some purpose or purposes (such as numerical computation, conceptual understanding, ease of programming, proof of transcendence, or something else). Just like any other question about "is there another good/practical/useful/nice form of X". The adjectives like good or nice are not that essential and such questions are a prompt to write down an alternative representation of X. $\endgroup$ – zyx Jun 6 '16 at 20:04

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