Welcome. Hello friends. My online handle is anon, and I will be your guide.

Associated with the Mathematics StackExchange is the main chatroom. I am chatroom co-owner alongside current moderator robjohn. The main room is general purpose; on the one hand it can be used for mathematical discussion at any level, and on the other there is no requirement that the topic of discussion be mathematical. The main language is English, but if you find another user to talk to in a different language, that is acceptable.

If you are new, please feel welcome to drop in and say hello. Don't be intimidated by the guidelines below; they have been crafted in response to undesirable recurring events in the room, and are not meant to deter you from posting in good faith.

Conversational Guidelines.

  • Read up. Upon first arriving in the room, there may be a long discussion or two going on; if you want to follow along or participate well, you'll have to scroll up to read the transcript.
  • Just ask. You don't need to ask to ask, or ask if there's anybody around who knows about a specific topic (unless maybe it's niche). Feel free to post your question.
  • Don't spam. Be respectful of others' time and energy. This means:
    • Don't post (or link to) your question repeatedly in a short interval of time.
    • Don't ping a single user too much (this is when you put @ in front of their name; it causes a sound effect for that user if they are present in the chatroom).
    • Don't systematically flood bunches of users you've never talked to with requests.
    • Don't be mad at others for not showing you attention.
    • Don't turn the room into a graveyard of deleted messages.
  • Don't hog. Only so much conversation can fit on the screen at a time, so please be respectful of our communal space, unless it is a slow period where only one discussion is happening among just a few users. So when the room is busy, this means:
    • Don't post oodles of small messages in a row that could've fit in one message, or very large messages that take up too many lines. This includes for example lots of programming code or large outputs. Upload to Pastebin and link to it instead.
    • Be mindful that if you post a link to Wikipedia, YouTube, StackExchange, or an image, it will automatically balloon up to a large preview; consider linking to it instead using the markup [text](url). Images may be uploaded to imgur.
    • Starring someone's messages is not a way of saying "thank you" for their help.
  • Avoid XY-ing. When you warp your original math question before you explain it, you risk sending others on a wild goose chase. Please don't do this - if you ask a math question, don't leave out context and avoid risky reinterpretation.
  • Don't troll. Many find flame wars to be a source of entertainment, but these extremes are unhealthy for this type of community. So keep your bait in the box. This does not include humor or practical jokes that are intended to be good fun for everyone.
  • Stay cool. This means:
    • If someone's personality is inherently irritating to you, deal with it.
    • Don't vent frustrations by lashing out at people.
    • Don't flag behavior as uncivil unless you're sure it's actually hurting others.

Posting $\LaTeX$ in chat. In order to render the markup in the chatroom to see math, you will need to use the MathJax bookmark hosted by robjohn. This is not necessary, but you shouldn't expect others to read what you write if it is unreadable!

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ I thought it might be nice to have the pinned message of the chat here for easy copy pasting, so here it is: [Etiquette Guidelines](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/3890/main-chatroom-etiquette-rules) | [$\LaTeX$ support for chat](http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/1088/should-chat-have-tex-support/3297#3297) $\endgroup$
    – user14082
    Mar 13, 2013 at 20:16
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ thx, some positive rules other than all "dont do this" like "what is liked/encouraged & gets major attn, regular topics, notable uses etc" would be helpful $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Nov 29, 2013 at 20:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, why is oneboxing discouraged? (At least it seems to be, given (3) and (7).) $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Dec 20, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ArthurFischer: I believe it is because it adds noise to the page and takes up more room than a text link. Text links allow more of the current conversations to be on the screen at once and might allow the MathJax to stand out more. The space issue is especially important on mobile devices with smaller screens. $\endgroup$
    – robjohn Mod
    Dec 20, 2015 at 13:48


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