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50

I agree. Right now there is a smallish list of words that will cause a warning to pop up when they appear in short question titles . From Shog9's answer the regex is ^.{0,30}(^|\W)(anyone|difficult|doubt|easy|hard|help|interesting|please|problem|query|question|someone|stuck|very)(\W|$).{0,30}$ (Essentially a title containing at least one of the listed ...

33

To expand on Noah Snyder's answer: If you agree that no automated editing of old questions or answers should be done in the future without being first proposed and agreed upon on this meta, please vote this answer up. If you disagree, please vote this answer down.

31

In addition to the below title-specific $\rm\LaTeX$ guidelines, there is of course the MathJax tutorial and quick reference. The primary rule for using $\rm\LaTeX$ in titles is to be vertically terse. Try to make your title take up as little vertical space as possible (the height of $\sum\limits_{n=1}^\infty$ is an approximate upper bound for what is ...

26

While it is hard to form a strong opinion about this without knowing how many posts are affected, a priori this seems like a dubious feature to implement on math.SE, given the particular (and sometimes peculiar) way that punctuation is used in mathematics. While I appreciate the desire to clean up badly typeset questions, my guess would be that there are ...

24

Ok, there's a warning now: This is triggered by a title matching ^.{0,30}(^|\W)(anyone|difficult|doubt|easy|hard|help|interesting|please|problem|query|question|someone|stuck|very)(\W|$).{0,30}$ ...so it heavily favors short titles - Tricky integration/functions problem would've warned, while Least squares problem equivalent to solving Poisson problem for ...

22

One should first note that only a few StackExchange sites have MathJax capabilities. Add in the fact that such questions appear only rarely and it is probably unlikely that SE will implement a change to require titles to have non-$\LaTeX$ elements anytime soon. There is, of course, a simple work-around that requires no changes to the SE system: When ...

20

The problem with most titles from OP, as Asaf himself puts it "If you can look at these titles and tell me anything meaningful on the questions <...> you're a better magician than me.". And that is the real problem: not subjective titles, but uninformative titles. So let's discuss the later problem, not the former one (which, frankly speaking, looks non-...

20

I'm for it. I have been making an effort lately to do this myself. I am sick of seeing titles like "Proof about a semigroup" (an example taken from the front page right at this moment). This provides absolutely no information, and there's no reason why the title can't be "In a semigroup, $ab=ba\Rightarrow (ab)^k=a^kb^k$." In fact, I don't see any reason ...

19

There is nothing wrong in being witty. But. Question titles should be descriptive. As the help message for the title field puts it What's your math question? Be specific That's especially important nowadays when there are lots and lots questions on Math.SE. Good question titles are like (random examples from the current main page) 'If $f:X\to Y$ is ...

18

I am going to use this post to catalog words that should generally not appear in question titles: anyone (200 results) difficult (59 185 results) doubt (332 results) easy (124 318 results) hard (61 183 results) help (1245 3854 results) interesting (141 345 results) please (625 results) problem (2719 7661 results) query (58 results) question (3920 10568 ...

17

I think it's pretty clear that the "!?" and "..." changes should not have been automatically implemented on Math.SE. The main issue I see going forward is that this would have been obvious to anyone who writes mathematics on a regular basis, just as the foolishness of getting rid of "+?" would be to a user of SO. What we need is some way to notice that ...

17

As long as you have the energy to do so, please continue to correct such edits/titles. Unless you have reason not to, assume the editors are well-meaning and just don't know that \displaystyle should generally not be used in titles, and address a comment to them - editors of a question can be @-pinged, although their username does not appear in the auto-...

16

Yeah, that's crap. I've made a small edit to side-step the problem (on this and the one other question with the same issue), but obviously it's something that we'll need to be watchful for. Fortunately, it's not common to end a title in this way. As for the reason behind it, and whether the benefits outweigh the costs... Here's some data. This site has only ...

16

Background The use of block (displayed) equations ($$...$$) in question titles has been disallowed on Mathematics Stack Exchange. Titles are meant to be short descriptions of the question, and using block equations generally causes your equations to be larger: compare $$\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{1}{n}$$ to $\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{1}{n}$ which produce \...

13

I continue to ask for, and supply, more informative titles. By all means, edit titles to make them more informative. But 1) don't edit them just to remove the word, "interesting", and 2) don't edit more than a couple of old problems at a time, so as not to flood the front page with old questions.

13

I think your title is better as a title. But, we want users to write informative titles and 'the question again' is in a way the best we can realistically aim for. The alternative would likely be to have "Question on supremum 13" not what you wrote. If I recall correctly, there is even a recommendation somewhere "Make your question your title." This then is ...

13

First let me stress that I certainly agree that there is a problem with 'lazy' titles. A strategy I noticed is to to add adhoc numbering. That said, you wrote: as you can see in the edit history, it originally said "Isomorophism between modules" However, in actual fact originally it said "isomorophic of module" where the motivation does not apply ...

12

I think to avoid it completely might not be the way to go; and there would also be too much opposition against this. What I think would be good is that users are aware of some of the downsides of MathJax and formulas in general in titles and take these downsides into account when choosing their titles. This can also be small things, like, choosing ...

12

I really think that if this such a problem at SO, then there should be separate scripts run on SO messages only. What's next? Say, leetspeak becomes way too common in some computer related SE. Consequently the geniuses at helm decide to run a script that substitutes all 3s, 1s and 7s with 'e', 'l', 't'...

12

I'm surprised this doesn't have an answer yet. Yes, it's okay, and even encouraged. More or less the same rules apply as when editing the body of a post; in particular, don't make drastic changes to the meaning of the question. And the title should reflect the question that is more fully expressed in the body of the post.

12

A linked question contained some malicious code in the title. I've removed it.

11

While people are thinking about this issue, remember that the best way to deal with this is to fix the titles early on while the question is still on the front page. People are rightfully somewhat nervous about editing content of questions, but I think editing titles should be done more freely as new users don't necessarily understand what a SE question ...

11

Questions from math.SE that contain LaTeX markup are excluded from the list of hot network questions; see this meta.SE thread. On the other hand, questions from other sites that contain \$ signs in them are still picked up, and when they show up on math.SE mathjax processes them, which often gives horrible results; see there for example. (I don't believe ...

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