[seqfan] Re: moving to wiki

Joseph S. Myers jsm at polyomino.org.uk
Thu Aug 27 00:56:48 CEST 2009

On Wed, 26 Aug 2009, N. J. A. Sloane wrote:

> 3) Whole database access, e.g, for 
> wide-scope quality checks, conversion to printed form, etc.
> It won't be possible to copy the whole database. 
> But gzipped versions of parts will be available just as they are now.

As far as I can tell the parts available now are stripped.gz and names.gz 
- the terms of sequences and their names.  There are various references on 
the OEIS webpages to downloading segments of the full database and at 
least one link to
but the database segments that used to be available there (as shown by 
the Internet Archive) are no longer available.  (Or have they simply been 
moved somewhere hidden without public links to avoid spammers getting at 
the email addresses in them?)

Now, there are certainly potential uses of such downloads that are not met 
by just the sequences and their names; anything involving automatic 
processing of offsets, or formulae, or programs, or checking links, or 
investigating the cross-reference structure, for example.  There are also 
things possible with the wiki model that aren't really at present: editors 
(if they can approve their own changes) could do large numbers of small 
edits, identified through processing such a database download, in an 
automated or semi-automated way.

I'd encourage making as much available to download as possible, with 
people allowed to do more or less what they want with it to improve the 
OEIS, and waiting to see what people come up with - I don't think you can 
tell in advance what it will be useful to make available or how it could 
be used.  There are certainly plenty of people who write bots to do 
automated editing of Wikipedia based on processing the database dumps that 
are available there <http://download.wikimedia.org/enwiki/20090822/> 
(though people do need prior approval before setting a bot going on such 
large-scale editing).

Joseph S. Myers
jsm at polyomino.org.uk

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