[seqfan] Re: OEIS Wiki and the Current 80 decimal digit limitation

hv at crypt.org hv at crypt.org
Fri Dec 18 11:07:13 CET 2009

Andrew Weimholt <andrew.weimholt at gmail.com> wrote:
:Once the OEIS moves to the Wiki, will we do away with the current
:limit of 80 decimal digits?

The WP style guide on article size [1] is worth reading.

If the OEIS wiki uses similar guidelines, your "(p+1)|a(n) -> p|a(n+1)"
sequence could happily include the 11K-digit a(34), but probably should not
include the (presumably much larger) a(68), at least directly. I see no
reason it couldn't be included in a b-file though - as far as I remember
b-files don't have the digit limit, and can happily be 1MB or bigger.

Other than page-size considerations, the only reason I can see to retain
a limit on numbers in the OEIS is for compatibility with existing code:
for example, if the other current discussion decides to try to maintain
the old search code, that might impose restrictions on the maximum length
of numbers.

For sequences such as yours, an additional consideration is readability -
including the 11K string in the middle of a sequence of much smaller numbers
is unlikely to be the ideal way for someone to view the sequence, so we may
want to introduce a convention of wrapping such things in a template that
could (say) show them inline as "18034...25273 (11736 digits)", with a link
to see the whole number (as a popup, or on a separate page).

I can also imagine that, where the factorization of very large numbers is
known, it would be useful to include a standard way to see that too, to save
readers having to factorize them for themselves. That would particularly be
the case for a sequence such as this, where the factorization is precisely
what drives subsequent values.


[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Article_size>

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