[seqfan] Re: Conventions on timestamps?

Richard Mathar mathar at strw.leidenuniv.nl
Sun Feb 1 19:28:58 CET 2009

pl> From seqfan-bounces at list.seqfan.eu Sun Feb  1 19:00:00 2009
pl> Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 18:05:55 +0100
pl> From: Peter Luschny <peter.luschny at googlemail.com>
pl> To: seqfan at list.seqfan.eu
pl> Subject: [seqfan]  Conventions on timestamps?
pl> My question is: what are the conventions on which OEIS
pl> handles timestamps?
pl> Timestamps are an important source of information and
pl> I got the impression that for some time now a timestamp
pl> is attached to every new entry and every comment.
pl> So I was surprised to see in A098777, an entry with
pl> timestamp [Oct 04, 2004], reference given to a paper
pl> which bears the timestamp [January 12, 2009].

This is no surprise. If the sequence was "initiated" with an entry
at some time in the past (at some possibly randomized time because
this merely indicates that s.o. found it worth to substantiate the
sequence in that form) and s.o. else sees that there is some possibly
interesting additional information later on in the literature, which
is added as a reference, this reference is added, bearing two 
time stamps (the one implicit as the publication date of the new reference
and the, again just causal, date of entry to the OEIS).

References in old (almost crusted) OEIS sequences are added
to newer papers which shed new light on their algorithms. I consider
this very legal and absolutely convincing. It indicates that even
in old sciences like mathematics progress is in some way inevitable.

pl> Thus it seems that it is not possible to draw conclusions
pl> from the timestamps on OEIS.

The conclusion is, in this case, that the sequence was inaugurated
in 2004, and that information dated from 2009 may be found in the
reference. It also demonstrates that (some) authors of sequences take
care to keep their sequences in good shape and updated.

Richard J. Mathar

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