[seqfan] Re: A139414

Maximilian Hasler maximilian.hasler at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 17:47:19 CET 2009

This (not seq. A139414 but the general problem) is IMO an important
and serious issue, and worth to be addressed and discussed in a
suitable manner.

For what it's worth, I have a first suggestion: how about adding more keywords,
maybe any one or more among { "fun", "digit", "recreational",
"serious", "math", "physics", "graph", ... }
or whatever : suggestions are welcome (but I think "chaff", "crap",
"great", ... might be too disputed to be useful).

I just discovered that the feature of prefixing a term by "-" (or "~"
for numbers) to /exclude/ specific search terms is already
implemented, so one might do a lookup for "1,11,111 -kw:fun"
to exclude all "fun" sequences (where I used the shortcut "kw" for
"keyword" which is yet implemented only in my dreams, as is "au:" for

Also possible : provide a checkbox for this ("-kw:fun" or (the chosen
equivalent of) "kw:serious"), next to the search window, like:

[_] check here to use OEIS in "serious" mode, where
     about half of all sequences are ignored.

I'm aware that
- it's rarely easy (or even possible) to make such a distinction in an
objective way
- it's not clear what of the above would apply to the sequence
mentioned in the subject (but as mentioned privately I don't think
that this one is likely to give "false positive" search results very

Or another keyword like e.g. "elementary", which would be somewhere
in-between "core" and "anything arbitrarily constructed"...?


PS: another idea: implement "votes" for sequences and/or authors - but
that's a little less immediate to implement.

On Tue, 2009-02-03 at 10:15 -0500, David Wilson wrote:
As a one-time contributor of chaff, I attest that there is much chaff in
> the OEIS. I have heard the argument that the OEIS is a database, and can
> therefore afford to collect some chaff, however, I hasten to add that
> the OEIS is also an academic work referenced in a great deal of
> mathematical research, and in that regard should enforce some minimal
> agreeable standard of accuracy and relevance.
> Such standards can only be enforced by a reasonably objective formal
> editorial review process. In the absence of such a process, the OEIS
> will continue to collect chaff.

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