[seqfan] editing question

Douglas McNeil mcneil at hku.hk
Tue May 11 08:21:33 CEST 2010

(1) What's the policy on long lists in comments?  For example (abbreviated):

%S A176983 2,5,7,13,17,37,47,67,73,103,137,163,167,193,233,281,293,313,317,347,
%T A176983 373,389,421,439,461,463,487,499,503,547
%N A176983 Primes p such that smallest prime q > p^2 is of form q = p^2+n^2.
%C A176983 Fermat's theorem asserts that an odd prime q can be
expressed (uniquely) as sum of two squares:
%C A176983 q = p^2 + n^2 with integers p and n if and only if q is
congruent to 1 (mod 4), i.e. Pythagorean primes
%C A176983 Square of each prime p is congruent to 1 (mod 4) as p = 4 *
k + 1 or p = 4 * k + 3
%C A176983 List of p^2+n^2=q
%C A176983 2^2+1^2=5, 5^2+2^2=29, 7^2+2^2=53, 13^2+2^2=173, 17^2+2^2=293,
%C A176983 37^2+2^2=1373, 47^2+2^2=2213, 67^2+2^2=4493, 73^2+2^2=5333,
%C A176983 137^2+2^2=18773, 163^2+2^2=26573, 167^2+2^2=27893,
193^2+2^2=37253, 233^2 +2^2=54293,
%C A176983 281^2+4^2=78977, 293^2 +2^2=85853, 313^2 +2^2=97973, 317^2
+2^2=100493, 347^2 +2^2=120413,
%C A176983 373^2 +2^2=139133, 389^2+4^2=151337, 421^2+4^2=177257,
439^2+4^2=192737, 461^2+6^2=212557,
%C A176983 463^2+2^2=214373, 487^2+2^2=237173, 499^2+4^2=249017,
503^2+2^2=253013, 547^2+2^2=299213
%e A176983 2^2+1^2=5=prime(3), 2=prime(1) is 1st term, trivially the
only with n=1
%e A176983 281^2+4^2=78977=prime(7744), 281=prime(60) is (4^2)th term,
first with n=4
%e A176983 461^2+6^2=212557=prime(19013), 461=prime(89) is (5^2)th
term, first with n=6

There are several terms missing and I was going to add them (and
correct the indices in the examples), but then I realized for
consistency I'd have to add the decompositions to the list, and I
don't see the point of the list in the first place.

If a sequence is hard, and the specifics involved in generating a term
are hard to reproduce that's one thing; if the sequence is short and
finite and so you can say everything there is to say with such a list,
maybe that's another.  But when it takes more time to type in the
one-liner which will reproduce it than it does to execute it, I don't
really get it.  But I don't like to remove someone else's work unless
it's manifestly wrong.

(2) Is there any interest in combining the handful of OEIS classic
documents and folk wisdom of the mailing list into an informal style
guide?  No guide could cover all cases, and there are always reasons
to break standards (practicality beats purity, as they say), but a
reference could be helpful.

See two recent independent threads on concatenation, about the meaning
of, and ways to spell..


Department of Earth Sciences
University of Hong Kong

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