[seqfan] Re: On editors-authors discussions

Charles Greathouse charles.greathouse at case.edu
Thu Sep 8 23:31:54 CEST 2011

> In my opinion, a  destructive discussion begins from phrases " it should be 260 characters"

That *is* pretty annoying to hear.  I'll admit, I don't often measure
the length of my own submissions -- it's a hassle.  (I do know what
260 characters looks like, though, and so far the other editors have
been lenient with my not-quite-260 submissions.)

Hopefully we can move this from an editorial function to an automatic
process -- some gentle reminder that the length is above or below the
recommended, to supplement the red warning text if the terms don't
match the format or are too few.

Of course there are many cases when supplying the 'right' number of
terms is hard or impossible, in which case it's fine to do

The other comments refer more to suitability than
constructive/destructive.  I see many sequences each day and have to
make decisions regarding them: is the sequence correct?  Interesting?
Does it use arbitrary parameters?  There are times that I see a
sequence that has a good idea but a poor execution; I wish A166746
counted n-"digit" representations rather than those below 10^n, for
example. There are times that a sequence is questionable: should it be
included? For example, is A189408 actually interesting?  And then
there are sequences that come too close to an existing sequence.
Should A141768 have been approved, given that A090659 was already in
the database?  And some sequences are just wrong, or at least don't
match the definitions used by the OEIS: A192636 comes to mind, which
Donovan Johnson was kind enough to point out to me.

(To avoid embarrassment I have used only my own sequences as examples.)

Sometimes it is necessary to reject sequences, of course.  But better
is to hone down a good idea to a polished edge.  It used to be that
most of that was done on SeqFan; it seems that now more is done in the
pink boxes, which is perhaps a shame but maybe necessary given the
sheer number of submissions.  Still, I try to increase the quality of
the OEIS with each new submission I approve -- even though not all the
changes I suggest go over well with authors.  In the long run, I think
that it's good for everyone involved: the sequences are easier to read
and search and the author gets credit for the gem of the sequence that
was hiding inside all along.

Heh, if someone had caught my mistakes, above, before they were
accepted maybe I wouldn't have to fess up to making them now.

Charles Greathouse
Case Western Reserve University

On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM, Vladimir Shevelev <shevelev at bgu.ac.il> wrote:
> I am sure that the editor-author discussion should have a constructive character, when an editor really helps to the author. In my opinion, a  destructive discussion begins from phrases " it should be 260 characters", "it is similar to a project which is not ready for OEIS", "your sequence has too many zeros," "is, really, your sequence for OEIS?", etc. Such a "help" is extremely unpleasant for the author. By the way, we know that the author should submit at least 3-4 terms (he is not always a programmer), that the number of zeros at the beginning of a sequence does not indicate whether it is interesting, that it is very nice if a scientific project is accompanied by the sending of well defined new sequences to OEIS, etc. It is very pleasant, when the submitted sequence is extended by the editor, when he discusses about the improvements of  the title, definition, comment or formula. Our joint work is very important for the further development of OEIS.
> Best regards,
> Vladimir
>  Shevelev Vladimir‎
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