[seqfan] Changes to b-files and the rules
jthomae at gmail.com
Wed Nov 14 03:41:45 CET 2018
Dear SeqFan members,
After some thought and a couple of discussions with fellow EICs
(Editor in chief) I'd like to present some points of discussion for
changes to b-files and their rules.
1) Core sequences should establish the way other sequences should be presented.
2) More than 99% of the b-files encountered do not have information in
the "head" section .
3) B-files should have appealing, and generally "nice", lengths. The
most often seen lengths are 1000 terms, 2500 in some case when higher
amount of terms is time consuming, 5000 and 10000 terms. Term lengths
for triangles, for a typical triangle of anti-diagonal, follow the
pattern binomial(n+1,2) for n rows. Not-so-nice term lengths may occur
when the digit length nears 1000 decimal places sooner than a typical
length of 1000 terms.
4) B-files with information in the head section are generally
unappealing in terms of the Oeis.
5) In the rules for b-file formats (see http://oeis.org/SubmitB.html)
it is recommended to use " # " as a marker for lines with
non-numerical data. This relies on the notion that all programs/uses
of the b-file have " # " as a comment marker. This is generally not
the case. This can be seen by the various ways to comment in the
6) Head information in a submitted file can be avoided if the general
policy of "If a b-file can be made then the code used can be added".
This applies to any case where a b-file of a good length is added.
7) In most cases b-files of length 10000 terms are sufficient. Code is
typically provided for these sequences and any user of Oeis can use
those codes to produce any files necessary for their enjoyment. There
have been select sequences that have had requests for larger b-file
lengths. These requests are made by a bureaucrat and should remain so.
With these select points I'd like to propose several changes be made
to the way b-files are ruled and occasionally handled.
1) From bulletin 2 of http://oeis.org/SubmitB.html which says "Lines
beginning with # are comments lines and are ignored. Blank lines are
also ignored. " should either be removed or reduced to " Several blank
lines should appear after the last term."
2) From bulletin 9 " So that other people can verify your work, if
possible please include the program that you used to compute the
b-file. Put the program at the head of the b-file, with a # at the
start of each line (so that these lines are ignored by the graph
If your program is too long for this to be convenient, please include
it as a separate text file attached to the sequence, with a name like
a123456_Maple.txt or a234567_Py.txt. "
should be changed to " Programs should be added in the program(s)
sections which were used to compute, or verify, terms in the submitted
b-file. If your program is too long for this to be convenient, please
include it as a separate text file attached to the sequence, with a
name like a123456_Maple.txt or a234567_Py.txt. "
( There are plenty of sequences in Oeis that have codes and not
b-files. This can be seen more often when a new sequence is approved
and not having a b-file added until some time later. )
3) A bulletin should be added which reads (or near to) " B-files of
length larger than 10000 terms needs to be approved by and EIC unless
otherwise directed by an EIC or
These changes to the rules will help keep and maintain good use and a
nice appeal to b-files and their operations.
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