User talk:Bear

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Pentagon and Math

Thanks for writing such an in depth tutorial on How to Construct a pentagon!

You obviously know what you're doing, but if for any reason you need anything please feel free to drop me a message on my talk page. --Hapa 07:29, 23 June 2006 (MST) Talk

Well no, I'm floundering a little. For instance, I seem to have created a Step 0 in the construction; that's after a preliminary, unnumbered step. Right now I'm working on the proof -- I've already written it out in Word but I need to translate that into wikimarkup and LaTeX. And I seem to have made a few minor mistakes.
I do hope to complete the whole thing. Thanks for dropping in. Bear 13:45, 23 June 2006 (MST)

I checked into installing the math module. With my current hosting setup I don't have acces to compile texvc, one of the binaries used. I'll look into it further and see if I can come up with a solution that can work. It may take a while.--Hapa 09:51, 26 June 2006 (MST)

Well, you see my clever workaround. I open a page on Wikipedia and type in the math markup; then hit preview. I can click the resulting image and save it to my own hard drive without ever actually saving the page; I just preview over and over. Once I'm done and close the window on the never-created page, the little formula PNGs go to Bit Heaven on WP, but I have the whole stash to do with as I please.
In some ways this is better than math markup itself on a wiki. If somebody fiddles with markup it can be hard to track down the diff, to see exactly what was changed and when, and to figure out if the change is for good or bad. The equation-as-image is a single unit. Also, this approach lends itself to pages such as Construct a pentagon/equations and templates like {{:Construct a pentagon/eq|11}} which gives:

Anyway, the work is about done now. I have another page to write and then it's time to fill in the standard sections with references to lead the student forward from here. Then it's done. (!) Thanks for your help. Bear 03:51, 28 June 2006 (MST)

That is a very clever work around! I like it. It also frees up server processing which is my current bottleneck, along with MySQL. When OpenTutorial is slow it's usually beacuse of MySQL. I must research better hosting.--Hapa 12:20, 28 June 2006 (MST)


Your page OpenTutorial:Wikipedia is very well put together. You seem to have some insight to what policies should be for a Wiki. Your post inspired me to write an Ultimate Vision statement for OpenTutorial. I welcome any and all ideas you have for building a proper community of happy contributors.

You mention Wikipedia's lack of desire to implement a formal structure. Do you have any ideas for a formal structure for OpenTutorial?

Thanks for contributing --Hapa 12:20, 28 June 2006 (MST)

I think there is no need for formal structure in a small community. The model is the village; the headman pretty much makes all the decisions; perhaps the other elders moderate this. When a community grows beyond the village/tribe size, there's a need for formal rules and structure. But everyone is pretty happy with the old way and they tend to cling to it. Then there's a problem.
Organization appears to be a basic human drive; if you removed all other imperatives and put a thousand men in a room, they would debate the proper form of government. Never mind that (given all other imperatives removed) there is no need for government; it's the human thing to do. So when the core of a community refuses to elaborate structure, it springs up of its own accord, spearheaded mostly by newcomers. This leads to goal drift and all kinds of stupidity and unfairness. WP is in this state.
So long as OT remains small, I say keep policies short and few. Make all needed judgement calls personally and don't be afraid to assert headman status. Too much structure is as bad as too little. When and if OT grows, be prepared to share power among yourself, other authority figures, and formal written policy. Don't make the technocratic mistake of hoping that the special character of wiki interaction will somehow obviate the need for structure.
I recommend meatball:MeatballWiki for further research on this topic. Bear 09:53, 29 June 2006 (MST)


Thank you for the compliment. I am in no way a MediaWiki guru, but I can obviously get it working. I'd be happy to discuss your project with you. If you would rather not discuss on a wiki then you can email me at --Hapa 09:57, 10 July 2006 (MST)