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Can anyone shed any light on why Wolfram would want to create its own Community Q&A forum after witnessing the remarkable growth and success of Mathematica.SE?

Are there features that they plan on offering that cannot be provided through Mma.SE, e.g. CDF-style live evaluation of Mma code?

  • Remarkable growth and success of MMA.SE? That's nice to hear :) – Jacob Akkerboom Aug 11 '13 at 23:02
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Can anyone shed any light on why Wolfram would want to create its own Community Q&A forum after witnessing the remarkable growth and success of Mathematica.SE?

  • perhaps because the remarkable growth and success of Mathematica.SE opened their eyes to the benefits of having a dedicated online community that can serve as a poor man's "Premier support"?

  • perhaps because Wolfram Research has several other products besides Mathematica, that are either off-topic here or grossly underrepresented? For example, gridMathematica, webMathematica, Wolfram Alpha, System Modeler, etc.

  • perhaps because Mathematica is after all their flagship product and they would like an official community/channel that they have control over?

  • perhaps because there are several kinds of questions that are off-topic here or not allowed? For example, discussions/suggestions/code requests/etc.

  • perhaps because they can?

  • or perhaps it's part of the next book: "A New Kind of Community" that discusses how online communities were entirely envisioned by Stephen Wolfram and how simple site rules lead to complex user behaviour?

You seem disappointed that they created their own Q&A forum. I tend to think that competition is good and that we should embrace Wolfram Community's presence and if you can afford to participate in both places, you should.

Mathematica Stack Exchange is really good at helping people solve focused questions and the goal is to create a repository of information. The community here actively closes discussions/overly broad/open ended/gimme-da-codez/etc. questions. Wolfram Community, on the other hand, allows discussion style questions where you can discuss suggestions/feature requests for future versions or use the community as a bouncing board for ideas, etc. Several WRI employees also participate in them, which is always a good thing.

Whatever be their reason for creating it, I don't see why both sites cannot co-exist and carve out their own space in the online world.

Are there features that they plan on offering that cannot be provided through Mma.SE, e.g. CDF-style live evaluation of Mma code?

We have no way of knowing what their plans are and you should ask this on their site. However, I'm fairly certain that Online Mathematica will be integrated into Wolfram Community at some point, which will allow users to evaluate code right in their browser.

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    I like the most this item: perhaps it's part of the next book: "A New Kind of Community" that discusses how online communities were entirely envisioned by Stephen Wolfram and how simple site rules lead to complex user behaviour? – Artes Aug 5 '13 at 17:29
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    Your 'perhapses' are very insightful (though I can't comment on the last one :) ). We love MMA.SE, but as you say, there are a lot subjects and types of discussions that don't fit here, we think it's important to have an 'official' channel, and we think we'll ultimately be able to integrate our forthcoming technologies in interesting ways. Hopefully, both communities will grow and thrive based on their own strengths. – Daniel Newman Aug 6 '13 at 18:58
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    @rm -rf: Fair enough -- my concern is primarily about the potential for fragmentation. Issues like whether or not cross-posting is to be encouraged, and if so, easily facilitated, immediately jump to mind. Also, I'm not as much "disappointed" as I am hoping that the success of their site will not ultimately come at the expense of what so many have generously contributed of their time and expertise to make this SE the truly fantastic resource that it already is. – StackExchanger Aug 8 '13 at 5:43
  • @StackExchanger While fragmentation is a concern, I think in practice it might not be all that much of an issue. Most users' time here is already fragmented between mma.se and at least one other SE site. Others used to divide their time equally between mma.SE and MathGroup, and Wolfram Community will soon replace the latter. In the end, we must keep enforcing our strict quality requirements on this site so that we continue to be a fantastic resource and attract experts and beginners as well for a long time. – rm -rf Aug 8 '13 at 5:58
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    Here is the general consensus on cross-posting. In short: it is ok, but let each party know (give a link) so that no one makes an effort to answer only to find out someone else has already answered it at the other place. – rm -rf Aug 8 '13 at 6:01
  • Cross-linking seems reasonable. Perhaps a button could be created on SE that automatically posts a message to Wolfram Community containing just question title and a link back to SE (for times when the author wants to solicit feedback from both communities simultaneously). Also, a meta-search engine that could search both sites simultaneously would obviously be useful here. – StackExchanger Aug 8 '13 at 6:33
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    "Can anyone shed any light..." I think the answer is clearly @Vitaliy Kaurov. He's the responsible Wolfram contact for the new forum, and also a contributor here. It could be quite important to get his input. I was invited to join the beta test of the new forum, but I didn't see any advantage in participating there as opposed to here. I'm afraid they will get lots of questions that are duplicates of mma.SE posts. – Jens Aug 9 '13 at 4:57
  • @Jens I dimly seem to remember this was addressed by Vitaly in chat at some point, but I cannot find it right now... – Yves Klett Aug 9 '13 at 15:21
  • @YvesKlett I'm happy to answer any questions you guys have, too... feel free to ping me (or Vitaliy) in Chat or email me at dnewman@wolfram. – Daniel Newman Aug 12 '13 at 22:09
  • It seems pretty active considering it was launched recently. I counted 17 active threads within the past 24 hours vs 40 active threads here. MathGroup is down to less than 4 per day, a noticeable drop from since a few months ago. – Szabolcs Aug 28 '13 at 17:28

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