I am a user of AceGen/AceFEM packages and currently there is no place where I could ask questions about them. I think there are some other users around and recently there was even a conference partially dedicated to the packages. So I thought it would be nice, if I could help forming a new community.

Can we get tags ("AceGen" and/or "AceFEM") here on M.SE and encourage other users of packages to use this site for Q/A? I have read the guidelines regarding commercial packages and I think my idea fits it.

Disclaimer: I am not the author of the packages and I don't work for him, but I am friends with some of his PhD students.

  • Tags can be added after there are enough Q&A's to justify them. Are you aware of a number of users of this commercial package who are interested in participating here? If so they should know they are welcome. However they will need to essentially form a sub-community with enough experienced users to actually support this idea, since most of the members of our community will be unable to contribute. – Mr.Wizard Mar 10 '17 at 13:21
  • Although I am not suggesting that a separate Stack Exchange site is the solution I think you might find it interesting to look at the process of area51.stackexchange.com that is used to determine if communities are viable. – Mr.Wizard Mar 10 '17 at 13:23
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    rent, lease, modify, translate, reverse engineer or create derivative works based on evaluation version Questions besides usages could involve extending, slightly modifying, or simply looking at the source code. It is unlikely to get an answer on an unofficial Q&A platform in this case, because people may not want to violate the terms publicly. Then you will have to contact the authors. – vapor Mar 10 '17 at 14:17
  • @Mr.Wizard I see your point. I know about some experienced users interested in participating, but I am not sure if they are enough to create a lively community. I could contact the author of the packages and spread the word about the idea around academic communities. If I get enough committed people, should we then just start asking questions and answering them to create the momentum and justify new tags? – Pinti Mar 11 '17 at 9:41
  • @happyfish Thank you, I haven't thought about this. I should contact the author of the package and invite him to join the site. – Pinti Mar 11 '17 at 9:48
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    User @happyfish is worried about violating the terms of software. In what way is this any different to the terms of using Mathematica itself? Have you read the Mma terms and conditions? Do those terms and conditions genuinely prevent you from asking or answering questions about Mathematica on mma.SE???? – wolfies Mar 11 '17 at 17:14
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    @Pinti Yes, if you get people together the first thing you should do is post and answer perhaps half a dozen good questions between you to get things started off well, and you can tag them at that time. A single lonesome question with a unique tag doesn't really serve anyone, IMHO. – Mr.Wizard Mar 12 '17 at 1:30
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    @wolfies Unfortunately(?) there are a lot of selectively enforced laws in this world and I think this might be one case. I think however there is also a large body of fair use precedent that might work in opposition to the license and in support of noncommercial use. The weird thing is that while the members of our community are non-profit Stack Exchange is not, so they (SE staff) could probably not officially post the things we do without technically violating the license. Only a lawyer could figure all this out. – Mr.Wizard Mar 12 '17 at 1:33
  • @wolfies Yes I did read the terms of Mathematica. decompiling, disassembling, or reverse engineering the Software; This is from Mathematica license agreement. Have you seen any one done such on SE? I raised this point after checking the package. It is written in Wolfram Language, with poor protections. But since it is protected, it is called "reverse-engeering" to decode and see it. People could modify it easily like those .m packages in Mathematica, while in Mathematica, you can view them by simply opening them with a text editor, which should not be considered "reverse-engeering". – vapor Mar 12 '17 at 3:54
  • @wolfies besides, other potential violation of terms (of Mathematica) should not be a reason of ignoring another similar terms (of this package) and make it legit. Although it is unlikely to be accused by doing either, my point is to respect the author and ask them for permission before doing so, instead of preventing this QA site/section to be established. – vapor Mar 12 '17 at 4:00
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    @Mr.Wizard I had a meeting with the author of AceFEM package and he agrees with asking questions about it on M.SE. Also, many experienced users have confirmed that they support this idea and they are willing to contribute questions and answers. – Pinti Mar 30 '17 at 9:15
  • @Pinti Sounds great! On behalf of the community I extend them a welcome. Please try to get off to a good start by having these users collaborate on some good Q&A's that are representative and perhaps serve to introduce the package to the community at large. Let me know when this is done and I will apply the desired tag. The users should decide if that tag should be acegen, acefem, acegen-acefem, or something else. – Mr.Wizard Mar 30 '17 at 23:31
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    @Mr.Wizard Is it possible to request the ace-fem be made a synonym ot acegen? See my answer below. Thx. – Michael E2 May 24 '17 at 17:08

If you look at the tags button, you will see that there is a packages tag with definition:

self-contained bundles of Mathematica code that add new functions and other functionality.

Accordingly, such questions are supposed to be welcome here. Unfortunately, there do appear to be some users who seem to feel threatened by either not having the software, or not being familiar with the package etc. To me, this is somewhat unreasonable: Mathematica itself has become so vast and so comprehensive that I gave up trying to master every aspect of it many versions ago, and am quite content and delighted to limit myself to the thousands of functions that are useful and interesting to me - but not all of them. And if there are extra packages out there that extend that functionality further, well they fall into the same scope: either they are of interest to what I do or want to do, or they are not.

The issue of new tags for packages has been raised by others interested in the same, who have also seen the need for adding tags for packages ... see, for instance: Tags for third-party packages


Since tags are for grouping together related things, I think there should be just one main tag and that should be a synonym of . The need for subdivisions will become apparent when and if the number of questions grows large enough and there are large, distinct subgroups within the collection of tagged questions.

For instance, almost all questions are also tagged . The FEM tag could be used in conjunction with to distinguish them.

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    I agree about joining the tags. Technically AceFEM and AceGen packages can be used independently, but I think that majority uses them together. It may be also confusing for beginners to understand which tag is more appropriate. I am not sure if I have enough reputation to do that myself, but I vote for merging all questions under ace-fem tag. – Pinti May 24 '17 at 6:44
  • @Pinti I can't suggest a synonym either. (I need a "score of 5" or more in the tag. I don't know if that's 5 upvotes or 5 rep points. I probably have a zero in any case, since I don't have access to the package.) – Michael E2 May 24 '17 at 16:54
  • Then probably only the moderators have the power to do this? How can I get their attention about this proposal? – Pinti May 24 '17 at 17:05
  • Mr.Wizard commented on the original post. We could reply to him.... – Michael E2 May 24 '17 at 17:07
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    @Pinti and Michael, I've synonymized acegen and ace-fem, with acegen as the primary tag. – J. M.'s ennui May 25 '17 at 17:10

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