As probably many users here I am a subscriber to comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica (aka mathgroup).

A number of questions seem to pop up in more or less identical form on SE and mathgroup and I am wondering whether this should be frowned upon or not?

Edit: This may also become more frequent with the advent of http://community.wolfram.com (see e.g. https://mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/30668/131 and Looking for a way to insert multiple elements into multiple positions simultaneously in a list). Somehow checking both sources for possible duplicates seems bothersome.


tl;dr: In my opinion cross posting is fine, but it's beneficial to link the questions if possible.

(First, to get this out of the way: cross posting between different StackExchange sites (for example, posting the same question on both Mathematica.SE and StackOverflow) is strongly discouraged. This is a special situation though because there is the possibility of migration between SE sites.)

Regarding cross posting between MathGroup and Mathematica.SE:

My opinion is that there is nothing wrong with cross posting between these two sites. In fact it might have benefits, not only for the OP but also for the sites: it helps reach a larger audience, and if the questions are linked, it also helps promote Mathematica.SE. I have cross posted on several occasions.

To avoid redundancy, I think it would be preferable to link the questions: put a link in the MathGroup post to the Mathematica.SE version and put a link to the Google Groups or to the WRI MathGroup archive when the MathGroup post has passed moderation. This will avoid duplication of effort and will allow people to work together and improve on each other's solutions.

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    If I may add one point: if you do cross post, and you get an answer in one place, make sure to ping the other with a perma-link to the answer (and a summary), so that people don't work twice on answering the same problem. – tkott Apr 27 '12 at 14:52
  • It's a pity one cannot modify an already posted question in MathGroup, to include a link to SE... :) – István Zachar Apr 29 '12 at 22:59
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    @IstvánZachar But you can always send a new reply to an existing question. – becko May 22 '12 at 4:46

Advice on where to post Wolfram Cloud questions

New users of the Wolfram Language and the Wolfram Cloud may not be aware that there are at least three good places to get questions answered: Mathematica StackExchange, Wolfram Community, and Wolfram Support.

Even long time users who have some experience with one or more of these resources, may be uncertain about the best place to get a particular question answered, and may be tempted to cross-post the question.

If your question is about the Wolfram Cloud here’s some advice:

  • It would be interesting to collect some actual data on this, but simple observation of who’s posting answers suggests that the same Wolfram Cloud experts, including Wolfram employees, are watching for Wolfram Cloud questions on both the Wolfram Community and Mathematica StackExchange. If true, then cross-posting isn’t going to increase the number of potential people who might answer the question. Perhaps it’s best to first search for an answer on both sites, and then post your question on the site for which your, perhaps brief, search turned up an answer to a somewhat similar question.
  • If your question is mainly about pre-version 6 technology, that is commands that existed before the introduction of Dynamic, Manipulate, and the Demonstrations project, then StackExchange will be the better place to ask your question because this is where the experts are and the triage system here is better able to identify previously answered questions.
  • If you see a question on the Wolfram Community that’s already answered on StackExchange, then briefly summarize and link to the answer, and likewise for a StackExchange question already answered on the Wolfram Community.
  • I invite other StackExchange users to edit this answer, with the idea that it could become a go to place to point all first time users, especially given that these may increasingly be coming from the Wolfram Cloud.

Can I suggest a format for Wolfram Community cross-posts?


I see no problem with cross-posting - many hands make light work - but suggest that we label cross-posts in the question, near the top, rather than in a comment.

(If this isn't acceptable, you can revert my edit here.)

  • I guess this is a good idea, but what also interests me is the other half, i.e. would it be good to do that on the community site as well? Perhaps @Vitaliy can shed some light on the WRI angle? – Yves Klett Aug 25 '13 at 6:48
  • after informing any interested reader, there still remains the question on how to proceed - at the moment it looks a bit dominant and might repel potential answers... – Yves Klett Aug 25 '13 at 7:12
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    My feeling is that people would prefer to know whether the question already has answers before starting to answer it - just like a normal question with an existing answer on this site... Sometimes things get lost in comments. – cormullion Aug 25 '13 at 7:27
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    I personally would prefer it at the bottom of the post and perhaps in smaller font, but that's just me... a lot of times, if the OP posts a comment immediately after the post, that's also fine, I suppose. – rm -rf Aug 25 '13 at 21:20

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