I thought the question in the title was easy: of course the wishlist question goes against the FAQ. It's not really meta, it's actually not about the site's operation at all. However, upon re-reading the FAQ closely I don't see it that clearly anymore.

The FAQ (which seems to be still the short beta FAQ) says two things relevant here:

  • Any question relevant to our community is welcome here

  • Avoid any questions that have nothing to do with mathematica.stackexchange.com

Clearly, the wishlist is relevant to the community; the number of answers illustrates this. Given that the question's topic, Mathematica, is shared with the main site, the second condition is met too.

But we have this 'Not constructive' reason for closing, haven't we? NC Includes the following:

We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, see the FAQ for guidance.

A clear match for the wishlist question, I'd say. One problem, though: NC is not mentioned in the FAQ. It is in Stackoverflow's FAQ, but not here. I think our FAQ should include it as well, but as long as it isn't the wishlist question is IMO 'legal'.

This question is perhaps not so much about the wishlist question as it is about the FAQ. Does it need updating in this respect?

Opinions please...

  • 1
    "this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion." - that's what I had in mind when I closed it up first. There is now the suggestion of letting the thread slowly degrade for a bit before putting the blasted thing out of its misery... Sep 18, 2012 at 19:35
  • I've got a bit of a possibly meaty answer to this. Still under work, though, but just a heads up.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Sep 18, 2012 at 19:40
  • 2
    This question should be in the meta-meta-site. Voting to migrate. Sep 18, 2012 at 20:10
  • 2
    @belisarius I vote to have your name removed from your comments, for being redundant. I recognize them from a 10 mile distance, while being blindfolded, and subjected to a mild waterboarding session. Sep 18, 2012 at 20:17
  • @belisarius wow, I had no idea there was a meta site to discusses meta questions. I get lost with all these site here at SE. So many of them.
    – Nasser
    Sep 18, 2012 at 20:17
  • 1
    @NasserM.Abbasi I think meta.stackoverflow.com is the fixed point. Sep 18, 2012 at 20:23
  • @SjoerdC.deVries No need for compliments. Sep 18, 2012 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


I think the wishlist question is offtopic on both main and on meta. I also think it has devolved into one-line subject area wishes without any effort or justification. At the very least, people should explain what they are currently using for that functionality and why they would rather Mathematica be able to do it. (I mean, if R/Stata already does what you want, why not stick with it? Mathematica is great, but I'm not ever going to want to do my email with it.)

The reason I have posted this as an answer, not as a comment, is that I have an explicit alternative proposal for this outpouring of wishes: A 24-hour chat event, with the highlighted written up on the Mathematica blog. The original poster of the wishlist question is a relatively new user with little experience of SE, so I'm not going to suggest him as the author of the blog post(s). We would need to be mindful that the blog post series doesn't come across as a big whine/critique of an application that we all rather like.

(Please only upvote this post if you agree with my alternative solution, not just because you agree that the post is off-topic.)

  • 3
    I fully agree with your first paragraph, and also think that a chat event is a better way to go about this. That serves the purpose of getting people together in one place to poll what features are sorely missed (stars can serve as a crude measure of popularity), and by putting the highlights or a top 10 list on the blog, it also gives the necessary exposure to what the community needs and opens up ideas for independent developers or WRI (which is what Leonid was interested in achieving)
    – rm -rf Mod
    Sep 18, 2012 at 23:12

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