Talk:EoM:This project

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This project is based on an electronic version of the "Encyclopaedia of Mathematics", published by Kluwer Academic Publishers until 2003, and by Springer after that. The encyclopaedia goes back to the Soviet Matematicheskaya entsiklopediya (1977), originally edited by Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov.

The electronic version had its formulae written in $\rm \TeX$, which were saved as png images. On its way through the various publishers the original $\rm \TeX$ source code was lost, therefore, to edit a formula in one of these original pages requires to retype the code for that formula from scratch.

For the project, it will be of big help to transcribe the old pages. To make this easy, it was decided to use MathJax, which allows to use Plain $\rm \TeX$ or $\rm \LaTeX$ for formulae encoding.

Some help on this is given on the help pages.

The installed software and extensions for this project can be seen here: Special:Version. This collection may be updated and extended.


Discussions older than year 2020 have been moved to

Talk:EoM:This project/Archive 1


Please add comments and suggestions as a new section below.

Problems with auto-encoding

The automatic encoding process seems to badly garble pages with cases: where one would expect a left lbrace without matching right rbrace. Examples are Weibull distribution and Walsh system where there is corrupt TeX and text has gone missing. Richard Pinch (talk) 16:14, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

Yes, that's right: The markup sources the encoding is based upon are partially scrambled (exactly what you are saying, missing 'silent' right braces). However, this is a systematic error and will be fixed soon. As an example, I have just fixed the pages you mention above, but there are quite a few more, will come back to this soon.
Thanks for mentioning this, Richard. Let me know it you find more such systematic errors - I often can find+fix them easily by my bots. --Ulf Rehmann (talk) 17:59, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

The automatic encoding seems to miss out Tex in references. There are a lot of references to $K$-theory and $p$-adic numbers, for example. Richard Pinch (talk) 16:22, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

Yes, right as well: The markup sources generally do miss the $\TeX$ encoding for the references (I don't know why). This either has to be replaced by hand (or possibly by my old bot to enrich the references by MR/ZBL links, which would get the titles as encoded by MR and thereby replacing the png images by mathjax encoding - but I should find the time to adjust these bots to the new software situation). --Ulf Rehmann (talk) 17:59, 6 June 2020 (UTC)

There's also a problem with braces around sub- and superscripts. I have seen examples, such as Space over an algebra, of $x^{-1}$ being rendered as $x^{-}1$, $\sum_{j=1}$ as $\sum_{j=}1$ and so on. Richard Pinch (talk) 16:59, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

There's a stray word size in the commutative diagrams at Diagram, Spectral homology, Triple. Richard Pinch (talk) 18:36, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

A stray down 2 in the subscripts at Modular curve. Richard Pinch (talk) 18:46, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

Translation of SL for special linear group should be mathrm not mathop, as the latter produces curious results for $SL_2$ in display mode. Richard Pinch (talk) 18:46, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

It seems that when a text phrase in parentheses follows a formula, the space is in the wrong place, that is after the opening parenthesis rather than before, such as the third line of Stability of characteristic exponents. Richard Pinch (talk) 12:53, 20 June 2020 (UTC)

The ellipsis $,\ldots,$ is often rendered as $\ldots$, that is, without the commas. Richard Pinch (talk) 16:37, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

There are a few articles with a mysterious word riangle in formulae which don't seem to render properly. I think it's some form of triangle. Richard Pinch (talk) 14:22, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

I've dealt with all of these, I think. Richard Pinch (talk) 11:59, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

In Kripke models there's an unrecognised symbol $\hul$ which appears to be something to do with a version of $\leftrightharpoons$. Richard Pinch (talk) 14:23, 31 December 2020 (UTC)

The encoding bold cdot occurs in several articles: I suspect $\bullet$ is intended. Richard Pinch (talk) 18:42, 2 January 2021 (UTC)

Mysterious Young and spd at Young diagram. Richard Pinch (talk) 21:47, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

There are also stray occurrences of tilde in some places. Richard Pinch (talk) 18:22, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

An issue with stray occurrences of words like this is that it's hard to search for them. I can't find a way of searching for the word "tilde", say, that does not also return occurrences of the latex command with the preceding backslash. Richard Pinch (talk) 11:59, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Semi-automatic encoding

Please also let me know about any potential problems that occur for articles that are texified with the "semi-automatic" method. --Maximilian Janisch (talk) 16:48, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

In the article Stochastic process, generalized, the automatic texification made a few mistakes relating to parenthesized expressions in exponents: $ X ^ {(}n) $ vs. $ X ^ {(n)} $. AxelBoldt (talk) 22:03, 7 November 2021 (UTC)
This appears to be an issue with the automatic (not the semi-automatic) encoding, and I‘m afraid that it may have happened in other articles too 😅. —Maximilian Janisch (talk) 22:22, 7 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes, this is another aspect of my comment dated 16:59, 7 June 2020 a few lines above. It is unfortunately rather common. Richard Pinch (talk) 07:07, 8 November 2021 (UTC)

Just found this page, and this section seems to cover most of the problems that I've been correcting manually, see Maximilian's talk. Thanks! Liuyao (talk) 17:05, 20 January 2022 (UTC)


This is a "beautification" section.

Has there ever been a discussion on the possibility of using a favicon for the website EoM? I believe it would be beneficial to the cementation of the website, as well improve its general appearance. --Mihir Narayanan (talk) 00:23, 10 December 2020 (UTC)

Yes, but to no avail yet: See this. - Ulf Rehmann (talk) 05:18, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
I think I could make a favicon .ico file using an illusrtration software, with a design representing the phrase "E of M". Would you like me to do so? --Mihir Narayanan (talk) 00:23, 10 December 2020 (UTC)
I have added this to my list of things to do. --Maximilian Janisch (talk) 09:15, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Mathematical X vs X, mathematical

We have articles Mathematical ecology, Mathematical economics, Mathematical linguistics, Mathematical morphology, Mathematical physics, Mathematical programming, Mathematical statistics on the one hand, and Abstraction, mathematical, Crystallography, mathematical, Model, mathematical on the other. I would suggest a common style of "Mathematical X", which is the majority, moving the minority. Richard Pinch (talk) 17:48, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

A similar comment applies to Algebra, fundamental theorem of versus Fundamental theorem of calculus. The latter incidentally rather oddly redirects to Newton-Leibniz formula where the Fundamental Theorem is mentioned in a rather odd way. I would suggest a move of the former to Fundamental theorem of algebra. Richard Pinch (talk) 19:59, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Way forward?

What are the next steps for the project? Richard Pinch (talk) 16:24, 6 September 2021 (UTC)

Hi Richard, I will note that there is a small list of things that might be worth a look at here. On another note, I was busy this year with writing my master's thesis (I will presumably obtain my master's at the end of this September), so I haven't kept track of the EoM much. I hope that I'll be able to be more active again in the future, Maximilian --Maximilian Janisch (talk) 15:20, 7 September 2021 (UTC)

While acknowledging the sterling work of the few people who have been contributing over the past couple of years, I wonder whether it is time to agree that the project has come to a natural conclusion? To revive it means building up a community with a number of contributors, and, just as importantly, setting a direction for the many topics that are under- or even un-represented. If there's any interest for getting that editorial work done, possibly via some sort of meeting or workshop, I would be willing to help promote it. I believe funds might be available. Richard Pinch (talk) 13:45, 18 January 2023 (UTC)

I see that a lot of old posting have been archived. There are some questions of mine in that tranche that are still formally active, in the sense that they have never been answered, but they required either direction from members of the editorial board or a vigorous debate among the working editors, and I'm sorry to say that neither of those ever happened. That's one of the reasons why I'm rather pessimistic about the future of this project. I first raised this question a couple of years ago, and there has been no real answer.
It seems to me there are three possible routes.
1. Acknowledge that the project represents a view of mathematics at a certain set of points in time, and close it off with a minimal amount of tidying up.
2. Acknowledge that Wikipedia has, for better or worse, occupied the space the project might have occupied, and seek to merge it into Wikipedia. This would require a medium amount of effort, but there are many volunteers there.
3. Try to bring the project up to date. This would require a lot of effort, and that has to be either paid for or someone has to think of a reason why volunteers would take part (rather than on Wikipedia, say). Indeed, simply scoping out the gaps that have opened up in the past decades and drawing up a list of necessary new articles would in itself be a major project requiring effort from a group of people at a quite high level: one thinks of a conference or workshp convened by the editorial board members and others, for example. That's before anyone tries to find the resources for writing those missing articles. Perhaps the EMS might take it on as a major project. It's very far beyond what can be crowd-sourced by a handful of volunteers, however well-meaning and active.
But someone has to decide to take action, make a case and coordinate effort. Without that initiative, the project is by default choosing option (1), to close itself down more or less gracefully.

Richard Pinch (talk) 16:32, 15 October 2023 (UTC)

Get rid of Springer logo ?

Maybe one should now get rid of the prominent Springer logo, but keep only some sentence somewhere about the history ?

And also we should get rid of the cookies. Who needs cookies here ?

Chapoton (talk) 20:26, 15 March 2023 (UTC)

Cookies warnings are still there, despite some claims to the contrary. F. Chapoton (talk) 09:50, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

MSC template link is broken ✅

The first link in the MSC template is currently broken. See for example on top of Arithmetic number. It should probably be removed, keeping only the MathSciNet and ZentralBlatt links.

I would like to add an OEIS template linking to (done ✅)

F. Chapoton (talk) 09:29, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

And for course, it should be MSC2020, not MSC2010. F. Chapoton (talk) 08:33, 17 March 2023 (UTC) ✅
And the MSN and ZBL templates themselves are sometimes called with several codes, which leads nowhere. F. Chapoton (talk) 13:37, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
And the broken MSC link now points to a borked website, with spam. F. Chapoton (talk) 16:51, 13 August 2023 (UTC)
The MSN templates have been fixed now. Please report any issues. F. Chapoton (talk) 09:51, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

"How to cite" link should use https

At the bottom of every page, it still uses "http".

F. Chapoton (talk) 09:29, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

I have no idea where this is configured. This does not seem to be a template. F. Chapoton (talk) 09:48, 29 March 2023 (UTC)

For a random example, see Jet. F. Chapoton (talk) 10:19, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

Zbl is now free ✅

So we should change the little padlock icon besides the ZBL link in the ZBL template.

F. Chapoton (talk) 10:03, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

Unless the padlock icon means an exterior link ? F. Chapoton (talk) 14:30, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

I see that the padlock is for https links, so nothing to change after all. F. Chapoton (talk) 07:35, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

The DOI template should use https ✅

Because this is now the standard way to go.

F. Chapoton (talk) 08:13, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

Done, fixed. F. Chapoton (talk) 09:46, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

Get rid of empty comment sections

How can one find the list of articles containing an empty comment section ? How to get rid of them in some automatic way ?

Where can I find documentation on the API for the encyclopedia ?

F. Chapoton (talk) 13:06, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

ISBN template

We may like to have an IBSN template, as this appears in some references. But what should it link to ?

F. Chapoton (talk) 14:29, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

We could link to wikipedia tool for ISBN, namely "". F. Chapoton (talk) 09:05, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
The ISBN template doesn't currently exist, so using it means that the ISBN is no longer visible. At present, then, trying to use it is a step backwards. Richard Pinch (talk) 08:34, 28 August 2023 (UTC)
Hopefully, it will exists very soon. I am waiting for somebody to come back from holidays and give me the rights to create templates. F. Chapoton (talk) 08:39, 28 August 2023 (UTC)

The ISBN template has now been filled in a minimal way, just displaying the data. If we like, we can make it a link to something. Any preference or opinion ? F. Chapoton (talk) 09:43, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

We could also link to the page . F. Chapoton (talk) 19:46, 27 October 2023 (UTC)

One should now proceed with au automated search-and-remplace to apply the ISBN template in all possible places. F. Chapoton (talk) 08:12, 4 November 2023 (UTC)

Uploading images

When uploading images, one has no choice for the licence. This should be fixed. F. Chapoton (talk) 15:51, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

And I do not mean that there is only one choice. The list to choose among is **empty**. F. Chapoton (talk) 13:41, 1 May 2023 (UTC)

convert html letters to unicode

We should perform a mass replacement of things like "ü" bu "ü" and "è" by "è", etc.

Also we should format the references tables for human source-code reading.

F. Chapoton (talk) 09:03, 19 March 2023 (UTC)

and maybe more importantly, the same for converting > to ">" in latex code. F. Chapoton (talk) 09:03, 10 November 2023 (UTC)

allow STL files for 3D surface plots

As this would be very convenient, for example to illustrate Enneper surface.

This is possible and used on wikipedia.

F. Chapoton (talk) 18:18, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

This would also be useful for Parallelohedron. F. Chapoton (talk) 19:26, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

mediawiki update please

We should upgrade the version of mediawiki. In particular, to benefit of better math fonts in the svg files.

F. Chapoton (talk) 13:35, 1 May 2023 (UTC)

And now it seems that we have lost the possibility to "search-and-replace" when editing pages. F. Chapoton (talk) 13:07, 23 February 2024 (UTC)

OldImage template created

I have made a minimal {{OldImage}} template, that could be enhanced.

See Template:OldImage and pages linked to the template.

F. Chapoton (talk) 10:12, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

Allowed outer links

Maybe somebody should refresh the list of allowed external links. My recent changes to templates seem to trigger the captchas when editing every single page. F. Chapoton (talk) 11:45, 12 October 2023 (UTC)

In particular, please allow the external links to OEIS, as in the OEIS template. F. Chapoton (talk) 07:28, 7 November 2023 (UTC)
and the same for the DOI template, please ! F. Chapoton (talk) 09:27, 10 November 2023 (UTC)
Even the MR link is problematic, so please take action! F. Chapoton (talk) 08:28, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

using a better search engine

Maybe we could install the CirrusSearch extension ? It offers better search capabilities and in particular case-sensitive search.

F. Chapoton (talk) 08:55, 23 November 2023 (UTC)

How to Cite This Entry:
EoM:This project. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: