• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


PO is now at the Physics Department of Bielefeld University!

New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

205 submissions , 163 unreviewed
5,047 questions , 2,200 unanswered
5,345 answers , 22,709 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
816 active unimported users
More ...

  some comparisons with stackexchange software from a heavy stackexchange user

+ 4 like - 0 dislike

misc observations/ suggestions based on a lot of use of stackexchange

  • it is not clear how "reply" differs from "comment" buttons on the Q/A. do these cause the same action? this is confusing if so and suggest the button be changed to the same word.
  • there seems to be no way to keep track of reponses to ones posts eg answers, comments etc as with stackexchange software, their on-site notification mechanism, other than email. is that correct? if so its a real disadvantage and impediment to higher activity on the site. on stackexchange, probably a lot of activity is based on response to other activity & notifications.
  • the site needs a FAQ or overview that describes the different sections and it would also be helpful to describe how it differs from stackexchange software
  • the search is not so clear about what section it is searching. is it searching the meta section if meta was last clicked on? unlike stackexchange, the sections are so similar-looking and (unlike stackexchange) there is little UI cue that one is in different sections.
asked Jan 15, 2015 in Feature Request by vzn (80 points) [ revision history ]

1 Answer

+ 1 like - 0 dislike

Thanks for the feedback:

  • "Reply" is indeed the same as "Comment". This is so because the original Q2A software notified users for all comments on the same thread. This was perceived as spammy, and thus disabled. @polarkernel Would it be possible for the "reply" button to add an @UserName command into the new comment being typed?
  • There are on-site notifications, you get a little yellow icon next to your username when you have a notification. See this FAQ section to debug it if you don't see such notifications if there should be.
  • There is an FAQ, see here. There is also a section on the main differences from the SE software, see this.
  • It searches the entire site. There is a feature request to be able to restrict the part of the site it searches, it will eventually be implemented. As we have a very small system development team (comprised of exactly 1 person, PolarKernel), this will take time, unfortunately.
answered Jan 16, 2015 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ no revision ]
@vzn Unfortunately, the proposition of @dimension10 to automatically insert an @UserName command into the comment when you push the reply button is not realizable. On every page sent to your browser, all the fields for the comment editor (for the question and/or the answers) are already included, but hidden. If you push on a comment button, one of these fields is only toggled to be visible. This increases speed because it is not required to send another page.

You are right, the reply buttons under the comments are confusing. After having discussed this issue with dimension10, I have removed them now.
thx for making quick cosmetic changes to improve the interface :)

seem to have not gotten any notifications yet but seems should have and not sure why, may look into it further re/ wrt all the glitches reported with it. the FAQ mentions chat but that link is 404. "There will also be a chat room, soon. The chat room is intended for issues that need a quick reply."

it does not seem to describe the current "chat section" in the interface. think the use of the word "chat" here for the q/a format is a bit confusing. some other term?

strangely, editing this comment causes it to lose line breaks when opened the 2nd time in the editor. some glitch.

re notifications if any comments are added on the thread. suggest that be user-configurable feature. some users might like more notifications than others and it can be turned "lower" by default if perceived as "spammy" but with easily apparent option to increase it. it can also help with activity on the site (saw that other meta question on this) if users who like a lot of notifications use them to continue threads.

Your answer

Please use answers only to (at least partly) answer questions. To comment, discuss, or ask for clarification, leave a comment instead.
To mask links under text, please type your text, highlight it, and click the "link" button. You can then enter your link URL.
Please consult the FAQ for as to how to format your post.
This is the answer box; if you want to write a comment instead, please use the 'add comment' button.
Live preview (may slow down editor)   Preview
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
Anti-spam verification:
If you are a human please identify the position of the character covered by the symbol $\varnothing$ in the following word:
Then drag the red bullet below over the corresponding character of our banner. When you drop it there, the bullet changes to green (on slow internet connections after a few seconds).
Please complete the anti-spam verification

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights