# Where do we go from here?

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Note: This is a post from the Meta of TP.SE. Nothing has happened to PhysicsOverflow.

Looks like the union between the theoretical physics community and the stack exchange network in now dissolving. This is not to say that this sort of site cannot be useful, or is doomed to fail, but that perhaps we need to maintain our own infrastructure, and set our own rules and priorities. Our model has been all along the math overflow site, and the professional math community runs it themselves, maybe that is not an unimportant detail.

So, I'd like to gauge, in the couple of days that are left here, whether people would be interested in maintaining an independent site, to continue the experiment here. More importantly, whether someone has the will and the ability to maintain the infrastructure (I have to admit that it is beyond me). Perhaps, if this idea catches on, the interested parties can find another place to communicate after this site is dissolved.

UPDATE: discussion can continue after the site is closed, here: http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/1350/theoretical-physics

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recategorized Jun 5, 2014
I personally liked the TP.SE format.

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The format has to do with the software, which I think is open source. On the other hand, the site policy and priorities were set by the SE administrators, who might have slightly different goals than ours. Might make sense to take ownership of our own site, though of course this means work...

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@Moshe, SE doesn't license the software anymore and it is not open source. MO runs on SE servers and uses the first version of the software, MO is a very special situation as I understand. There are open-source softwares similar to SE but they are of lower quality. If you decide to move to another software my suggestion would be to check the discussion on MO meta sometime ago about possible options in case they want to upgrade/change the software, also see http://metaoptimize.com/qa, I don't remember the name of the software they use but if I remember correctly it was (is?) open-source.

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With only 2 days, continuity and simplicity likely should be your priorities. If you can keep that, you can build later. Someone trusted by your community who has their own web site could likely act as an intermediary. But if worst comes to worst, just name a respected single point of contact and have everyone interested send that person their contact information. That's the critical DNA you need to be preserving at this point, rather than trying to get all the web issues resolved. Bringing up one of these sites, open source or not, will take time, more than two days.

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Thanks. Just to clarify, this is beyond me for various reasons. Just putting this idea out to start a discussion, in the off chance that it resonates with someone both more capable and less busy than myself.

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@Kaveh, MO simply did not want to migrate on SE 2.0 http://meta.mathoverflow.net/discussion/1082 I also could suggest to read some information about SE at least in Wikipedia - I myself find some clarification there

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I am so sorry not to have been part of the discussions over the last week. I've been at a workshop and my schedule was pretty hectic. Thanks Moshe for asking this important question. If there was interest in continuing the site maybe using OSQA, I would be happy to pay for hosting etc. initially. Maybe we should look at this possibility if there is sufficient interest.

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PS I'm on flights for the next 24 hours, so won't be able to respond.

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@AlexV, it is not simply, it is more complicated, they are paying for running MO. The SEv1 model was very different from SEv2 model.

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+ 9 like - 0 dislike

As I mention in the comments above, I would be happy to set up such a site if people are interested. I don't mind paying for hosting and using one of the available Q&A systems. The only question is whether there is interest in such a move.

It would have potential advantages in being run by the physics community, rather than the more diverse interests in the stack exchange network.

If you think this is worth doing please let me know, either here or on G+ or by email.

If it is something we want to do, then my suggestion would be that I could contact various interested people (the ex mods from here, some high rep users etc.) and we could figure out what platform we wanted to go with, and how to structure such a site.

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answered May 3, 2012 by (3,575 points)
I would collaborate in that project. Yet, it would be worth to discuss with the main promoters of the [QIF.SE](http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/36039?page=2&phase=commitment&committers=userreputation#tab-top) what they prefer to do. It would be bad for physics if the quantum information community splitted.

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Perhaps this is a good opportunity for thanking Joe for proposing and running this extremely nice project!

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Please go for it folks! @JoeFitzsimons, that is a generous offer. From my vantage point it looks very much like what your community needs right now -- a focal point and continuity link. With that in place, folks can work out the software issues later without panicking. Those sound non-trivial but solvable. I would also challenge everyone to look at any new site not as a copy of SE, but as an opportunity to forge a stronger, more research-focused model that in time can sharpen itself into a new and better way to collaborate on very hard problems. I think you can update problem solving itself.

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Thanks Joe, that's great. I will also second Gil's sentiment, thanks for initiating this project.

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Juan, to use a somewhat strained analogy, SE just closed a Jazz club for not being the same as a Madonna concert, maybe chances for it supporting your string quartet are not that high. If this gets off the ground, we'd have an appropriate venue for academic discourse, which can benefit from having both physics and more general QI.

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+ 2 like - 0 dislike

http://www.aiqus.com/questions/34067/aiqus-admin-added-support-for-latex-syntax-math-formulas There are Q&A open-source mathjax alternatives. Maybe worth a try and allowing a slower but constant growth. This way you could also integrate a WIKI, Blog, Discussion board apart from the Q&A section. Would be good if someone sets up a theophysics twitter/RSS account so we can follow the progress. Also setting up a usenet/googlegroups group for the transition time to discuss a solution should be easy.

Better put those infos/links in the meta.stackoverflow thread of Piotr or on meta.physics, as this thread/site is dead tomorrow. Probably a lot of user of this site still didn't notice the shutdown

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answered May 3, 2012 by (0 points)
+ 0 like - 0 dislike

I accidentally hit on this same theme in responding to @Kaveh and @Shog9 on my question whether continuation of your TP.SE group could be possible. My quick idea was just this: Some of the thought leaders of the current TP.SE could exchange emails and form a closed, low-overhead, invitation-only group dedicated to continuing the tradition of very open exchange of oddball leading-edge physics questions. Add folks by referral and voting, to help keep cohesion and lower costs. There aren't enough forums for asking such questions, and a well-formed leading-edge question can engage, inspire, and link thoughts in ways that publishing only cannot.

The stack exchange software certainly looks open source, and that would likely be the easier part of forming a new group. Creating your community and establishing its long-term style of interaction would be the more critical part.

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answered May 3, 2012 by (110 points)

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