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Biweekly links for 04/06/2009

by Michael Nielsen on April 6, 2009
  • Tricki available for viewing « Gowers’s Weblog
  • The Tricki
    • “The main body of the Tricki will be a (large, if all goes according to plan) collection of articles about methods for solving mathematical problems. These will be everything from very general problem-solving tips such as, “If you can’t solve the problem, then try to invent an easier problem that sheds light on it,” to much more specific advice such as, “If you want to solve a linear differential equation, you can convert it into a polynomial equation by taking the Fourier transform.””
  • Wikipedia:Unusual articles
    • Articles about February 30, Manhattenhenge, the Voynich manuscript, and many others.
  • Factoring Again: No Joking « Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP
    • Richard Lipton reviews some of the reasons to think that the factoring problem may be computationally easy.
  • A near fork of Linux (September, 1998)
    • A discussion on the Linux kernel mailing list, September 1998.

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One Comment
  1. fantastic permalink

    Interesting share on Linux; I guess this is the downside of “crowdsourcing”, it’s like American Idol out there, especially to a project like Linux, everybody wants to contribute and be a rock star (kernel developers think they are the coolest). Torvalds’ name was mentioned in movie Swordfish after all.

    But Linus is clearly overwhelmed by patch requests. I thought the new Git system was supposed to alleviate some of this burden… anyway, some parts of the code must be too central even for a Git based system.

    The dynamic is most interesting; Linus says “if you can do a better job, go do it”, but others do not want that actually, they want both to contribute, be noticed and vent their frustration when this does not happen – at the same time.

    With a project open at this degree, quality will be an issue, but the filtering of bad stuff should also be done by crowds themselves. For Linux project, it seems, contribution is scaled, but the filtering process is not.

    There are certainly areas that can be improved on current OSS model. We just don’t know these “social innovations” yet.

    Or, it is perfect, just “hot” projects cause strain on the central maintainer.

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