[developers] [Matrix-dev] poll: stack exchange?

Ann Copestake aac10 at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Jul 21 22:08:49 CEST 2017

Hi Olga,

It's a very good point to raise.  I am sure that something like this 
would help with new users.  I had an interesting conversation at CLIN 
with someone who had used the LKB for a project (undergrad, I think).  
He was completely sure that, for his peers, we needed to use something 
like stackexchange rather than mailing lists.  He actually said that 
he'd assumed that DELPH-IN was dead, based on our lack of use of modern 
interactive technology (don't shoot the messenger ...)

I don't think the linguist/non-linguist distinction is so clear that a 
forum should be set up specifically for `grammar engineering' though.  
For instance, there are people trying to use the ERG/Redwoods for 
various machine learning and NN things right now.   So somewhere where 
people could also ask questions about details of ERS or the best 
configuration of ACE or how to get things out of Redwoods/Wikiwoods etc 
etc would be helpful.

I think the requirement for 60 people for stackexchange is sensible - I 
can't see it working without that number.  If some such forum did take 
off, and we got more traffic than developers, then personally I'd 
probably use an email filter to avoid my normal inbox getting even more 
cluttered than it is now.

stackexchange works best when people can ask rather specific questions, 
I feel, so I don't think we should broaden to all computational 
linguistics or all parsing.  But possibly there's something other than 
stackexchange we should consider.

All best,


On 21/07/2017 20:39, Emily M. Bender wrote:
> From my perspective I'd only want to move off of our own mailing lists 
> (which I see
> in my inbox) to some external service if I could get notifications 
> from that service
> that were high precision/high recall for questions that I really 
> should be replying to.
> IOW, I don't want to subscribe to a "linguistics" tag just to be able 
> to catch the 0.01%
> of it that would be questions about the Matrix (let alone "nlp" where 
> it would be more
> like 0.00000000000001%).
> Emily
> On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:36 PM, Michael Wayne Goodman 
> <goodmami at uw.edu <mailto:goodmami at uw.edu>> wrote:
>     Hi Olga,
>     I think a similar idea was brought up at Stanford last year,
>     partially as a way to make what we're doing more visible and to
>     lower some barriers for asking questions.
>     But a separate stackexchange forum might not be the best path
>     forward as it's too narrow a topic. People have asked questions
>     about HPSG on StackOverflow, and you could create an [hpsg] tag if
>     you have 1500+ reputation points, but they have to be used in at
>     least 1 question every 6 months or they get removed.
>     Alternatively, we could reuse other tags, like [nlp], [grammar],
>     or [linguistics].
>     There's also a linguistics forum in beta:
>     https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/
>     <https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/>. Its stats
>     (https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6673/linguistics
>     <https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6673/linguistics>)
>     show that it's doing ok, but it needs more questions per day, so
>     if we join up with that forum we can both benefit.
>     What do you think?
>     On Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 12:03 PM, Olga Zamaraeva <olzama at uw.edu
>     <mailto:olzama at uw.edu>> wrote:
>         I was curious how many people on these lists would be
>         interested in participating in a stack exchange site (like
>         stackoverflow, tex-exchange, math-exchange etc), as an
>         alternative/supplement to this mailing list?
>         The site would house questions about grammar engineering with
>         HPSG, I imagine, particularly using the Grammar Matrix.
>         These sites both promote quality question/answering and
>         provide a very convenient way to look up things which had
>         already been answered/discussed.
>         I created a proposal for such a site on stackexchange.com
>         <http://stackexchange.com> but I suspect we won't have enough
>         users? They want 60 users or something like that, to send the
>         proposal "live".
>         In any case, here's the proposal, if you think it is a good
>         idea and would like to follow.
>         https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/111508/grammar-engineering
>         <https://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/111508/grammar-engineering>
>         Alternatively, if you think it is a bad idea, also let me know!
>         Thank you,
>         Olga
>         _______________________________________________
>         Matrix-dev mailing list
>         Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu <mailto:Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu>
>         http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev
>         <http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev>
>     -- 
>     Michael Wayne Goodman
>     Ph.D. Candidate, UW Linguistics
>     _______________________________________________
>     Matrix-dev mailing list
>     Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu <mailto:Matrix-dev at u.washington.edu>
>     http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev
>     <http://mailman13.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/matrix-dev>
> -- 
> Emily M. Bender
> Professor, Department of Linguistics
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