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Book Page Structure and Style Guide

I'm sure book pages are not anyone's first priority on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ (with good reason), but I was preparing to go through some of the pages which list the books I have been studying as references and made a couple corrections of the corresponding book pages. I am hoping to find some guidance as to what a complete book page looks like along the lines of Help:Page Structure. Specifically,

  • idiosyncratic notation
Use $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ notation, and add idiosyncratic notation in an "also denoted as" or "also presented as" or "also defined as" subsection --prime mover (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
  • idiosyncratic definitions and theorems
same --prime mover (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
  • links to reviews
  • presence in lists such as the MAA Basic Library List
  • Historical context
use a "historical note" section

and etc... I was also wondering:

  1. Is there a preferred style for ToC formatting, or should the style of the book be followed?
follow the style of the book --prime mover (talk)
  1. What is considered a 'notable' enough change to require adding an additional book page? For example, there is a page for each edition of Patrick Suppes' Axiomatic Set Theory, but not a page for the 20th Anniversary Edition of Hofstadter's Gödel Escher Bach. Both are relatively minor changes (Suppes added a very brief additional preface, corrected typos, and added appended a page long 'section' essentially stating that the axiom of choice and generalized continuum hypothesis had been proven to be independent of ZF since initial publication. (I have not seen any mention of a notability criterion for this wiki but don't believe it is desirable to have nearly duplicate pages for every printing of a book. I could also see the wisdom of an ambiguous policy trusting the judgment of editors though.)
we can only paste up the book contents if we have the book to hand. Can't do it for a book we can't see. --prime mover (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
  1. Aside from tables of contents, is there other information which would be considered fair use that might be useful in a book page (such as bibliography, table of illustrations, index, etc...)?
nope --prime mover (talk)
  1. Why are page numbers not generally included?
because different printings of the same book may have different pagination. We do not want the tedious nauseum of having to document every single printing as well as every single edition. --prime mover (talk)
  1. How much context about the book is desirable to include on a book page? Should it be mentioned whenever another source mentions it?
if you can find such a mention then feel free to document it in the style of how it's already been done --prime mover (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

In regards to the "strictly linear ordering of a subset of the site which corresponds to the path through those works":

  1. Is it generally good practice to include a link to the first page in this ordering?
Yes, see examples of what's already been done --prime mover (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
  1. Would each chapter title link to the first page in this ordering with information from the chapter in a less incomplete $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$?
rather not, it's too much work --prime mover (talk)

Nekomusumeninaritai (talk) 03:32, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to answer this. It was difficult to tell what was not included because it is not in the scope of the project and what wasn't included because no one had gotten around to adding it, so it the response was quite helpful.Nekomusumeninaritai (talk) 17:25, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

Treating Long Proofs

On this page is a 1-genus case of Ringel-Youngs theorem and it would make sense to create a page dedicated to the said theorem. However, the proof is quite long and spans over a number of articles over time, totaling to around 100 pages. What should I do in that case? Should I provide an outline of the proof along with the references? Or do something else entirely? --Stixme (talk) 03:39, 22 January 2018 (EST)

Outline of proof to start with. What we would hope to do would be to break it into conceptual sections. Each of the subproofs would be given its own page, and that page would be linked to from the main proof page.
We haven't done any seriously long proofs. If you want a model to copy, the biggest so far (that I can remember off the top of my head) is probably the Poincaré Conjecture, which (to a certain extent) is still at the outline stage. --prime mover (talk) 08:45, 22 January 2018 (EST)

[Answered] Eqn template

Just a note.

The delimiter $|$ doesn't seem to be valid in the eqn template, so I used \vert instead, but this behaves pretty weirdly, e.g.

\(\ds \) \(\le\) \(\ds \left\vert { a_{m+1} } \right\vert + \left\vert { a_{m+2} } \right\vert + \cdots + \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert\) Triangle Inequality

is fine, but

\(\ds \) \(\le\) \(\ds \left\vert {a_{m+1} } \right\vert + \left\vert {a_{m+2} } \right\vert + \cdots + \left\vert {a_n} \right\vert\) Triangle Inequality

is not.

Argh, also this:

\(\ds \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^s } } \right\vert\) \(=\) \(\ds \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^\sigma }\)


o=\leq r= \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^{\sigma_0} }


o= = r= \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^{s_0} } } \right\vert

can't make it work at all. Linus44

Placing two }'s side-by-side will prematurely close {{eqn}} template. This has been a topic of discussion on the main page ... we're still looking for a fix. --Joe (talk) 15:23, 15 February 2011 (CST)
Ok, thanks Linus44 15:30, 15 February 2011 (CST)
You missed some closing braces
\(\ds \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^s } } \right\vert\) \(=\) \(\ds \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^\sigma }\)
\(\ds \) \(\leq\) \(\ds \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^{\sigma_0} }\)
\(\ds \) \(=\) \(\ds \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^{s_0} } } \right\vert\)

{{eqn|l= \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^s } } \right\vert
     |o= =
     |r= \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^\sigma }
     |r= \frac{ \left\vert { a_n } \right\vert }{ n^{\sigma_0} }
}} <------------------------------------------------------------------ here
     |o= =
     |r= \left\vert { \frac{a_n}{ n^{s_0} } } \right\vert
}} <------------------------------------------------------------------ and here

--Joe (talk) 15:32, 15 February 2011 (CST)

I tried 4 times to add the same reply but I kept getting a midair collision. Stroll on. --prime mover 15:35, 15 February 2011 (CST)

How do you post something on a discussion page?

How do you post something on a discussion page? --1is0? May 4, 2013

By pressing the link at the top of the page that says "Discussion". If it's blue, it means there's already such a page, to which you are welcome to add material. If it's red, then the page does not yet exist because nobody has posted anything to it yet. Your contribution will then be the first on that page. --prime mover (talk) 22:58, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Does the site have a standard quantifier convention?

For unbounded quantification, I've seen <math>\forall x:\forall y:\exists a :(\dots)</math> when I would have written simply <math>\forall x\forall y\exists a(\dots)</math>

For bounded quantification, I've seen something similar (use of colons). However, I would simply write the quantification without the colons. --Robertbiggs34 (talk) 19:26, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Also, when using bounded quantification and using the same quantifier over the same set (i.e. <math> \forall x\in \R \,\forall y\in\R</math>) do we shorten this to <math>\forall x,y\in\R</math> or <math>\forall x.y\in\R</math>? --Robertbiggs34 (talk) 19:30, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

We use commas. I am not the style master here, so I can't answer the rest too well. I don't think colons should be needed between quantifiers, at least for unbounded quantification, but Prime.mover would be the one to answer definitively. --Dfeuer (talk) 19:33, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
$\forall x: \forall y: \exists a : \left({\ldots}\right)$ is the convention, consistent with colon meaning (loosely) "such that".
It's also $\forall x, y \in \R$ which is consistent with comma being used to separate entities in a list. I've never seen a dot used in this context, it looks perverse to me.
What we don't sanction is the use of a comma to mean "such that", so when we see $\forall x \in S, P \left({x}\right)$ we immediately change it to $\forall x \in S: P \left({x}\right)$, and so on.
Commas are probably the most ill-used punctuation mark in natural language as well as mathematics, so it's something we're used to.
Incidentally, please use dollar-sign delimiters instead of <math> because the latter are not fully supported by MathJax (and dollars are more compact and quicker to type than the alternatives). --prime mover (talk) 19:42, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Vector Space Axioms is a good illustration of PW style. --GFauxPas (talk) 20:12, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Hello, new user here. Are there preferences concerning the use of formalized quantifiers or natural language? --Xario (talk) 07:02, 12 December 2018 (EST)

Formalized quantifiers are best, unless what you are building looks highly confusing. --prime mover (talk) 07:59, 12 December 2018 (EST)
Got it, thx. --Xario (talk) 11:16, 12 December 2018 (EST)

Is it possible to download your definitions as a data file?

There are a lot of technical definitions here that would be great for inclusion (with attribution, of course) in the multilingual dictionary at Is there any way to siphon them in one go?

Interesting and ambitious concept. There is an "Export Pages" tool which lives under Special pages (see LH menu). It compromises the capabilities of anyone else to use the database while it's happening though, because of the load on the application, so try not to do this often. --prime mover (talk) 13:01, 27 September 2016 (EDT)
Thanks. I tried with the top level for the Definitions category, and got back a beautiful xml page that will be a snap to parse. However, there are a ton of sub-categories and sub-subs and sub-sub-subs, which are not captured in the top level export. By my count, there are close to 750 definition categories (many with only one member) - downloading them one at a time would be a mission. Might there be a way to consolidate the task?
I would happily run this at 6am Europe/ 9pm Pacific. In my experience with web traffic, that's when the web's circadian rhythms hit bottom.
We used to do a daily xml dump of the whole site. I can re-enable it if it would help. You should be able to just fetch it and parse out the definitions. --Joe (talk)
That would be great. Please let me know the whens and wheres, and I'll do a one-time fetch. Maybe come back about once a year to see what's new, but this certainly won't be something we are running daily. --Malangali (talk) 03:33, 30 September 2016 (EDT)
You can get the latest dump here. Let me know if it suits your needs. --Joe (talk) 16:38, 3 October 2016 (EDT)
That's fantastic. I've downloaded the dump, read through it, and know how we'll parse it. Now putting it into the workflow queue... Many thanks! Malangali (talk) 11:19, 5 October 2016 (EDT)

Floor function theorem

How to prove that the amount of integers between $1,\ldots,n$ which are divided by $1\le k\le n$ is $\left\lfloor\dfrac{n}{k}\right\rfloor$ ? Simcha Waldman (talk) 08:59, 6 September 2017 (EDT)

At $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$ we do not currently provide personal assistance, but there are some other things you can do:
  1. Create a page for the theorem, and leave the proof for someone else to fill in (which may take some time). Be sure to choose a good name. I suggest Amount of Multiples of Number less than Number in terms of Floor Function, but you can choose.
  2. Ask your question on a Q&A forum (which is not related to $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$) or see if it's already answered there.
We are in the process of writing detailed instructions for how to request a proof. --barto (talk) 09:41, 6 September 2017 (EDT)
I don't understand the question. Do you mean this? Pigeonhole Principle --prime mover (talk) 12:34, 6 September 2017 (EDT)

Book page style

I was going to add the contents for a book on group theory I'm reading, the formatting for different books varies quite a bit e.g. Book:David_Joyner/Adventures_in_Group_Theory, Book:P.M._Cohn/Algebra/Volume_1/Second_Edition, Book:Gilbert_A._Bliss/Lectures_on_the_Calculus_of_Variations. Is there an established format for new additions? --Linus44 (talk) 06:21, 24 June 2018 (EDT)

As it appears in the contents list of the book in question, basically. I used to generate the contents in full detail, but as I no longer have a scanner that performs efficiently, I have to type the damn things in, and so I am currently entering just the main chapter headings rather than trying to include the full reproduction of the contents lists as they appear. --prime mover (talk) 10:22, 24 June 2018 (EDT)

QUD-Box to the right?

I know it's a small thing but it kinda bugs me that the boxes are not on the right hand side below the proof. Shouldn't it be also kinda easy with "align=right" or "float=left" in the template? Or am I missing something? --Xario (talk) 11:16, 12 December 2018 (EST)

Everything hangs to the left on $\mathsf{Pr} \infty \mathsf{fWiki}$. We aim for short sentences, and it is rare for anything to spread over into the right hand side of the screen. Hence we put our {{qed}} on the left. House style. --prime mover (talk) 12:39, 12 December 2018 (EST)

Using MediaWiki API ToS

Dear Maintainer, Are we allow to dump website using API? In technical term does it make site slower for others or overload the server?

Amir H. Afirou (talk) 11:33, 12 July 2020 (UTC)

We prefer that you do not do this, because while it is happening it renders the site unusable for others.
If it is necessary for you to obtain a dump of this entire website, it is recommended that you post it up on the talk page of the main site administrator User talk:Joe.
However, I have never understood what legitimate reasons one would have for doing so. --prime mover (talk) 14:05, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
@Prime.mover , Thanks for your quick reply. That's very kind of you. Mainly we have two proposes to do so: 1- Have offline wiki (kiwix) 2- I have recently research on the field of Machine Readable Mathematical Proof. Afirou (talk) 20:17, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough. You see there has been discussion on this topic further up the page here. Perhaps it may need to be included in the FAQ page. --prime mover (talk) 20:21, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
ℹ️ I will write draft and then inform you Afirou (talk) 20:30, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Apologies, we prefer that help pages are restricted to editors with admin rights. (Further apologies, I have just changed the protection on this page accordingly, I see it had not been done.) This is because of problems in the past whereby non-trusted users have made changes to the page which were not in accordance with our site philosophy. I trust you will understand. --prime mover (talk) 20:35, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't have any intention to write directly on that page. I create subpage under my username and mention it here. People call it Wikipedian Style! Afirou (talk) 20:40, 12 July 2020 (UTC)
Done ✔️ User:Afirou/website_dump

Equation Codes

What are "equation codes"?

Senojesse (talk) 21:06, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

?? No idea what you mean. Context? Anyone? --prime mover (talk) 21:44, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Maybe in reference to the equation template? --Joe (talk) 21:54, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

House styles

Where can I learn more about "house styles"? Senojesse (talk) 20:45, 3 February 2021 (UTC)


How do I contact an administrator? Senojesse (talk) 21:08, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Your talk page has everything you need to answer these questions. --prime mover (talk) 21:43, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Page names with formulas

In the Names with Formulas section of the Help:Editing page, the example given under the third bullet point (about not capitalizing variables) does not seem to follow the spacing convention described in the first bullet point. Is this an error? --Mathbeing (talk) 22:38, 11 December 2021 (UTC)


XML dump of ProofWiki

I saw on this help page that some xml dumps were accessible at here. However the page doesn't seems to exists anymore. Will it be possible to have this dump ? (I would love to use it for ML research on informal -> formal math). Thanks for your help! --thiblav (thiblav) 09:51, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

The url is