User talk:Carl McBride

From SklogWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This is the discussion page for the user Carl McBride. To add a new 'comment' to this page simply click on the "Add topic" tab at the top of the page.


Hola Carl, it is good to get to know you. I stumbled by chance on your wiki for statistical mechanics, and just added some links, which you can follow to see my wiki, publications, and contact info. Any comments would be welcome. Loc Vql 18:42, 16 January 2008 (CET)

Dear Loc, thank you very much for the link to your (comprehensive) page concerning the configurational integral on VQWiki.
Concerning SklogWiki I should like to make a minor distinction; although I am the founder/administrator for SklogWiki, it is not my wiki; it is for everyone who shares our interest in stat. mech., thermodynamics, and computer simulation :-D
All the best, -- Carl McBride (talk) 18:55, 16 January 2008 (CET)

Strength of Sklogwiki[edit]

Hola Carl, the strength of Sklogwiki is in the reference to up-to-date journal articles, even though some Sklogwiki articles need to be written and/or completed to some extent. It is important to continue maintain this strength that clearly distinguishes Sklogwiki from Wikipedia. I linked to some Sklogwiki articles in my article, and mentioned the above strength of Sklogwiki. Take care, Loc Vql 18:44, 19 January 2008 (CET)

Dear Loc, thank you very much for your comments and links to SklogWiki. I totally agree with your perspective regarding SklogWiki. I personally feel that the placement of SklogWiki with the most potential is between the standard text book on one side, and refereed research articles on the other. SklogWiki is about to complete its first year soon, and most of the work so far has been in setting up the general framework and structure of the Wiki. Now that this is in place, the focus will shift to 'filling out' the stub pages. Any contributions that you can make to such stub pages would obviously be most appreciated. All the best, -- Carl McBride (talk) 11:14, 21 January 2008 (CET)


Hola Carl, here are some ideas that would make Sklogwiki more visible, different from, but complementing other wikis (e.g., Wikipedia, Citizendium), in addition to maintaining the existing strength of Sklogwiki already mentioned above. It is not necessary to repeat what other wikis have been doing; it is better to complement these wikis with something of superior quality where applicable. In other words, develop of niche for Sklogwiki that distinguishes it from the other wikis.

To attract contributors to Sklogwiki, it is important to remove the many pitfalls that beset Wikipedia. For these pitfalls, many of which were the reason for the existence of Citizendium, see the very informative Wikipedia article Criticism of Wikipedia.

Specifically, what I have in mind is to make Sklogwiki a venue that academics, particularly university professors and researchers, would be interested in publishing their articles (which would not fit in a research journal, such as their lecture notes, opinion, etc.).

  • explicit authorship: It is an important incentive for academics to own their articles by having their names listed in the byline of their articles.
  • free market of ideas: Allow multiple articles on the same subject by different authors. Sometimes articles on the same subject could have conflicting ideas and opinions; let the readers judge. There are plenty of examples in science where reasonable people would disagree with each other. Let all ideas and opinions on the same subject have equal chance to be expressed by the author(s). An example would be an article by an author on his/her method, which would be critiqued by another author in a different, but parallel article on the same subject.
  • have a range of copyrights (from the most restrictive to the least restrictive) available so author(s) could select selected by the author(s) of each article. Some authors may prefer to have their articles fully copyrighted with all rights reserved; some other authors would select a less restrictive copyright such as the GNU-type copyleft. To this end, one possibility to protect the copyright of the author(s) is to have the most restrictive copyright for the site, and then let each article have its own copyright, which may be less restrictive. By default, it would be the most restrictive copyright that covers all articles.
  • possibility to restrict the editing of an article as decided by the author(s). For example, the author(s) of an article could decide not to have other users modify their work without their knowledge. Some other authors could be open for collaboration. Several issues could be thought of.
    • Identity of contributors to an existing article having explicit author(s) in the byline: All contributors to such an existing article should have their identity and credentials revealed; they should not be anonymous users. Such article is like a house in a bucolic village where people don't lock their door, but it does not mean than their house is open for vandalism by anonymous users with unknown credentials. Contributors should be courteous to inform the author(s) of their modifications.
    • Listing of co-authors: If a contributor made significant contribution to an existing article, then such contributor could be listed at a co-author, with the agreement of the existing author(s). In case of disagreement, the contributor can take out his/her contribution to create a separate and parallel article on the same subject. This situation is possible since several articles on the same subject are allowed; see above.
  • authors could post their articles in Sklogwiki as well as in other venues (e.g., on the own web site, etc.) in parallel, i.e., there is no restriction where the authors could post their articles.
  • invite well-known authors to contribute: Once the above rules are in place, there is an incentive from academics to contribute. See for example the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It is then possible to invite well-known and well-respected researchers to contribute their articles to the site. Some names come to mind: Evans and Searle, Jarzynski, Crooks, Cohen, etc.

There may be more that can be discussed. The above is a start. Take care. Loc Vql 03:34, 25 January 2008 (CET)

Re: Ideas[edit]

Dear Loc,

thank you very much for your ideas on how to improve SklogWiki. Your comments are certainly worth consideration. In fact, from the outset I had in mind a section called short essays that represents an area where people could place more 'opinionated' work (see the last section of SklogWiki style guide). Once an essay etc. had been uploaded the idea was to write protect the page, to prevent third party modifications. However, so far this section remains empty.

On a page such as Compressibility there is not much room for maneuver. However, with subjects such as Entropy or the Second law of thermodynamics there is plenty of room for "reasonable people" to have a range of perspectives to present. I also had in mind a 'historical' section where people could contribute personalised historical monologues on the development of the field.

With respect to the publication of scientific papers, there does exist a growing offer of open access journals, for example, the new Open Thermodynamics Journal of which I am a member of the (rather large) editorial advisory board.

I think at the present stage of development, the principal goal is to complete the groundwork; according to the Statistics page there are currently 724 pages in the Wiki. However, just over half of these pages are minimal 'stub' pages. Once these pages have been 'beefed out', then perhaps SklogWiki will organically grow in the directions that you suggest.

All the best, -- Carl McBride (talk) 12:08, 25 January 2008 (CET)

Qwiki Templates[edit]

Hi Carl, Please feel free to use the the author templates from Qwiki. It is our hope that there will be more wiki's like Qwiki and SklogWiki and if our work will make it easier for others, all the better! Please don't hesitate to contact me. Best regards and good luck! Anthony Miller.

Fantastic! Many thanks, and all the best with Qwiki -- Carl McBride (talk) 19:01, 7 August 2008 (CEST)

SklogWiki (article) at the EoHT wiki[edit]

Hi Carl, I just came across your curious site today and started up a stub overview article on your wiki here. If you ever come across any statistical thermodynamics articles attempting to explain any facet of human life (e.g. economics, sociology, history, etc.) could you let me know, either by sending me an email ( or by posting them here. Thanks - 05:41, 15 January 2009 (CET) Libb Thims.

Dear Libb Thims, many thanks for your support. All the best -- Carl McBride (talk) 16:21, 16 January 2009 (CET)

Carbon copies[edit]

Hi Carl,

I have just recently come upon SklogWiki -- a real novelty for one who remembers papers being typed with carbon copies! I've updated the URL for my webpage.

Fred Lado

Dear Prof. Lado, it is indeed a pleasure to hear form you. I remember you telling me about the early-days when I met you in Madrid a couple of years ago (I was a member of Enrique Lomba's research group at the time). Currently there are about five pages in SklogWiki that refer directly to your work, although there is plenty of scope for more. -- Carl McBride (talk) 18:13, 24 February 2009 (CET)

Wiki rankings[edit]

Hi Carl, Thanks for the heads up about your work with rankings. This is going to be a good motivation to improve the content and visibility of qwiki which we've been a bit less active with lately than is ideal. We still haven't found a way to get more than a fairly small portion of our community actively involved and it looks like you have been very successful in that regard. I would love to hear what, if anything, has been important to having an active community. Cheers --Qwiki 19:39, 27 February 2009 (CET)


Hi Carl,

Have you checked the book functionality in wikipedia? E.g. my wikipedia book on Statistical Mechanics, which I have created in around 5 minutes. I think it's a great way to compile and organize a set of entries. (The pdf output is also interesting, but the organization is more important to me)--Dduque 11:20, 5 May 2009 (CEST)

Wow, that is a neat idea! The pdf book is much more presentable than I imagined. I shall look into how they have done this (the latest version of Mediawiki or via an extension) and see if we can add this feature to SklogWiki. All the best -- Carl McBride (talk) 11:30, 5 May 2009 (CEST)
I have started installing the Extension:Collection, but it seems to be a little more complicated than the usual extension installation. I have installed cURL, etc. but I get:
Fatal error: Call to undefined method Http::useragent() in /var/www/SklogWiki/extensions/Collection/Collection.body.php on line 1029
Will take another look in the near future... -- Carl McBride (talk) 17:07, 13 July 2009 (CEST)


It's been a while since I visited these fine pages, and contributed a little bit. I have the feeling spamming is running rampart. Should we restrict contributions to only invited people? Any ideas? It seems as soon as you leave the garden unattended (e.g. vacations) bad weeds are going to sprout all over it! Best, --Dduque 23:04, 23 May 2012 (CEST)

Hi there Daniel. Spam, what can I say. Yes there is a lot of spam of late, but it is difficult to control. Most of the few contributions we get are from IP addresses (rather than logged in users) and I would like that option to remain open. From a look at the recent changes log, one can also see that the spammers have no problem opening accounts. SklogWiki has a CAPTCHA installed, but it seems that there is a small industry of "actual people" dedicated to solving them (see the very interesting paper: M. Motoyama, K. Levchenko, C. Kanich, D. McCoy, G. M. Voelker, and S. Savage "Re: CAPTCHAs — Understanding CAPTCHA-Solving Services in an Economic Context" USENIX Security (2010)). One CAPTCHA that did work rather well was the VisualMathCaptcha (maybe these spammers are not so good at arithmetic! je je!). But it seems only work for MediaWiki 1.11.x-1.16.0 (at the moment SklogWiki uses 1.18.1). On the other hand, at the moment almost all of the spam is dedicated to creating new pages, which does not corrupt the "core" content of SklogWiki, so to the casual visitor, these spam pages should not detract from the wiki (they only take up 15 minutes of my day, every day...). So, for the moment the only consolation is that perhaps SklogWiki is generating some small amount of wealth for somebody somewhere, which isn't all bad in this day and age! All the best, -- Carl McBride (talk) 10:59, 24 May 2012 (CEST)


Hi Carl, I really like sklogwiki and plan to start contributing more to it.

One thing I did, however, was to link some of your pictures to wikipedia entries, but I got a complain that your pictures are "under NC or ND licenses (which) is not allowed on Commons". I was told by User:Turelio that "you might ask the author to release his work under a CC-BY oder CC-BY-SA license, which should be done either on the external source site or per a statement to". Is that something you could do?

Thanks a lot and cheers, Pfd (talk) 13:34, 17 July 2014 (CEST)

Pfd (talk) 12:52, 17 July 2014 (CEST)

Dear Pfd,
As one can see from the footer of every page, SklogWiki uses the "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike" (i.e. BY-NC-SA). I shall look into the Wikimedia Commons vs. non-commercial situation but, for the minute, I am inclined to maintain the non-commercial aspect of the license that SklogWiki uses.
All the best, -- Carl McBride (talk) 13:25, 17 July 2014 (CEST)
PD On the Commons:Licensing page they provide this, somewhat disingenuous, reasoning: "This cartoon explains why Commons does not accept "noncommercial" licenses". (See also: Paul Klimpel "Free Knowledge based on Creative Commons Licenses: Consequences, risks and side-effects of the license module "non-commercial use only – NC")