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What questions can I ask on Blue Obelisk Exchange?

Asked by [ Admin ]

What kind of questions are allowed on this site?

Below answers are personal opinions... This website is, however, a community effort; an effort started by people who collaborate on improving interoperability and reproducibility in chemistry, loosely organized in the Blue Obelisk movement.

The definite answer lies likely somewhere in between those opinions.

Imported from: http://blueobelisk.stackexchange.com/questions/7

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5 answers

3

rich apodaca [ Editor ]

I'd vote for adopting a policy in which any question related to the use of computers in chemistry was acceptable. And I'd change the name of the site to reflect that policy.

Limiting questions and answers to ODOSOS seems, well, selfish to me. If the best solution to a problem lies in open source and open data, great. If not (and this will be the case more often than not, sadly), then let's not restrict people from getting their questions asked and answered, and in connecting with a broader community.

You don't change people's minds by forcing a solution on them. You change minds by making people jealous of your solution.

NN comments
chem-bla-ics
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This website is not at all about forcing someone into some solution. This forum just aims to be a resource of information on how to do chemistry with Open tools. There are plenty of fora where people can ask about any tool already. I really do not understand how this is forcing people into something, nor how this is selfish.

rich apodaca
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, there’s nothing wrong with it, but you’ll be turning away the most interesting questions and answers. There already is a Blue Obelisk mailing list which, AFAIK, has been somewhat inactive until very recently. I view the current policy of this site as selfish because it will leave out the majority of folks who might want to participate, and in so doing eliminate an important platform for the ODOSOS-set to prove to a wider audience that they have a better way. In other words, I believe the effect will be the opposite of what you have in mind, but who knows…

chem-bla-ics
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Maybe I am just missing your point then… in what way do you feel the majority of people who might want to participate is kept out? The idea was really about providing useful information, as indicated in another question, about the positive and negative sides of the current ODOSOS toolset… I still do not understand why you think this majority cannot see their questions answered here?

chem-bla-ics
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The goal is certainly not to disallow questions like “I want to do this kind of task, who do I do that?”… if that is the impression you got, and I need to make the message more clear…

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2

kml [ Editor ]

I agree with Rich, it makes much more sense to me to focus on chemistry-and-computers topics than BO and ODOSOS. As a proof of concept, I posted a question about something I've been having problems with lately (batch image generation of molecules), and within hours I had two answers and was generating hundreds of images automatically. Now, that's what I call useful!

In my opinion, this exchange should be mainly about solving technical problems related to computers and chemistry, backed/promoted/organized by the BlueObelisk. If the questions involve something that is not "open", perhaps you could implement some kudos system that rewards Open Source answers?

Personally, I would also be interested in questions/answers about computational chemistry and perhaps quantum chemistry.

As a side note, I found chemistry.stackexchange.com, but it looks like it hasn't taken off at all.

NN comments
chem-bla-ics
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The restriction about ODOSOS is not about questions about ODOSOS projects, but very much like to see answers on the type of question you asked to have answers using ODOSOS tools. Your ‘batch 3D image’ generation is the kind of question that are what this platform is very much aimed for.

Also, I like to comment that they way answers or questions about proprietary tools are ‘censored’ by downvoting, or by requesting to ask to make the question solution neutral. I do not anticipate active moderation as ‘admin’ about the nature of questions.

kml
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By leaving ‘censoring’ to be performed by the mechanics of voting/downvoting, you might be surprised down the road. Suppose that enough people start participating that are not particularly avid for Open Source… they might outvote some proprietary answers while out-downvoting the equivalent Open Source solutions.

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2

richard west [ Editor ]

Questions about (Chemistry AND Computers)

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richard west
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I didn’t include “AND (Open Data OR Open Source OR Open Standards)” because I’d find it annoying if I had to cross-post at another site to find out if there was a proprietary answer to my problem. It’s already bad enough having to search both semanticoverflow.com and stackoverflow.com when your question lies somewhere between the two. Keeping discussion on-topic is definitely helpful, but if the topics are kept too narrow people don’t know which topic they’re asking about.

chem-bla-ics
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May such questions and remarks trigger further improvement of the current ODOSOS cheminformatics tools. Consider it an exchange of development ideas.

chem-bla-ics
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We have the voting mechanism to have the community decide in more detail what is appropriate and what not. I expect solutions with proprietary tools where an ODOSOS solution exists (or even is better) to be down-voted. Likewise, I expect solutions where proprietary tools are (still) superior to get positive attention (up-votes). But all that is up to the community; this forum is not actively moderator by the admins.

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1

chem-bla-ics [ Admin ]

Example questions:

  • where can I download Open Data about InChI=1/foo?
  • how can I convert my MDL SD file into RDF?
  • how do I do X in KNIME or Taverna without proprietary plugins?
  • who is going to Conf Z and wants to meet up for a Blue Obelisk dinner/lunch/wii event?
  • how shall we try to liberate Data from resource Foo?
  • is website/product BAR ODODOS or not?
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1

blueobelisk_5

Anything related to Blue Obelisk, either directly or related to the philosophy of BO (ODOSOS). Also (personal view) I think anything related to chemistry as reference questions(Am still having some difficulty establishing my identity (PeterMR)

NN comments
chem-bla-ics
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I like to keep focus on using and developing ODOSOS… general chemistry questions are OK to me if they ask how the answer can be reproduced with ODOSOS tools.

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