MathWorld is back online.
November 6, 2001 2:05 PM   Subscribe

MathWorld is back online. And what a nightmare the experience has been. (And still is? New entries now require filling out this permissions form.)
posted by mmarcos (10 comments total)
I thought this was good news -- until I read about the settlement. It's approximately similar to a losing army accepting terms of surrender, giving up their weapons and their land at one stroke. CRC really, truly are assholes, and I'll never buy from them.
posted by dhartung at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2001

Did you get this from Ed Pegg's site? I believe he works at Wolfram now. I have been a loyal reader of nearly since its inception. I'm afraid this will bore or confuse most of the design geeks on this site :) but Ed has been quietly, superbly building this recreational mathematics website (weblog by all definitions) as a labor of love. This site deserves some kind of special prize.
posted by vacapinta at 2:47 PM on November 6, 2001

That's a really lousy settlement, if you ask me.

What I don't really understand is WHY they would continue the MathWorld "brand" if it's just going to pour more money into CRC's pockets. Surely their legal brains could have come up with a way to dry up the source material available to CRC, while still allowing Wolfram to publish mathematical puzzles.

Oh and Vacapinta: thanks for the headache. I think my brain hates me now. (Just kidding. GREAT link.)
posted by bcwinters at 3:02 PM on November 6, 2001

I got wind of this because Eric sent out an email that it was back online.

I have to agree that the conditions of the settlement are poor. But I also thought, 1) Wolfram must have had good legal representation, 2) maybe they decided to go ahead with this and be able to provide the online service rather than do away with it altogether.
posted by mmarcos at 3:17 PM on November 6, 2001

how does CRC sleep at night?
posted by lotsofno at 3:29 PM on November 6, 2001

it's easy. CRC isn't a person.

I'm glad to see mathworld back, I used to use it as my first reference for all sorts of stuff, esp. looking up special functions. It's certainly easier to do that than search through the 100-some math books I have.
posted by meep at 3:37 PM on November 6, 2001

CRC isn't a person.

very well, if you want to be picky about it.. ::rephrases::

how do the people at CRC sleep at night?
posted by lotsofno at 4:10 PM on November 6, 2001

Well thank god. No thanks to the creeping evil that is CRC, of course, but still... I bought my copy of the book before CRC became anathema, but it's big and heavy, and hypertext is more pleasing
posted by j.edwards at 4:45 PM on November 6, 2001

An exclusive and free resource of updated saleable work and a settlement guaranteeing payment for unsold units by the creator and maintainer of said resource. Seems fair.
posted by Nothing at 10:08 PM on November 6, 2001

The end.

This settlement is bogus. It mandates that everyone who by now hates CRC must sign that hideously odious transfer of all rights to the very people who've screwed them if they want to contribute to the site. Read that thing! It says "I hereby give CRC any and all rights, forever in any medium, and in addition, I assume all liability." It's a crock. Who wants to contribute to a community under those terms?

Won't be long until a similar site that doesn't have these encumbrances eclipses the original MathWorld. It's sad, because Eric and Wolfram don't deserve this. They should have shut it down and started over, IMO.
posted by rusty at 9:25 AM on November 7, 2001

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