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    • CommentAuthorKevin Lin
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2009 edited

    I just retagged a bunch of old stuff, but I just realized that in doing so, I bumped all these questions up to the front page, filling the front page with a bunch of old, stale, already-answered questions. Sorry; I didn't mean to do this.

    Is there a way to edit a question/answer without having it get bumped to the front page?

    I did the same thing a little while back when I added the tag "characteristic-p". So far as I know, there is no way for a non-moderator to do this...but it would certainly be nice if there were.

    Actually, there's no way for a moderator to do it either, but a moderator can merge tags without bumping anything to the front page. Consider getting some rep on meta.SE and voting up this feature-request.


    I want to apologize in advance to the MO community. I will lose my server for nearly two weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years, and so the nearly 300(!) images I have posted in various questions and answers will disappear. Today I experimented when an old question of mine Fair but irregular polyhedral dice was bumped to the front page by a new answer, and indeed editing the URL to point the image to another server bumps a question to the front page. My plan is to edit several of my most viewed posts to point to this alternative server for the images, on weekends (e.g., Friday night in my time zone). I just did this for the seasonally appropriate Light reflecting off Christmas-tree balls. I would be happy if a moderator could prevent the front-page bumping, but it seems out of my control. I will certainly not move every image I've ever posted, but I will do this for some that seem to attract views from newcomers. I am seeking a balance.

    Alternative advice welcomed!

    • CommentAuthorWill Jagy
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2011
    Hi, Joseph. I wonder if you noticed this on MSE, where I could have given much more from differential geometry, except that I could not tell what the guy really needed. I did mention your name.

    Thanks, Will, for the reference. I posted some information to supplement your nice answer to that MSE question.

    • CommentAuthorJDH
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2011
    Joseph, I think I speak for many MO users when I say that you should update your images, even if it means bumping 300 or more answers. Please feel free to go ahead and update whatever links you are inclined to, at whatever time is convenient for you, since we love to see your excellent images.

    Thanks, Joel! That is very gracious of you. :-)


    I agree with Joel in that Joseph's images are very excellent. But if I'd just posted a question, I'd be pretty annoyed to find it immediately shunted off the front page by a huge block of technical edits. After all, once a question has disappeared from the front page, it rarely gets attention. I'm sure Joseph doesn't want to annoy anyone; this is just a tricky problem.


    I just updated the most-viewed half-dozen of my posts, aiming for the slowest time of the week (when I am awake :-)), and I'll cease for now. Four posts appear as a block and I think will not obscure the regular activity too much, as they will "gently fall" from the front page, to quote my own post.

    See also my earlier worry: The impermance of images on MO (in which, incidentally, I misspelled "impermanence"!).


    Just to clarify my earlier comment, I definitely don't view four as a problem. I was thinking more of 20 or 30. (It looks like the front page holds about 50 questions in all.)


    Yes, 20 or 30 would adversely affect the front page! I definitely won't do that. Thanks again for everyone's tolerance.

    • CommentAuthormarkvs
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2011 edited
    I think Joseph O'Rourke's posts are some of the best posts on MO, and there is nothing wrong in the opportunity to see them again. In fact I would suggest to lift some of them regularly to the front page (say, once a week) for the newcomers to see.

    Thanks, Mark! :-)

    Joseph: Let me gently suggest that the solution you're implementing invites the recurrence of the same problem sometime down the line when you switch servers again. A better solution, I think, is to a) purchase a domain name, b) host that domain on your server, and c) link to the images via that domainname, i.e. http://YOURDOMAINNAME/IMAGENAME . Then when you switch servers again sometime down the line, you can point the domain name to your new server, making the transition automatic and preserving the structure of the MO posts without having to edit them.

    @Steve: That's a nice idea that did not occur to me. It won't work exactly as you describe because my college has made it a policy not to host their faculty's professional domain names. But something similar would be possible; I already own a few domain names. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Of course this problem will disappear if we ever move to SE2, because one uploads the images in a post and they are from then on maintained by Stack Exchange.


    You could also upload your images to the Wikipedia Commons, and link from there. There's also oodles of free image hosting websites out there.



    this is maybe not good advice, because it breaks the spirit of your college's (arguably foolish) policy, but it would almost certainly be successful. Register XYZ as a domain name, pay the very small cost to host XYZ at, for example, Dreamhost, or many of the other cheap (<$100/year) hosting services. In their hosting, you need have nothing but a .htaccess file, which redirects requests (either all requests, or just certain directories, e.g. /MathOverflow/ in your case) to your preferred actual hosting, e.g. in your case at csail. It's very unlikely that your system administrators will ever notice that you've done this, or complain about it, and it achieves both your goals --- a stable URL that you have complete control over, combined with hosting conveniently managed by your local sysadmins.

    (If the technical details of what I suggested don't make sense, I'm happy to try to explain further, if you're interested.)

    best, Scott


    Thanks, Ryan & Scott, for the hosting advice! I hadn't considered these options (and I even teach a course on How the Internet Works!). I will mull them over. Meanwhile, I have moved the images in my most-viewed posts, and from now on will only move those that become accidentally active.