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I'd like to report on some developments, and ask a question.

Background:

Back in October, I talked with Lance Fortnow (SIGACT chair) about the possibility of SIGACT taking over cstheory. The notion of 'taking over' was left fluid, because I wasn't sure what it would entail. However the idea was something along the lines of askubuntu.com, which represents a partnership between Canonical (the folks who make Ubuntu) and the ubuntu SE site.

The SIGACT EC met in early December, and approved going ahead with this plan, with me as the liaison (mainly because I have contact with the SE folks by virtue of being a moderator). SE is also quite gung-ho about this plan. I'm supposed to put together a list of things we'd like to see happen as part of this partnership, and Robert Cartaino encouraged me to think broadly about the list (even if everything on it isn't feasible at this time)

The Question: What concrete things would you like to see happen as part of such a partnership ?

As usual, one issue per answer, and I'll prepopulate with a few thoughts that I had.

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  • $\begingroup$ see also ACM SIGACT web site & wikipedia article $\endgroup$ – vzn Dec 16 '12 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately this fell through. SE decided that they didn't want to support a narrow partnership with SIGACT. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 16 '12 at 19:00
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Get SIGPLAN involved too

I would like to see more of my end of theory (PL/logic/verification) appear on this site, and having some connection to SIGPLAN as well might be helpful in terms of advertising. Philip Wadler, the current SIGPLAN chair, seems pretty interested in new media and outreach, so I bet he would be fairly open to helping out somehow (eg, perhaps linking from the SIGPLAN webpage).

EDIT: I heard from him. He says that if we have a short announcement about it, he can send it on the SIGPLAN Executive Committee to approve it, and then send it out as an email to the membership.

Also, he recommends getting in touch with Andy Gill, who edits SIGPLAN Notices.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd be all for that. Do you know Philip Wadler well enough to contact him? You can Cc me on this. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jan 4 '11 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know him terribly well, but probably enough to send him email about this. If he's interested, we can probably also talk at POPL in a few weeks. $\endgroup$ – Neel Krishnaswami Jan 5 '11 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ This is a great idea; we definitely need more PL/logic representation. We might even want to get someone to make a little announcement at POPL and/or put out some little flyers to leave at the registration desk. If someone could put together a design, I can get them printed (I'm in Austin now). $\endgroup$ – Mark Reitblatt Jan 9 '11 at 4:32
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark, we have a design that we used for FOCS. Each sheet had a question on the front and the answer on the back. If you (and others) can compile a list of a few questions, I can send you the beamer template and you can print them out. See here: meta.cstheory.stackexchange.com/questions/457/… $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jan 11 '11 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Has an announcement or something been written for the site? $\endgroup$ – Neel Krishnaswami Jan 17 '11 at 12:42
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URL forwarding

I'd like to see the site URLs be .sigact.acm.org instead of the current cstheory.stackexchange.com mainly for branding reasons. I'm also fine with XXXX.acm.org. I'm told that this can be done, with the proviso that it only works one way (i.e no mirroring). Of course this leads to the question of what XXXX should be, which I will post as a separate answer.

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    $\begingroup$ Why not XXXX.sigact.org? After all, their home page is sigact.org $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Jan 4 '11 at 0:32
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    $\begingroup$ oh that's fine too. I didn't realize that. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jan 4 '11 at 1:44
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    $\begingroup$ And in that case, we might consider something as simple as qa.sigact.org. $\endgroup$ – Jukka Suomela Jan 4 '11 at 10:48
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    $\begingroup$ I think that any URL is fine for the site. But if I had to choose, I don't think a acm.org or sigact.org is a good idea, it can lead to people thinking that the site is managed by either sigact or acm, which is false. But again, I think this is an issue of very negligible interest. $\endgroup$ – Sylvain Peyronnet Jan 6 '11 at 8:55
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SIGACT News Column?

A possibility that comes to mind is a column in SIGACT News that touches on recent highlights on the site. For instance, things out of the original proof thread or similar.

It wouldn't necessarily need to be a regular thing, but I can envision an occasional interesting read on SIGACT News coming out of CSTheory...

I assume we'd need someone who regularly uses the site interested in writing for SIGACT News (or maybe a pair of people who use the site and want to write, respectively, who would like to partner up), as well as some interest (obviously) from the SIGACT EC and the SIGACT News editor.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes that's an excellent idea. I'll be meeting Brendan Mumey in Feb and can broach this with him. We'd need to find someone to do it though. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jan 5 '11 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Cool! Personally, I would be interested -- but alas, to be in another phase of life and be qualified for the job! On a related note, if someone ends up wanting to do this, and they happen to want want a grad student to help out with a project every quarter-to-half year (I think that's how often SIGACT News comes out?), feel free to send them my way. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Apon Jan 5 '11 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ I think anyone (eg you) could start an "update article" on meta every few months, and contribute text others could edit -- much as we have already done with the announcement article. I don't think you (or anyone else) should feel shut out of such a process because of lack of credentials. If you start the ball rolling on something like that, others will be grateful you put in the effort. $\endgroup$ – Aaron Sterling Jan 6 '11 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ I think that's a good idea. However, my idea for a SIGACT News article would focus on a few question (maybe 2-3), and do a fair bit of work explaining the problem and related work, and what new things have happened. I don't know how well such an article works on meta+CW. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Jan 6 '11 at 17:43
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Virtual domain name change

There was some residual unhappiness about our current domain name, which doesn't quite trip off the lips :). If we were to use a virtual URL as indicated in this answer, we could revisit the issue of the domain name and select something else. With more active users, we might get an entirely different answer as well.

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