Tricki
a repository of mathematical know-how

A definitions tricki article

A definitions tricki article

Those who have started writing or editing tricki articles probably have come across the same problem. Suppose you need to define a mathematical notion (an operator, a function space, a property and so on). Then there is the obvious question if whether need to define the space from scratch, and If I do so, will this be compatible with other definitions other people have given in different articles? Also, it seems totally redundant to define the same notions over and over again. What I suggest is a tricki article containing definitions of basic notions, operators, function spaces and so on. Something like the notations pages in many mathematical books. Of course this would be an impossible (and utterly tedious) task for one person to carry out. But collectively it would be very easy. If I need a definition of some notion, I first check the definitions page. If the definition is already there then I can use it (and make sure that what I'm writing is compatible with this definition). Otherwise I can add it to the definitions page and then use it. What do you think?

yannis

See the discussion at the Tricki and Wikipedia thread for some posts that are relevant to this question.

I think I'm mildly against a definitions page, because I think short definitions should be given in the article, possibly as hidden text so as not to distract the more knowledgeable reader, and that long definitions can be linked to Wikipedia articles. And it's also possible to do both. But there could be other arguments out there that would cause me to change my mind about this.