PlanetMath a free/better alternative to Mathworld?

Mathworld is a mathematical encyclopedia on the Web. Up until now, I thought it was the only one. I was a bit annoyed at having to use Mathworld because it is owned by the Mathematica people and so, you never know when they won’t pull a Microsoft on you.

Didier (who I wrongly assumed to be from France initially) pointed out PlanetMath. The cool thing about PlanetMath is that the content is great and released under GPL. This means that they won’t pull a Microsoft on you! You can copy the content and redistribute it if you so wish. They can close their servers, but the data itself is free, free to go with someone else, free to be reproduced, free.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the Université du Québec (TELUQ).

10 thoughts on “PlanetMath a free/better alternative to Mathworld?”

  1. Isn’t it amazing??? I hope you know about wikipedia.
    It is actually not so suprising, how else can you ever hope to build encyclopedia? I don’t think it financially viable to pay people to do it, not on the long run, not in a world where we accumulate vast amounts of knowledge at an ever increasing speed.

  2. What kind of French do you speak? I was reading about Quebecois and Acadian French yesterday. It’s got me curious as I’m only familiar with French French.

  3. What is “French French”… you mean French with a Paris accent? You have a Marseille accent which is very different… then you have Belgian French, again very different.

    I speak French but with a Montreal accent (which you might called Quebecois). Within Quebec, you have at least two types of French accent: Quebec City and Montreal. You can tell by how people say “baleine” for example (whale in English)…

    I’m no expert, but I’d say that Montreal and Quebec City French are fairly similar to Belgian French.

    As for “Acadian French”, it is another story: they have a totally different French from the other two and they are influenced by the fact that it is a minority language.

    (However, my training is not in languages… so do not trust me too much.)

  4. Ah yes. I was saying French French the way we say English English and American English. 🙂

    It’d be fascinating to find a book comparing French speakers in Africa, N.America, Europe etc. There’s a book by a woman exploring the Welsh language communities of the world. Perhaps this is a travel book idea for someone.

  5. Daniel – I am from Haiti. If I weren’t so far down south (or if you weren’t so far up north, however you want to look at it), I’d suggest a meeting 😉 . I was googling for stuff concerning the Hermite method for finding the number of roots for a poly, and I found this weird entry from wikipedia on the stability of an algorithm. Needless to say, I was pleasontly surprised (and sidetracked in my search).

    Claire – I can’t wait for such book either 🙂 . I know that there are a lot of differences:Guadeloupean, Ivorian, Canadian French have some idioms that I can’ t begin to grasp. The accent is different from one nation to another too. And of course, everyone is complaining that the other one doesn’t use “proper” French. A simple example of how widly things vary from country to country: I tried having a conversation with someone from Canada once and although I could understand him, he could not understand me. I had been exposed to the Canadian accent, and to most of the idioms (in Haiti, you can get TV programs from Canadian and French national television), so I had no problem understanding him.

  6. I think the British understand the Americans better than the Americans understand the British for the same reason.

    I had no idea they spoke French in Guadeloup. Is the majority there Spanish speaking?

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