Curious why mathoverflow (se site) doesn't have hot questions list on the right. It also uses the old stackoverflow design. Why has this site's design and functionality been abandoned (or at least look abandoned?)


1 Answer 1


Math Overflow has more independence than sites that went through the A51 process. They have the right to leave the network if they choose to, and a few other minor things. They were a successful site outside the Stackexchange network, based on the SE 1.0 software. The old software wasn't supported anymore, and SE offered them to be included in the new SE 2.0 network.

They prefer not having the hot questions list, and the design is adapted from an older design created while they were still an SE 1.0 site as far as I know.

I suspect SE would create a new design if the Mathoverflow community asked for it, but they seem to be content with and used to the old design.

  • 3
    In fact the MO design was recently updated by SE
    – quid
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:18
  • @quid I was more thinking about an entirely new design not based mostly on the old SO design when I wrote that Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:19
  • Im confused with this - doesn't stackexchange as a company own mathoverflow? If so why would you not carry over this logic and design across all sites. I find it strange that the hot network questions that is represented across all se sites is not on mathoverflow because the community doesnt want it? That just doesnt make any sense.
    – JonH
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:19
  • 4
    @JonH no they do not own MO.
    – quid
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:23
  • @quid so that is an independent site that is just included in Hot Network Questions etc? Just seems strange, if its included in the hot network questions that lends itself that SE has access to MO's data.
    – JonH
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:23
  • 2
    @JonH SE doesn't own the Math Overflow trademark and neither the domain. Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:25
  • @MadScientist - So how does it have access to its data?
    – JonH
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:25
  • 7
    @JonH The official agreement is linked in the answer by 404. SE is providing the software and hosting Math Overflow, but it doesn't own the name or anything like that. MO can decide to leave the network, if they want to Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:27
  • @MadScientist - Its almost like they originally owned it, sold it, and then wanted it back but were dismissed. Thanks Ill read it!
    – JonH
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:28
  • 8
    @JonH no it is not like this. It is more SE (though I think it was not name like this then) at some point offered their software as a service. MO was a customer. They discontinued this service, but still provide some kind of legacy support for the old customer.
    – quid
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:29
  • @quid which meant they originally owned it..maybe they never wanted it back..hence the other math se site. Just saying
    – JonH
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:31
  • 9
    @JonH It's really more like SE wants to have MO in the network, and MO prefers to do Math instead of trying to develop an alternative to the SE software, so both sides came to an agreement. MO managed a pretty unique thing by attracting a very high level academic audience, it is not a typical SE site. Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:31
  • 8
    @JonH no they did not own it. When I pay some provider to host my website, does this mean the provider then owns it? If I rent a warehouse to store some goods there does the landlord then own the goods?
    – quid
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 20:32
  • 5
    A comment by @MadScientist says that: "The official agreement is linked in the answer by 404." I do not see any such answer here. (Has it been deleted.) In any case, if somebody is wandering, it can be found, for example, in this answer and the link is here.
    – Martin
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 18:56
  • 1
    That "link is here" is now available here. Commented Feb 28, 2021 at 9:09

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