MATLAB Answers

Daniel Shub

What does Answers provide that CSSM, Stack Exchange, etc do not

Asked by Daniel Shub
on 19 Aug 2011

Inspired, or possibly uninspired, by some of the responses to


I am curious what Answers provides that other forums or formats do not provide. In particular, if TMW won't/can't give us what we want in a timely manner, is there someplace else better to go? The rate at which Answers took off, makes me think you could get people to ask questions on any site.

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3 Answers

Answer by Paulo Silva
on 19 Aug 2011

The voting system allows any user to see the best answers right away without having to read all answers and comments.

The markup allows the code to be format properly, web links, lists, etc

Some people also seem to like the reputation system but for me it only shows the amount of time each one spend here.


Those are all advantages over CSSM. A lot of forums allow markup, by do not include the voting/reputation. Other "question/answer" sites like, stackexchange and stackoverflow, have markup, ovting and reputation.

other places are not official, like Jan said they have commercials and that disrupts my thoughts, here is all clean and simple although some feature are needed to improve the system because many times small changes (edits, comments, etc) aren't easy to find.

Yes, ads can be a problem at other places.

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Answer by Jan Simon
on 19 Aug 2011

Answers provides the important advantage, that the TMW employees participate actively. On one hand this allows for getting information at first hand. On the other hand this is an efficient feedback channel, such that TMW learns from the needs of the users.

Of course TMW employees post in other forums also, which is very helpful, but not with the same high frequency as here.

Other modern forums, which allow to layout the text and embed pictures, are financed by commercials, such that there is a certain level of optical noise. For a one-time user this is not really hard, but imagine how Walter brains would be penetrated by seeing a specific animated GIF banner 10'000 times, every hour, every day, every week. But MATLAB Answers is its own commercial and it offers concrete information needed by customers in reality.


@Jan, Wikipedia or this may explain the financing of Stack Exchange:

My point was that I see no "optical noise", as you call it, and that it has much better facilities for asking and answering questions that involve programs, diagrams, tables, and mathematics.

You say "Answers provides the important advantage, that the TMW employees participate actively." I don't understand this statement. There is nothing, except company policy perhaps, that stops TMW employees participating "actively" on Stack Exchange.

@Derek, I also wish MATLAB answers could be as nice as Stack Exchange. While I do not know the reasons why, I think Jan is correct that TMW employees participate more here then they would at a "third party" site.

I don't see such a mystery about it. What if you're caught being on facebook while at work, would your boss be happy? Now imagine your boss is Mark Zuckerberg, does the situation change?

It's obviously an exagerated example but I guess it applies to a certain extent to TMW.

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Answer by Sean de Wolski
on 19 Aug 2011

With CSSM, never used Stackoverflow or others:


  • When I click Submit, it actually submits and appears instantly, not after its taken a coffee and cigarette break and maybe maternity leave throughout its travels across the internet.
  • The ability to edit your post. (less clutter, fix typos, etc.)
  • Profile picture!


  • The ability to edit your post. (can't distinguish between small, but significant changes.
  • Can't follow threads.


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