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I am the author of CVX, a MATLAB-based modeling framework for convex optimization. The software has been the subject of at least one question here on SciComp, and has been mentioned or recommended in comments and answers by others. I'm grateful for the exposure of course but I'm also pleased that there are some genuine experts in convex optimization that regularly contribute to this forum. I intend to do so myself and I hope I acquit myself well.

When I have offered answers that involve CVX, I've made it clear I'm the author. This type of disclosure has been requested by the moderators and included in the FAQ. The policy makes perfect sense and I will certainly continue the practice.

However, for a particular forum like this---where particular computational software packages will be so frequently discussed, and where input by the authors of those packages would be so valuable---I think it would be a good idea if we can include these disclosures in our author badges.

I know that it is possible to add an additional line to our badges when we reach a certain reputation level. But I think it would be good to encourage disclosure such as this at all reputation levels. After all, authors may forget to make an appropriate disclosure in every single relevant post; but if it's in our badge, we don't have to worry.

Perhaps it would be possible to provide a tag line for a badge even at lower reputation levels---subject to peer review and/or moderator approval. Or perhaps an additional tag line could be created, perhaps again subject to moderator approval, specifically to list software packages/projects the user is involved with.

I actually thought about changing my display name to add a "- CVX" suffix just for a start, but unfortunately I'm enjoined from changing my display name again for another month.

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    This isn't possible via the current software, and I doubt it will be added anytime soon (especially since there isn't a pressing need). However, you can add this to your about me (which will be visible on mouseover once you get 750 rep). You can also request a moderator to change your username. – Manishearth Mar 21 '13 at 16:33
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Here's my general take on it:

If somebody comes into the forum and asks a question about CVX, you are not obligated to disclose you're the CVX author in your answer, though you are certainly free to do so if you choose. Hopefully, this will cover the majority of cases where you will bring your own package up.

If, on the other hand, a general question is asked, and you'd like to mention CVX in your response, it's enough to say something like: "You could do this with my package, CVX, which is great for handling disciplined convex programming problems!"

You don't have to write out that long disclosure statement, particularly if you're on here quite a bit, and the moderators prefer to take a hands-off approach wherever possible, letting the community decide by voting how they feel about the usefulness of any particular answer. I think we've really only had one incident in the entire history of this site where we needed to chat with a user who was being a little too aggressive with marketing their product.

We're all grateful to have you on here, and I personally think you've come in with the right attitude to be a great part of the community.

I think your feature idea is cool, and when this site does up for graduation, it is something we could suggest/vote on as part of our final design.

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Aron. Indeed I'm "all-in" here, so to speak. I just added mention of the site to the CVX support page, and wrote up a post on G+. Thanks for your hard work here! – Michael Grant Mar 21 '13 at 17:09
  • I think that would be a bigger change than what can be made during the final design - it might be better to bring it up as a feature request on MSO. – David Z Mar 22 '13 at 14:46
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    Aron, Your guidance is incorrect. Please review our self promotion policy in the FAQ (french.stackexchange.com/faq#promotion). "Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers." – Robert Cartaino Mar 23 '13 at 22:45

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