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The question bibtex downloading tools should not be closed but migrated to This is a question that is welcome on "our" site (I am not a moderator there, but a regular user)

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So can you explain how it's not a shopping question? Or one that isn't setting up a directory list? – random Aug 5 '12 at 18:59
Ignoring whether the question is on-topic for, the appropriate thing to do would have been to flag the question, requesting a migration. – Michael Petrotta Aug 5 '12 at 19:00
@random This is in no place at all a shopping question or setting up a directory list. I have no idea how anyone (knowing bibtex, TeX or something similar) can come to such a conclusion. – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:00
@MichaelPetrotta that is exactly what I did. – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:01
This whole crust "I would like to know are there any desktop tools available". If instead it was about Texmaker then you should edit it better before migration – random Aug 5 '12 at 19:01
@Patrick I know TeX and BibTeX and I concur that that was a "shopping question", which is a term applied to any question asking for recommendations for tools/products, regardless of whether you're actually spending money on something. – joran Aug 5 '12 at 19:02
@joran this question would be welcome on I didn't know the term "shopping question" Recommendation for tools/products is clearly on topic on "our" site. – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:05
Surprising as it may seem, having a quick look around the Tex SE, it does indeed seem that this type of questions is more allowed and common than here on SO. There are various examples under the Tools tag for example: – Bart Aug 5 '12 at 19:06
@Patrick Well, can you see how it could be difficult for people on SO to know what peculiarities exist in the rules on every other site? We all can't be expected to keep track of each communities idiosyncracies. – joran Aug 5 '12 at 19:11
Could also be a vote of conscience. Looking at the quality and type, these questions don't usually just get dumped on another site just because they're on topic or welcome. You also have to keep in mind the crap-o-meter overrules the site topic in a lot of cases – random Aug 5 '12 at 19:12
@joran I didn't expect that people on SO know what is on topic over there at – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:15
Instead of fighting over this ad nauseum, and since you now know why this question was closed as off topic, why don't you tell user601L to go start a new question at tex? Or ask it there for him on his/her behalf? – Aaron Bertrand Aug 6 '12 at 0:27
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Whenever a user wants us to migrate a question, we (Moderators) do a few things:

  1. Look at the question. If it's
    • Poorly worded
    • A Shopping recommendation question ("What's the best...?")
    • Too localized
    • Not A real Question (vague, incomplete, do my work for me)

then we won't migrate, regardless of whether it may be better on another site.

If we like what we see, and we're sure it won't get rejected, we'll migrate it.

If we're not sure, we'll:

  1. Ask the moderators of the target site in Admin chat if they want the question. If they say 'no', then it's closed as off topic.

Why don't we just migrate it and let the target site reject it?

Sad to say that the Programmers.SE debacle ruined that for us. A high number of questions that don't belong on Programmers were migrated over there and subsequently rejected. As such it feels like a more reserved tone has been taken with migrating borderline questions.

I'll ask the TeX moderators if they want it, but if they do not, it's going to stay closed.

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Just to say that your answer details the moderator flagged migration path, not the community one. – Oded Aug 5 '12 at 19:23
@Oded You are correct, sir. – George Stocker Aug 5 '12 at 19:24
I'm intrigued by the 'shopping' part. How do you deal with questions asking for comparisons of tools for a task? – Joseph Wright Aug 5 '12 at 19:46
@JosephWright Very easily: Ask it somewhere else. The problem with those questions is that invariably they turn into religious battles, and often there is no objective 'right'. There's a lot of ins, outs, and what-have-yous to consider. Furthermore, the Stack Exchange software that powers the site doesn't do well for polling questions (especially since downvotes cost reputation). – George Stocker Aug 5 '12 at 19:57
@GeorgeStocker We don't 'do' downvotes on the TeX site, so that's not an issue for us :-) – Joseph Wright Aug 5 '12 at 19:59
@JosephWright If you'd respond to my blast over chat regarding that question, we could put this matter soundly behind us. :-) – George Stocker Aug 6 '12 at 2:54

Migration of a question requires a consensus by four of the close votes to migrate to the same destination. If there is no such consensus, the question will be closed.

Additionally, there is a limited number of "off-topic" destination - a maximum of 5, and the "good" destination may not exist.

Some questions are simply not a good fit to any Stack Exchange and those should not be migrated (only to be closed in the destination).

The above is the community point on view - see the answer by George Stocker for the moderator point of view.

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I flagged that one for moderator attention. See for example why I did so. – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:02
@Patrick - The question is clearly asking for tool recommendations. It is a shopping question. The Stack Exchange network deems these off-topic - the whole network does. – Oded Aug 5 '12 at 19:04
The question would be more than welcome and on topic on – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:08
@Patrick - Fair enough. In this respect tex is out of the norm. But you can't be surprised that Stack Overflow norms about shopping questions caused it to be closed rather than migrated. – Oded Aug 5 '12 at 19:10
Well, I am surprised :) But I understand and - not being a regular here - I guess you (the community) have reasons for not allowing such questions. – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 19:12
@Patrick - The general reaction to shopping question on most Stack Exchange sites is that they are "toxic" and should be cleaned out as quickly as possible... The main issue being that "best" tools change over time and as such, answers become stale (perhaps tex has ossified to an extent that this isn't an issue, dunno) – Oded Aug 5 '12 at 19:13
@Patrick: Your point about this type of question being welcome on tex but not on SO is a large part of the reason for conservatism in migrations. Users of one site do not necessarily know the standards and mores of other sites, and should only migrate if they are absolutely certain that they are not dumping an unwelcome question on another community. – Josh Caswell Aug 5 '12 at 20:03
@JoshCaswell that makes sense. Thanks! – topskip Aug 5 '12 at 20:41

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