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Why was this question closed as off-topic without being migrated?

This question does make sense, it should have been moved to tex.stackexchange.com. I am pretty sure the OP would have gotten a good answer there.

  • 3
    As a general rule, only high-quality, recent questions get migrated. The question you're referring to is recent, but doesn't ask a specific (i.e. SE-appropriate) question, so it doesn't qualify.
    – Pops
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 20:59
  • You could always flag it with a custom reason explaining that it should be moved to TeX - LaTeX (and why) Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:00
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    Yeah, your example question is not a great one. Had it been better, it probably would have been migrated. Note that the close reason is "Not a Real Question," not "Off-Topic."
    – user102937
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:03
  • 1
    Well the user could have been asked to edit the question a bit. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:08
  • 3
    "Don't migrate crap." As a personal aside, I almost never vote to migrate. Question quality is generally poor. Absent that, I tend to assume the question already exists on the target site. If it's a useful question, I might suggest researching if the question fits on [insert site name here] and leave it up to the user to actually do it. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:09
  • Questions that may qualify as crap on Stack Overflow don't necessarily have to be crap on other Stack Exchange sites, especially the smaller, more specialized ones. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:11
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    +1 consider this a blind faith in a judgement of hi-rep active tex oldtimer if you wish
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:13
  • I have flagged the question for migration and I have also cast a reopen vote on the question in case the flag gets declined. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:16
  • And that's fine. If the moderator wants to (or even has a duty to) review the question, review the FAQ at the target site, consider duplicates that may be present, then sure, let him/her migrate it. I consider it a courtesy, not an obligation. At any rate, a comment has been present on the question for days suggesting an alternate site. The user has had ample time to conduct such a review himself. If it is important to the user to get an answer, the user has all the opportunity in the world to make that happen. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:19
  • 2
    So this was finally moved, but closed as a dupe of this question. The morals of the story? a) nothing is different under the sun (the system works) and b) better to hold off on a migration than to migrate crap/the wrong thing prematurely.
    – casperOne
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:52
  • Well as we all know a dupe isn't necessarily bad. Also, yes you may be right, migrating prematurely is not good but I feel that just closing a question is not the answer either. Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 21:56

2 Answers 2


As gnat correctly points out, you are a veteran Tex.SE user and an official Tex.SE representative, which isn't immediately obvious. If you say the question is welcome over there, I think we can safely assume that is the case. I'm sure a mod will migrate it soon.

Still, in general, please understand that we are very careful with off-topic migrations away from SO because low-quality migrations have (rightly) resulted in angry feedback from the victim target sites in the past. See e.g. Please stop using Programmers.SE as your toilet bowl or Please put more thought into migrating questions to other stack exchange sites

I think in the end, a careful migration policy is doing more good than harm. Users can always re-ask on the right site in such cases.


It's not at all obvious to someone with no TeX experience that this is a legitimate question about using TeX-related tools, and not a poor-quality, didn't-do-the-research question. In such cases, please flag the question to ask for a migration, making it clear that you're a regular on the target site (check that the asker hasn't reposted first).

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