Answers to questions about Emacs regularly involve Lisp code, and Emacs is often used to write programming languages. That said, Emacs is an editor, and it seems questions about it belong on Super User rather than Stack Overflow.

I've asked several questions about Emacs/AUCTeX on Stack Overflow and no one has complained about them being out of place. Is there a policy on where these questions belong?


3 Answers 3


Emacs is an editor often used by programmers for programming.

Manipulating source code can be programming related and more appropriate for SO than SU, for example, and I'd have to decide where the question belongs based on what and how it's asking, not based on simply being about emacs.

Stack Overflow

  • How to browse functions and classes in emacs?
  • How to write elisp to back up files as I edit with emacs?
  • How to integrate emacs with mercurial? (depends on more details)

Super User

  • How to navigate my research paper's text in emacs?
  • How to automatically backup files as I edit with emacs?
  • How to integrate emacs with mercurial? (depends on more details)

Server Fault

  • How to navigate Apache logs in emacs?

Meta Stack Overflow

  • Why do you #%@!ing idjits keep migrating my emacs questions?
  • 1
    This is how I would approach making the decision, but the plain fact is that right now emacs questions aren't getting migrated except in the most extreme cases. Commented Mar 21, 2010 at 18:48

Emacs is a program, it is programming related. You could ask it on Stack Overflow.

Emacs is a program, it is software related. You could ask it on Super User.

I think it should be on Super User unless your question is explicitly about programming. If it has anything to do with the UI, or how stuff works in Emacs, then it should be on Super User.

That's not to say that the people on Stack Overflow wouldn't probably know more about it. You could ask on Stack Overflow and wait for it to get migrated.


I'm not a trilogy lawyer, but: I think questions relating to using Emacs should be on SU, and questions relating to writing extensions for Emacs, or Elisp programming in general, should be on SO.

  • 4
    The trick with emacs, of course, is that anything more complicated than "What's the command to exit, again?" is arguably hacking elisp at one level of another. Current practice seem to be allowing emacs questions on any of SOFU (i.e. accept the OPs choice). This makes for some cross site duplicates, but avoids bruised egos. Commented Mar 21, 2010 at 17:45
  • @dmckee: Fair point, +1. I agree that any time where the line is blurry (because Emacs blurs so many lines :-P), some lenience is appropriate. Commented Mar 21, 2010 at 18:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .