Once the TeX/LaTeX site proposed at area51 goes up, would stackoverflow still be home to questions on that topic?

As had been argued in other questions, writing in TeX/LaTeX is programming in a certain sense. Therefore they belong here. On the other hand, a massive shift of LaTeX questions from here to there would give a massive boost to that site.

On a similar note, I don't think stackoverflow would skip a beat if another q&a site just for Java starts up. Would it be any different in the case of TeX/LaTeX?

  • at the rate that proposal is going, it might take a long time to reach beta ...
    – Suresh
    Jul 10, 2010 at 19:17

3 Answers 3


Personally, I would argue that most TeX/LaTeX questions should be directed to the SE2.0 site because that is where the knowledgeable experts will be, and therefore the site that is most likely to give accurate and complete answers. There could be exceptions, of course, since (La)TeX is technically a programming language and it's possible to do things with it that are more like programming than typesetting; questions of that nature would still be best asked on SO. But I think that only encompasses a tiny minority of the (La)TeX questions we currently have. Most of them are about how to modify some particular LaTeX macro, how to typeset something in a particular style, how to achieve some visual effect, etc. and those questions would find a better home on the new site.

This issue has already been discussed at some length in the comments on the Area51 proposal: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/2148?phase=definition

  • So would the migration be done on a question-by-question basis?
    – user148676
    Jul 10, 2010 at 12:12
  • Migration? Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting moving existing questions out of SO. Guess I misread your question - I was talking about where to direct new LaTeX-related questions that get asked after the SE2.0 site gets into public beta. I think the general agreement is that questions which have been asked and answered in the past stay where they are (because you're right, any migration would have to be checked manually, question-by-question, and that's a lot of work).
    – David Z
    Jul 10, 2010 at 17:43

Not during its beta.


That the LaTeX site was suggested on Area51 shows, that SO is not the optimal place for it (I haven't counted the Area51 proposals for Java sites, but I can't imagine that there are many ;).

So ask your questions on the new site in the future. If you do not get an answer, you can still ask at SO. If you find valuable questions on SO about LaTeX, re-ask them on the LaTeX site to populate it with useful stuff. Normally you do not answer a question on SO with "Look at expert exchange", do you? For the same reason you do not want to push the users from Area51 to SO.

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