I found this question: Proof reading service, which I thought was intresting because I hoped someone would leave an answer that recommended services that actually accept LaTeX source. However, that question is now closed as off topic. Do you think my question is off topic as well?


The general proof reading service question is not ontopic. That's why I migrated it to writers.stackexchange.com. The link there has changed though: Proof reading service.

However, your question about LaTeX proof reading is ontopic. Actually, it's on the edge, since it's not about TeX or LaTeX itself, but a LaTeX supporting proof reading service could be seen as a tool for our users, such as a LaTeX supporting spell checker and editor are.

So, your question is welcome, and it can help our fellow LaTeX users.

  • If anybody else has a different opinion, please post it, since we make decisions as a community.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Feb 10 '12 at 11:41

(This is sort-of an extended comment, but on meta I have less compunction about "Answers are for Answers" than on the main site.)

It's worth noting that this went for a couple of weeks without an answer. From that, I draw two conclusions:

  1. There isn't an obvious answer.
  2. No-one has a very strong opinion either way.

When in this situation, I would say that the best way to let the community decide what it likes is ... to let the community decide what it likes. But the "community" (assuming it exists) doesn't really visit meta very much. It tends to hang out on the main site. So, assuming you're still interested in this, what I recommend is that you try the question on the main site, but make it clear that you're doing an experiment to see if this kind of question is acceptable. That'll mean (hopefully) that:

  1. People actually think about whether or not they like that kind of question, rather than going with gut instinct.
  2. No-one shouts at you for posting what they think is a totally off-topic question.
  3. As it's an experiment, you'll put a bit more thought into how best to craft the question to give it its best chance of "life", leading to a better question (assuming it's allowed to live).

I have two and a half different opinions that do not lead to a conclusion. So consider it as a half-baked answer.

On one hand we have the too general questions (especially about TikZ/PGF) with the underlying message "Can somebody draw this for me?" without any MWE etc. and that certainly has a bad connotation (although s/he may just be too novice to start in the first place). Hence accepting these as on topic can lead to more bossy questions such as "I need this, who can do it for me for hundred bucks?".

Moreover, the user who offers such a service can cause unnecessary conflict of interest if there are other users who wish to offer such services. It is not the immediate concern of course but might lead to problems.

On the other hand, it is quite possible that this would make an example for other possible business options and can create a Yellow Pages effect, something the overlords also don't want (I sincerely hope!!)

Lastly, I also think that this is a nice idea to meet with people and collaborate (for-profit or non-profit options available). So, I guess one should always keep an eye in the chat first to get a general idea and then maybe make it a question that is worth archiving.

Sorry for the vagueness but somehow I feel a little paranoid about this considering the ingenious ways that the advertisers find to spam everywhere on the net including statistics. For those who are interested look at this. Very clever idea :)

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