From time to time we get questions which seem to be feature requests for specific packages, editors and so on. In some cases the appropriate authors are active on the site and may report back that they have added the feature (for example, I do this sometimes for siunitx). On the other hand, many of these cases cannot be handled in this way, either because they will not be added or because the authors are not active here.

I think it's important that we have a position on when these questions should be left open, and when they should be closed, and also how they should be closed.

1 Answer 1


I would propose the following:

  1. If the question is asking for a way to do X, and it turns out that X can only be achieved by adding a new feature to a package (or using some undesirable workaround), an answer to that effect should be posted, asking the OP to file a feature request on the package site and edit the answer to include a link to that feature request. Ideally, they should also follow up on whether the feature request has been declined or accepted/realised and edit the answer accordingly.

  2. If the question is a pure feature request ("Can a feature be added to package Y to do X?"):

    • If X can be realised reasonably without having to add a new feature, an answer to that effect should be added, and the question left open (and possibly edited to make it a more open question instead of a pure feature request).
    • If X can indeed only be achieved through adding the requested feature, a comment should be posted to the question asking the OP to open a feature request on the package site, and the question should be closed as "Not a real question.".
  • 7
    This seems sensible to me. But one might have questions which are drafted as category 2, but where in fact it is already possible to do what the questioner asks: the requested feature is either already present, or there is a simple workaround. Perhaps those questions better deserve (editing and) answering than immediate closing. Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 20:14
  • @PaulStanley: Good point, I absolutely agree. I've edited the answer.
    – Jake
    Commented Jul 8, 2012 at 21:10
  • 1
    It's a bit sad if this type of question would be closed too hastily as this is the type which almost always represents some interesting research or implementation problem, the kind I'd love to dig out even a long time later if I have some spare time and it falls in my area of expertise. Why not set a large bounty to such a question instead :-) Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 17:32
  • @StephanLehmke: That would fall under type 1 or type 2a, wouldn't it? So the question wouldn't be closed.
    – Jake
    Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 17:48
  • 1
    @Jake Maybe I'm misunderstanding things here. It sounds like a feature can be added to a package only by the official maintainer. OTOH maybe this is more like a fine point of on-topicness at a Q&A site which I'm not getting ;-) I'm still struggeling with the concept that a splendid assembly of TeX experts are working together at this site to make the TeX world better in many ways, but a lot of things are "tuned out" just because they don't fit in the "Q&A" scheme... Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 2:39
  • Can you also use this one as an example? Judging from the votes I think it is a sought-after feature but, as far as I know, nothing exists.
    – percusse
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 10:33

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