I recently asked this question, and I was wondering if it would be okay to ask other variations of it such as "How to install emacs/aquamacs + Auctex". I know that instructions are available, but I've spent all day searching for instructions for "noobies." I have no experience with terminal or any of that stuff. I think it would be really helpful if a tutorial in "noobie" talk was available. I really want to take advantage of (or at least see for myself) all the great things people are saying about vim and emacs + Auctex... But I can't even get past the installation.

So would this type of post be appropriate?

1 Answer 1


Your question reminds me of a conversation between Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky (the founders of Stack Exchange) that I heard on one of their SE podcasts.

The two disagreed somewhat on the issue of "noobie questions", but I think they ended up reaching consensus: if some question

  • can potentially be answered by the OP by piecing together information already available on the Internet,


  • that information is either difficult to find or in a form that is not readily understandable (e.g. some jargony documentation),

then that question is valid on SE sites.

That's what the founders of the site intended. The TeX.SE community may have a different opinion, but I think Joel & Jeff's approach makes sense, here. The site is supposed to be a repository of knowledge about TeX & friends, accessible to as wide an audience as possible, not just TeX gurus.

So, if you think that the site lacks a canonical answer on how to set up some LaTeX IDE, feel free to post a question that would be conducive to such a canonical answer.

  • 4
    I think that a question about setting up a particular add-on for TeX is on topic for the site, but I don't think that a "how to install an editor" is really on topic. In the case of Aquamacs for the Mac, it's a matter of two clicks and one drag...
    – Alan Munn
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 13:44
  • @AlanMunn I agree about Aquamacs. That would fall into the "general reference" category of questions.
    – jub0bs
    Commented May 6, 2013 at 13:49

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