32

i've been producing a faq on the web since 1995. it gets lots of traffic ... from search engines; also the odd question searched by an (apparent) user.

i note that almost no-one references my faq, since they can always trivially (apparently -- i can't) find a relevant tex/sx answer.

so, is there any point in me carrying on?

there's method in asking the question: this is my last full year of work, and my work address currently hosts my faq. moving the faq (with its stick- and-string mechanisms) to a clouded machine will be tiresome (at a time when i also have similarly to move ctan).

  • 3
    On this site it's considered good style to keep links within the sx network, so links to an older answer are "better" than links to the uktug faq in some sense, but I don't think lack of links from tex.sx to the faq implies anything amything about the faq. A German FAQ site was recently started so some people still see the need for separately managed faq (texfragen.de) – David Carlisle Jul 8 '13 at 12:29
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    I sometimes (very seldom) need to pull up the syntax of a command/macro I have forgotten... in such cases a FAQ is much more convenient for me than to look for it on SX. So, I don't think it's a waste of time at all (no pun intended)! – Count Zero Jul 8 '13 at 12:56
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    Others have already said it in their answers, your effort is greatly appreciated and of high value; your FAQ has been very useful through the years I've been using LaTeX. Just wanted to thank you for your work. – Gonzalo Medina Jul 8 '13 at 15:51
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    Simple Answer: No, It is never redundant since it's well compiled ,well maintained, well organised/sections and well accessible at terminal texdoc newfaq and lifesaver/godsend for me. Thanks a lot for your TeX related work. – texenthusiast Jul 8 '13 at 23:22
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    Offtopic: I don't know why evince does not render properly newfaq.pdf ? anybody please ? – texenthusiast Jul 8 '13 at 23:29
  • Offtopic contd: I don't know if this can be reproducible on evince for others ? – texenthusiast Jul 9 '13 at 0:11
  • @texenthusiast -- I have no problem viewing with evince (UKFAQ v.3.26 2013/02/25). As for the FAQ itself, I have relied on it(s subtle wit) often over the last six or seven years. – jon Jul 10 '13 at 14:17
  • @jon With evince (v3.6.1) or epdfview or okular, some annotation icons hide the text (with the PDF version in two columns from TeXLive 2013). – Paul Gaborit Jul 11 '13 at 15:01
  • @PaulGaborit -- Perhaps that explains it: I'm v3.6.0 and still on TL2012.... – jon Jul 11 '13 at 19:13
  • Just wanted to add that I also use and value the UK-TeX FAQ (and – for the record – dante). Just so you don't only get positive feedback from >10k users. – Christian Jul 16 '13 at 16:53
33

your reasons are well understood. however, the uk-tex faq is also included in tex live (it's the first one recognized of over 40 possibilities), and i, for one, refer to it there. so your efforts have not gone unnoticed! it's also cited as a link on the ams "tex resources" page, and probably many other pages.

the answers in tex.xs often overlap the material in your faq, but your version has a great advantage -- it is intelligently edited, and for that reason, if no other, it is worthy of preservation and continuation. tex.sx and the uk-tex faq are not interchangeable.

and a big thank you for your efforts on both the faq and ctan for nearly countless years!

27

I appreciate your work on the FAQ, and I would be glad to see it living on. Such a hand-selected and well thought and maintained archive is of great value. It's well accessible and focused. On the TeX.SE site we now have more than 40,000 questions sorted by popularity, frequency and topics, which gives us good access to a large amount of questions. But the FAQ is selected and moderated, that's why I like it.

So I offer hosting the TeX FAQ on a web server. I already maintain some servers and so have hosting, maintaining and programming experience, besides my TeX enthusiasm.

22

Most assuredly not.

Whilst this place has its resident experts, the style is very much of a place where everyone can offer a helping hand and often a quick hack will do in place of a more measured answer. Many of my answers have been of the form "I've no idea why this works, but it seems to do what you want." Even with experts around, it can be hard to judge the difference between true quality answers and bizarre hacks. It's also the same for the questions. The number of votes or views that a question gets bears almost no relation to its actual usefulness.

A well-maintained FAQ (such as yours) is a counterbalance to this. You don't find everything in an FAQ, but when I find an answer in the FAQ then I feel much safer in using it - there isn't that sense of trepidation that I have when cut-and-pasting weird code from this place into my precious document. Also, when browsing through the questions on the FAQ list then I feel that I should look at every single one as there will be a high chance of learning something significant.

So I hope that the FAQ does continue to exist, in some form or other.

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