Are there any open research problems in the world of TeX?

It's been raised that this question is a and should be community-wiki. Am I the one who would have to make it community-wiki, or could that be done by a voting process?

Obviously I'd like to not lose the rep, and my better judgement / pesky humility is telling me that it should be CW, but does such a voting system exist for that? Frankly, I'd feel better if I thought that everyone agreed that it should be so.

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    A very close call : I think you should deserve the rep (unless duplicate )for bringing good points after all everything starts with Q. Also please look at old related Q's in my comment. Aug 17, 2013 at 4:27

2 Answers 2


When posting a question, you can make a post CW only at the time of asking. When posting an answer, it can be done anytime (either at the time of answering, or afterward via an edit and checking the "community wiki" check box).

How does one make a question CW after it has been asked? Flag for moderation and request the change.

Note that posts (questions and answers) also inherit CW status after a certain number of edits. For more on this, see What are “Community Wiki” posts?

In this particular case, the information voting process is usually initiated via comment discussion, as well as the "helpful votes" associated with the original CW mention comment. There's no official vote-to-CW method.

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    Also see The Future of Community Wiki.
    – Werner Mod
    Aug 17, 2013 at 3:56
  • that link is definitely something to think about. Aug 17, 2013 at 4:30
  • After reading the link, it seems to be SE's consensus that questions shouldn't be CW unless they themselves will undergo significant editing. It also seems to be our community's opinion that the linked Q is in fact "awesome" (nearly seventy votes in 24 hours!! Never thought I'd be that guy.), one of the pseudo-stipulations put forth in the link. I'm not sure the question deserves to be nerfed with CW anymore. Aug 17, 2013 at 4:57
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    @SeanAllred: I don't know the answer to that. Most of these decision are community-driven, and arguments for making something CW have been reversed in the past. See the revision history of the FAQ How to influence the position of float environments like figure and table in LaTeX?
    – Werner Mod
    Aug 17, 2013 at 5:23

If we are trying to compile a big list, and I am not sure we should be, then this question should be made CW and edited since I am pretty sure the big list we want to compile is not the open projects that are original research suitable in scope for a cap stone project. By being CW we can really refine the question to be an AWESOME big-list question.

As for the voting process, that is what meta and chat discussions are for.

As for the rep, you will lose the points, but people remember when people ask good questions and then help make the site better.

  • To be fair, I'm not saying that it should be big-list, but I recognize the list-y nature of the question (especially how I asked it, trying to avoid overly-large answers). I recognize that there are multiple equally valid ideas posted already, but those multiple add up to three or four (not really 'big' IMHO). You raise a good point though; even now the Q is getting hard to constrain to its original intent. It's (not so) slowly turning into a (La)TeX TODO list. Aug 17, 2013 at 5:49
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    @SeanAllred statements like "one problem per answer" are the defining characteristic of big-list questions.
    – StrongBad
    Aug 17, 2013 at 6:07
  • :/ that's fair. I don't really know how else to phrase it though. Is big-list always CW? Then that doesn't make sense with Werner's link. I would assume these answers aren't meant to be edited Aug 17, 2013 at 6:19
  • But I believe we digress as for the topic of this Q. I would suggest we move to chat, but I really need to sleep—it's 2:30 EST. thanks for your thoughts on the matter :) Aug 17, 2013 at 6:21

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