Yesterday I had a small discussion in the comments of https://tex.stackexchange.com/q/134974/18674. It turned out that the problem was caused by an old version of a package that had changed some of its commands and therefore the example code on the web did not work as intended. During this "discussion" I could finally point the OP into the right direction and made him/her find the problem in the installation.

Now comes my problem: as the solution has nothing to do with the initial problem I would vote to close this question but I'm unsure about the reason to give. I'm torn between "unclear what you're asking" and "too broad" but neither of them really fits. Any advice? And does it make sense at all to close this question?

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    Along the lines of "Closed as off-topic because the problem was an outdated package or distribution." Reference: "Finally, it should be noted that many problems and bugs are caused by classes and packages that are out of date." Sep 26, 2013 at 12:19
  • Would it be better if the OP deleted their own question? Sep 27, 2013 at 3:45
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    And if someone else later has the same problem and asks the same question? They'd find it by a search. Doesn't some kind of record have benefit? Even if it's just to acknowledge the fact that this is a part of the learning curve of TeX/LaTeX? Why would you want it deleted? Oct 1, 2013 at 22:27
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    @GeoffPointer I don't want to delete it, I just want to close. So it will still be there, but closed (and therefore no longer able to be answered) because there's not a real answer to solve the problem, just a hint to make sure to have the right version. Oct 2, 2013 at 7:50
  • Fair enough, but my comment was a response to Andy's suggestion that the OP delete the question. Maybe I should have put in an @AndyClifton. Cheers. Oct 2, 2013 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


Close as off-topic (with the motivation "the problem is due to an outdated package or distribution) is the current policy, mostly for lack of better reasons.

On the other hand, the net is full of outdated examples and templates (even in the LaTeX related Wikibooks pages); it would be impossible for us to cope with all of them, maintaining information related to wrong code, which seems a point in favor of the "close as off-topic" policy.

Maybe we could invite the questioner into raising the issue to the maintainer of the site bearing wrong information, although this may reveal impossible since there are hundreds of unmaintained sites. Adding something about this in our site info page could help:

When using examples or templates from some Internet site, pay attention that the information may be outdated; signs of this are the usage of obsolete packages such as subfigure, epsfig, (…add other packages…) or a non recent timestamp on the Web page.

  • maybe you got me wrong here. The information from the maintainer's site was OK, the questioner was using an outdated version of the package that was not compatible with the example code, which was working on the current versions. Sep 27, 2013 at 10:08
  • @BenediktBauer Oh, sorry for the misunderstanding; but I think that my final comment stands (after modifying it not to refer to the current case).
    – egreg
    Sep 27, 2013 at 10:10
  • Yep, in general you are right! Sep 27, 2013 at 10:12

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