I recently posed this question

Installing EB Garamond (miktex lua) encore encore

The comment thread shows the work @UlrikeFischer, @Herbert, @cfr (combined reputation 235K) did trying to help. What emerged as best for me was to use pdflatex rather than lualatex for my project. I've accepted that as an answer.

But the original question as asked is still unanswered. What's a good way to indicate that?

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    Related: What if a comment answers a question?
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 14:18
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    @EthanBolker: Well, regarding that specific question there is an answer by user cfr. Otherwise, if there a multitude of good comments, all pointing to the right direction or even solution, I would choose one of them and ask the corresponding user to make it an answer. I believe, the other ones won't get angry. If no one reacts, you still can provide a self-answer, with reference to the assisting comments.
    – user31729
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 15:10
  • @ChristianHupfer I did that - asked cfr to submit his comment as an answer, and accepted it. I could provide another answer, clarifying why the question is still open for users who need lua. Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 15:17
  • @EthanBolker: Well, in this case, hold my 'suggestion' as a general recommendation or a point of view of mine. Since in the particular question is still (as of now) unanswered, I would refrain from adding an answer, that only emphasizes, that the question is still open. You could at any time edit your question and add a few lines revealing the current state, perhaps with some eye-catching markup (block quote, for example)
    – user31729
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 15:48
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    In fact I wouldn't accept an answer if the question as asked originally is still open. If the answer by cfr is upvoted the question won't be listed as "unanswered", but accepting an answer is really the indication the question is completely solved. Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 9:32
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    Note that the question is unusual in the following sense. The basis of the 'answer' was a comment which was intended as a diagnostic and not originally supposed to help solve the problem at all. It just happened that the OP was able to switch to pdflatex and decided to do so in light of the outcome of the diagnostic. [I would certainly not have posted my 'answer' if not asked to do so precisely because it didn't answer the question. Still glad it helped, though ;).]
    – cfr
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 22:48
  • If I get this right, your concern is not that the answer is in the comments, but that you resolved it without solving the problem you asked about. You could see this as the answer being "it's not worth the trouble, use pdftex instead"; but you could also see it as a case of the so-called "XY problem": A question about a tool or approach that's ill-suited to the job at hand.
    – alexis
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Summarizing comments as an answer:

Since the precise question I asked is still open, and others may encounter it, I have unaccepted @cfr 's answer. That solved my problem by suggesting a different strategy completely. Do upvote it.

This is indeed the XY problem as @alexis says. When a student asks "how do I do X?" I ask him why he wants to do X. He may say he got stuck there trying to do Y. Often there's a better way to tackle Y that doesn't go through X.

  • I would like to mention that maybe we need to restructure the way questions are asked rather than the way answers are accepted. E.g. adjust the format to more generally ask a question on how to accomplish a certain feature, of course granted the OP has supplied initial attempts at the intended effect.
    – 1010011010
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 12:53

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