Today, this is exactly one year, when I firstly met this tex.sx.com. I found out that this is very interesting phenomenon from (web)-technical, TeXnical, social and psychological points of view. There are many very nice questions and answers here. Moreover, a group of very hyperactive users is here and I should ask them:
Do your activities at TeX.SE steal too much time from your real life?
Do you feel that you are absorbed by this site and your normal activities are faded?
Do you spend too much time in front of your computer monitor with TeX.SE open?
I personally must answer: "I do" for all these questions. So, I decided today: to stop with my activities here. This is my last post (except short comments, maybe). Compare, that I was not such hyperactive as other users. I selected only interesting questions where the beauty of TeX and of ideas can be shown. I didn't deal with questions where questioners are drown in the useless LaTeX complexity nor very simple questions with straightforward answers: "read the manual" or "read the log file carefully" or "your misunderstanding is due to the different TeX and LaTeX terminology" or, finally "do it yourself, this site isn't a code generator". Such type of questions are about 90 percent here.
It would be better for me to stop my activities here because (for example) I really don't want to dispute with @egreg (one of hyperactive users) again and again. I hope I leaved the clear trace in my answers here with the messages:
- There is not only LaTeX, don't forget the existence of TeX.
- The solution using straightforward TeX tools are more elegant and more simple and compact (but this was rarely understood and upvoted because users don't know TeX, unfortunately).
- It will surely pay to know TeX language firstly. The higher level
languages have a potential dangerous bend: they hide the TeX from your
thinking and TeX will repay you (for example) with the messages of the
missing \endcsname inserted" which you cannot understand if you avoid basic TeX principles.
- More and more complicated higher level layers do problem less and less
\tracingall, for example).
- LaTeX was born as a template only (modular template: article, book, report) for users-authors. It was supposed that a TeX-specialist is ready to help users-authors during filling the template. But if an user-author needs to do more (to program the document, to control the design) he/she must to understand the TeX language first. LaTeX level only is not good choice for this.
- Very bad practice is the blending of layers (mixing
\deffor example). The user is lost in the Babylon of languages. But the first language in the TeX word is only one: language of TeX primitives.
- The answer explaining how TeX works is more valuable than the answer of the type "use this package and don't think how this is done".
\bye, tex.sx.com. If somebody needs to contact me, please use my email, no this forum.
Edit: My decision to leave this site is not due to my opinion discrepancy with LaTeX masses here but simply it is my personal failure: I feel that the concept of this site drags me into a "sx.com addiction" and I want to break this. This is the reason of my questions in this post. IMHO the sx.com concept can be very interesting subject for psychologists.