You know that the DuckBoats usually have two parts.

The first one "Quacking in chat" is about TeX.SE news and similar topics, till now:

  • the double backslash problem
  • origin and evolution of duck mania
  • upvoting behavior
  • "Cinderella" topics.

Whereas the second one is a Quack Guide for beginners about some LaTeX package or TeX.SE feature.

For the next issue, in the first part, I wanted to talk about What NOT to do when you're trying to help a newbie?, but Sarah Lang and Astrid Schmölzer were faster than me (see their article in TUG 40:1, 2019).

So I run out of ideas, please help me!

  • 2
    Academic integrity/efficient way to handle just-do-it-for-me questions? Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 11:23
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    Strategies for finding previous questions on the same topic? (The "often referenced questions" question on meta might be cited, and I encourage anyone who finds a really good question/answer that isn't there already to add it.) Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 12:07
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    @Raaja Thank you, a very hot topic!
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:32
  • @barbarabeeton Thank you, good idea!
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:33
  • The first wild-born pups of this year are out on Vancouver Island. ;-)
    – user121799
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 13:40
  • @marmot Lovely but a bit off-topic :)
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 14:33
  • Well, maybe you could rethink this. Just imagine the nice pictures you could add. ;-)
    – user121799
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 14:48
  • @CarLaTeX you are welcome! Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 15:00
  • @CarLaTeX I appreciate your work and effort! It's only the duck-way I struggle with, seeing it in a printed journal too after it's been kind of a running joke in the chat over years. Please continue contributing.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 22:57
  • @StefanKottwitz I appreciate your effort in writing your comment and I know Barbara is worried because there is not a better replacement for the DuckBoats, but they clearly dividing. Your answer got 10 downvotes and 7 upvotes, plus yours they are 8.
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 5:14
  • @StefanKottwitz What about if you write a column for the beginners?
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 5:15
  • @CarLaTeX I could be challenged in a way. Each time that the master mind behind Prof. van Duck adds another tutorial article without duck costume (so that time for the non-duck-compatible users), I would send an article myself too.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 8:58
  • 1
    @Downvoters could you care to explain why this question is down-voted? Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 5:29
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    @Raaja I think some users are annoyed by the duck invasion. Some time ago you could not join the chat without seeing a duck joke, it was too much. Hence, some users can't stand to see ducks around again.
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 7:11
  • 1
    @CarLaTeX that should not a reason for down-vote for a proper question. Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 7:28

3 Answers 3


I would like to propose: Academic integrity/efficient way to handle just-do-it-for-me questions.


The professore could chat about quite a number of open questions/events:

  • the tikzlings visit to france.
  • tikzlings quantum physics: is the dead \cat[schroedinger] entangled with a laughing or a crying mouse?
  • why is tikzducks a separate package (https://github.com/samcarter/tikzlings/issues/8)
  • What does a Professore from Brazil and now living in Milan think about tourists wanting Hawaii and Nutella pizza at the winter olympic games in 2026?
  • how to create deja-vu chains in the chat?
  • should tikzlings be in a beginners introduction? (Naturally, they are friendly and good tutors ;-))
  • and for tex users in the humanities he could chat about language and script skills in the chat.

A useful area centered on tex.sx could be strategies for finding previous questions on the same topic.

There's a posting on tex.meta entitled "Often referenced questions": https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2419. This is cumulative (I add to it whenever I find a particularly good question/answer in an area that isn't already covered, and encourage others to do so as well). It's a sure bet that newbies don't know about this, and probably many tex.sx "regulars" don't either.

Somewhat off-topic. This link just fell into my in-box, and addresses the concern of whether animal references are "professional" when applied to serious topics: https://twitter.com/dr_know/status/1146399929138630656?utm_source=Nature+Briefing

  • Thank you Barbara, very interesting link! With very interesting comments!
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 20:15

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