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This is not a question but a subjective opinion I have expressed elsewhere as well.

I am on SE for 12 or so years and I was always disappointed by the toxicity of many main "SE network nodes" (with SO being at the very top).

I discovered SE LaTeX a few years ago by wandering in the Hot Network entries. having used LaTeX in my past life (physics) I was borderline interested.

What really strikes me here is the welcoming atmosphere, the quality of the answers etc. Even basic questions are responded to with kindness.

Thanks for that. SE LaTeX has become some kind of psychologically soothing journey.

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  • 8
    I wouldn't like to curb your enthusiasm but it's not always as welcoming as it seems.
    – CarLaTeX
    Jul 24 at 1:36
  • 4
    Hear, hear! TeX - LaTeX SE is certainly among the most welcoming SE sites by any measure. Jul 24 at 9:05
  • 6
    @CarLaTeX: there are certainly all sorts of cases but the posts I saw always have straightforward, complete answers. Not the "what research have you done?" or "closed because duplicate" (when it is not a duplicate at all). My baseline for comparison is SO (this i san easy target), but also other more specialized sites where one could expect more tolerance. Having gone though low-effort questions a lot, I understand that some are really bad; at the same time, someone with experience in SE who asks a generic question may really be lost and would just need a small poke in the right direction
    – WoJ
    Jul 24 at 10:03
  • 13
    Thank you for your kind words. The members of this community are often in a minority, besieged by others who say that our software is obsolete or irrelevant, and we should be using something more "modern". Some of our "kindness" is simply born of a desire for self-preservation. Jul 24 at 14:36
  • 2
    @barbarabeeton: LaTeX is not in a simple situation. I use it somehow extensively for my PhD thesis (and my wife's as well), in times where Word would suddenly say goodbye and you would be left with a pile of binary files that are not useable. I also appreciated the fact that it is so difficult to change anything that you give up and start to write instead of trying to change your headers :)
    – WoJ
    Jul 24 at 16:41
  • 2
    @barbarabeeton (cont'd) I have a son who is in high school and I am trying to make him use LaTex (via Overleaf) for his math assignments. It is really tough, he is willing but I see that the time he spends typing a page is 1/5th of Google Docs. His math is honestly not complex enough so that the built-in equation solutions could not be used.
    – WoJ
    Jul 24 at 16:42
  • 7
    Also, because the community regulars are few, we know each other quite well (and many know each other in real life from annual meetings, etc.). This gives another feeling to this community in general.
    – Skillmon
    Jul 24 at 18:35
  • 9
    Oh, and we got @PauloCereda. Big plus!
    – Skillmon
    Jul 25 at 7:59
  • 1
    In general, I find the more "technical" an SE is, the less toxic the community is. When you're getting into more "opinion based" SE sites, that's when you tend to get drama flaring up. Aug 3 at 12:23
  • 1
    @Crazymoomin: I do not think so. SO, Server Fault are terrible. SE Networking not so much (or crypto). Information Security is not too good because there are plenty of assumptions about the asker. Cooking is fine, worldbuilding too. I think it depends on the ego of the main users of a site.
    – WoJ
    Aug 3 at 15:12
  • 1
    Re writing math being faster in Google Docs, as with many technical skills of this sort, it's faster to do easy things the streamlined way … but eventually your son will hit something that isn't specifically built into the streamlined flow, and then he'll be glad to have an escape hatch. I hope he sticks with it!
    – LSpice
    Aug 3 at 18:31
  • 1
    @Crazymoomin: I have been a sysadmin for more years than I would like to admit (having contributed a small bit in the Linux kernel in 1994). I sometimes had a specific question and it is always the "have you done your research" - and I really wish to have been able to kindly take the folk by the shoulders, and show him 25 years of work across thousands and thousands of servers :) Anyway :)
    – WoJ
    Aug 3 at 18:44
  • 2
    @LSpice: yes, I hope so too. He will have quite a lot of math, but I am not sure if this will be enough for him to switch to LaTeX for good (especially that this is typically homework, so a structure of "Exercise 2 page 45", rather than sections. There is a template for that, I am sure :)
    – WoJ
    Aug 3 at 18:51
  • 1
    @CarLaTeX To a degree I, respectfully, disagree. When I was a new bud on the SE network I asked a question here. My question was closed and then another user contested the closure for me and got the question reopened. Many sites I've asked on just VTC and leave me in the dark. I've also talked to one of my siblings, who also has the opinion TeX.SE is the most welcoming on the network. I'm a moderator on another site now, so I understand all the worts on my site. But I don't know what the average asker thinks of the site, because I'm no longer part of that demographic.
    – Peilonrayz
    Aug 15 at 1:06
  • 1
    @Peilonrayz: I also think that the nature of the site matters. I use SE for ~12 years, respond to questions where I can, and measure how welcoming a site is through the number of WFTs when reading the answers. There are sites where people just dump verbatim their work/school problems and these sites tend to be harsh. Then there are sites such as Cooking or Android where the questions are more genuine, and the sites follow. If suddenly LaTeX was part of the world school curriculum then the overall interest/quality of questions would I believe drop, and reactions may be harsher.
    – WoJ
    Aug 15 at 6:44

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