36

XY Problem means: You want to do X. You think about a solution Y. But you find out that there is a problem with this solution Y, so you ask about Y, not even mentioning X. You should ask about your real problem X, and as a part of the question put: "I tried Y but with no success / with some problems." Find out more about XY problem (link). Few examples how ...


33

I think that editing a question after you've received good answers to it is generally bad practice, especially if it would change the validity of the answers. If what you need could be done with a minimal change, it might be possible to add a comment to each answer with an extra question. This will notify the original answerers and let them update their ...


30

A good practice is to avoid flooding the front page. Besides that, time doesn't matter much - however if you put effort in writing a good question, and in investigating if it was already asked or not, the time period would probably not very short. Avoiding duplicates is an art which costs time, both the OP and potential answerers.


24

In my opinion, the main criterion is "does it answer the question?". If yes, then it is an answer, if not, then it can be part of the question. In particular, if the question is about getting a working answer, a first attempt with dirty code or a hackish workaround is perfectly suitable as a self-answer (bonus points for mentioning the limits of the answer, ...


23

TeX.SX (and all other networks on Stack Exchange) is a Question & Answer (or Q&A for short) site where users ask questions, which are then answered by community members. This structure is the fundamental building block for the site. The top entry of every post is the question, while answers are given below it. Here is what the FAQ mentions regarding ...


23

The best one to use, in my opinion, is the one that the person asking the question is actually using. For example, if you are using memoir, it may interact with some other packages in a different way than book or article and the answer provided using article may not be working for memoir. A MWE should be obtained by removing as much content from the actual ...


23

Here is a collection of ideas, taken from comments and the FAQ for Stack Exchange sites: Questions: Search first We typically come to a Q&A to get an answer. Immediately. However, there is a bounty of knowledge already present on this site. Search for it using the best ninja skills you have possible. Only then post a question. For not-so-new users, ...


23

Well, there's no such possibility on StackExchange. Every post is limited to 30kB of text, and a bunch of figures, if you wish. Why? Well, there's couple reasons (most of them were already summarized in the comments): StackExchange can't host large files. Once you allow them, there's be a large lot of them, and that's at least very expensive. Users aren't ...


22

Generally, no. The minimal document class is simply too minimal, and shouldn't be used. Of course if your question involves chapters you would need to use a class like report or book that support chapters. So article is an excellent choice for almost all minimal examples.


22

We vote anything and everything. We are full of contradictions. If we somehow get what the point is we leave it alone unless it's really boring and unlikely to be done in finite amount of manhour x time x etc. That is another contradiction right there. We have monthly(biweekly?) Answer the unanswered sessions where we sweep the unanswered questions so most ...


21

The TeX site is not the correct place. It would be, if you would know your desired notation and ask how to typeset this with TeX. For the notation style itself, better ask on the Math or Graphicdesign site. The latter also deals with typography questions.


21

The basic principle is exactly the same whether you use LaTeX (I've just been asked to write a minimal example, what is that?) or LyX: create a document that contains the least amount of content possible, while still demonstrating the problem at hand. For example, if you have a problem with a table, you can probably remove all the text in the document, ...


19

I say go for a bounty! As you can see, there are a lot of questions on this site, and if a stream get asked in relatively quick succession then your (or, indeed, anyone's) question can get lost in the flood. Bounties can be awarded for a number of different reasons: you need a solution to the problem and your question has been buried by the most recent ...


18

Here's my method, on Windows. Your mileage may vary: Nothing against it, but I use the "appropriate" document class rather than standalone. I open the result in my PDF reader, at 100% I take a screen shot (usually a subrectangle of the whole window), using MWSNAP, and save it (automatically) as a .png for uploading When, occasionally, the output is ...


17

It's true that questions seem to come in clusters. When someone is starting a new latex project (designing a package, writing a thesis) they tend to have a series of questions. Recent examples are: xport and Peteris Krumins. This is not a bad thing. Nevertheless, I think 1 question per day limit (averaged) is reasonable and forces people to think carefully ...


17

I think you stand to annoy people if you are perceived as asking questions whose answer can easily be found in e.g. the documentation for a package. The strength of the site is that a wide range of experts are willing to share their knowledge with you, but that willingness will weaken if the site seems to be the place where people just ask questions without ...


16

My method, on Mac OS X. Sometimes I use \usepackage[convert,border=2]{standalone}, which requires pdflatex --shell-escape and that ImageMagick is installed (it is if one has a full MacTeX distribution). This has a limitation, because not everything can be obtained just as if a real class were used. So most of the times I compile the document with the ...


16

My opinion is that it is perfectly normal to ask a question that is covered elsewhere on the Internet, as long as it is (La)TeX-related. In fact, even if you didn't ask the question here, it would have been answered on the main site - the community here is eager to help, regardless of the expertise/level of the question. On a completely related topic: The ...


15

Hopefully my answer below is still useful for you and others, especially for Windows users. Theory Once you have had a PDF output, you need to convert it to PNG by using the following batch file named pdf2png.bat. It is convenient to register the batch path to the system variable. rem pdf2png.bat echo off rem %1 PDF filename without extension rem %2 ...


15

The length of question titles is already limited. Earlier there was a limit of 250 characters, in May 2010 it was changed to a maximum of 150 characters. You can test it: if you type a long title, you would get a message: That title is too long to be useful. Can you make it shorter? 150 characters may still be much, but sometimes it's good to have some ...


15

If you can manage to demonstrate the problem you’re struggling with within 20 or 30 lines of a fully compilable Minimal Working Example, your question most likely won’t be closed as too localized. What makes questions too localized is not including a full document or including several problems in one question (this might trigger other closing reasons as ...


15

Questions that work well on the StackExchange sites are ones for which a resolution is well-defined. If this is not the case - when the question is too broad (leading to no specific, concrete answer) or when a question solicits subjective commentary (quite often although not exclusive to questions tagged best-practices) - the risk of being closed as "too ...


14

Give it five minutes. Before you criticize something, give it five minutes and think about why it works this way. It is very easy to list tons of critics of the model here. And all those reasons you listed are quite valid on their own. But this site has been here for quite a while and many people have got their answers for questions from really newbie to ...


14

Your question reminds me of a conversation between Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky (the founders of Stack Exchange) that I heard on one of their SE podcasts. The two disagreed somewhat on the issue of "noobie questions", but I think they ended up reaching consensus: if some question can potentially be answered by the OP by piecing together information already ...


14

This is going to be difficult, since it doesn't fall within the generic realm of StackExchange - site-specific features. Instead I propose we create a generic question that has a please-do-this-for-me flavour and answer it in a generic way, pointing to some FAQs about usages for packages, other SE sites and even third-party applications. That way one can ...


13

The StackExchange idea is not that it's for everything but for a particular thing: questions with an answer, or at least questions which seem reasonably to be answerable. (Of course, sometimes it's not easy to tell if this is the case.) The concept is then that voting helps people visiting to find answers to see which of the ones given is the best/clearest, ...


13

I think the questions here should relate to real problems you face, or help you to figure out things you were puzzling about. If you want to ask a problem-related question that you answered yourself but that you think it would be helpful for others to ask, then I think these questions are OK. Asking made-up questions that aren't well-motivated, though, I ...


13

That's not correct. You can post answers and questions starting from reputation 1, which is the starting and minimal reputation. You can't get below it even by downvotes. See https://tex.stackexchange.com/privileges/create-posts: What is asking and answering questions? The most basic privilege of all -- the right to ask a question, and the right to ...


13

Instead formulate your confusion that apparently made you uncomfortable into smaller pieces and throw it to our TikZ lions and PSTricks piranha (animals are in alphabetical order don't bother :P) In other words, instead of am I doing wrong? questions, convert them into why do I do this? shouldn't it be happening such and such etc. questions with ...


12

Being relatively new to the TeX.SX I have been impressed by the constructive and positive atmosphere. This reply is perhaps not directly a response to the first question but more of an extension to the discussion. I totally agree that any new question should have been preceded by some research on this site and others before being posed. Another aspect is ...


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