# Tag Info

54

Just to make an example, look at europecv stack exceeding which cannot be answered in the current form, as \documentclass{europecv} \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[magyar]{babel} \begin{document} x \end{document} gives no error whatsoever. In the .../tex/latex subtree of TeX Live there are currently 2066 directories, which correspond to more than ...

33

A MWEB is a MWE (Minimal Working Example) which include a bibliography file (.bib). MWEB stands for "Minimal Working Example with Bibliography". The bibliography file contains your bibliographical references. If your question is about Bibtex/Biber/Natbib/Biblatex/..., this file may contain valuable information useful to answer it. You should use ...

27

Firstly, the aim is that Questions and Answers on this site are as widely applicable as possible. The extra packages that you load, may not be needed at all by another user. For example, you may be writing you document in Czech, but loading babel with the czech option is not the cause of the problem you are having, and the answer given will thus help a ...

27

Another very important thing to note is language, as in written language. LaTeX uses easy-readable commands in plain english, this is great but not my point. Here at TeX.SX are people of many many nations helping each other. Describing a problem in words can be very hard in a different language, espeacially when a special nomentclature is in use. I have ...

26

Apart from the security reason raised by Wang Ki Wun, there are other reasons that Overleaf links should not be accepted as replacements for MWEs. (Some of these you mention in your question, but they bear repeating here.) First, one of the main goals of the whole network is to be a set of self-contained questions and answers. So in the same way that a link-...

23

Some remarks about the "global scope" in the question: Yes LaTeX (not TeX) needs quite some global code. You can't compile hello world It gives the error ! LaTeX Error: Missing \begin{document}. And adding only a document environment doesn't work either \begin{document} hello world \end{document} gives the error ! LaTeX Error: The font size ...

22

21

While it is definitely true that minimal examples are sometimes asked for reflexively, and it's possible to make questions that shouldn't require them, (see automatic check for MWE for some prior discussion) I don't think that discouraging MWEs is at all the way to address the problem you are raising. Here are some counterpoints to think about (some are the ...

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, ...

20

This is a bad idea, for a few reasons. First, despite the fact that people like to demand MWEs, it's not really the case that every question demands one. Yes, they are important in lots of cases, but there are plenty of good questions which don't need them at all. Second, plain TeX users or ConTeXt users would never be able to ask questions without an ...

20

The effort to produce a minimal working example, in my case, almost always results in a solution and prevents me from posting a question on the site. Not that we want to discourage questions, but there is a lot you can do to debug a problem before you ask for help, and the MWE encourages that.

20

Another reason why minimal examples are often required (meaning "necessary to solve the problem" not "mandated by the site") is that errors in TeX are notoriously cryptic and the line number at which an error arises may be very far away from the actual source of the error. So, for example, someone gets an error and the posts the fragment of code that the log ...

17

This has been answered in comments really but For (1) for images traditionally you could use \usepackage[demo]{graphicx} or simply replace the \includegraphics{...} by \rule{3cm}{1cm} in either case, getting a black rectangle, but most modern installations now include the examples from mwe so you can use \includegraphics{example-image} to get an image ...

15

Your main claim appears to be, a MWE forces [queries] to be way too specific. As @AlanMunn and others have already noted, MWEs are not essential for all queries. However, for a great many queries, they are indeed essential. A disturbingly large number of queries starts out vague and unfocused. Postings such as "Ummm, I had some code that was working ...

15

The first thing to remember here is that the site exists to help people use TeX. In the end, provided that happens other factors (such as stats) are not so important. At the same time, of course, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to find the information they want. In the StackExchange model for a site, the idea is that good questions should ...

14

Because in TeX, unlike other programming languages, the entire document to reproduce the problem is hardly ever longer than 30 lines long. And typing that much shouldn't be seen as a burden to get an answer from the community that is known to be very fast to respond already. And most of the times, you find out the problem yourself while creating the minimal ...

10

Unless you discover a bug along the lines of: "when I put someonr in a section heading, the computer expolodes", it should always be possible to reproduce the bug. If the problem is in TeX's word-breaking algorithm, then as long as the word to break is not strictly confidentail, you can replace everything else on the line by a properly sized \rule{10em}{1ex}...

9

I somewhat disagree with Alan Munn. It is true that not every questions needs a MWE, but the majority does. Think of your email program; if you mention »attached« in the text the program asks you whether you have forgotten something. The same could be done here; if the MWE is missing, ask the user whether he maybe want to add it for clarification. I agree ...

9

I think you should paste the contents of the pdf_tex file into your question. Then all the necessary info will be in the question itself, which is better than relying on external sites, in my opinion. Note also that if you upload a PDF as an image to the post, it will be converted to PNG, I don't think the original PDF is saved.

6

There are several non-TeX.SX resources out there that explain the process of creating MWEs https://texfaq.org/FAQ-minxampl (English) http://www.minimalbeispiel.de/ (German and English) https://texwelt.de/wissen/fragen/569/was-ist-ein-vollstandiges-minimalbeispiel-oder-kurz-vm-und-wie-erstelle-ich-dieses (German, could be shortened to https://texwelt.de/...

4

I'm posting this as an answer -- even though this question itself is a duplicate -- because I've answered an equivalent question before in a comment and I can't find it. If the question is clearly well thought out and contains a usable MWE, I may vote to close it as a duplicate, but also post a straightforward "complimentary" answer to get the OP ...

4

To second Torbjørn: It is strongly preferred to include content of your TeX file into your question. But in almost all cases you should reduce the code to the absolutely necessary parts. This is called a minimal working example or short MWE. We have an own meta question here (see I've just been asked to write a minimal example, what is that?), and you ...

4

I think I could add prof. van Duck's tutorials. Section 3 Asking effective questions on TeX.SE of his first article in TUGBoat 38:3, 2017 explains how to build an MWE. Section 3 How to format a post in TeX.SE of his third article in TUGBoat 39:3, 2018 explains how to format your question.

3