Recently, JCL asked a question about Edward Tufte books. It's definitely not about "TeX or any of its descendants … TeX distributions … [or] (La)TeX related software", to quote the FAQ, and so it'd definitely seem to be off topic. On the other hand, typographical concerns are near and dear to TeX, and consequently to many of its users as well. I imagine that a number of us would care about the answer to this question, or be able to provide a good one. All the same, just because something has no place elsewhere doesn't mean it belongs here, but I share Tomas Lycken's concern that we'd suffer question drain to a hypothetical typography.stackexchange.com. So what should be our policy on such questions?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I would like to have at least some connection to TeX in the question. I agree that it's something a lot of TeXers would be interested in, and is close to the spirit of the site, but I don't like the slippery slope. I think that questions at the boundary have to pass a higher level of "question quality" to pass, and at the very least explain why Joe TeXer would be interested in the answer to this question.

For example, I believe that there are LaTeX classes based on Tufte's designs (ikke sant?), so the question could easily be made into a question about those classes and the books that they were based on. The questioner could look at the output of those classes, say which one they like, and so make it even more specific. Or could ask about how to implement some aspect of Tufte's designs in ordinary TeX (ie without loading one of the special classes).

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I actually think that we should try to allow typography questions, at least provisionally, for 2 reasons:

1) One should never make a rule or regulation unless, and until, it's needed. It's not clear to me that it's needed now. Are there a million typography questions per hour? Or 5 per year? Do we need a rule before a problem exists? My opinion is that we don't. I believe in fuzziness for things like this.

2) The connection between typography and TeX doesn't have to be in the question; it's in us. We use TeX, and we're here to learn how to use it better (or partly that), and knowing a bit, or a lot, about typography helps.

I was fascinated reading the 'memoir' docs precisely because the entire 1st section is about typography.

Anyway, that's me.

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For the record, there is a fonts & typography SE site in development phase now. I think many people here might be interested in joining it.

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Also Graphic Design seems to accept some typography related questions. –  Caramdir Jun 11 '11 at 15:39
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This proposal has been closed as a duplicate of Graphic Design. –  Charles Stewart Jun 18 '11 at 12:07
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Yes, sadly... :'( –  ℝaphink Jun 18 '11 at 12:52

In my opinion, it shouldn't matter if the question is of general nature or not TeX-related, because the questioner has posed his/her question on a TeX Q/A-site, then the answers should be in TeX.

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