[OS X TeX] Tex to rtf converter

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Thu Aug 5 11:53:37 EDT 2010

On Thu 5th Aug, 2010 at 11:19, Alan Munn seems to have written:

> On Aug 5, 2010, at 11:06 AM, <cfrees at imapmail.org> wrote:
> [insightful comments about the benefits of wiki deleted]
>> I am sure that Alain was, indeed, joking. But the fact that members of
>> this list are more forgiving of questions which people could easily
>> research for themselves than many other such lists should not be taken
>> as a licence to ask here rather than looking it up first. That's just
>> taking advantage of people's good will.
> And in fact, we're so forgiving that when people mention that a question 
> could be easily answered by the FAQ etc., or is not really a OSX related TeX 
> question, we sometimes get scolded for being unfriendly...
> It's a very fine balance, though, because I would definitely not want this 
> list to turn into one where some large proportion of questions get answered 
> with "that's in the FAQ/wiki".  Also, sometimes it's no more effort to answer 
> the question than to point someone to the FAQ/wiki.

In the short term, maybe. In the long term, it might be different.
Pointing somebody to the wiki or FAQ points him/her to a resource which
may also be able to answer his/her future questions rather than just
resolving the immediate problem.

You might also argue that doing this is more empowering since it
encourages somebody to use a reference for themselves which may indeed
answer her/his future questions. Answering the question yourself can
encourage a dependence which is not necessarily any better (or more
convenient) for the questioner in the long-run than it is for the

In some ways, answering questions directly can make TeX seem more
mysterious and difficult than it really is because isolated answers are
disconnected from any overall picture of the system and its resources.
It risks suggesting that you need a "TeX guru" to answer even the
simplest questions and that unless you are prepared to dedicate several
years of your life to mastering it, you have no chance of solving any
difficulty you run into yourself.

The idea would be that pointing people to the wiki/FAQ would, over
time, reduce the number of questions to which such a pointer would be
an appropriate answer. It might even lead to requests that appropriate
information be added to the wiki if it isn't already there.


More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list