You might remember my post last week which confused and troubled a lot of you. I wasn't clear enough then, so I hope you'll let me try again:

We love Emacs and we love empowering people to build Q&A sites.

This community is all about getting answers to long tail Emacs questions. If you have an Emacs question that has never been answered to your satisfaction, please jump back to the main site and ask it. I'll wait.

Now, let's clarify. Emacs programming questions are already pretty well served on Stack Overflow. So this private beta needs to demonstrate that a dedicated site opens the door for questions that can't survive on our flagship site.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm thrilled with splitting Emacs off into its own topic. A few years ago, I lost interest in this network. What revived my interest was a series of smaller communities that were a bit more free with their topic space. It's entirely possible that this site will do the same thing for folks who have tired of the emacs tag. It's your opportunity to show that the Emacs community is really something special. But in order to do that, this site needs to think big:

"On Beyond Zebra"

Definitely ask the standard (A through Z) questions about Emacs, but don't stop there. Ask the questions that push the boundaries a bit and are, perhaps, a little fanciful. Last week, I started up an Emacs session for the first time in forever and discovered metar.el, a wonderful package for pulling weather data. Even though I know it's still 80°F where I live and there are dozens of other ways to get that information, I can't help typing M-x metar every half hour or so. Keep asking about your .emacs setup and how to turn on sytax highlighting, but also mix in some questions that will astonish casual Emacs users (and outsiders).

  • 1
    (have-chat-room-p) Didn't there use to be a prominent link to the chatroom on the front page during private betas? Sep 23, 2014 at 19:04
  • 3
    You shouldn't say “ask the standard questions” during the private beta, it's giving people the wrong idea. Sep 23, 2014 at 21:01
  • @Gilles which wrong idea?
    – dcorking
    Sep 24, 2014 at 14:31
  • Speaking as a StackOverflow user, a "standard question" is to me one which ought to be closed as a duplicate and downvoted post haste. Telltale phrases are "I haven't googled" and "This is probably in the manual or FAQ, but ...".
    – tripleee
    Oct 20, 2014 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


I'm so glad to see a separate Emacs stack site.

First, although I'm an active SO participant, I've been reluctant to ask Emacs questions there because the questions often straddle the line between programming and user issues, e.g. "How do I get xxx working in my Emacs environment?"

More importantly, Emacs techniques have been addressed over the decades in different ways. What was advised back in the 90's is often no longer germane to current coding recommendations, but the grey ocean of the Internet tends to muddle it all together. The advantage of stack exchange is that Emacs users can rely on a virtuous circle of commentary guiding us toward best practices.

Finally the thing I appreciate about Emacs devotees is that no question is too trivial, too arcane, or (apparently) technical for someone to spend an hour or more elaborating a finely-honed response.

I'm very happy to see this forum added to the stack family.

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