emacs is scheduled for an election starting next week, September 24th, for 1 slot (based off of the community interest check). In connection with that election, we will be hosting a Q&A here for candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

Unlike previous iteration, this time the Q&A question collection will be provided one week in advance of the actual elections. This will allow users some extra time to evaluate their decision on whether to nominate, as well as let them provide answers to the questionnaire during the nomination phase itself.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, September 24th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at current.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • At the end of the collection phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions. We reserve some editorial control in the selection of the questions and may opt not to select a question that is tangential or irrelevant to moderation or the election. That said, if I have concerns about any questions in this fashion, I will be sure to point this out in comments before the decision making time.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, containing (up to) 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

4 Answers 4


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
  • The first two questions are standard and no doubt useful. But I haven't, myself, seen any such issues arise on emacs.SE. I'm guessing that people here might have ideas about how the site could be improved, but I wonder about the moderation. Maybe our moderators could provide some info about what they actually do and have done. Not specifics (naming names), but some idea of the issues they've dealt with (and how). I can imagine simple actions like deletion of answers that aren't really answers, but how about some info about what other things our moderators have dealt with? That might help.
    – Drew
    Sep 25, 2018 at 4:39

What do you think this site's biggest challenge is? (E.g. post quality or quantity, too many/few closures, bad tools/guidance, etc.) What do you think should be done about it (by anybody: moderators, users in general, Stack Exchange staff, ...)?


The creation of this site was controversial: Why do we need a separate site for Emacs? Isn't creating an Emacs site against the usual Stack Exchange policies? Watch out Emacs, you'll need to prove yourself. One week in, the site's worth was still considered dubious.

And then we went public, and we met the criteria for dropping the beta label after about one year. In a few days we'll reach our fourth anniversary.

What do you think Emacs Stack Exchange brings to the Emacs community, and to Stack Exchange?


With respect to the code of conduct, which draws some guidelines for courteous behaviour, respect, and tolerance, there exist other environments where the participants can enjoy greater cooperation and collaboration through the design of those channels:

  • The Emacs' ERC channels,
  • The direct collaboration and communication over issues and PR in Github,
  • My personal experience in Slack (limited to Clojurians work space, which has an Emacs and a Cider channels,
  • Mailgroups, such as the org-mode mailing list. In all those channels, more often than not, the level of discussion is one of investigation and sharing of knowledge.

In that respect, the system of reputation, which has its obvious benefits, takes away something from the pursuit of knowledge.

One beautiful thing in Emacs SE is that out of the love of Emacs, the strict attitude of SO is lifted and new contributors can ask about any aspect. The nature of Emacs makes all problems equal and all solutions configurable.

What else can we do in Emacs SE for a better model within the Stack Exchange framework?

  • 1
    I'm not sure what you're asking here. Comparing Emacs.SE with other resources about Emacs is definitely worthwhile, but what do you mean by “for a better model”? Model of what? What does this have to do with your opening sentence about the code of conduct, and are you talking about comparing codes of conducts on different sites or about the one on this site specifically? Sep 24, 2018 at 22:11
  • I know it's a bit vague, my intention is to ask how can we make it more welcoming for discussion . It is obvious to me that the moderators and participants we have on the site are very helpful, I come here every day to find only knowledgeable, intelligent, kind people and helpful advice . by mentioning the code of conduct , I do not mean there is any lack of tolerance and respect. I mentioned the code of conduct as the written guideline, the SE design as our framework, and Emacs on SE as the model (which I consider better than SO for the nature of Emacs and the users) . Hope that makes sense.. Sep 24, 2018 at 22:27
  • perhaps @Gilles , If I managed to make it any clearer, you could help me turn this into a question for the candidates. I'l gladly edit it. Sep 24, 2018 at 22:31

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