TopAnswers Meta
or
Jack DouglasCC0 1.0
TopAnswers has been designed to host multiple, independent[^1], communities of creators, curators, and beneficiaries of high quality Q&A.

If you'd like a particular community to be created here, please let us know in an answer below. We'll need:

1. A topic that lends itself to the focused Q&A format.
1. At least a few people who want to get involved, who are passionate about building that community here.

It would also be nice to know up front if you would hope to eventually get any particular customized tooling, things like:

* specialist markdown plugins like MathML or MathJax
* particular font support
* integration with external tools or services/apis (for example ['databases'](/databases) has [db<>fiddle integration](/databases?q=30))






[^1]: independent but perhaps sometimes overlapping, both in terms of topicality and participation.
We have 6 (5 + myself) LaTeX aficionados who would like to try getting a TeX based community going. All are current or formerly active members from the [TeX.SE](https://tex.stackexchange.com/). A private beta period would be preffered over public just to get things started on the right foot, experiment with how it will go, and make sure everything is copasetic before making a more public invite.

1. The scope would be TeX and all major direct dirivatives[^1] and the tooling dedicated to the TeX ecosystem.

1. :check:

As for special needs, we won't need anything major front.

* Adding the [LPPL license](https://www.latex-project.org/lppl/) commonly used in LaTeX derivative projects as an option for source code in answers would be lovely, possibly eeven making a CC0/LPPL combo the default.[^2] See [this SE post](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1255/5100) for previous discussion of this issue.

* It is important **not** to enable MathML or MathJax support as this will inevitably conflict with users trying to covey what they want to do in LaTeX terms.

* I'm sure there will be font preferences, but I don't know what they are right now.

* Currently there are no "fiddle" style services that would be easy to integrate[^3], but eventually if there was such a thing that covered enough LaTeX engines it definitely be a nice thing to have.

Long term vector graphics suppport would also be nice. Vector or otherwise, expect this site to have a _lot_ of images (as screen shots will be used in almost every post). Making sure the image system scales well and handles the load will be an important  point when considering long term viability.

  [^1]: Personally [I'd actually advocate for a bit wider scope](https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1255/5100) covering several similar digital typesetting systems, but I'm clearly in the minority right now as far as the potential community goes.
  
  [^2]: The default would need some further discussion, at least having LPPL as an option would be very much appreciated as a minimum.
  
  [^3]: Although [SwiftLaTeX](https://github.com/SwiftLaTeX/SwiftLaTeX/issues/12) released earlier today is a promising step towards being able to make one!
Answer #2
CC BY-SA 4.0Monica
**Update:** The community ended up trying [something that's more similar to SE](https://writing.codidact.com/questions/39219) at least for now.  (Basically, we needed a home Right Away because of SE, and a temporary site that looks more like SE made for an easier transition.  The long-term decision remains open.)

----

Representatives of [Writing.SE](https://writing.stackexchange.com/) request a community.

I'm writing (ha!) on behalf of a few of the "senior" users of our community.  We haven't had a meta discussion (which I suspect SE would shut down anyway) yet; we thought it better to set up something here and then invite people to check it out.  This means our community here would be provisional, but I have high hopes for it -- we're in crisis over on SE and our users would like a place to continue as a community.

Our site has about 8,000 questions that are not closed.  I have the impression you're not necessarily aiming for bulk imports; we could start with everything created by the users who come over (including questions that our users answered).  There might be some specific  tags we'd want to bring over wholesale.  (At least *I* do.)  How should we discuss import?

Our users will almost certainly want to see a [way to track their own content](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=233), and if we don't do something about [account recovery](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=234) or [passwords](https://topanswers.xyz/meta?q=237) we're likely to run into problems.  (Many of our users are not hardcore tech-geeks.)  These issues don't keep us from starting to use the new site but would probably be barriers to full-on adoption.  (Nobody wants to invest and risk losing access in a cookie accident.)  We know that other areas are under active development and are likely to be improved; we're ok with a site that's still under construction.  Do expect questions where we don't yet have help/FAQ posts, of course. :-)

We have no special tool or font needs.  We were using the generic beta theme on SE.

I don't know how you're handling moderation or even what moderators can do.  Our site had moderators on SE, so from a *community* perspective it's probably cleanest to appoint some of them as mods here.  If the community takes root here as I hope it will, and as TopAnswers works out how it wants to handle moderation, I would expect to then follow whatever process is developed for a community to choose moderators.  (In other words, I think of the initial mods as truly *pro-tem*, not serving for years and years without community buy-in.)

What other matters do we need to work out with TopAnswers so we can then invite our community in?
Answer #3
CC BY-SA 4.0Jonathan Mee
I'd like to start a C++ programming questions site. I ask and answer a lot of C++ questions over at StackOverflow, or at least I did. I'm looking for a new home: https://stackoverflow.com/users/2642059/jonathan-mee?tab=summary

Most C++ examples on Stack Overflow were externally hosted by ideone.com or similar, so I don't think any integration would be required. However, code markdown inside backticks or indentation to markdown a codeblock would be helpful.
Answer #4
CC BY-SA 4.0aditsu
I'd like to see a community for programming questions. I'm quite shocked to see it hasn't been created yet.

For a more focused community/topic, I'd suggest starting with Java programming questions.

I'm ready to say goodbye to a certain other popular site for programming questions, and to be active here. I don't have a whole group of people with me, but I hope others will join.
Skillmon replying to Jack Douglas
fenced code blocks are always the answer!
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
I think [fenced code blocks](https://spec.commonmark.org/0.27/#fenced-code-blocks) are probably the answer? Assuming you are trying with indented code blocks
Jonathan Mee
Guys is there a way to place a code block immediately following a list? On StackOverflow I used the HTML comment between them to break the list (<!-- -->) but that doesn't seem to work here.
aditsu
I used to be pretty good at it though
aditsu replying to Jack Douglas
kinda rusty, and it has grown a lot since the last time I used it
Jack Douglas replying to Lennart
My guess is that a .NET comunity would make sense but it is only a guess…
Lennart
Would a community ".NET" make sense, in contrast to a singluar C# or Ff# (or...) site? It would also encompass things like Visual Studio, NuGet, ASP, WPF etc. This would be something I can contribute to by importing from SO and general participation. 
Jonathan Mee
Looks great I'll start populating it as I see questions I can link and we'll see what kind of traction we can get! Thanks for the help!
Jack Douglas
please let us know what tags you'd like to see and we are happy to add more at any time. And as soon user-tag-creation is a thing, we'll let you know.
Jack Douglas
OK @Jonathan, let's give it a go: https://topanswers.xyz/cplusplus — thanks for the vote of confidence and for your enthusiasm — we'll continue to try and encourage others to participate, but if there is reasonably regular activity in there I think it's likely that we'll gradually get people joining. Perhaps even a few from reddit :)
Jack Douglas
looks like the C++ logo uses shades of blue
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
if we implement a dark theme it will be a profile settings, swapping black/white and the dark/light community shades, leaving the 'mid' shade alone. However we still need to have some sort of colour to build the theme around (the 'mid' shade) — grey on meta, blue on databases, green on code golf, etc
Jonathan Mee
I know that's a constant request even now of Stack Overflow.
Jonathan Mee
Oh, man could we do a dark theme? Is that legal?
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
what about a colour scheme? any particular colour make sense to use as a base?
Jonathan Mee
creates less mayhem if I'm linking it in different contexts.
Jonathan Mee
probably cplusplus?
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
any thoughts on what our url should be? I think https://topanswers.xyz/c++ would be legal, but perhaps https://topanswers.xyz/cplusplus would be more sensible?
Jonathan Mee
I'm down with that. I'd start asking my own core questions and answers if we had something available, and just link to the core answer externally.
Jack Douglas
are you prepared for us to set it up here on a trial basis here for  a few months, and then reassess whether it's going anywhere?
Jack Douglas
that sounds interesting
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
oh I see, so you'd be producing canonical selfies here?
Jonathan Mee
Ideally putting content on our site which deals with underlying issues which could be linked to would be a good linkable foothold.
Jonathan Mee
Oh I wasn't saying that I'd reproduce anything. For example there are often questions of: "How do I set an array size to a variable?" The short answer is: "C++ doesn't currently allow this." I'd like to add a link to a question on our site which says: "What is the progress toward variable length arrays?"
Jack Douglas
does that make sense or am I missing something obvious?
Jack Douglas
it would be fine to pose the question here as a brief summary and a link to the reddit question but that would only be workable as a stepping stone. The final outcome (I think) woul have to be to either get the OPs permission to reproduce the full question here, or to delete the question here and post the full answer on reddit :(
Jack Douglas
reddit have a license from the copyright holder but we'd need permission from the OP to reproduce their question here
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
there is a question mark over copyright in the question I think : https://www.reddit.com/r/TheoryOfReddit/comments/3uz0s1/who_owns_the_copyright_on_reddit_comments_and/
Jonathan Mee
I've been keeping myself busy in my leave from StackOverflow over here: https://www.reddit.com/r/cpp_questions/ but I realize I could even ask the real questions somewhere else and provide link answers to the content here.
Jonathan Mee
Lol, sounds like me in Java. I just keep trying to write C++code and having to go look up the statement analogs.
Skillmon replying to Jack Douglas
but I didn't code in C in quite a while now and every time I start a small function I feel like I've forgotten everything. So, I'd consider myself neither a C nor a C++ coder really. But if I have to decide one, I'd say C, as I never really used C++.
Jonathan Mee
That applies for the most part.
Skillmon replying to Jack Douglas
I feel comfortable in the subset of C++ that is C.
Jack Douglas replying to Skillmon
same question to you @Skillmon — are you a C++ coder as well as C?
Jack Douglas
@aditsu how is your C++?
Jack Douglas replying to Jonathan Mee
OK, we'll consider that as an option if we don't get any traction with other SO users. I've contacted a couple who I know are not completely happy with how things are going there.
Jonathan Mee
I do have a couple coworkers who are relatively advanced who I may be able to persuade to also be a part... If we had something running anyway.
Jonathan Mee replying to Jack Douglas
As much as I regret it, I don't know anyone on there personally. So I don't think I can pull any of them over.
If you look at a lot of questions, you'll see I answer my own pretty frequently, often because of their complexity or the unsatisfactory nature of answers. So even if it's just me talking to myself I'd like to get something going.
Jack Douglas
@Jonathan this is something we'd be very keen to get running here if we can get 2 or 3 more participants for a private beta to get things up and running — they don't need to have your level of expertise, just a decent level of understanding of the topic and enthusiasm for the project. I've [asked in an SO chat room](https://chat.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/48554314#48554314) to see if we can get others on board but you may also know of other folk who'd be interested you can ask?
aditsu replying to Skillmon
I don't have a really strong opinion, but I tend to agree with you
Skillmon replying to aditsu
Then I have to oppose to @Jack's idea. I think it would be better to have a general landing point for now and split out languages once we have the manpower to dedicate a community to that language. Starting with a fragmented approach while being so small isn't the right thing to do, imho.
Andriy M replying to Jack Douglas
Oh, so that's another reason for me to be glad to have ended up in such a rational-minded company, then. I don't know if any of Monica's SE communities have suffered much from cross-posting but if they have and it was the way she described (similar questions with different focus posted on different sites still considered to be against the rules), then I'm sorry they didn't have enough consensus to agree to take a more reasonable view on the matter. Or maybe they just didn't have a chance to discuss the issue, who knows.
Jack Douglas replying to Andriy M
I've got a feeling dba.se probably handled that better than the average SE site — i.e. we did it the way @Monica is suggesting but others just rejected everything
Andriy M replying to Monica
That doesn't quite match my experience, to be honest. As far as I remember, the aversion has always been to posting *exactly the same* questions on different sites within the network. The two sites I've mainly participated in answering on are SO and DBA.SE, and there's a definite overlap in what both sites consider to be on topic. Certain types of questions could be posted on either site without the need to rephrase them to tailor to the requirements of that community, but we wouldn't tolerate word-for-word cross-postings. On the other hand, asking the same question under a different angle would be perfectly acceptable if not even encouraged.
Andriy M
-
aditsu
oh, I just realized I can click a user from the site of the chat
aditsu
btw, do these @ mentions actually work?
aditsu
@Skillmon my original idea was a single community for programming questions (should be easier to get it started) and I still prefer it, but since @Jack wanted to separate languages, I guess I'm ok with that too
Monica replying to Andriy M
I've never understood the aversion on SE to *responsible* multi-posting.  If your question has different aspects that involve different communities, and you focus each question on the community where you're asking it, (and bonus points if you cross-link them), what's the problem?
Jack Douglas replying to aditsu
there are a few differences already: 'labels' are implemented as distinct 'question types' here rather than with tags, and different question types have different voting rules (though that's not fully implemented yet)
Skillmon
(and if we don't have enough expertise to help people programming in A or B in the beginning, so be it, questions not getting answers happens on all Q&A)
Skillmon replying to Adám
see, and "now" there are enough people to create their own sub-community. So if @aditsu has enough supporters for a Java only community I think he should go on and get it going. If not, I don't see why he should limit the scope in the beginning if there are enough people interested in a general purpose programming community.
Adám
Code golf used to be on SO too,
Skillmon replying to Adám
As I already said, don't ask me, I don't have all the answers. I'd advocate for the communities to decide what's on-topic for them. If there are enough people confident to build a .NET community then they should go ahead. As long as there aren't it'd be good to have a community like SO which functions as a gathering place for those programming things which don't have a sub-community of their own. Similar to how LaTeX questions used to be asked on SO before TeX.SE came into existence.
Adám
How about things like C# vs .NET? They are hard to separate, but .NET also belongs with many other languages.
Adám
Definitely not. Neither would you want one community per implementation of the same language, even if there are small differences.
Skillmon replying to Adám
Don't ask me, I don't know. I think that many people who can help you with C can also help you with C++ and reducing the scope leads to a fragmented user base effectively reducing the number of people reached who can help you. So I'd say sticking together similar enough conceptual languages isn't a bad thing. Or would you want a Python2 and a Python3 community, because the languages are different enough?
Adám
There could also be one community for related languages, as certain principles could apply to the group as a whole. E.g. all APL-like array languages.
Adám
Is there anything *wrong* with lots of communities?
Skillmon replying to Adám
Would you say that C and C++ are like JavaScript or a related technology? I'd say no. And C# is different enough from C and C++ to not be in the same community. I have never looked at B, so can't say anything about it. But do we really want a sub-community for each and every programming language?
Adám replying to Skillmon
C, C#, C++? B too?
Skillmon replying to Adám
For things like that I'd suggest a single JavaScript community which also deals with the related technologies, similar to how the TeX community deals with TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, MetaFont, MetaFun, ...
Andriy M
Of course you may not even need to ask it twice if the gist of the problem defines its scope clearly enough
Andriy M
There's a large body of 'cross-discipline' problems where one component is client-side and the other server-side. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to create separate sites for combinations of languages/technologies, but for now, as a workaround, a question could be asked more than once in each relevant community, just with enough focus on the relevant aspect of the problem to make it on topic there.
Adám
I think one site per lang is much better. However, how do you deal with things variations on a language. E.g. JavaScript, JavaScript+jQuery, TypeScript, etc.
Skillmon
@aditsu do you think we should create sub-sites for every popular programming language or have a single community which deals with every popular languages?
aditsu replying to Jack Douglas
Thanks, so far it looks a lot like PPCG (now called CGCC I guess)
Jack Douglas replying to aditsu
you are in — we have some plans for customizing things so we can cater for Code Golf better — some of them are being hashed out on meta questions in there
Jack Douglas replying to aditsu
oh yes I looked you up on SE
aditsu
For code golfing, there is already https://code-golf.io/ which I like, but I guess I can check out your beta too. I think the generic question/answer format is not really suitable for that kind of challenges.
aditsu
But you somehow knew I was into java and code golfing.. or did you get that from my SE profile? :)
Jack Douglas replying to aditsu
do you mind updating your answer here to be a request for a Java community in particular? Then we can start to ask around to see if we can get other folk interested in kicking it off.
Jack Douglas replying to aditsu
No I wasn't on PPCG, but we have [a private beta here](/meta?q=624) now and are adding people on request…
aditsu replying to Jack Douglas
Oh sure, I'm all for Java :) Were you on PPCG too? Sorry your name doesn't ring a bell, maybe it's due to my sleep deprivation :p
Jack Douglas
@aditsu We are leaning towards having separate communities for e.g. C# and Java. SO is a whole big mess and we'd rather have things a bit more tightly defined here — along with adding a feature so we can get a question feed from multiple communities in a single place. If we can get a couple more Java experts interested we can start with that here if you'd like to get involved. In the meantime would you like access to the Code Golf beta?
Adám
*Programming Questions* would be appropriate. I don't like the clever names either. It requires in-knowledge to know that "Ask Different" is about Apple products, *Cross Validated* is about "statistics, machine learning, data analysis, data mining, and data visualization", etc.
aditsu replying to Adám
Oh, ok. Whooosh :)
Adám replying to aditsu
It was means as a joke building on your (tongue-in-cheek?) avoiding explicit mention of SO.
aditsu replying to Adám
Does it need to have a "clever" name? The database [sub]site is simply called "Databases". And I see your suggestions as basically imitations of "Stack Overflow". I'd rather go with something different.
Adám
`
Adám
@aditsu Ideas to for the name of the site you're suggesting:
* Segmentation Fault
* Buffer Overrun  
* Memory Full
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Both of our projects are interesting and have very different setups and constraints.  It'll be interesting to see how they both develop.  I'm glad we're talking with each other and working together where we can.
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
Thanks @Monica :) Having lots of chefs has it's advantages but can also be harder work — I appreciate the relative freedom we have here, while nonetheless hoping that the dev team will grow over time!
Monica
I appreciate all of your offers of help.  Large projects involve more cat-herding, it seems. :-)
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Please don't worry about it!  It seemed like an obvious idea to me -- start with your chat, replace the business logic because of the different tech stack, but that seems easier than starting from scratch.  The people who'd actually be doing it told me no, so oh well.  Maybe others who are technically proficient will say otherwise, and if so they can duke it out.  I figured the SQL at least would be something we could reuse, and maybe when we get to chat that'll still happen.
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
sorry about the chat code-sharing thing, I wasn't taking into account internal factors like 'Codidact want a clean consistent code base' when I said I thought it would be fairly easy (I meant from a purely technical point of view)
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Also (and this was my motivation), if you're trying to get users to come here from there, being able to say "and you can keep all your stuff together here" is valuable.  Users don't want to fork their stuff.
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
that sounds like a good balance. I've been wondering about having a tool for importing everything for certain users — some people produce almost exclusively high quality content.
Monica
We wanted to bring users over with their stuff, which gets more complicated with selective importing.  Had I the chance to do it over again, I would have done a more-restrictive bulk import coupled with a way for any user to import specific questions.
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
I regret importing everything.  I wouldn't have wanted to go as restrictive as TopAnswers did (import specific questions only), but we should have written a query to exclude stuff of lower value.  Of course, "lower value" is in the eye of the beholder, but at the very least, old closed questions with no answers aren't going to be valuable.  Old closed questions *with* answers that didn't garner many votes are highly questionable.
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
Do you mind me asking how it is going on writing.codidact? I'm particularly interested to hear whether you think importing the entire database of Q&A is a definite win or whether you would have preferred a selective import in hindsight.
Jack Douglas replying to David
I was thinking of you when I added the footnote plugin ;) hello, welcome and Happy New Year (Decade)!
David
@Jack Footnotes! :) Best wishes for 2020, while I'm at it.
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
ArtOfCode did that from the most recent data dump, yes.  It was a one-time operation; we're not doing any syncing.
Jack Douglas
oh, I see there is info on that in the answers!
Jack Douglas
I'd be interested to know how you imported all the Q&A, was that from an SE data dump?
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
thanks for providing the links, it's very interesting to see.
Monica
This is older Q&A software that he built as a side project a while back, and has been recently updating for us so that the SE community has someplace to go while we wait for a more durable solution.
Monica
It's not a Codidact alpha; Codidact isn't that far along.  It's run by ArtOfCode, who's a lead on Codidact, and he'll keep it up for us until either Codidact is ready and we move there, or we decide to go elsewhere (like here).
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Writing is temporarily living at https://writing.codidact.com/ .  See this meta post for an introduction: https://writing.codidact.com/questions/39219