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Proposal: Emacs

Elisp questions are always relevant to Emacs, e.g. It is hard to ask an elisp question that is not related to Emacs. I think they should be explicitly on-topic on emacs.SX, and new elisp questions on stackoverflow should be migrated over to emacs.SX.

2 Answers 2


ELisp questions are a subset of Emacs questions. All ELisp questions can be treated as Emacs questions by the fact that ELisp is used pretty much exclusively within Emacs. Thus, I think it is implicit that an ELisp question is on-topic on emacs.SX and the name doesn't need to make it explicit.

  • 3
    You are technically correct that Emacs subsumes Elisp but pragmatically it might nevertheless make sense to encourage people also to discuss Elisp. Elisp hackers are typically among the most knowledgeable Emacsers and therefore we should make sure that we attract them to this SX.
    – tmalsburg
    Sep 14, 2014 at 20:43
  • Looking at the example questions it seems that this project hasn't succeeded yet to attract people who are interested in Elisp programming. I think this SX can only be successful if it brings together the whole community.
    – tmalsburg
    Sep 14, 2014 at 20:59
  • I had intended to add some, but we hit commitment phase before I came up with good ones (read: ones where the answer isn't in the docstring/info pages). An example of a high-level ELisp question would be: "How can I safely include the CL functions in my code?" (I actually want to know the answer to this. #emacs has given me an answer but I can never remember it) Sep 15, 2014 at 13:27
  • Even an "end-user" question that has an answer "in the docstring/info pages" can often be answered also in useful ways that involve Elisp or the use of 3rd-party packages. What's important is to allow the answers to an Emacs question to cover the Emacs gamut: from simple newbie key-binding reminders to nitty-gritty Elisp intricacies (and sometimes even C and build/install info). A question about Emacs is, by the nature of Emacs, open. And answers of every sort can be appropriate. ("Can be" - I am not saying that all answers are equally appropriate for a given question.)
    – Drew
    Sep 20, 2014 at 16:13

You need to be careful here. If this post is representative: What to expect in the Emacs private beta, then questions that are too programmy are supposed to stay on SO. Which I take to mean that outright Elisp programming questions would be considered by some as explicitly off-topic.

I think this is silly, but it reflects the inconsistent/irrational way Emacs questions have been treated on the Stack Exchange network.

  • "then questions that are too programmy are supposed to stay on SO" That's not how I read Jon's post. I think the message is that emacs.SX should not be to much elisp centric. And I don't think that this will happen.
    – Flow
    Sep 17, 2014 at 14:10
  • What I actually said was "That's not to say that elisp is off topic." In fact, I suspect that this site could become the internet's best resource for expert Elisp questions. What concerns us is that SO might already be that site. If so, we should be focusing on making the [emacs] tag (and tags like it) work better for the Emacs community. Sep 17, 2014 at 16:19
  • @JonEricson: "What concerns us is that SO might already be that site." IMO, SO is already that site. What evidence is there to the contrary? Just what problem has been shown to exist, that this proposal hopes to solve? The focus so far is on describing the proposed site (the solution), and not on showing that there is a need for it. Sounds like a "solution" in search of a problem. So far, AFAICT, YAGNI.
    – Drew
    Sep 20, 2014 at 16:19

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