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Thread: Q&A

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    Q&A

    Is there any way to compile a listing of problems that have been posed and solutions that have been provided. Often times a thread is very interesting with lots of proposals. Part of the thread also has some back and forth banter (not that I'm against bantering).

    But when all is said and done, the problems and solutions are invaluable. So an original problem statement and the solutions (may be >1) would be interesting to be able to look across in case I have a similar problem (and cut out the banter). Searching thru all the threads could be very time consuming. Even using the search capability may not get you what you want since that requires you to guess at a word that may have appeared in some past thread.

    Forgive me if this has been asked but I noticed that this board is up to around 15 pages and I really didn't want to search them all for the answer.

    fred

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    Re: Q&A

    Are you just talking about Lounge Matters or all the forums?

    I think in the other forums the issue is usually working out what the question is in the first place.

    In Lounge matters, the key issues might make their way into the HELP files if Eileen has the time and thinks they are of general relevance. Other ideas seem to come and go.

    The search facility seems pretty good to me.
    David Grugeon
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    Re: Q&A

    >>In Lounge matters, the key issues might make their way into the HELP files if Eileen has the time and thinks they are of general relevance. Other ideas seem to come and go.

    That sounds as though there's something you think I've missed. If you have something specific in mind, let me know and I'll see it gets covered.
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    Re: Q&A

    >>a listing of problems that have been posed and solutions that have been provided.

    That's a pretty good description that covers the whole of Woody's Lounge. [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Actually the Moderators are presently hard at work marking significant posts with a new StarPost flag. When they are through, searching on StarPost should produce what you're looking for.
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    Re: Q&A

    Sorry. I had not intended any criticism. As far as I am concerned the help files are quite adequate.

    I was trying to make the point that digging a question and answer out of a thread is not a simple process and for some of the more ephemeral issues it is not worth doing. If, however, an issue was one which many people were likely to ask about the help files would be a better place for it than the forum.

    BTW I am really enjoying participating in these forums. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.[img]/w3timages/icons/king.gif[/img]
    David Grugeon
    Brisbane Australia

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    Re: Q&A

    Hey, I wasn't challenging you. If there really is something you want, *always* let me know about it. [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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    Re: Q&A

    Eileen,

    Suppose I were to create a book for subject/board x that was a compilation of Q&A. Each chapter (1 or a few pages) would cover a question that was asked and the answers. But the answers would be limited to "useful" stuff w/o the banter. Maybe an answer would have to be distilled from a few posts - sometimes, someone will suggest a mod to a previous post bcs something was overlooked. The chapters could be grouped into sections for related problems but this is not necessary. The book would have an index so I could see at a glance what problems are covered.

    That's kind of what I had in mind. Not sure what the StarPost flag will do but I'd like to know more. Also, mention was made to Help files but clicking on Help didn't produce much (at least while I was in this lounge).

    Fred

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    Re: Q&A

    Hi Fred:

    I like your idea & discussed it before with one of the moderators. It's sort of like a FAQ for each forum. It would have the advantage that someone could post a link to section of the FAQ, rather than type the same thing again, or hunt for the previous post.

    The PROBLEM, of course, is having the time to:
    1. Decide which solutions should be in the FAQ
    2. Decide what should be cut out of the posts
    3. Decide what should be added (e.g. that it only works in Word 97, etc.)
    4. Keep it up to date.

    I think it would be a wonderful idea, but I hate to suggest "work" for others when I don't have the time to do it myself.

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    Re: Q&A

    Phil,

    I know that we all have time crunches and that's always the biggest problem. So I'll leave it to you and the moderators to figure what to do since I obviously can't commit your time. But glad that you at least liked the idea.

    Just imagine 1 thread that gets about 15 replies. By the end of it, there may be lots of back-and-forth that's not useful to look at if you're searching for a problem/answer. When searching, you can always use the Search engine and hope you choose the right word. But now you're looking at a thread that's 15 emails long. The first one is an obvious one to look for the question. But where do you look for an answer? Even flat mode is not the final solution but it helps.

    I'm not sure if I would think of this as FAQ because any item is probably not asked "frequently". But that's just words.

    As far as what the time is needed for, I agree on your 4 points with most focus on 1 and 2. Here's my view:
    1. I would think (almost?) all questions should be in the FAQ. If it's worth asking, it's worth recording for posterity.

    2. What to cut out is somewhat easy - the banter is the first to go and that probably gets rid of 3-4 emails in a decent size thread. There's probably a bit more that can be cut from emails that have useful stuff. But that's getting into the next order of work. If these were NOT deleted or edited, it would not necessarily be the end of the world since they have some useful part of the solution.

    3. What to add: maybe this is easy. If the q and a emails suggested anything in terms of env, they should be part of what's kept. If not, we're no worse off then if we looked at the orig thread. "Buyer beware" should be posted at least on this issue.

    4. Keeping up to date: I would not "work" on a thread for the book until about 1 week has passed since the last post, or whatever threshold you want. Maybe a link from the "page" in the book back to the original thread would help here. Of course there's always new threads but that's part of the "job".

    Just some suggestions.

    Fred

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    Re: Q&A

    I want my smilie icons back. [img]/w3timages/icons/frown.gif[/img] Then the moderators could post a tropy [img]/w3timages/icons/trophy.gif[/img] on the solution post. Always liked that idea [img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: Q&A

    Sorry guys, but your Book idea, wonderful though it is, it totally beyond the scope of the Lounge. It's a whole different animal and would be well-nigh impossible to keep up with.

    Even if you had it, you'd still have to learn how to search it and it would also always be at least one step behind the 'dynamic' Lounge.

    I'm afraid you're just going to have to learn how to use the Search Engine efficiently.

    Brian, the StarPost flag will be even better than the Trophy for locating the Gems. [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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    Re: Q&A

    I wait with bated breath. [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]

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    Re: Q&A

    Brian,

    Actually, your sig looks a little like a fish hook, waiting to be baited (not with breath)
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Q&A

    Actually, you can try it *now* - there are are as yet only a few experimental StarPosts but you can pull them up in the Search Engine.
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    Re: Q&A

    Before you do this, please check out my TrailBlazer vehicle. It's designed to produce a string of hyperlinks throughout a document, linking words or search strings for use in an on-line (i.e. not Hardcopy) environment).

    If as a moderator you grabbed all the text of a thread into one file (say 400 lines long from 40 messages of 10 lines each) and TrailBlazed it, readers would be able to skip directly to the relevant chunks.

    As a byproduct, you could drop the starting-point of all the links (that is, perhaps, twelve trails per document where a document is now a thread of 40 amalgamated messages) into a single document that describes the forum.

    Hyperlink is rather like a mini-web, and I use it to peruse training documentsm, reference document, Helen Keller's life story etc.

    On requtes I'll email an attachment. Or you can grab a copy from my web site.

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