"Stephen J. Turnbull" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
anatoly techtonik writes:
Make the bloody FAQ and summarize this stuff? Why waste each others time? If people don't enjoy repeating themselves over and over - there is a bloody wiki. What should happen to people to start extracting gems of knowledge from piles of dusty sheets called list "archives" for others to admire.
This is a terrible idea for python-dev and python-ideas. While it is frustrating to get a "been there, done that, rejected with extreme prejudice" reply, and there's no question that searching the archives is a hit-and-mostly-miss kind of thing because of the difficulty of choosing good search terms, it's really not that costly to come back with "I'm sorry, I couldn't find the thread". Rather than spend effort on writing a FAQ that would rather quickly turn into a monstrosity hardly more easy to search than the archives themselves, and almost never be read, we should devote any effort to improving the capability for searching archives (and the wiki and the issue tracker).
Python-dev i'm not familiar enough with to formulate an opinion, but I think it could work well for python-ideas.
While better search tools always help, a mail list is mostly unorganized, and a wiki need a purpose (possibly provided by a person or small group of people who take on the responsibility of maintaining the thing), or it becomes an even less organized mess.
A FAQ, on the other hand, *has* a purpose. It also has a natural source of new material in the list. Python.org already has multiple FAQs with an integrated search engine (that are hopefully integrated into the python.org search engine), and last time I looked (admitadly long ago), a tool for maintaining FAQs. While I don't think I'm quaified to write answer for python-ideas faqs, I believe I can decide whether or not something is appropriate as a python-ideas FAQ entry. If the tool for maintinaing them isn't a memory error and is still in use, I'd certainly be willing to do that.
But that's the easy job. The trick is getting the list members to play along. If they provide what is most people consider the definitive answer a couple of times, then the next time the question comes up, write it up as a FAQ entry and submit it as such as well to the list. The time after that, just provide a pointer to the FAQ entry.
This worked very well for the FreeBSD FAQ, which is a fairly large document. They didn't even have a spiffy tool for maintaining it, but had to take submissions and add or fix markup and then check them in to the document tree.