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23 May 2005

Writing a FAQ

Introduction to my plan. Why I'm doing a FAQ now. And how.

The question of making a "Mac and Greek" FAQ is on my mind for quite some time now. I've been bugging HelMUG to do something, but bugging others can only go so far. Now I'll try to do something myself. If someone else picks up the trail later on, only the better. So here is how I plan to collect and write down this FAQ...

There are many ways to produce a FAQ document: One of the easiest is to just type the stuff up into a plain text file. Another one is to make a web page with html or with something like Zope. Being a lazy guy, I thought about using Zope. So, for a while I was looking around for a Zope FAQ product, even planning to write my own. Most important point: It should sport some kind of comment system, since I don't have all the information about the field in my own, single head. Others have toiled with this stuff much longer than me. people can send in suggestions for answers or corrections using the comments. Also I should be able to edit the stuff easily.

Questions and Answers should be formatted in a simple layout with headlines (the Questions), subtitles (for clarifications) and body text (the Answer). If there is a way to collapse Answers, much the better. But myself, I usually skim through FAQs real fast, so collapsed stuff just slows me down.

After all those thoughts, it occured to me that this FAQ thing isn't that far off from what a weblog looks like. Therefore I have made two new categories to my weblog and will be using them for the FAQ (in English and someday maybe even in Greek). Clicking on the category for the FAQ will reveal all entered FAQ entries with their answers. Fine. There are actually just 2 points messing up my plan: 1. if I go and post all FAQ entries in one big rush, then they will cloak my weblog for a while, drowning out the older posts. 2. the sorting of FAQ entries will be by date entered. I could cheat on the dates, but then those changed entries will be all messy in the regular weblog page. The good part is that growing the FAQ can be observed from the weblog. As I plan to work out the FAQ entries slowly, problem number 1 will not be so bad. And for problem number 2 I might invent some sorting feature on a special display page.


Posted by betabug at 09:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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