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Comments on OpenQuestions

This page doesn’t get a lot of turn-over; I don’t know if that’s from a low-volume of questions, or a low-volume of answer(er)s, both, or something else.

I do know that I didn’t even notice this page until today (I’ve been a casual user of this wiki for at least 5 years, and am getting more intensive. Which is possibly why I finally saw it).

Would it make sense to point people at StackOverflow?, say to something like http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/emacs

G-d help me all, that’s non-free software, isn’t it. I’m going to GNU-hell.

Of course, I’m typing this on Windows…..

MichaelPaulukonis 2013-05-14 19:56 UTC


So. The IS a talk page of sorts, at OpenQuestionsDiscussion.

MichaelPaulukonis 2013-05-14 19:58 UTC


Yeah, Talk pages are a recent addition to the wiki. We should probably move OpenQuestionsDiscussion here?

AlexSchroeder 2013-05-14 22:16 UTC


So Moved. However, now we lose all the edit history. Of which there appears to be none non-spam-related since 2008. So no great loss in fact, but in theory? Is there a way to migrate a page and keep history?

MichaelPaulukonis 2013-05-15 14:14 EST

Moved from OpenQuestionsDiscussion

FAQ page?

1) This page has apparently changed from an open questions page to a FAQ page. Either the page should be renamed or the FAQs should be moved elsewhere.

2) What is the difference (besides formatting) between the two major sections: Questions and Answers and Answers to Frequent Questions? If they are not different in kind, shouldn’t they be combined? – DrewAdams

[new] Good point. The top section are questions that are not (or not quite) resolved. Some are one’s I’m having a hard time finding a home for on an appropriate page. The FAQ at the bottom tries to have questions some of which were previously duplicated and were so obvious they would be redundant on their respective appropriate page.

I’m not wed to using headings as verbosely as I have, but it seems to make the page more usable and scaleable. The page is quite improved since October. – AaronHawley

OK. IIUYC, the bottom section (FAQ) should probably be moved to a different (FAQ) page – people won’t necessarily look for FAQs on a page titled Open Questions. – DrewAdams

[new] Why not rename the page to FaqAndOpenQuestions? BTW the top section (open questions) format is much better than the bottom section (FAQ) format because of the table of content. – LennartBorgman

[new] We have determined that a separate FAQ page is not something we want, see 2005-06-10 and 2005-06-23 for related discussion. People searching for Emacs FAQs should really look at the official EmacsFaq.

Open Questions is both a support forum and an interactive Emacs FAQ provided by EmacsWiki. I’ve archived the FAQs at the bottom of OpenQuestions to support the page’s purpose. My first instinct would be to delete the FAQs at the bottom (or send them along to the EmacsFaq) rather than moving them somewhere else on EmacsWiki. Except for the “installing modes” question, they typically are questions that are answered quite plainly already in the respective page linked by their answer. I’ve kept a few FAQs because they seem useful. We could just delete them.

It seems this page has seen fewer questions submitted since I began reorganizing it. That could mean the page is now a failure or a blessing. – AaronHawley

I don’t quite agree that “we have determined that a separate FAQ page is not something we want”. The posting at 2005-06-23 summarizes the discussion at 2005-06-10. These were the main conclusions, IMO:

1. As Alex said, “we can do better than a single FAQ page”. In general, it is best to post the info corresponding to a question and its answer to an appropriate individual wiki page, creating one if no appropriate page exists. (The info on that page would normally not be presented in Q & A form.)
2. A simple FAQ of truly frequently asked questions could still be useful on the wiki, but if created it should be limited to short questions and answers. The goal is not to produce a “giant list of questions or FAQs”, as Aaron said.

Wrt #1 – Aaron’s work in moving info from this page to topic pages has been helpful.

Wrt #2 – Given #1, this page acts as a kind of staging area and catch-all. Staging area: individual Q&A can live here until they find better homes on the wiki. Catch-all: some Q&A may never find a better home.

If a reference (e.g. link) to this discussion and to 2005-06-10 and 2005-06-23 is kept here, and if people continue to move info to topic pages as Aaron has done, then it is likely that this page will not grow uncontrollably but will continue as a buffer, with most of its content having a short stay.

If others agree that this page has a purpose as a staging area and catch-all, then that should be stated at the top, and the page should probably be renamed along the lines suggested by Lennart (or perhaps simply “Questions?”). We would continue to encourage new questions here, but state also the intention to progressively move answered questions to topic pages, and mention that long-resident Q&A here are here only because no one has found them a better home.

Perhaps too we should decide if this page is about Emacs questions or Emacs Wiki questions or both. – DrewAdams [new] The term “Open Questions” is used on a handful of other pages on EmacsWiki. I don’t mind it. – AaronHawley


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