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Troll_King
08-14-2002, 11:42 AM
I just noticed that there is a FAQ board here. I looked at a couple of the threads and they really suck. How come?

doubleanti
08-14-2002, 11:43 AM
Be more specific. What did you have in mind?

Troll_King
08-14-2002, 11:50 AM
I was thinking that there should be a style specification. I see a lot of rants rather than any point of view being supported with sources or objective analysis. If the webmaster is sensitive to the number of posts on the general discussion board, than it should at least be sensitive to preserving an entire board that makes all of us look like idiots.

doubleanti
08-14-2002, 12:53 PM
>style specification

Well about that, styles of programming vary as much as the languages themselves, and it adds to the diversity we have. granted, some methodologies are better than others when solving programming problems, but at a certain level [which is above the mean programming level of the board as a whole I think] style is subjective.

If what you mean is that we need more depth and explaination of the styles we choose, then I agree with you fully. I also agree that the webmaster should be sensitive to the content of the board, but remember that a majority of the traffic we get comes from hobbyists, and that any higher level programmers would be able to seek the information themselves and recognize the fallacies this boards traffic seems to swim in.

nvoigt
08-14-2002, 01:46 PM
I see a lot of rants rather than any point of view being supported with sources or objective analysis. [...] an entire board that makes all of us look like idiots.


The FAQ board is taken from the posts on the programming boards. If you feel people look like idiots on the other boards or the posts lack sources and objective analysis, feel free to supply some articles of your own.

Hammer
08-14-2002, 05:15 PM
As this seems to be one of the topics of the week, I had a quick look through some of the posts on the FAQ board, and I must admit, I think we could enhance it a bit.

I have a few suggestions:

- Poor thread titles
Some of the threads have titles that don't really mean anything, and you have to actually view the posts to find out what they're all about. This isn't very helpful if you're just scanning down the thread list trying to find an answer, or even just browsing for the hell of it. Examples of this problem (imo) are: "cout", "struct question", "heaps" and a few more.

- Thread contents/Formatting
Before a thread is finally deemed worthy of the FAQ board, I believe that it should be tidied up, whereby all the code has code tags and all the unnecessary chatter it removed. One of the main frustrations I find in general is the lack of code tags on people's posts. If you show them examples of code tag usage in the FAQ, it _might_ just rub off onto them at an earlier stage.

- void main
This conversation comes up far too often, and yet, buried in the middle of the FAQ's, is an example piece of code using void main. How the heck did that one get let through??
imo, all code examples in the FAQ should be vetted for validity by an experienced member before they are placed on the board.

- randomise
Another example of _cheap_ coding, is the use of modulos and rand() to get a random number. There are better ways to get random numbers, as often posted by Prelude and others. Again, the thread I'm talking about should have been vetted before being moved to the FAQ. [edit]I've just looked at the other FAQ (why do we have 2, btw), and that also uses modulos. Why is that?

- Use of C / C++ tags in thread header
I agree it's a good idea to have a tag that shows if the thread is language specific. But in some cases it appears it's only the sample code used, not the question/answer that's specific. For example, the randomise thread. Obtaining a random number can be generic between C and C++, only the example code used to output the result changes between printf() and cout (or whatever!). Therefore, I believe some threads could be re-evaluated and maybe have a tag that says C/C++ instead of one or the other.

Another suggestion (final one for now!), is to not simply move a thread from the programming boards to the FAQ board. Instead, once a thread has been identified as FAQ worthy, the "spirit" of it is re-written by a senior member directly into a post onto the FAQ board. This would eliminate the need to reformat/edit others posts, and would ensure that the example code given is correct.

Either way, tidying up and re-writing FAQ's, is more of an overhead for us than simply moving a post from one board to another, but personally I believe the end result would be worth it. Besides, there are enough people here who would be willing to help (I think!)... I'm one of them.

Of course, the whole thing is pointless if no-one reads the damn stuff, but we've got to try, right? :D

lightatdawn
08-14-2002, 06:26 PM
I not sure about the rest of the Mods (but I have a pretty good idea they're the same way), but I dont have enough time to do all that kind of stuff.

*Wonders about usefullness of a FAQ Board Moderator*

Hammer
08-14-2002, 06:27 PM
I not sure about the rest of the Mods (but I have a pretty good idea they're the same way), but I dont have enough time to do all that kind of stuff.

*Wonders about usefullness of a FAQ Board Moderator*
Like I said, I'll help if you want.

Troll_King
08-14-2002, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by Hammer

imo, all code examples in the FAQ should be vetted for validity by an experienced member before they are placed on the board.

I believe some threads could be re-evaluated and maybe have a tag that says C/C++ instead of one or the other.

Another suggestion (final one for now!), is to not simply move a thread from the programming boards to the FAQ board. Instead, once a thread has been identified as FAQ worthy, the "spirit" of it is re-written by a senior member directly into a post onto the FAQ board. This would eliminate the need to reformat/edit others posts, and would ensure that the example code given is correct.

Either way, tidying up and re-writing FAQ's, is more of an overhead for us than simply moving a post from one board to another, but personally I believe the end result would be worth it. Besides, there are enough people here who would be willing to help (I think!)... I'm one of them.

Of course, the whole thing is pointless if no-one reads the damn stuff, but we've got to try, right? :D

I agree with these comments. There should also be a FAQ Board Moderator. I think that Hammer would be a good candidate.

I do however believe that after the FAQ tread titles are renamed appropriately, than some of them can be consigned to individuals to perform research and submit formal papers dealing with the question. We need a pool of questions and some volunteers. Than Hammer can edit and post the FAQ's as well as add details or even write a few himself from the ground up.

Troll_King
08-14-2002, 10:46 PM
In addition, perhaps the board can be appropriately named, 'Research & Development', or something with more substance than FAQ. There should be a few standards, such as, each thread should contain some code, if possible, and that the sources for information should be cited in a short bibliography. Maybe an abstract should be created for each thread providing a Forward.

Dual-Catfish
08-14-2002, 10:57 PM
I agree, the faq board does need some standardization... topics should be a question followed by a/some direct answer(s) Infact, I don't see how using a message board is beneficial to the FAQ... I find it takes away from it. Why not get a few people to compile the FAQ into some HTML pages along with the other board FAQ? Why are there two anyways? It would make it a lot prettier/more efficient.

Besides, not too many questions get posted to the FAQ board anyway. I haven't seen any new ones in awhile.

lightatdawn
08-14-2002, 11:36 PM
The subject of a Mod for the FAQ Board (likely Hammer as he volunteered to help and he strikes me as trustworthy) is being considered. Webmaster seems to think its a good idea. More info to come...

no-one
08-14-2002, 11:43 PM
good idea Hammer.

if this goes through, and ya need any help give me a PM.

::edit:: i'll try to lend a hand...
::edit2:: suggestion:: if you really want to expand the FAQ board, you will need someone to scower the programming boards, since most people don't bother to rate them.

Troll_King
08-15-2002, 12:27 AM
What about some general Topic Ideas:

How to build an Operating System?
How to build a programming language?
How to build a compiler?
What is open source, etc?
What is UML?
What is ORB/COM?
What is the C++ STL?
What are design patterns?
What is a framework?
Explain the Win32 API?

We need formal research papers into these kinds of subject areas. At least that's what I would like to see. I'm not sure how Hammer is going to set it up. These are just some suggestions.

Hammer
08-15-2002, 02:32 AM
Originally posted by Dual-Catfish
Why not get a few people to compile the FAQ into some HTML pages along with the other board FAQ? Why are there two anyways? It would make it a lot prettier/more efficient.

Yes, I think there's something to be said about both formats of FAQ (board and html page). Before we go too far, we should decide which method to use. lightatdawn, do you and the other mods have any comments/suggestions in this area?

In response to some of TK's comments, some of things things you mention are probably more than just a simple FAQ, and like you said, would need a full article of their own. This is of course providing that someone is willing to research + write it. I'm not sure if we should include these at present, maybe do this as a phase 2?

no-one - Thanks for your offer, if it does come off, it's nice to know others are willing to help too. :)

Troll_King
08-15-2002, 03:04 AM
What about giving the people a choice. If they want to submit formal research with their sources cited than let them, however it might be unrealistic to set the standard that high. Maybe in time people will want to do research, once it gets off the ground. I wouldn't mind doing some research and submitting a paper.

Hammer
08-15-2002, 03:10 AM
If they want to submit formal research with their sources cited than let them, however it might be unrealistic to set the standard that high
Sounds good to me. As long as the topic is relevant, and the contents accurate (as verified by another member). Things don't have to be "complete" and "all encompassing", they can always be a starter for the reader, and point them in the right direction.

Troll_King
08-15-2002, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by Hammer

Sounds good to me. As long as the topic is relevant, and the contents accurate (as verified by another member).

How does this process work?

Hammer
08-15-2002, 03:55 AM
>How does this process work?
It doesn't, yet! This is the first thread of conversation on this matter, therefore nothing has been decided yet.

Troll_King
08-15-2002, 04:01 AM
What would happen if I told you that I was the Webmaster. Would you make a plan than or would you wait for the Kraken to sink the Titanic again(which is what really did happen).