|P is for Practical|
Rethinking Tutorialsby gmax (Abbot)
|on Jan 08, 2005 at 14:14 UTC||Need Help??|
There is a long list of consideration actions for Security techniques every programmer should know. Among other things, there is the following:
Considered by kutsu: "Edit: Move to tutorials" Vote: 4/10/0
Was it really the author's decision? Perhaps it was in that particular case, but I believe that in a more general way this may not be the truth.
The current situation
Let's not get into the specific reasons why that particular node was fit or unfit for becoming a Tutorial, and let's consider what really happens when you achieve some expertise in a particular field, and you want to share it with other people in a tutorial. You have basically two ways:
It sounds reasonable. In the first case, it is the will of the author to write a tutorial, and in the second case, the node becomes a tutorial by popular will.
Uhmm. What's wrong with this picture? Here's what really happens:
Surprised about the first case? You should. Using Super Search (apparently the only way of finding these stray tutorials, you will get, to see only a few, the following nodes, which have received quite a lot of popular favor (= upvotes) but are out of sight.
To be there, somebody must ask the editors to do something, and eventually some of those nodes that were born that way will find their way to the Tutorials page. But if the author doesn't know, or doesn't care about pushing through this lengthy procedure, those valuable nodes stay in the shadow.
You may think that a simple solution would be to publish immediately the nodes in Tutorials, so the deserving ones will stay there forever, easy to grasp for the needs of any beginner. Yes. But unfortunately this solution would keep in plain view also those would-be tutorials which are not up to PerlMonks standards.
Moreover, the nodes published in Tutorials suffer from another problem: they can't be frontpaged. What's wrong with that? You may naively think. After all, if they are Tutorials, they are forever in plain view. Not so. If you publish a would-be tutorial, and it gets only 20 votes, it would be hard for an editor to justify the fix. But if you have published that node during a weekend (and it seems only fit, because during the weekend you have time to spare) your node has a limited exposure of 24 hours in the least active period of the week, without many chances of getting the attention it deserves. At least, if it were in the front page, it would receive some more attention, and a request to carve its title to the Tutorials page would be honored much more easily.
So the situation is that the ones that should be our most prized nodes are neglected by the system, making it quite difficult for a well written tutorial to get the recognition it deserves.
At the end of my research, I should propose something, so here goes:
But of course, if there are other ways that will blend better with the existing PM code, let's hear them. The goal to reach is to establish an easy mechanism to clearly publish (or reject) Tutorials.
See also Updating the Tutorials Node.
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