The purpose of this node is to renew the Monastery's attention to the Catagorized Questions and Answers
section. While it might be accurately described as a dusty corner
, I believe it is a great resource, and has potential to be even better. Certanly posts along this line have appeared before, but there's nothing wrong with an occasional nudge.
The old saying goes, "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime."
Every day Seekers of Perl Wisdom logs a dozen or two new questions from those who hunger for answers. I myself really like the SoPW section: It inspires me to think about topics I might not otherwise have considered. A large portion of what gets posted there is fresh and new, at least to me. However, while I am happy to see that monks here are generally consciencious about remembering to link to the PODs or CPAN, as well as other nodes within the Monastery, we still manage to do a lot of feeding and re-feeding.
I don't intend to get into a discussion about how some people won't take the time to read documentation even if it smacks them in the face and falls open to the right page. And I don't really want to get into discussing those who come under the guise of "seeking wisdom" when they're really "seeking someone to think for them." They will always be with us. But what I do want to discuss is our very own Monastery Perl FAQ.
The main page of Categorized Questions and Answers says this:
This area is for frequently asked and answered questions. It'll allow people looking for the most often asked questions to find answers quickly and easily. The cool thing about this is that it will be our own, ever-growing FAQ. There will also be places for multiple answers to each question as proof that there's more than one way to do things.
Let's get the most out of this resource. Here are a few thoughts that I have mulled over recently, that may be helpful.
- Become familiar with the Q&A section so you know what's there.
- When responding to a SoPW post, when possible, in addition to just linking to a Q&A answer, gently make specific mention of that section. Something to the effect of, "You can find a good series of answers to that question here: [link to Q&A Answer set], and in fact, answers to many other similar CGI questions may be found in the Monastery's [link to Q&A] section."
- Monks who actively post answers to Seekers of Perl Wisdom should consider posting at least one Categorized Questions and Answers answer each week. I'm not suggesting posting rubbish just to post something, but find a Q&A that needs your special touch and add an answer to one of the questions. Any monk (including Anonymous Monk) may post answers.
- Monks who actively participate in the Monastery should consider posting at least one Categorized Questions and Answers Question each month. When you do so, follow the question up immediately with a well-thought-out answer.
- If you see a Seekers of Perl Wisdom question that you find particularly valuable, boil it down to a Q&A that you can post to the Catagorized Questions and Answers section. Then it will be there for all to find the next time its' asked.
- Help the QandAEditors keep the section tidy by sending them a /msg when you find Q&A posts that are seriously flawed, or in need of some touchup.
- Try to link to (and mention where to find) Q&A answers often. I said this already, but it's important. Any time you consider mentioning the Monastery's Super Search and Tutorials, consider also mentioning the Catagorized Questions and Answers section.
Now for some technical information:
- When posting answers, try not to use the multi-line text box unless it's absolutely necessary to help in defining the question. The most important thing is that the "Question" (the single-line text box) be as clear and complete as possible while remaining concise. The multiline box is generally not the place to post the answer.
- Answers belong as followups to the parent question.
- Followups to answers will NOT be seen on the answers page. So if you have a better way to do it than some other answer, post that as an answer too. From the answer page, there is no way to easily determine that a particular answer has a child-node followups; hense, your followups to the answers are almost goners. If the purpose of your followup to an answer is to point out a technical error, you might consider alerting QandAEditors to the error so that they can work on cleaning it up.
- Anybody can post answers.
- Scribes (Level 4) and above can post Questions.
- Q&A should not be used interchangeably with SoPW. If you post a question, follow it up with an answer. If you don't have the answer, your question probably belongs in SoPW.
- Categorized Questions and Answers is not a part of the normal "Consideration" process. If you spot an issue that you want to "consider" a Q&A post for, you'll have to alert the QandAEditors. You can do that by /msg to QandAEditors (it goes in their inbox), or by talking to one of them that you recognize in the CB.
Ok, that's all I have for now. Let's try to make the Q&A section one of the most useful places in the Monastery.
By the way: Have I practiced all of the thoughts I've preached in this node? No, but I'm considering this node my Haloween Resolution. ;) I hope that my suggestions here are seen as just that; suggestions. Take them as they are, taylor them to fit your own view of how things should be around here, or ignore them altogether. Isn't this a great place?
"If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber." -- Albert Einstein