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How does editing work in the Q&A section?

by SiteDocClan (Initiate)
on Jun 27, 2000 at 23:23 UTC ( #20059=sitefaqlet: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

How does editing work in the Q&A section?

The QandAEditors maintain the Categorized Questions and Answers section of the site, which is meant to be a local, living Perl FAQ database.

Only monks of at least Level 5: Beadle can submit questions to this section. All registered monks can submit answers. The nodes which get created for the questions and answers can only be edited by QandAEditors. (Even so, the contributor of the question/answer gets credit for any XP generated by the node getting up-/down-voted.)

The QandAEditors have complete liberty to create, modify, and delete QandA nodes as they see fit. They endeavor to ensure that all the information in that section is factually correct and concise. However, since QandAEditors aren't always the greatest Perl gurus in the world, they are expected to rely on feedback from the PerlMonks community to keep QandA quality high.

QandAEditors respond to requests for action in the QandA section. If you would like them to do something, such as improve the wording of a question, or remove a bad answer, send your request via /msg [QandAEditors].

QandAEditors have few constraints on what they can do in the QandA section. But one thing thing they can't do is edit or delete replies to answers. Replies are ordinary note-type nodes, and thus not technically "in" the Categorized Questions and Answers section. If such an action is needed, flag the node for consideration.

A note about notes and threads:

When viewing a CatQ, the CatA's, if any, are listed below it. This is not a thread in the usual sense, as it does not display anything below the CatA's (that is, replies of CatA's). Similarly, when viewing a CatA, it shows at the top which CatQ it is an answer to, and which Category it's in; but it does not say "in reply to" and "in thread", as is done for normal note-type replies.

On the other hand, a CatA is a thread root in the usual sense (like a root post in SoPW, for example), in terms of displaying its replies.

However, the similarity is superficial. In normal sections, the root field of each reply points to the root post of the thread. In CatQ&A, the root field of each reply points not to the CatA to which it is a reply, but to the category (a QandASection node) containing the CatQ!
Therefore, when you use Super Search, you won't be able to find CatA replies using the section selector: there is no checkbox for QandASection.
Actually, if you try it, you will get some hits, but these are from the very early days, when CatA replies had their root field set to the CatA itself, rather than to the category node.

CatA replies can be found by SuperSearching for replies to nodes owned by QandAEditors.
Where the right-most column of the results says Re:SoPW, those are threads (some? all?) which have been SoPWified.
Where the right-most column says Re:CatA, those are the old threads which have their 'root' field set to the CatA (as mentioned above), rather than to the category (the QandASection node).
This search finds just those two classes of replies.

QandAEditors can convert a QandA submission into a SoPW post, at their own discretion. (There is no mechanism for the reverse transformation, however.)
Note that this does not require the node to be in an unapproved state -- unlike the 'Move node to another section' moderation power which Friars have.

In general, the QandAEditors are good at keeping up with the maintenance of the Categorized Questions and Answers section. On the off-chance that you see something which requires their attention, you can /msg [QandAEditors].

Related: Why are categorized questions and answers displayed separately from the rest of my writeups?

Things QandAEditors Can Do

  • Respond to requests to have Questions/Answers cleaned up
  • "SoPWify" Questions/Answers which ought to be in the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section
  • Make question titles more descriptive
  • Remove/rework questions which aren't general enough for this section
  • Remove repeat answers
  • Remove wrong answers
  • Remove answers which aren't answers
  • Add links where appropriate
  • Clean up any bad/missing <code> tags

They have the QandAEditors' wiki, which they use to plan and coordinate their activities.

The mechanics of editing

Things work a little bit differently for questions and for answers. We'll talk about questions first, then answers.

To edit a question:

When viewing a question, you can edit the title in the box labeled 'Title' and the body in the box labeled 'Optional Description'. (It's "optional" because it is at least theoretically possible to phrase the entire question in the title.)
You can also set the category. For this, there is a pulldown menu right above the 'Title' box.
When you're done, press the 'Submit' button.

To remove a question:

First, be sure to Delete all of the question's answers, if any!
Then click the delete link which is right at the top of the node.
(Note: this convenience link requires javascript to function. If you don't have javascript enabled, you can simply add ;op=nuke to the node's basic URL.)

To move a question out of CatQA into SoPW:

Find the SOPWify! link, immediately below the body of the question (above the category pulldown menu). Click it.
(As above, this simply re-fetches the node with op=sopwify added to the URL.)

To edit an answer:

For this, you must be viewing the answer's node. (From the parent question node, click the "Answer: ..." title link of the answer you wish to edit.)
Scroll to the bottom and edit the title and/or text.
Click the 'update' button when done.

To remove an answer:

For this, you must be viewing the parent question's thread, not the answer's node.
You may remove any number of answers in one submission (so please exercise caution). Use the 'submit' button located immediately below the question, i.e. above the list of answers.
In the header above each question, there are two checkboxes: 'delete' and 'kill'. They have identical effects, except that 'kill' also deducts 1 XP from the answer's author.

Edits to categorized questions and answers do not produce entries in the janitation log.

Note that nothing special is shown in the QandAEditors Nodelet when viewing a categorized question or answer. Neither is the Moderation Nodelet displayed.

When viewing a Categorized Question, the name of the original poster is shown with the Question and each Answer.
However, when viewing a Categorized Answer, this info is not displayed.

The ID of the user who posted a Cat Q or A is stored in the node's original_author field.
If you're a pmdevil, you can click the Dump Fields link in the PmDev Nodelet to see this (and other) fields.

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