to an op:
If you had done your due diligence, you'd have found dates and times in Categorized Questions and Answers.
On reading this, I felt that I too should remember to refer this sort of question to the "Q&A
". But then I wondered, how easy is it for newbies to locate this great information resource?
- The "Q&A" link in the page header -- one link of many unknown topics
- The "Categorized Q&A" link in the Sections nodelet -- an even longer list and possibly not the most obvious name to a newbie
- Within the PerlMonks FAQ linked at the top of The Monastery Gates (when anonymous) -- rather discrete but it's there. This page has only a passing reference to the Categorized Questions and Answers (under Advanced PerlMonks Topics) and nothing under Searching PerlMonks (I'd consider this a "manual" search).
- When they eventually reach The Perl Monks Guide to the Monastery, there is a clear reference to Q&A but this suggests that it be used when the op thinks "I'm sure this has been solved a thousand times before" -- not really a strong advertisement.
Besides complaining (and possibly risking excommunication for my blasphemy), what could be done?
- "Categorized Questions and Answers" and "Q&A" could have a better names. My favorite would be "Perl FAQ". That's obviously been taken ... but so what? Why not share the name? (Blasphemy?) There are links to the official perlfaqs (both PerlDoc and local).
OK, maybe this is too wild. A second choice would be simply "Frequently Asked Questions" and "FAQ" in the header and nodelets. The "Perl" part is implied by the theme of the site.
- Whatever the name for the FAQ is, the pointer to it at the Monastery Gates should be made more clear; obvious even. If we want to avoid some of the most common questions, we should at least give them every opportunity to easily locate the FAQ. Of course this won't eliminate the common questions but it might reduce the occurrence and make it perfectly justified to respond with simply "check the FAQ" (and maybe provide the node, search word or section).
- May also be good to shorten the text at the top of the Q&A page. This seems to be internal PM details so could possibly be replaced by a link to the appropriate section of the PM FAQ.
Hope I haven't been too far out with this suggestion. I know I've spent way too much thinking about this but I've been ill a couple days now and am starting to get bored.