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Re: Procedure for changing the FAQ

From: Alex Schroeder
Subject: Re: Procedure for changing the FAQ
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 00:31:22 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.090018 (Oort Gnus v0.18) Emacs/21.3.50 (gnu/linux)

"Eli Zaretskii" <address@hidden> writes:

> Yes, I know many computer users are used to look in the FAQ before
> they look in the manual, but I think we should convince Emacs users
> that's not the right way of looking something up in the docs.

I used to (silently) disagree with Eli on this one, but these days I
agree.  If people have questions they need answers to, and they can't
find it in the manual, then the manual needs to be changed.  Maybe new
text needs to be written, or maybe new features need to be added.  The
index search is a prime example.  It is very powerful, and I only
learnt about it years after starting to use Emacs.  The glossary is
another example, if I remember correctly it was added because people
using Microsoft terms were unable to find the correct information in
the manual.  Perhaps we need "dedicated" pages in the manual.  Mail
setup.  Indentation.  Just to name the two most commonly asked
questions on #emacs.  :)

The wiki tries to do this kind of thing, of course, but by its very
nature the pages have varying levels of quality, and include personal
assessments of various solutions.  This is a good thing, and a new
thing that was not possible before, but it also means that you cannot
just take text from the wiki and incorporate it into the manual.

Perhaps the wiki is an interesting collection of loosely organized
information so that we could pack it into a texinfo file and
distribute it the same way we used to distribute the manuals in the
old days...  That might be an interesting alternative.

The wiki is licensed under the FDL, but no copyright assignments were
required of contributors.  There used to be a script that translated
the entire site to a texinfo file, but it needs updating.  Bitrot.  :)


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