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From "Janet Valade" <>
Subject Re: prototype FAQ
Date Sun, 25 Feb 2001 00:43:25 GMT
I agree in preferring the new organization of the FAQ. I'm sorry that I'm
coming late to the discussion. I am speaking as someone who has lately been
spending a lot of time trying to find information about Apache on the web

In the current FAQ, there is nowhere for someone to see a list of their
category choices. I think people need to see this list of categories, at
once on a single page, in order to orient themselves and to see the FAQ as
navigable. Having to go through a long list of questions feels overwhelming.
If you don't see a list of categories first, you don't even know if the kind
of question you have is addressed in the FAQ.

Is the current list of categories meant to be exhaustive? Or is it just a
"starting" list? I think the entire category space needs to be thought out
ahead of time as much as possible.  The goal is to keep the categories
concrete and distinct, so it is clear which information is in each category.
Also, it is important to keep the number of questions in a category to a
list that someone can scan easily on a single page. If the number of
questions in a category gets too large, the category should be subdivided
into sub-categories. I don't feel the need for the questions to be numbered;
can't people be referred to the category as long as the number of questions
in the category is a short list? If someone feels the need for numbered
questions, the questions would have to be either re-numbered when the
category is subdivided or else questions could be put in the proper category
with their existing numbers, leading to questions that are not necessarily
sequential in the sub-categories. Having numbers missing in the list of
questions for the sub-category probably would not bother people too much.
The other choice is to define all the categories and sub-categories in the
beginning, listing all categories whether any questions are listed or not,
and trust that no categories have been defined too broadly.

As far as the printing question, I think a version that prints the entire
FAQ is good, but prefer that it not be the only choice. When a person has
found the question that contains the answer to their question, they probably
want to print that question only. Printing a short list of related questions
is far preferable to printing the entire FAQ.

I was confused a bit early in the discussion. People were referring to an
"index" page. For me, an index is something in the back of a technical book
that lets you find the information you need. The most important part of the
book, in my opinion. It sounds as if you were talking about the "category"
page as the index page, not discussing an actual Index. Right? Or is there
some plan for an actual index?


----- Original Message -----
From: "William A. Rowe, Jr." <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 10:33 AM
Subject: Re: prototype FAQ

> From: "Joshua Slive" <>
> Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 12:06 PM
> > On Sat, 24 Feb 2001, David Reid wrote:
> > >
> > > If we can do all this then I'll be +1 :), but presently I'm -0.5 on
> > > sample you created.
> > >
> >
> > I assume "you" refers to "me".
> >
> > It's good to have more voices in the discussion, but it would be nice to
> > have a little more explanation.  You commented on Ken's goals, but
> > make any comments on the actual prototype, or how it fulfills these
> > other than to say you are "-0.5".  That's a judgement, but not a
> > explanation. The goals themselves are fine (except for #2 which I still
> > don't understand; nobody has given me actual concrete reasons why it is
> > important... Ken?).
> >
> > In any case, it looks like people prefer to stick to the old FAQ.
> No... I'd much prefer your organization into appropriate sub-lists.
> Many people -won't- read a 124kb document - if it's more than a page or
> two - they get overwhelmed, simply give up and ask the newsgroup.
> Sad but true.
> If we want to make two approaches into the doc - using Ken's basic SSI
> schema, that would be great.  But as far as web page navigation - I'd
> be much happier with a group of pages, with a "Printable" button that
> takes the user to the "Big Document".
> Bill
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