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Re: user questions

On 16 Nov 1997 john@dhh.gt.org wrote:

> Sten Anderson writes:
> > A list only for us newbies would result in a lot of questions and no
> > answers.  We need a list that is read both by newbies and experienced
> > users.
> As I recall, the idea was that experienced users would explicitly assign
> themselves to read and answer questions on debian-newbie.  I'm not sure it
> would work, but the present systems doesn't seem to do it either.  

Well,  I like to read and answer questions on both -devel and -user.  But
since (i think) most newbie questions have been answered 500 times already
(why else would we call them newbie questions?) what we need is a way to
direct people to these answers without me having to retype them all the
time.  Two solutions:

1) more/bigger FAQs.
	Positive side:  easy to use.
	Negative side:  pain in the butt to keep track of/update.

2) a way to search the mail archives.  Just about every question I've ever
wanted answered about debian is someplace in the mail archives.  The
problem is that to find information,  you're restricted to reading them
indexed by month,  and searching through them by scanning headers (or
using netscape's 'find' on the headers).  If it was possible to do a
regexp search on the mail archives,  a newbie could enter a search for
"configure x" and get a billion documents on how to configure x.
	Positive side:  lots of information for free,  already in
electronic form.
	Negative side(s):  increased load on servers (probably not a
difficult search to write,  though).  Also,  the information is presented
in a somewhat colloquial (and flame-ridden) form.


|             harpo@udel.edu lowe@cis.udel.edu lowe@debian.org           |
|			http://www.cis.udel.edu/~lowe/		         |
|               You say "Love is a temple.  Love the higher law."        |
|	        You ask me to enter,  but then you make me crawl.        | 
|	          And I can't be holding on to what you got              |
|	                   When all you got is hurt.                     |

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