Documentation in a Discussion forum

It would be great if you could start a site feedback topic and elaborate on this a little. :+1: We have lots of sites using a category as a knowledge base, as well as ourselves, and we’re always looking for ways to improve if you have any thoughts or feedback to offer.

Thanks. I was really just referring to the fact that “discussion-based docs” tend to be hard work for new users as it often involves reading a post followed by a thread of discussion that updates or modifies the OP. But I speak for myself of course and I can see others might not see it that way :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I’m not a fan of that either. :slight_smile: And long reply tails can often feel daunting in and of themselves. The idea for here (though I appreciate there’s often a lag) is to move all relevant information into the OP so as not to have that situation. We also try and break off distinct discussions into separate topics as well (tagged, when we can) to make them more searchable too. We also have some auto-delete timers that clear out older replies after a certain time. It’s a work in progress, but hopefully we’re moving in the right direction. :slight_smile:

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Yes. I think to an extent you can’t avoid the confusions but it’s good to know you’re trying (although I doubt you’d go so far as to delete comments which have been incorporated into a subsequently edited OP, which is often the main time-waster).

But my original point was not really about that. I think I’ve realised a bit too late that you’re of course not a F/LOSS project, so may not appreciate randos like me trying to offer “help”.

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We appreciate docs and advice created by the community. :+1:

The auto-delete timer is rather indiscriminate, so it can be a double-edged sword. :slight_smile: But the intent is to calve off the suggestion to change the doc into a separate topic so as to retain the history where necessary/useful. It’s an, um, ‘organic’ process so you may find some/many examples of where this hasn’t been the case. :slight_smile:

Though we’re reasonably responsive if you spot something and think it should be changed/improved in some way. :+1:

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That’s not what I was referring to, did you look at the link I provided?

I wasn’t directing you to the the documents category, /docs is instead generated by the discourse docs plugin.

The interface is pretty different, more akin to a typical knowledge management system, with focused search and filters. It omits the replies, which are periodically rolled up into the original post as you can see from the edit histories.

Thanks, but I’m not sure how that’s relevant to the conversation I thought I’d started, so I kinda blanked it, I’m afraid. It’s nice to know such a plugin exists though, don’t get me wrong :slight_smile:

Per your comment that the documentation wasn’t in a suitable format or discoverable I shared a link to the tool here on meta which presents documentation in a different format and includes features that aid with discoverability.

I appreciate coming from a mailman background that the different approach taken here may not be immediately familiar to you. As someone who has spent much of the last nine years offering assistance here on Meta I can assure you that it’s incredibly useful to have the documentation in closer proximity to the support discussion.

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Oh I see, sorry I misunderstood.

I’m perfectly OK with you doing what you want to do. I was merely curious as to whether you’d appreciate me submitting a PR to the repo to add supplementary installation instructions. I can see the answer is that you would not.

So I hereby bow out and thank you for your indulgence :slight_smile:

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I like that documentation category and have used it often. I’m confused because I don’t see obvious reasons that it isn’t ideal. :woman_shrugging:t2:

There is lots of useful information there and submitting a contribution there would be appreciated and likely helpful to others.