Re: FAQs - what do you think of them?

Subject: Re: FAQs - what do you think of them?
From: John Trollope <John -dot- Trollope -at- TEAM17 -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:02:27 +0000

>What do people think of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) lists as a means of
>providing instruction and advice? They are a growing phenomena on the Web
>but I'm not convinced they are an effective means of communication, or at
>least, not the most effective.

FWIW, FAQs were originally designed to provide a document for the questions
which were heard over and over again on a newsgroup.

Some (self-appointed) volunteer would gather all the questions s/he saw
frequently and collate them into one document.

It seems now that people create documents what they *predict* which
questions will be asked frequently, or (it seems to me) which questions
should be asked frequent. At another extreme, which questions people would
*like* to be asked frequently, for example "what does the author of this
document like doing in his spare time?"

As to my opinion on this type of documentation, I think it depends on the
context. It does offer the option of scanning the document quickly and
bypassing the "easy" stuff, but this could be done just as well by a well
laid-out document.

John Trollope - John -dot- Trollope -at- Team17 -dot- com \ "Un dictionnaire,
French translator and product localiser \ c'est tout l'univers \ par ordre alphabétique"
Team17 Software, Ltd.- \ Anatole France
"A dictionary is the entire universe in alphabetical order" - Anatole France

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