FAQ Updates


R

Randy Webb

When is the next scheduled Update of the group FAQ? I see Richard
talking about "not wasting time on a subject" yet he continues to do
just that but isn't updating the FAQ. It has been asked about before (By
John Stockton) with no reply.

When will the FAQ be updated again?
 
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P

Peter Michaux

Randy said:
When is the next scheduled Update of the group FAQ? I see Richard
talking about "not wasting time on a subject" yet he continues to do
just that but isn't updating the FAQ. It has been asked about before (By
John Stockton) with no reply.

When will the FAQ be updated again?

Who hands out the keys to the FAQ?
 
J

Jim Ley

Peter Michaux said the following on 11/15/2006 6:41 PM:

Jim Ley AFAIK.

Yep any "known person" * will be provided access to the machine to
update the FAQ on request from the group.

I will also support unknown persons put will not want to provide any
sort of shell access to directly update the site in that case.

The biggest problem is my site is rather sick right now, overloaded,
and the nice new machine is too noisy to turn on in the current
location, and I've not had the time to do anything about getting it
set up and installed in a colo.

Cheers,

Jim.

[*] A known person is someone with a good history of posting within
the group, and that I can google without finding anything bad on :)
 
R

Randy Webb

Jim Ley said the following on 11/16/2006 5:45 PM:
Yep any "known person" * will be provided access to the machine to
update the FAQ on request from the group.

Maybe someone could edit the FAQ as strictly an editor and let Richard
stay as the technical advisor/editor. I spend most of my days at my desk
at home. I had back surgery in Feb and work from home now so having time
to do it wouldn't be a problem for me. I wouldn't want to be the
answer-all technical person but prefer to leave it to a group consensus
within limits. I might get my head handed to me for the offer but what
the heck :)

The biggest problem is my site is rather sick right now, overloaded,
and the nice new machine is too noisy to turn on in the current
location, and I've not had the time to do anything about getting it
set up and installed in a colo.

Sometime in January I am replacing my current PC with a new one. This
one is about 3 years old but could be easily set up as a server with a
static IP. Never tried running a site as busy as the FAQ site on my
cable connection but maybe in Jan I can email you and get it setup and
test it out.
[*] A known person is someone with a good history of posting within
the group, and that I can google without finding anything bad on :)

Oops, that rules me out <g>
 
J

Jim Ley

Sometime in January I am replacing my current PC with a new one. This
one is about 3 years old but could be easily set up as a server with a
static IP. Never tried running a site as busy as the FAQ site on my
cable connection but maybe in Jan I can email you and get it setup and
test it out.

I have the machine (a nice 1U dual xeon) half set up and ready to go,
I have offers of free colo space and hosting, it's just the time to
get it all set up :)

I'm very much hopeful to find some time one day :(

Jim.
 
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V

VK

I am a bit surprised that no one mentioned the name of the current FAQ
poster. During the "comp.lang.javascript FAQ question" discussion
<http://groups.google.com/group/comp..._frm/thread/2aa1140c148de30b/8954de60cffe6dab>
Bart Van der Donck volunteered to restore FAQ posting and he's
showing his commitment to this extra free job since August 2006. As he
is the only person so far who did and does something (not just
wishfully discussing) - then in my strong opinion he should be the
first person to propose. Only if Bart Van der Donck doesn't want this
extra job, other candidatures could be considered.

I myself is not fully satisfied with the outcome of the linked July
discussion. As the result of two FAQ maintainers in the row "left to
stay", we are having a rather abnormal situation with
1) hosting and server access from Jim Ley
2) "keys" hidden by Richard Cornford
3) regular postings in the newsgroup by Bart Van der Donck

Someone may call it as an "extended security" but I see it as a
ridiculous situation reminding me the late Roman Empire (on the falling
apart stage :).

This way the most important step would be to finish the transition
started at July. Whoever will be the new FAQ maintainer, all previous
FAQ maintainers has to finally step aside.
If no agreement be possible by the "triumvir members" then it is
more easy just to resign all of them and start over.

Another problem to be addressed immediately is the procedure itself of
FAQ topics add/update/remove. So far it simply doesn't work: each
<FAQENTRY> transforms into endless discussion resulting in FAQ remained
untouched. While it can be normal for many legislative bodies :), it
is hardly acceptable for technical newsgroup. IMO the whole procedure
should be strictly defined and formalized. A variant could be:
1) Initial <FAQENTRY> post with action indicated:
<faqentry action="add">
<faqentry action="update">
<faqentry action="remove">
Each <faqentry> has to be well-formed XML fragment with indication of
title, number, <del> and <ins> parts (for update requests)
2) Initial post starts one week (seven days) discussion period
3) Initial poster either accounts the critics or not in the CFV (Call
For Votes) <FAQENTY> variant she has to post after the stage 2) is
expired. If no CFV post made then the Initial post is counted as the
CFV.
4) Within three days after that anyone can make a voting post. The
Usenet post must contain one and only one of the following vote
statements:
YES
NO
ABSTAIN
Names are required for this vote. ABSTAIN votes are not counted in the
results. The version passes the vote if there are at least 5 votes
received and at least 50% + 1 vote are YES.

Another question to resolve is FAQ versioning. It is important to keep
ability to link/refer a FAQ topic directly rather than just saying
"search for it in group FAQ". I saw somewhere posts made in c.l.j. at
different time solving this problem, but I cannot find them again right
now.

P.S. comp.lang.javascript FAQ history:
<http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.javascript/msg/8954de60cffe6dab>
 
D

Dr J R Stockton

Fri said:
I am a bit surprised that no one mentioned the name of the current FAQ
poster.
...
Bart Van der Donck volunteered to restore FAQ posting and he's
showing his commitment to this extra free job since August 2006. As he
is the only person so far who did and does something (not just
wishfully discussing) - then in my strong opinion he should be the
first person to propose. Only if Bart Van der Donck doesn't want this
extra job, other candidatures could be considered.

Agreed; he's earned that opportunity.
1) hosting and server access from Jim Ley

ISTM that Jim is evidently fully committed to provision of the FAQ in
principle, but in practice may usually be too busy to do all the routine
work.
Another problem to be addressed immediately is the procedure itself of
FAQ topics add/update/remove.
... ... ...

IMHO not necessary. An active FAQ maintainer should just change it to
what he thinks correct in the light of extant discussion and personal
experience, and be ready to change it again if further discussion
justifies further change. Changed sections should be manually posted
here.


Another question to resolve is FAQ versioning.

The FAQ could be stored not just as <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/>
but as <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/20051105.html> etc. with
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/latest.html> redirecting to the latest
version and with "latest.html" set as the default for its directory.

Then the normal thing to do would be to cite
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/> in general, but
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/#F3-8> or
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/latest.htm#F3-8> for a specific entry
in the latest version.

Those needing to cite a specific version could use the dated name, and
the Maintainer should give a few days notice of any changing (as
distinct from just adding) of the anchor-name/text relationship.




IMHO the full FAQ should be posted to at least once per
version, and by arrangement that should be cross-posted to
 
V

VK

ISTM that Jim is evidently fully committed to provision of the FAQ in
principle, but in practice may usually be too busy to do all the routine
work.

I more than appreciate Jim Ley commitment he made back in 1999, but a
reliable server maintenance it is necessary to have 24-hrs access the
the server plus the minimum set of tools such as server-side scripting
(Perl / PHP), CRON access, database (at least mySQL), .htaccess etc.
This way a simple Web or FTP accesses to a folder is not enough: that
should be a separate virtual server. Otherwise the main part of
problems the maintainer will have to solve will be related with boring
technical issues rather than with the FAQ themselves.
IMHO not necessary. An active FAQ maintainer should just change it to
what he thinks correct in the light of extant discussion and personal
experience, and be ready to change it again if further discussion
justifies further change. Changed sections should be manually posted
here.

That depends on who do you want to have: a new king or a new president
:)
I would prefer a new president but right away to protect him from a
brute force insistence on something by the cabal members; to make him
more independent from who elected him or who's providing him the tools
for his job. IMHO seven days (or even ten) is more than enough to say
anything one has to say on the FAQ topic. But the discussion has to
lead to some final result: either final YES or final NO. Otherwise
these are wasted electrons :)

It is also the question if every FAQ maintainer has to be considered by
its status as "absolutely all knowing person". I would see him more
than as enthusiastic administrator rather than God watching everything
from the top and taking from time to time the only possibly correct
decision. IMHO.
The FAQ could be stored not just as <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/>
but as <URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/20051105.html> etc. with
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/latest.html> redirecting to the latest
version and with "latest.html" set as the default for its directory.

Then the normal thing to do would be to cite
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/> in general, but
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/#F3-8> or
<URL:http://www.jibbering.com/faq/latest.htm#F3-8> for a specific entry
in the latest version.

Those needing to cite a specific version could use the dated name, and
the Maintainer should give a few days notice of any changing (as
distinct from just adding) of the anchor-name/text relationship.

I don't really like the idea of splitting FAQ on "latest", "normal",
"old" etc. The FAQ should be only one: *currently* suggested by c.l.j.
But I have no better ideas as of now.
 
B

Bart Van der Donck

Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately I don't have enough time to do
it. I would support Randy's candidature.

Here is some information about content handling:

- At this moment, http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.xml is ASCII [*]
and not encoded in UTF8/Unicode/Big Endian. It's okay to keep it this
way.

- If a need would rise to extend the characters to ISO-8859-1, then
it's possible too, but only if the initial line of
http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.xml is changed into <?xml
version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?> . index.xml should still be
saved not encoded in UTF8/Unicode/Big Endian/..., just in plain Latin.

- More than ISO-8859-1 is currently not supported, but I think it's no
problem; ISO-8859-1 should be wide enough for the FAQ. There are issues
with UTF-8 on Usenet [**], it's very complex and the logic of Perl's
XML::parser/XML::Simple is quite bizarre regarding this matter.

My conclusion would therefore be that the ASCII or (if needed) the
ISO-8859-1 charsets should be workable.

http://www.jibbering.com/faq/index.xml can be updated like/how you
wish, add new entries, delete entries, change entries, etc. only the
basic XML structure should be kept. Also the breakdown at pos72 is
beneficial towards a pretty Usenet layout. Anyway, let me know if
you've questions and I'll be glad to assist.

--
Bart


[*] It should be mentionned that one is "always safe" with ASCII,
regardless of which future applications might ever be written with the
data. One is "mostly safe" with ISO-8859-1, but *not* always.

[**]
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.javascript/browse_frm/thread/b69ca7351dd6ecec/
 
J

Jim Ley

I more than appreciate Jim Ley commitment he made back in 1999, but a
reliable server maintenance it is necessary to have 24-hrs access the
the server plus the minimum set of tools such as server-side scripting
(Perl / PHP), CRON access, database (at least mySQL), .htaccess etc.

That's ludicrous, it's a static file that is edited by agreement
through usenet, you certainly do not need any database for it, it
would be madness - of course any account I give on the box can have
access to any such things.
I don't really like the idea of splitting FAQ on "latest", "normal",
"old" etc. The FAQ should be only one: *currently* suggested by c.l.j.
But I have no better ideas as of now.

Every version should be available (if it's not then it was a back-up
failure from when I lost the disk, and I'll need to sort it out from
other sources if I can.

Jim.
 
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V

VK

Bart said:
Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately I don't have enough time to do
it.

That's a pity but we understand.
I would support Randy's candidature.

I will too then - if the the FAQ update procedure will be anyhow
formalized (see my other posts). Don't worry of me pushing for array or
inheritance "VK's nonsense" - I'm away from it for FAQ :). But it must
be some procedure to ensure that if an issue is raised, studied and
confirmed - then ensure it will appear in FAQ.
 
V

VK

That's a pity but we understand.
I will too then

And - in the light of Bart Van der Donck leaving the race, and to give
a choice, and just for hell of it - I decided to be Pat Buchanan in
this campain.
Hey, guys, any votes for VK?
 
V

VK

Bad choice. Look what he stands for
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Buchanan
He is clearly way out of touch and didn't make a single good choice.
Didn't win either.

Right: that is the root of my joke (Mr.Webb and many American readers
surely get it right). :) Buchanan is a "perpetual candidate"
participating in every elections w/o any chance to win. I meant to say
that with many times clinically proven VK's danger to JavaScript
programming and to the programming as such :) I have the same chances
to get on FAQ as Buchanan to become the next US president. But as
Buchanan I see my obligation in participating, creating a concurrence
and so save the democracy :)
 
D

Dr J R Stockton

Fri said:
I more than appreciate Jim Ley commitment he made back in 1999, but a
reliable server maintenance it is necessary to have 24-hrs access the
the server plus the minimum set of tools such as server-side scripting
(Perl / PHP), CRON access, database (at least mySQL), .htaccess etc.
This way a simple Web or FTP accesses to a folder is not enough: that
should be a separate virtual server. Otherwise the main part of
problems the maintainer will have to solve will be related with boring
technical issues rather than with the FAQ themselves.

Apart from the first clause, wholly untrue.

If the FAQ is served from a reliable ISP, the author has nothing to do
with server maintenance. And I can edit my Web site, if necessary, from
any machine with two-way FTP and a text editor.


I don't really like the idea of splitting FAQ on "latest", "normal",
"old" etc. The FAQ should be only one: *currently* suggested by c.l.j.
But I have no better ideas as of now.

It can be useful for the history to be available, if only so that old
links still work.

It could be useful to have a mechanism for handling new material while
the True Maintainer is, for example, on holiday. For example, if during
the past year there had arisen a sudden and urgent need for a change,
then no doubt Jim-the-Omnipotent had the capability of appending a new
chunk without waiting for Richard.
 
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R

Randy Webb

Peter Michaux said the following on 11/18/2006 12:53 PM:
Bad choice. Look what he stands for

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Buchanan

He is clearly way out of touch and didn't make a single good choice.
Didn't win either.

That describes VK almost perfectly :)

But his post was an American joke that most non-Americans (or as JRS
refers to them - Merkins) don't understand. It took me a while to
realize what a Merkin even was.
 
R

Randy Webb

VK said the following on 11/18/2006 10:36 AM:
That's a pity but we understand.


I will too then - if the the FAQ update procedure will be anyhow
formalized (see my other posts).

I have never seen anything "wrong" with the FAQ Update procedure that is
in place now. The procedure is fine. The problem is a matter of the
editor having time to keep up with it.
Don't worry of me pushing for array or inheritance "VK's nonsense" -
I'm away from it for FAQ :).

You can push all you want :)
But it must be some procedure to ensure that if an issue is raised,
studied and confirmed - then ensure it will appear in FAQ.

The only problem now is it getting into the FAQ and that is only a
matter of Richard not having time to do it.
 
D

Dr J R Stockton

Sat said:
VK said the following on 11/18/2006 10:36 AM:

I have never seen anything "wrong" with the FAQ Update procedure that
is in place now. The procedure is fine. The problem is a matter of the
editor having time to keep up with it.


The Editor has plenty of time available. He need only stop arguing with
VK, which is a task that others could undertake more compactly, and then
he would have ample time to edit a FAQ maintained as a simple document.
Instead, he has chosen to abandon the responsibility which he has
undertaken.

I understand that the FAQ is maintained in a more complex form, and
believe that that should not cause significant maintenance overhead. If
it does so cause thereby preventing maintenance, the FAQ source should
change to a simpler form, either plain text or ordinary Web-ready HTML.
 
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M

Matt Kruse

Dr said:
The Editor has plenty of time available. He need only stop arguing
with VK, which is a task that others could undertake more compactly

I recommend a FAQ entry and a form-letter group reply to VK postings that
contain errors. People who find VK's erroneous responses using newsgroup
searches will also find the reply and the pre-written justification for why
the response should be ignored. This group is far too cluttered by VK
debates, IMO. It's like a playground argument sometimes. Imagine what could
be accomplished with the time currently spent writing long replies to VK's
posts.
and then he would have ample time to edit a FAQ maintained as a
simple document. Instead, he has chosen to abandon the responsibility
which he has undertaken.

FAQ editing is boring and has questionable benefit. IMO, the FAQ is outdated
and much of it is no longer relevant. It's not a concise FAQ containing
answers the most typical and frequently-asked questions here. It contains a
lot of fluff, and a lot of answers that don't even need to be included
anymore.

Spending time editing a document that is often referred to but apparently
seldom read by the people who could benefit most from it is difficult to
justify. I know I wouldn't do it.

The only way the newsgroup FAQ can continue to be updated and stay relevant
is to use a wiki interface with a set of approved editors, so that changes
can be made in real time by a variety of people. It's nearly 2007. It's time
for the FAQ process to catch up with the rest of the web.
 

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