Professional looking Matlab FAQ
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A nice and clean FAQ is fundamental to learn to avoid the basic mistakes made by others. Therefore it should be either inlcuded in the local documentation or hosted and maintained professionally. A simple and static systems for anchors would allow to post links to specific topics in the forums.
But currently the FAQ http://matlab.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ looks like a county fair: A colored chain of lights, a link to copyright basics for authors, a lot of commercials for a steam iron, a new cinema movie about small lifeforms with large jobs, holidays in Sardinien, VBS software, job offerings for IT profis, and of course Amazon's advertisment is adjusted to my personal searches from the previous week.
I cannot forward a beginner to this page with a good consience anymore.
Posting links to corresponding threads in the Answers forum would be more convenient, easier to maintain and free of confusing, ugly commercial banners. Therefore I suggest to convert the current FAQ point by point to threads in this forum. And in the next step TMW could collect them in an extra list displayed by an "FAQ"-link in the navigation bar on the left.
In addition I would like to exclude these FAQ threads from the standard reputation counting: Copying the "why is 0.3-0.2-0.1~=0" section is not worth to gain 1000+2000 points for the question and the answer, although it will be useful 1000 times. Other forums solve this by an anonymous user called "FAQ bot". If TMW creates such an owner, the editors and admins could fill in the contents.
As we know, TMW does not rush changes in the forum. Creating the threads and a unique tag would be a cheap and fast temporary solution. Unfortuantely searching for "tag: FAQ" replies the threads tagged by "faq6.1" also. But these tags have become meaningless at all (there are no section numbers anymore), and only 92 threads are concerned. Perhaps "FAQlist" is sufficient already for the list of FAQ problems.
How ever this is implemented later on, it is essential that beginners are encouraged to read the FAQ and profit from the mistakes, which have been made too often by others before. This is not the case at the moment.
More Answers (2)
Daniel Shub on 8 Jan 2013
- I would suggest that this be left up to TMW since they have professional documentation writers. Answering these types of questions only requires a modest amount of MATLAB and programming expertise.
- I am not sure if the answers for the FAQ can be freely copied and reproduced. I don't know what wikia's copyright rules are. This isn't a big problem. I also don't even know if the answers on the FAQ are even that helpful or well written to be worth copying.
- As for the reputation, this was tried before 1-2/3-1/3~=0 right at the launch of Answers. 7 votes for the question and 5 for the answer will hardly skew the reputation system. I think leaving the reputation might be a good motivator for someone wanting to gain privileges to make a worthy contribution.