Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Talk about whatever topic you'd like, RPG related or not. (But please discuss things related to our software in the Tools section, below.)

Moderators: dorpond, trevor, Azhrei

Post Reply
User avatar
Azhrei
Site Admin
Posts: 12057
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:20 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Azhrei »

I'm looking for a few good men (or women) to maintain a FAQ.

What I'd like to see is a FAQ for each tool (although MapTool is really the critical one, given the activity level). I think a single thread might work: first post gives an overview of the troubleshooting process, then breaks the problems down into categories (Java version, networking, image management, token management, etc). Each of those categories would have its own post as a reply later in the thread and would be linked to from the original post. Each post would have a series keyword tags assigned to it so that the search function would be "forced" to find them, even if the words were short or had a lot of occurrences. (We don't currently have a tagging system, but I'm looking at a couple of MODs that will add that feature.)

My goal is for someone who's new to the tool(s) to have a single thread to visit for all of the common issues.

I would prefer a volunteer who's been around the forums for awhile so that they've seen the kinds of questions I'm referring to. They would cull the various questions from threads going back over time and put together a semi-coherent FAQ and be willing to keep it up to date as new questions come up. So this needs to be someone who reads question threads and can pull out the question and the answer (even if they can't answer it themselves). Questions that have an answer of "wait for 1.4" should still appear in the FAQ as well. (For example, we get questions about "how do I change the FOW color after the map is created". The answer is "wait for 1.4" but also a link to a post that describes how to open the ZIP file and modify the content.xml.)

I won't lie: I think is a fairly big project to get off the ground. If you feel like taking a whack at it, please respond here or PM me. If we get multiple volunteers, then you folks can get together to work out the details amongst yourselves. In fact, I'll create a forum area that only that group will have access to so that they can discuss the issues and work on the FAQ separately without people barging in on them (well, except for the admins here ;)). Then we can move the FAQ thread to the appropriate forum later. I suspect some things you'll want to ask the community about, but other things could be done on the side. Sort of like how Brad asks the community about ideas for the videos, but actually does the work himself and then posts the results.

Thanks in advance!

Iain
Kobold
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Iain »

Have you considered something like Faq-O-Matic http://faqomatic.sourceforge.net/fom-serve/cache/1.html, or do you only want to do a forum based solution ?

User avatar
Azhrei
Site Admin
Posts: 12057
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:20 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Azhrei »

Hmm. I have conflicting opinions on that.

On the one hand, I think sticking with something via the forum is "easy". Many people know how to use a forum for posting, subscribing to threads, bookmarking threads, and so on. (Okay, maybe not everyone knows about all of the features. :)) Using a thread here also means automatic integration with the Search box.

On the other hand, the forum could be limiting as only certain people would be able to edit the thread (or perhaps add new information to the thread). With a wiki-like structure, pretty much anyone can contribute. Which also tends to create a more haphazard collection of questions and answers with less overall organization. (I'm been pleasantly surprised with the way the MapTool wiki has grown. While the organization still seems a bit chaotic in spots, most of it flows pretty well.)

User avatar
mrobviousjosh
Dragon
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2007 12:14 am
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Contact:

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by mrobviousjosh »

I know I've been gone for a while now, but coming back into things I have to say that this sounds like a great idea. I could do some quick write-ups for Token Tool (assuming we need an FAQ for this one- well, there is integrating new borders and enlarging and stuff) and Initiative Tool. I don't think I know MapTool enough to write something up for that. I was actually thinking about maybe a .pdf so that I could include images of things to click on and such for increased clarity. Thoughts?

User avatar
Azhrei
Site Admin
Posts: 12057
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:20 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Azhrei »

Hey, Josh. :)

I agree that screen shots are a good idea in many cases -- some things are just difficult to describe in text. Images can be attached to posts here (and even inlined in the middle of the post) and images can also be used on the wiki, so either one works for me.

One disadvantage of using a thread here that I didn't mention in my previous post is that only the author (or a mod) would be able to update the post later. :( I suppose that's a good argument for using the wiki instead.

Maybe the wiki could have a top-level "Troubleshooting, or Help! It doesn't work!" category? Then each application would be one section under that, starting with TokenTool and InitiativeTool.

Thanks for offering to help! And well take the information in whatever form you choose to produce it in, but I'm inclined to favor post or wiki over PDF... Anyone else care to chime in?

neofax
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1694
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 8:51 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by neofax »

I would love to help, if it was on the wiki (now to learn how to manipulate this). Wiki's from what I can tell are specifically designed for this kind of thing. The only thing I can think of hindering this is the images. My guess would be that you would put the images up on the gallery, but under whose account? Wouldn't it be easier to have a community account on the gallery for this type of thing so that when MapTools updates and there is a new config option, you could just delete the image off of the gallery and update with a new one.
Image
Time-Zone information UTC -5

User avatar
Azhrei
Site Admin
Posts: 12057
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:20 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Azhrei »

Craig's wiki is MediaWiki which supports images and other media types intrinsically -- you can upload the images directly to the wiki.

neofax
Great Wyrm
Posts: 1694
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 8:51 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by neofax »

How would I go about gaining privileges to edit and add? Heads off to wiki to check...
Image
Time-Zone information UTC -5

Craig
Great Wyrm
Posts: 2107
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:53 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Craig »

neofax wrote:How would I go about gaining privileges to edit and add? Heads off to wiki to check...

Create an account and you are set.
Anyone with an account can add/edit.

Ephestion
Cave Troll
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:49 pm

Re: Request for Volunteers to build a FAQ

Post by Ephestion »

Before I volunteer for the FAQ, is she good looking?

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”