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Search engine is not perfect, and with diversity of ways to write particular procedure in Mathmatica, even worse.

How do I find duplicates for FAQs? I have a bookmarks tree with such subdirectory. But not everyone has to be so crazy, let's help others by creating such tag.

We could make a new answer here or with specific topic on meta about question, if it should be . If mod approves or it exceeds e.g 5 upvotes one should mark it .

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  • I'm sure there was quite a bit of discussion about this right after the site launched, but I can't find it. Math.SE does have such a tag, which could serve as inspiration.
    – Szabolcs
    Apr 8, 2015 at 19:09

2 Answers 2

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I have started manually tagging questions with . I am following the metric that if a question has at least eight existing duplicates it is a frequently asked question. This should help to keep from merely meaning popular. The threshold may be increased in the future to limit the number of questions.

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I've been wanting this feature for quite some time, but have yet to propose it for fear of being flamed (thanks Kuba, for taking the potential heat) and for lack of a quality proposal. I'm not sure votes is the right criterion to use. I also suspect that many feel that our go to What are the most common pitfalls awaiting new users? is the de facto FAQ. In my opinion, this document is an essential resource that has become a frightfully oppressive destination to any new users pointed in its direction.

I would propose that if we go the route, we establish a set of criteria for identifying such Q&As. Such as:

  • The question is singular, in that it does contain a group of sub-parts which may not be relevant to one who searches for the question title.
  • The question text is clear and concise and where appropriate, contains a minimal (non)working example
  • The answer(s) meet the same criteria of clarity.
  • The question and the answer have been received favorably by the community (X votes)
  • There is a demonstrated need (multiple questions asked about the topic)

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the "What are the most common..." question shouldn't serve as a starting point for generating the . What if folks who contributed there were to create a self-answered Q&A to be the point source for a FAQ?

An alternative which might use the current structure without adding yet another tag is to incorporate FAQ type questions into the wiki. Short Q&A could go into the wiki description itself, and more thorough answers could be linked. One benefit would be that the information is already indexed because it falls under a specific tag; however one (big?) disadvantage would be the lack of rep someone would receive for doing what could amount to being a large chunk of work to get the FAQ established.

Obviously, this is not an answer, but a set of thoughts too long for the comment section.

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  • Thanks for reply, let me think about it a little bit. p.s. I find pitfalls useful, but not handy atm.
    – Kuba Mod
    Feb 18, 2015 at 8:13
  • As you may know, my intent asking the pitfalls question wasn't to create a "frightfully oppressive" resource :). But seriously, what is soooo bad about it? Feb 23, 2015 at 16:49
  • @belisarius Nothing, I love it and find it useful, but I think the open-ended nature of the question has resulted in something that is hard for newcomers. I have only very anecdotal evidence, my students, who seem to struggle with broad and varied answers. They come to Mathematica with no prior programming knowledge, and very focused, singly themed questions work best for them. Feb 23, 2015 at 17:20
  • @bobthechemist Ah, ok. They are in need of "a quick way through Mma". Poor guys :) Feb 23, 2015 at 17:27
  • @belisarius What do you think about changing table of contents of pitfalls to something less descriptive but more scanning friendly?
    – Kuba Mod
    Feb 23, 2015 at 18:52
  • @Kuba Sounds great. The problem is that the index is supposed to be updated each time an answer is posted by its author, so it seems difficult to share "a common criterion".In fact, my original intent was "one topic per answer" and that wasn't reflected in the (very good) answers posted. Any suggestion? Feb 23, 2015 at 19:19
  • @belisarius and bob, any new ideas about the process of the question becoming faq? I still don't know, separate answer in specific topic about each candidate? This is more important because if we take candidates from common pitfalls or not does not really matter now.
    – Kuba Mod
    Mar 1, 2015 at 10:01
  • @kuba a FAQ doesn't have to be exhaustive or comprehensive (at least at the start). If we pose as an answer here the list of top 10 questions that represent (or can be edited simply to represent) what you envision as a good FAQ candidate, then the community can vote on whether or not they find this type of labeling a good idea. Mar 1, 2015 at 12:44

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