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osCommerce

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osCommerce FAQ


paulm2003

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A lot of questions are asked over and over again, wouldn't it be nice to have a FAQ forum containing some of these questions and answers?

 

Like:

1) how to move osC from one site/server/directory to another

2) some problems related to PHP bugs (email scrambled layout)

3) how to change required fields for create account

4) questions about uploading images

5) how to protect admin

6) how to resize the osC pages

etc. etc.

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Took the words right out of my mouth iiinetworks

People seems very scared of that "search button"

Most of the time, they ask the question before searching so this is why you see those questions again and again

 

The_Bear

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We already have the Wiki
I might not be very clever, but I asked lots of questions before I even discovered the Wiki existed. And then it took me quite some time to discover that there is usefull information in the Wiki.

 

People seems very scared of that "search button"
I must admit I am scared of this search button also (although I am really fond of most search buttons), and it appears that I am not the only one.

 

I think a good FAQ is

 

1) easy to find, it should be where the questions are asked not on another website or forum and if it is named FAQ it makes it even easyer to find.

2) a relative small ordered list of frequently asked questions, which are often asked by newbies (opposite to an ever growing list with "random" Tips & Tricks).

 

It could be a forum which contains sticky posts (the questions). Because there are a lot of answers to most questions, it would be nice if people can add answers to every question.

 

It may sound like a stupid idea to you, but I really think it will help. :)

 

Paul

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kind of agree with paulm here

 

i discovered the wiki tottaly by mistake

 

 

my suggestion would be make a sticky instead of like 4-5 threads which have the basic and make a clean up of the forum also

 

i mean there are alot 1 post threads out there and 100's repetitive ones

 

just my opinion

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OK - so who is putting their hand up to do the work?
Setting up the new forum can't be that much work is it?

 

clean up of the forum also
Good idea, but indeed to much work I am afraid.

But it shows another advantage, the forums will be "cleaner" if there is a FAQ.

 

Paul

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I think a good FAQ is

 

1) easy to find, it should be where the questions are asked not on another website or forum and if it is named FAQ it makes it even easyer to find.

2) a relative small ordered list of frequently asked questions, which are often asked by newbies (opposite to an ever growing list with "random" Tips & Tricks).

 

It could be a forum which contains sticky posts (the questions). Because there are a lot of answers to most questions, it would be nice if people can add answers to every question.

I'm having trouble telling what you want here. On the one hand, you say that you want the FAQ to "be where the questions are asked." However, what you seem to be suggesting is a new forum. As I posted previously, there are already two forums for this. What don't you like about the Wiki forum? (I follow your criticisms of both the Tips & Tricks forum and the wiki *site*; however, I don't see how what you want differs from the Wiki *forum*--they could always change the name and add more stickies.)

 

I would agree that it would be helpful if it were easier to find Wiki and the forum rules (which do have a link on the current page). Really, it would be easier if both Wiki and the Contributions area had links on each page as well. Also, it wouldn't hurt if the links were in multiple places (header, footer, somewhere in the middle of the Post New Topic page). I think that adding stickies to each forum with FAQ/Wiki links and some helpful guidelines would help too. However, the truth is that most people do not read through the forums and browse around before asking questions. It would be nice if they did, but they don't and they won't. Even putting FAQ links everywhere, there will still be people who don't read them. Repeat posts will always be here (and on any forum). There was actually a person who couldn't find the contributions area after the The_Bear said to click on the link in his sig--and he'd obviously read The_Bear's post--what more can one do?

 

To make my position clear, I actually oppose the creation of a new FAQ forum. If anything, I would rather fold the existing Tips & Tricks forum into the Wiki forum. Neither of these is high traffic now, and I think it would simplify finding info to combine them. For the same reason, I would oppose a new FAQ forum. I believe that it would divide existing efforts...it's not like we are overflowing with documentation contributions now. That said, if people think that there are better ways to organize the Wiki forum or make things easier to find, I'm all for talking about them.

 

Some of the changes that are being recommended would require moderator privileges (e.g. making posts sticky). As such, there would be little effect of most of us volunteering for those. Further, people are more likely to volunteer for those tasks that we can do if it is known ahead of time that our efforts will be used. For example, in this thread, I made a suggestion for a new sticky for the Contributions area (making two: one Harald posted explaining how to make a contribution and this one about how to post and find information without posting). I would be more likely to volunteer to create more if I had any reason to believe that that one contributed anything (i.e. if someone eventually made a sticky like that).

 

Btw, there is a lot of work to do to realize the stated goal--someone (or ones) would have to populate the forum with Questions and initial Answers. Someone would have to modify the forum to create an ordered list (I don't think stickies are internally ordered; I think that they just appear as a group prior to non-stickies). Also, someone would have to maintain it (I respond to many questions with bug report 1242, which was only posted recently; IMO, it is the epitome of a FAQ). Personally, I would prefer to have a static HTML FAQ page that linked questions to answers on the Wiki site (or in the forums). I believe that that would leverage existing resources better than a new forum would and would be easier to use.

 

Cheers,

Matt

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Hi Matt,

 

I agree with you 95% and i understand that it is easyer to talk/write about these problems than to solve problems! ;)

 

I'm having trouble telling what you want here.  On the one hand, you say that you want the FAQ to "be where the questions are asked." However, what you seem to be suggesting is a new forum.
I meant on this board, not on a separate site.

 

What don't you like about the Wiki forum?
(is wiki really a forum or is that a typo??)

 

1) I don't like the name "Wiki Documentation" to me it does not sound like "FAQ" at all (probably because I am a newbie).

 

2) when I first started to search Wiki I only saw empty pages like:

There is no comment on this page
I assumed it wasn't really functioning yet.

 

3) there is no real communication, if you don't like/understand the answer you can't add or ask anything. That's what I like about php.net most, the descriptions of the functions are only the basics, the hints, tips and examples from other programmers are the interesting part.

 

However, the truth is that most people do not read through the forums and browse around before asking questions. It would be nice if they did, but they don't and they won't.
Some people won't. But most people only need some very clear signs to get where the info is. Not large, ever growing, forums without a good search function.

 

But you are right about that it probably is much more work than I can imagine.

 

Paul

(P.S. I am having some trouble posting to this board at the moment, this is my third attempt)

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(is wiki really a forum or is that a typo??)

osCommerce Wiki forum. As opposed to the osCommerce Wiki site.

 

I think that Wiki is the name of the software that provides the framework for the site. I.e. people put products in an osCommerce site and documentation into a Wiki site.

 

I would agree that the manuals at PHP.net and MySQL.com are great. However, if that is your goal, I think that you will find yourself disappointed by the actuality of what you propose. Far closer would be to pick a set of FAQuestions; post answers in the Wiki forums; then create a static page with links to the threads as an index; post links in appropriate places, like on the Support Site page. With this, you can post FAQ links in the other forums, even tailor the links to the specific forum (possibly with the #anchors).

 

If they create a FAQ forum, I suspect that most posts to it will be questions looking for answers. Threads will move around whenever someone posts to one, making it hard to find info. Installation questions will be mixed with SQL questions will be mixed with etiquette questions. It'll be just like Tips & Tricks, which is the nature of a forum. Also, it's an increased load on the moderators as such a forum needs to be kept relatively formal (as opposed to conversational) to be useful. Note that php.net does a fair amount of deleting of posts to keep the noise level down (look at the references to posts that are no longer there).

 

Cheers,

Matt

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