Difference between revisions of "Helpful:About"

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The summary on the [[Main Page]] is shorter.
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#redirect [[Main Page]]
  
See also [[Help:Editing]] for a suggestion of the shape content can take.
 
  
  
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===Idea===
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See also the [[Main Page]] on the basic intent.
  
This is a publicly editable wiki with the idea of '''augmenting information already out there''', and with a healthy dose of pragmatism.
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See also [[Help:Editing]] for more technical parts of editing.
  
  
When most content out there is technical document, a summary of real-world use is nice.
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===On style and content===
  
When most content out there are fuzzy summaries, a more technical summary or reference is nice.  
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Within the basic ideas of augmenting and pragmatic style, you may find that a page ends up with both summary and details.
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If so, try to split it. For example, "In practice this usually boils down to..." is as useful as "bunch of backing theory".
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Paragraphs, or sections, depending on bulk.
  
  
If a page ends up with both summary and a lot of details, then they should be split well so that people looking for just one of the two can find it.
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The 'how you would have liked to find it' criterion mentioned elsewhere is rather subjective.
  
That, in the end, is the point: information in a form helpful to someone specifically looking for it - the ''real-world'' audience.
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The idea is that if you find a resource, or made your own, the immediate need to create a succinct summary is something that is likely to lead to structural and understandable pages, more than unchecked verbosity is.
That's also the reason it's nice to mark partial information (e.g. 'works for me' stuff) as such.
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It seems that pages written because you had (or wanted) to figure something specific, did, and want a record. That immediate need to want something in a succinct style seems to lead to good pages.
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The just-mentioned split is part of that, as is no-nonsense language.
  
===On style and content===
 
  
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But yeah, when very subjective, e.g. "works for me, don't know exactly why" stuff, it's nice to mark it as such. It's one of the things that bothers me about the 'net - you need a lot of cross-referencing before you know how much to trust a statement (consider how you tend to disbelieve most forum content and other overly assertive stuff).
  
It's useful to communicate the relative value of a statement. On the 'net, it's often more important than the information itself (consider how you tend to disbelieve most forum content and other overly assertive stuff).
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This wiki can't be an exception when it has more interests than time, so don't be too careful. But I'd like to see a tendency for '''qualifiers''' - 'usually', 'apparently', and markers like <nowiki>{{verify}}</nowiki> on things you suspect but don't know.
  
So try to use qualifiers ('usually', 'apparently', etc.) and markers like <nowiki>{{verify}}</nowiki>. Add them to assertions (others's, your own) when you doubt they are pure fact, remove them from any assertions you're verified.
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Less is easily more that way.
  
  
Links to some of the useful existing content out there is always nice
 
  
 
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'''Brevity''' is valued when it leads to bite-sized readability - so as a tendency, not a requirement.
Brevity is valued when it leads to bite-sized readability - so as a tendency, not a requirement.
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'course, a few choice boldface words and some good splitting into section headers can be just as nice for skimmability.
 
'course, a few choice boldface words and some good splitting into section headers can be just as nice for skimmability.
  
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Expect content to change, be rewritten into something more succinct when possible (or, say, more separation into 'good tidbits' and 'more detail for those who care').
 
  
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Expect content to change, be '''rewritten''' into something more succinct when possible (or, say, more separation into 'good tidbits' and 'more detail for those who care').
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If you believe you can make something more structural without loss of information, do it.
  
  
Messy-notes-while-learning-something-new are also welcome -- arguably the best content as long as it's got notes about its own missing spots.
 
  
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Messy-notes-while-learning-something-new are also welcome -- arguably some of the best content, as long as it's got notes about its own shortcomings.
  
If you like these idea but it still feels a little restrictive, I encourage you to start your own. I think a bulk of wikis like this would be pretty damn cool.
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If you like these idea but all this feels restrictive, I encourage you to start your own wiki.
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's pretty simple, and I think a bulk of wikis like this would be pretty damn cool.
  
  
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Many articles here are in the data collection phase ({{inlinecode|<nowiki>{{stub}}</nowiki>}}), still waiting to be boiled down. Feel free to contribute information and nice rewriting.
 
Many articles here are in the data collection phase ({{inlinecode|<nowiki>{{stub}}</nowiki>}}), still waiting to be boiled down. Feel free to contribute information and nice rewriting.
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===Why?===
 
===Why?===

Latest revision as of 00:37, 16 October 2011