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Old 08-01-2006, 11:33 AM   #16
harrygraham
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Registered: Apr 2001
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Thumbs up finding info


I really appreciate all the hard work that Jeremy puts into Linuxquestions.org. It is my favourite website. Jeremy strikes me as a very level-headed guy, and I hope that these comments will be received as helpful suggestions, not an attempt to stir up animosities. From my little experience with putting up a little website, I know that the amount of work it takes is considerable.
With this clearly stated, here is what I think should be done to improve the site.

From a grass roots perspective, the hindrances to the site can be stated as such:

(1)Who wrote the post, and does he or she know what they are talking about?
(2)When was the information written, and is the information still relevant?

While Linuxquestions.org does a good job on helping to evaluate the expertness of it's contributors, it fails miserably on ranking a posts in usefulness for a specific purpose.

Don't get me wrong. I think there is a lot of gold in Linuxquestions. The problem is that if you have to panhandle for hours to get those nuggets, then the whole experience is negative, not positive. From my point of view, because of its sheer size, the site's usefulness has diminished in usefulness from its early days. I also don't think Linuxquestions.org is adapting itself sufficiently to the capacities of the less saavy, like myself. It takes too much work to evaluate a post's value without more clues.

Maybe looking at how big organizations function would be helpful, because Linuxquestions is getting pretty big. After a while, there is a buildup of records that proves to be a legal as well as a clerical encumbrance. So after a certain amount of time, according to a schedule, the old records are archived which improves the records management and frees up space. This is done automatically and is absolutely necessary for any business.

Applying this idea might be interesting. The most radical solution to Linuxquestion' s problem would be simply to archive all but the current year's posts. This would solve a number of problems, such as duplicate posts and staledated info etc. and would really energize the forums. All the newbies would be happy, but at the expense of ripping off gurus and long-term members who have built up their reputations with thousands of posts. On second thought, this is probably not a good solution for Linuxquestions, but it's important to think outside the box when looking for solutions.

Another solution would be to split the site in two - one for gurus and one for newbies. But this isn't a good solution either, because we want that interaction.

Another solution would be to have a time stamp displayed on each post, making it easier to tell if the information is current.

What might be even better is if there was a way to specify a search according to elapsed time (3 months, six months, 1 year, the whole database). That way, a guru who is looking for a highly technical answer to an obscure question would be served, while at the same time a newbie could still find answers to which distribution is now best.

If a chronological search tool was implemented, there would be little point to to curb redundancy in duplicate posts. I see this problem as being not a problem at all. Efforts to curb redundancy are meaningless. So long as a search can be specified according to time limits, there is no disadvantage. As a matter of fact, in futurity, this might turn out to be Linuxquestions's greatest tool in studying the evolution of Linux. Just because a thread exists on how to get that blasted network card configured in 2005, doesn't mean that another such thread shouldn't be allowed in 2006!!

Linuxquestions.org should be allowed to be an organic thing. As it is now, I think efforts to reduce redundancy are stifling it. I also think its own weight is going to kill it soon if something isn't done.


Yours,

Harry
 
Old 08-01-2006, 11:55 AM   #17
ctkroeker
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Registered: May 2005
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A section in the wiki to upload scripts or confurations would be great.
example: http://www.serversamples.com/
 
Old 08-01-2006, 11:57 AM   #18
Jesgrew
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Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 28

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Being new to Linux, and all the different "distro's", I was, am swamped by all the different ways to do the same things.

Everyone has a different, or what appears to be, way to do things.
I think a newbee guide to what ever if it isnt already posted should be added.

Tough to figure out how to do simple things I do in windows, in Linux, add hardware, configure this or that, or even finding things.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 12:54 PM   #19
mimithebrain
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I'll admit I didn't read "harrygraham" entire post, but something got my attention.
Quote:
Another solution would be to split the site in two - one for gurus and one for newbies. But this isn't a good solution either, because we want that interaction.
When answering a problem, it might be good to know if the user is used to commandline, if he used linux before, for how many years, and if he is a guru or a newbie. I think it would be nice if you could find those answers in the profile of that person. Then you know if you need to specify how to become root, or launch a console, so on and so forth.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 01:45 PM   #20
weibullguy
ReliaFree Maintainer
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Distribution: Slackware-current, Cross Linux from Scratch, Gentoo
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I spend most of my time in the forums because I gotta do something while I'm at work. They're great and I prefer LQ over the official forums maintained by some of the distros I use.

I was going to recommend a section that discusses how the hardware works. Understanding how the hardware works aids in understanding what the software is trying to do. This, in turn, leads to a better understanding of what the software is failing to do.

Anyway, I popped over to the Wiki to see if there was anything hardware related. I found that there was, but it hadn't been updated in two years and only viewed about 1000 times. Maybe no one comes to LQ looking for hardware information and my suggestion is moot. But it raises a couple of additional points.

First, "advertising." I know about the Wiki, the HCL, the LQ ISO, etc. But I often forget to point posters to these resources. We all hate advertising, but it is a necessary evil.

Second point, an earlier poster mentioned looking at how big organizations function. One thing big organizations do periodically is "focus on the core business." They say that right before they re-org and lay-off. Maybe it's time for LQ to look at all the services it offers and decide of any need to be layed-off. For example, is the LQ calendar being utilized by the majority of the 250,000+ members?

My final suggestion, for now, is a "Linux for Science and Engineering" forum. There are a grunch of scientists and engineers using *nix and FOSS software. Where are those Boeing engineers going to go for help when they can't get the Ethernet working on the MMA?
 
Old 08-01-2006, 02:08 PM   #21
jeremy
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Original Poster
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A few more comments:

- please do a search on the answered/resolved topic as it has been addressed multiple times.

- harrygraham, believe it or not almost all of your suggestions have been implemented for a long time. All posts do have a timestamp on them, the search can be chronological, by default we only show newer threads in forum view and you can search with a time restriction.

- "our own weight is going to kill us" is an interesting observation that I've never heard associated with LQ before. Despite our growing site we've remained extremely friendly and continue to expand the number of forums to keep pace with demand (a couple new ones coming soon in fact). Considering almost every suggestion in the post is currently already available, I'm interested in where the perception is coming from.

- We are indeed looking at the current projects now. After the review we have no plans to completely close any, but one will be seeing major changes very soon now.

- Remember, with the wiki any member can jump in and add content, add new pages, add new categories, add new anything. If you see something missing from the LQ Wiki, you can actually immediately solve the problem. Don't be afraid to jump right in.

--jeremy
 
Old 08-01-2006, 04:37 PM   #22
harrygraham
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Oopps!

My apologies for the melodramatic comments. Time to get out the sackloth and ashes... I'll try changing the search engine from its default... it just never occurred to me. It's probably my own inability to use the site intelligently that is colouring my perception.

Last edited by harrygraham; 08-01-2006 at 05:26 PM.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 04:54 PM   #23
aquaboogie90
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Registered: Jun 2006
Location: California
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10
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Well, I would say get rid of all those ads on the LQ Bookmarks page, but it seems you already did that!
 
Old 08-01-2006, 06:29 PM   #24
raska
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Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Aguascalientes, AGS. Mexico.
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avatar possibility?

how about letting upload an image of certain size or sizes and save it with the user profile?

Just a thought, I would like to do so here in LQ.org
(I know there would be lots of cons to my suggestion, but as I didn't see it before...)
 
Old 08-01-2006, 06:33 PM   #25
Bruce Hill
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Tupelo, MS
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say "no" to avatars

Perhaps I shouldn't post, but IMO avatars are ugly. Until this time,
Jeremy has decided that only he has an 'ugly avatar' and I for one
vote to keep it that way. Plus, the less images to load, the better it
is for people like me in a Third World Country where the communist gov't.
is the only ISP, and therefore, the service is absolutley lousy.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 07:12 PM   #26
jeremy
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Original Poster
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Chinaman is correct, we won't be doing avatars. Contributing members can however upload a profile picture, which will show on their member page (but not in posts).

--jeremy
 
Old 08-01-2006, 09:33 PM   #27
bobby_hawk
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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I like using Linux with just the character / text / curser based mode interface. I wish there was a section dedicated to just this interface for Linux.

I'd like to find applications that use the PullDown Interface.

Pine
Links - lynx
Netwatch

Anybody else want to pile on?

Bob
 
Old 08-01-2006, 09:38 PM   #28
Bruce Hill
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Location: Tupelo, MS
Distribution: Gentoo
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Originally posted by jeremy
Quote:
Chinaman is correct, we won't be doing avatars. Contributing members can however upload a profile picture, which will show on their member page (but not in posts).

--jeremy
Okay, I uploaded one. Please tell me what you think.

Last edited by Bruce Hill; 08-01-2006 at 09:40 PM.
 
Old 08-01-2006, 10:10 PM   #29
dalek
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Mississippi USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinaman
Originally posted by jeremy

Okay, I uploaded one. Please tell me what you think.
That not look like the guy I met a while back. You grow some hair on that chin or something?

 
Old 08-01-2006, 11:51 PM   #30
Franklin
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Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Slackware, WinXP, Windows 7
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Hello all,

I have a suggestion and, while searching to see if I somehow missed it I came up with another one.

1. When I post to usenet using Pan, I can select just a portion of the post I want to quote from and only that selected text is quoted in my response. I find that no matter what I try on LQ, I can only quote the entire post I'm replying to and I have to trim the rest. It's such a pain at times that I'm certain there must be a way to only quote just a section of text from a post and I'm just not able to find it.

2. A site map. I rarely use this feature on sites that have them, but in this case I think LQ could benefit from one. If it's done well and the link made promanant on the main pages, you could generate some traffic to areas that are not used as much as you would like. As the site gets bigger, content is becoming harder to find and navigation is becoming less intuitive. Not everyone perceives things the same way. A sitemap that presents the content in a different, simpler organizational manner, without being restricted to the current site style, might better display what is available at LQ and help less used features stand out. Just a thot.
 
  


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