[torsen] Faq-O-Matic

Brett Dikeman quattro at brettd.dsl.speakeasy.net
Tue Feb 13 18:43:02 EST 2001

The Quattro Faq-O-Matic, which some of you have been asking about, 
began anew a few weeks ago.

The FAQ-O-Matic allows for:

-easy contribution(hint hint) from anyone, anywhere, any time, on any 
computer, with a minimum amount of involvement needed from the 
administrators(thus if they're busy, nothing will get held up waiting 
for them); email addresses associated with entries keep people 
honest, or sections can be "locked down" in very flexible ways for 
critical parts of the FOM.
-uploading prewritten text you have saved on your hard drive or 
writing straight into an text input box
-linking between answers(see the User's Guide for instructions on how)
-various formatting options(monospaced for tables/diagrams, normal, 
and HTML for complex things you want to write/format in an HTML 
authoring tool)  Note that Natural mode tends to "munge" carriage 
returns; add one extra return to get your desired effect.
-designated moderators of a section(ie, if Steve wanted a section 
about the UrQ mailing list, I could designate him moderator of that 
section)  Moderators can do more, like create categories, remove/move 
answers, that sort of thing...stuff not intended for mere mortals :-)
-uploading graphics(gif/jpegs) or other files which are associated 
with a particular entry for illustration purposes(keep 'em SMALL, and 
read the User's Guide for info on how to do this; they can be inline, 
ie, used as an illustration, or simply linked to)  This has 
advantages when mirroring(see next)
-easy mirroring; you install the FOM software on any unix box with 
perl and a webserver; child FOMs know how to "talk" to the parent to 
copy the content, but please don't mirror anything yet)  Mirroring 
includes images, files, etc included in the FOM(in "bags")
-output one big single page with all content(ie, for publishing/printout), etc.

The URL:


But, before you go leaping over, don't expect much stuff.  It's in 
need of more content, which is -VERY- easy for -ANYONE- to do(you 
just need to provide a valid email address for authentication and to 
get credit  for your submission.)  Hint hint.  I also -know- there 
are errors and omissions to many answers and many need more "meat" to 
the them, please feel free to correct/add on to answers I've put 
in(see the User's Guide below on how to edit existing text for an 
answer, or add a second text part; when you edit an item, your email 
address is added to the original author's.)  Please try to give 
credit where credit is due(I tried my best when I copied someone's 
email.)  If you have a correction/addition for an item, you can also 
email the author of the "answer" item(right now, all the items were 
added by me.)

I've added many basic initial categories; don't worry, I plan on 
expanding or shifting things around as is needed.

Please check out:

-The Faq-O-Matic User's Guide.  It is excellent, very refined, and 
will get you familiar with how a Faq-O-matic works.

-There is more of an explanation of why you need to provide an email 
address here:

-You can also look at a quick-and-dirty getting started page, here, 
which also contains some info about where to put submissions:

Why did I decide to "go public" with the FOM?

-because a lot of people have been asking about it recently
-nobody has really come up with something better for a list FAQ
-we're seeing more and more new list members and we need to encourage 
them and educate them so they become productive, contributing members 
of the list
-list traffic is out of control(fully 50% of the list said the daily 
volume was too high in a survey a few months ago; also, more than 50% 
are digest users.)

I welcome comments/questions/requests for assistance in private, and 
I hope those of you who have always wanted to give back to the list 
will do so by contributing.

Brett Dikeman				Systems Engineer
ProAct Technologies Corporation		914-872-8043
(formerly CFN[formerly iClick, Inc])		914-872-8100(fax)
120 Bloomingdale Rd.			http://www.proacttechnologies.com
White Plains, NY 10605
PGP Fingerprint: 06C2 5D5B D2B4 7626  BB24 2BBC 9E4A C8B3
PGP Key location: http://pdikeman.ne.mediaone.net/pgp/brett.pgp

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