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What I am proposing, in a nutshell, is a cookbook section associated with tags (this proposal may also apply to other StackExchange sites.)

The problem

It struck me while looking for a good and up-to-date CSS reference. The short answer is: there is none. In this Chrome-era, there's a browser version every month, and it's impossible to keep that kind of book up-to-date. So, I mainly resort to my favorite duo: Google and Stackoverflow.

But continuously browsing only when a particular problem arises is not my favorite approach. I prefer to go through a good primer (generally a book or two) on a language or technology before tackling for more serious work.

The request

There is already an info page available for tags. What I am proposing is another section, for recipe-style questions, that:

  • Are handpicked or created specifically for the cookbook (by the community, obviously)
  • Solve most common problems / Answer most common questions
  • Can be read in order (so if one wants to learn more about a given tag, he just goes through the cookbook)
  • Are possibly grouped into sections (much like chapters in a book, if you wish)
  • Are community wikis

Privileges could also be based on upvotes or reputation for that particular tag. Obviously there are still kinks to iron out but I'd like to have the pulse of the community on this.

Is this something you would find appropriate for StackOverflow and/or StackExchange?

Is this something people would be interesting in having and contributing in?

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I share this same need/feeling and I would be happy to support such an initiative. –  AlexBottoni Dec 1 '12 at 8:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is an appropriate use of the Stack Overflow tag wikis. Some of the high-traffic tags already have short FAQ sections. See C#, Java, and PHP for examples.

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While I think the FAQ section is great for, well, frequently asked questions; It leaves something to be desired. It lacks some structure and completeness (it's obviously a work in progress.) I still question the potential of the FAQ to one day become a great up-to-date primer for tags. –  Bryan Menard Aug 30 '11 at 16:34

As Bill mentioned, I think that you can generally accomplish this with a tag wiki that links to the "recipes" you want. This can accomplish all of your goals:

  • The community can handpick or create questions specifically for the tag wiki
  • The tag wiki can link to the most common questions
  • You can read the questions linked by the tag wiki in order
  • Links to questions can be grouped into sections
  • The tag wiki is, well, a wiki

The only sticking point, as far as I can tell, is that it would be difficult to ask some of these "recipes" as questions without having them closed. For example, I don't know how you could phrase a question that would produce a good up-to-date CSS reference: it would probably be closed as "too localized" or "not a real question." Questions like this might work best as Community Wiki, but they tend to be discouraged and can only be created by moderators anyway.

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