Having come across Jon Skeet's guides asking a perfect question/ answering technical questions helpfully, I've found myself adding comments to first-time(-ish) users of SO (users with a rep of < 100, who have usually asked a question lacking detail, or clarity or posted a, can I say, succinct answer1).

As a result, I looked at the FAQ, to see what guidance was contained therein (to see if I should stop (possibly) patronising new users with a Moses-like issuing of the Commandments) and found that, while there's nothing unhelpful, there's also not a great deal of advice, beyond the basics.

Hence this feature-request, that Jon's guides be linked-to from the faq, not included, because they are relatively lengthy, and only interested parties are likely to read them (of course, only interested parties are ever going to read the faq anyway). This does run the risk, perhaps, of some kind of official sanction of all things Skeet, but given his rep and (obvious) skills, I don't think it's a big risk. If nothing else his guides could be broken down to bullet points and incorporated as an advice list, but it seems a shame that such advice exists and isn't, so far as I can tell, being used by S[OFU] to its full potential.

Any thoughts?


  1. Having said that, I've also pointed more interested and clearly-able users (such as @Edgar Bonet), when I've come across their first few answers.
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

A few points:

  • Linking directly to my blog from the FAQ possibly gives the wrong impression; it would be good to be "self-contained"
  • You're absolutely right that including the complete text would be ridiculously unwieldy
  • At the moment those articles are definitely in my voice and cover my personal opinion

I suggest that it would make sense for the articles to be copied onto the Stack Overflow site somewhere, edited by the team for both content and style, and then linked to from the FAQ, possibly with short excerpts included directly.

I'm very happy with the material being used in whatever way folks think best, but it's probably best to disassociate them from me to some extent, for exactly the reason you gave.

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hmm. Yeah, I should've touched a little more clearly on your first point (I intended to imply that with the "...risk...of official sanction..." but not clearly enough). Your third point ("...in my voice") I certainly agree with. It just seems such a shame that one of the best guides to S[OFUE] isn't being fully used =) Thanks for the reply. –  David Thomas Oct 2 '10 at 15:43
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This already happens; see

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/ask-advice

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Funny... I don't see Jon Skeet mentioned anywhere on the page :) –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Oct 2 '10 at 23:59
    
I admit that I'm obviously biased, but between the three examples I see there (I'm assuming you pointed to those under 'Related'?), I don't see any as well considered, or, more importantly, community-specific as Jon's. And having read those articles I still wouldn't choose to point new users towards them. –  David Thomas Oct 3 '10 at 1:05
    
@george the link is in the "related" on that page. The sidebar pretty much explains everything. –  Jeff Atwood Oct 3 '10 at 3:38
    
I see it now... subtle :) –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Oct 3 '10 at 4:32
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