I enjoy reading the SO FAQ and the badge descriptions, but I feel these pieces of "documentation" are a bit short — just look at the amount of questions appearing on Meta about how things work.

Is there a plan in place to enrich the FAQ/descriptions of/on various aspects of SO?

Maybe some associated links placed in the FAQ (no, not the generic search link) or on badge descriptions could make them more enlightening (e.g pointing to community wikis on Meta?)

Edit: Just some clarification.

  • The question is not about me not finding answers.
  • I am aware of the FAQ link.
  • I am aware of the link at the bottom of the FAQ.
  • I'm a bit enthusiastic about code comments and documentation.
  • Bounty explanation: +150 for sample pages with properly linked documentation, 1 for the faq, 1 for about and 1 for the badges listing. You can have it anywhere public, just insert a link into your answer. – akarnokd Jul 20 '09 at 12:45
  • I completly agree. It is hard to find alot of information about the working of the SO engine, such as when each 'SO day' begins, daily rep cap, amung others. – Josh Hunt Jul 20 '09 at 12:57
  • Extra points for a solution in a wiki-style, so the community can keep it up-to-date as the rules evolve. – akarnokd Jul 20 '09 at 13:34

This may be thinking a little too far outside the box, but I'll put it out there:

Maybe we could "outsource" the FAQ to the Stack Overflow article on Wikipedia. Let people detail all the Stack Overflow minutia there (that's what Wikipedia is good at). Link to it from our FAQ page.

This would mean:

  1. We don't have to maintain this in a "question" (since that's not really what it was intended for).
  2. The team doesn't have to spend all their time writing a detailed FAQ.
  3. The FAQ would be community-edited, without requiring the team to re-implement Wikipedia for that one page.

Of course, the Wikipedia police might get mad...

  • I guess I should have offered more bounty for this. – akarnokd Jul 20 '09 at 19:19
  • you did say "Extra points for a solution in a wiki-style" :) – Kip Jul 21 '09 at 4:15
  • Yes, I did. +50 I think would be possible. – akarnokd Jul 21 '09 at 6:18
  • Thanks, as nothing happened, I award you the bounty for pointing to the SO wiki page. It seems that If I want this doc to be created I should do it myself. – akarnokd Jul 26 '09 at 13:41

Did you try searching for questions tagged SOFAQ? That is where the real meat of the documentation is contained on StackOverflow. That is where we flesh out in much much much greater detail a lot of the topics of importance for StackOverflow (and then they can pretty much be the same for the others sites as well.


Edit: This is located on the very bottom of the StackOverflow FAQ Page. If this is too hard for you to use to get to the heavy-details FAQs, then I don't know how else to help you.

What about...

If you're looking for excruciating detail, we host a section of constantly evolving Stack Overflow FAQs that document everything about the site.

  • Good hint! Though I failed the test. ;-) The link defaults to "Featured" questions (none), so I was a bit confused. Of course, clicking "Votes" gets one to stackoverflow.com/questions/… – Arjan Jul 13 '09 at 18:03
  • 3
    -1. The existence of a search feature is not a good excuse for the lack of a properly linked documentation, IMHO. – akarnokd Jul 13 '09 at 18:10
  • @kd304: So clicking 'FAQ' is too difficult now? – GEOCHET Jul 13 '09 at 18:26
  • @Rich B: Clicking on a link which brings you to the description instantly is not difficult - after you clicked on FAQ. I just quote one of my motto: "If we had teleportation, we wouldn't need to walk back to our cars but just teleport right into it." – akarnokd Jul 13 '09 at 18:36
  • @Rich B: Okay. My motto is a small joke about applying methods or solutions and not recognizing the true potential of them: why teleport into your car when you can teleport anywhere you want? Maybe there is a more concise name for this effect (which doesn't sound that bad). – akarnokd Jul 13 '09 at 18:55

Lack of documentation is a negative. I would suggest a Wiki instead of traditional documentation.

  • 2
    We have this already. Check the sofaq tags. – GEOCHET Jul 13 '09 at 18:45

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