ciwah FAQ posting policy?

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A few years ago, I was posting the WDG's Web Authoring FAQ to ciwah. The
FAQ was crossposted to comp.answers and news.answers, and is archived at

The last posting was more than 4 years ago. The current version of the FAQ
is at /

Recently, I was contacted by Nick Boalch, who is helping clean up *.answers
and the FAQ archive. Before I answer him, I'd like to see
whether there is consensus (or something resembling consensus) in ciwah
about posting this FAQ regularly again.

Here are a few options:

- Resume (monthly?) posting of the entire FAQ
- Split the FAQ into sections, and post individual sections (one section
  per week?) in rotation
- Post only a subset (the TOC and the Preamble and Other Documents
  sections?) of the FAQ
- Post only a pointer to the FAQ (including its URL)

So, what do ciwah regulars think?
Darin McGrew,, /
    Web Design Group,, /

"When strong encryption is outlawed, only outlaws jvyy hfr fgebat rapelcgvba."

Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 20:51:15 +0000 (UTC), Darin McGrew

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It strikes me as too large to take in all at once, and the web version
is more navigable.

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I maintain a FAQ for another NG, envisioned as 9 sections (only 5
completed so far) spread over 9 days, posted 3x/month.  There have
been no complaints about the frequency.  There are more topics here so
it would take longer to cycle through them, but I would be more likely
to read and absorb them if they are served as a "tip of the day."

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Just an introduction to this NG and its resources, along with pointers
to resources for those who would be better served by another.

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This may be sufficient, and it could be put out weekly.

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As a regular lurker, I see a need for a section "How to ask for help"
or "Before asking for help."  Whichever option is chosen, this should
probably be included in each posting.


Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

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1) The people for whom FAQs are meant rarely read them before posting,
ergo FAQs add to the noise instead of reducing it
2) The answers in FAQs almost always contain errors and/or contested
personal opinions (a brief glance confirms that both are also true for
this FAQ)

I'd prefer not to have a FAQ bot posted here.
When linking to specific answers in an FAQ in response to questions, the
answer and/or the FAQ should not pretend to be endorsed by anyone other
than those who have given their permission to do so.


Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

In comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html message
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I think that there should be something weekly, recognisable as FAQ-
related by Subject line.  But for the whole FAQ at once, no more than

Material actually appearing in the Group is IMHO more likely to attract
suggestions than material on the Web, even with broadband.

In the web version, could each page have Next & Previous links?

Section 2.10, suggest addition of Errata for ECMA -

   <a href="">
   ECMAScript HTML, Edition 3 Errata</a>, dated Monday, June 9, 2003

and of ISO 16262 -

 <li>At ISO :-<ul>
  <li>Seek 16262 <i>via</i> <a href=" /">Home Page</a>
  <li><a href=" /
   ZIP of PDF </a> of ISO-16262:2002 - FoC

Section 3.3 - look out for new link (soon?) for Alan Flavell's stuff.
Also 5.3C, etc.

Section 3.5 - rewrite para 2 so that "--" is unlikely to be split <g>

Section 4.1 - I hope "5MB" can be increased.  Etc.  More countries use
the Euro than use the Dollar; and, in an international medium, one needs
to indicate which dollar to avoid offence.

Section 6.13 - add a method of hiding the E-address from harvesters, if
any are thought now worthwhile?  Or a link to methods?  I mean something
like &#64; for @.

*RE* Sec 11.7 - target="_top" - I use it on "all" pages, but W3's
validator complains.  Any suggestions?  Note that in the context it
might be helpful if it works, but no problem if it fails benignly.

IMHO, there's criticism of sites that use frames which should be
directed only at sites that *require* frames.  See mine, top of typical

That was a very quick scan.

It's a good idea to read the newsgroup c.l.j and its FAQ.  See below.

 (c) John Stockton, Surrey, UK.  ?   Turnpike v6.05   IE 6
 news:comp.lang.javascript FAQ <URL: .
 <URL: jscr maths, dates, sources.
 <URL: TP/BP/Delphi/jscr/&c, FAQ items, links.

Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

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Among the 4 replies I saw, there seems to be some consensus for a weekly
newsgroup FAQ posting that includes links to web authoring FAQs and an
entry for "How should I ask for help?" The dissenting vote comes from
Spartanicus, who seems to think that all FAQ postings are futile, and just
clutter the group.

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You're right; not everyone uses a browser that supports LINK.

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I went ahead and linked to the Wayback Machine for now. I'll update the
links when his content is online again.

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The problem with recommending any specific trick is that then it becomes
more common, and then it becomes worthwhile for the harvesters to program
their spiders for the now-comon trick, and then it becomes ineffective.

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I use <base target="_top"> on my personal site. This is perfectly valid
HTML 4.01 Transitional.

Other than this, I use HTML 4.01 Strict. I chose to create a custom DTD,
which is HTML 4.01 Strict, with support for <base target="_top"> copied
from HTML 4.01 Transitional.
Darin McGrew,, /
    Web Design Group,, /

  "Good teachers are costly. Bad teachers cost more." - Bob Talbert

Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

Scripsit Darin McGrew:

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This might be OK.

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This is probably better.

Perhaps the best option is an extended pointer: a paragraph of text
explaining what the group is about, mentioning the existence of the FAQ and
its purpose, and perhaps a list of main topics in it, and naturally the URL

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

Re: ciwah FAQ posting policy?

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Monthly seems about right.

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That's just confusing.

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[1] Post the WDG FAQ monthly, but do not call it a "c.i.w.a.h. FAQ".
    (It's not about the newsgroup, but about the subject of the ng.
    "HTML FAQ" might be better.)
[2] Post a c.i.w.a.h. FAQ (with a reference to the WDG FAQ) once or
    twice a month, and post a very small pointer to it and the WDG FAQ
    in the other weeks of the month.

There should be very few changes to the second one, except for maybe
moving subjects between the "what to discuss" and the "what *not* to
discuss" sections. (And we should at least try to be a little lenient
about the distinction.)
I used to post such a FAQ regularly (most recent version at ) and can do so again.

Boris Ammerlaan /
"We ended a nefarious global domination scheme, not world peace... Right?"

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