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Re: Emacs Windows FAQ

From: Uday S Reddy
Subject: Re: Emacs Windows FAQ
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 10:33:00 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100915 Thunderbird/3.1.4

On 10/7/2010 5:02 AM, Eli Zaretskii wrote:

Just the other day, I answered somebody's query in emacs.help newsgroup by 
referring to the FAQ.  It didn't give him the right answer, but it pointed him 
in the right direction.

What was the issue, and why wouldn't it be more useful if it were
described in the Emacs FAQ instead?

The question was where to find the .emacs file on Windows.  I went to the 
Windows Emacs FAQ, as I have always done for such issues, but the answer there 
was probably out of date.  So, it wasn't right but it gave ideas to the user as 
to where else he might look.

I have now checked the Emacs FAQ, which doesn't have an answer to the question, 
but the Appendix G of the Emacs manual does.  So, the FAQs could perhaps give a 
pointer to the Appendix G, without giving a direct answer themselves.

Your original proposal was to "simply remove" the Windows Emacs FAQ from the 
web site.  If you want to amend that to say, transfer all the information to Emacs FAQ 
and *then* remove it from the web site, I would obviously have no objection.  But, who is 
going to do it?

Another factor that concerns me is that the Windows Emacs FAQ is not just an Emacs FAQ.  It also 
answers questions about how to integrate Emacs with other components of the "GNU operating 
system" on Windows or even the "Windows operating system".  For instance, questions 
like how do I unpack the distribution, how do I get it to work with Internet Explorer, and so on.  
Do you want to put all such information on the general Emacs FAQ?

A third factor is that the Windows Emacs FAQ was produced by a community of 
users who knew exactly what the issues were.  It is very hard, if not 
impossible, for developer teams produce such FAQs because they think in an 
entirely different plane.

I have been in a lot of situations where sys-admins got rid of documentation produced by 
user teams because they were supposedly "obsolete", but they ended up replacing 
them with other documentation which was way inferior.  (They of course thought they were 
superior. :-)


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