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RE: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info mus

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Have you all gone crazy? Was: On being web-friendly and why info must die
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:12:53 -0800 (PST)

> >> Users want to get the information fast and it is much
> >> faster to search for something in google than trying to
> >> find the relevant section of the manual.
> >
> > And why is that a problem?  What is wrong with people using
> > a web search engine like Google to get access to information
> > about Emacs?
> Not all information is good, not all information matches the version
> you are using.

No, of course not.  And some people can google better than
others.  And people can learn to google better.  And some
things are not so easy to find by googling anyway.  And yes,
it can be easy to get not-so-good information sometimes.
And it is possible not to be aware that the info found is
not so good.

Still.  It's not because a tool that can be helpful is not
also a panacea that it is something to be avoided.  Web
search engines are not the problem here, IMO.

> One of the top hits for AUCTeX I remember being annoyed at contained
> information that was bad advice even when it was new, something like
> a dozen years before the web search returned it in a high place,
> turned bad not too long after that and it belonged to a student
> page that was long frozen in time with nobody to look after it any
> more, the corresponding mail addresses being either dead or
> non-responsive.

If *most* of the top hits for a reasonably good query are
poor then yes, we can perhaps do a better job of making
better information more visible.

Typically, this kind of problem is, on the average and over
time, taken care of by itself, because more people find other
info more useful.  Web-search indexing is certainly not
perfect, but it is much better than it used to be.  And it
is quite useful overall.

> We can't fix the "web".

No, we can't.  But that is not really a problem we should
worry about here.  Not under the topic "on being web-friendly",
in any case.

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