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    FAQ Proposal
    From: Dan Allen
    Date: 2003 Oct 2, 19:40 -0700

    One of the great things about this NAV-L mailing list is the cumulative
    wisdom of its contributors.  This wisdom is only partially presented in
    the threads that have come and gone over the years which can be browsed
    on a website somewhere.
    If we wrote a slick FAQ document, it would do two things for us:
    1) help give quick answers to newcomers so that we don't have to
    reinvent the wheel each time somebody asks a basic questions,
    and far more importantly,
    2) it will help us gather our thoughts together and begin to give our
    many threads some organization and structure.
    Here is a proposal to be considered by the group, a procedure for how
    we as a group could produce an FAQ that would quickly becoming a
    best-selling book!  Well, to a modest audience, but it could be a real
    addition to science if we did it right.
    STEP 1: gathering questions
    Let's make a short list of one line questions.  We could have everyone
    mail a list of basic and intermediate navigation questions to somebody
    (I volunteer), who could gather and categorize them and remove
    duplicates.  This would constitute a basic place to start.
    STEP 2: writing first pass answers to questions
    The list gathered in step one could be sent to the group.  If there are
    questions that you think you could tackle, you would let me know and
    you would write an answer to the question.
    STEP 3: critiquing answers
    Once an answer is written, it could be posted to the group for critique
    and comments.
    STEP 4: adding to the FAQ
    Once it made it through step 3 it would be added to the FAQ.
    We could in fact attribute authorship to each question answered.
    Another thing we could do is choose or even vote and have whoever we
    consider the resident expert on a particular topic write that answer,
    or we could just let people submit answers, or perhaps we could have
    several people submit several different answers to the same question
    and then pick the best one for inclusion in The Document.
    Now in some sense we have already done this: just look at our thread
    archive and you will see we have dealt with many questions and some of
    them many times.  It therefore stands to reason that someone with a lot
    of time and a nice collection of the past many years of email could
    cobble together an FAQ made of the conclusions of various questions
    that have been raised over the years, but the problem is that multiple
    authors for a given issue make a smooth narrative a rare event (a
    notable exception is George's great series on lunars).
    Is all of this way too much process?  Is this too much work?  Is what I
    am considering of any interest to the rest of you?  Does anyone else
    think this would be a good way to tackle the challenge of our bringing
    together all of our various perspectives and knowledge to make a common
    document?  Is there a better way?
    I await your views.
    Dan Allen
    47?28.915' N, 121?47.850' W

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