How, precisely, can we improve?

Christopher Allen cma at
Thu Sep 29 04:37:35 UTC 2016

Makes sense, no problem!

I think my main personal complaints with docs have been:

Poor discoverability — neither wikis nor search solve this, I want a
dir listing.

Slow search — almost every wiki has slow search. bouncing out to
google is annoying. just let me grep.

Broken links — this is particularly annoying as unis like to shut down
student accounts hosting papers. I had to do some archaeology on an
obscure Chinese FTP server to find some of Don Stewart's papers and
slides recently.

I believe there can be a convincing solution to all of this and more.

On Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 11:33 PM, Moritz Angermann
<moritz at> wrote:
> Chris,
> I’m all in favor of a better system! My only intention was to point
> to a solution that might help with the current system, right now.
> I’ve come to use that feature quite frequently even outside of this
> specific use case, as many of the results are often full of
> interesting yet stale information.
> Anyhow, I don’t want to obligate anyone to do anything, and if this
> was perceived that way, I’m truly sorry.
> Cheers,
>  Moritz
>> On Sep 29, 2016, at 12:24 PM, Christopher Allen <cma at> wrote:
>> Why not just do the better thing to begin with rather than obligating
>> people to think to use this feature? Most, even those who know it's an
>> option, aren't going to think to do this in the heat of trying to
>> track down an answer to something.
>> On Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 11:08 PM, Moritz Angermann
>> <moritz at> wrote:
>>> Just a quick note: Google provides the “Date range” filter found under
>>> search options. This allows to narrow down the date range.
>>>> On Sep 29, 2016, at 11:55 AM, Bardur Arantsson <spam at> wrote:
>>>> On 2016-09-29 04:43, Richard Eisenberg wrote:
>>>>> Here's a pre-proposal (which could be formalized into a proper proposal)
>>>>> to address the wiki discussion:
>>>>> - Configure the wiki to display the date of last edit prominently.
>>>>> - If the date of last edit is sufficiently long ago (1 year?) loudly
>>>>> warn the reader that the content may be out-of-date.
>>>> I see at least one major issue with this: Search engines don't care if
>>>> you write "THIS MAY BE OUT OF DATE" on the page. It's a perennial
>>>> problem that search engines keep linking out of date material just
>>>> because such material tends to be linked more (simply because of age).
>>>> There are few tings as infuriating as going through a bunch of search
>>>> results and getting pages from 10 years ago.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> Chris Allen
>> Currently working on

Chris Allen
Currently working on

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