Re: FAQs/REFs/COMs, Legitimacy


Tung-chiang Yang (
Tue, 6 May 1997 11:44:18 -0700 (PDT)

Well, there are indeed several cases where many FAQ documents exist. I
do not read the Java groups (yet), but for "comp.unix.questions", as you
can expect, you have FAQ for "vi", you have "Unix FAQ", you have "bash
FAQ" and "Using C shell is considered harmful FAQ". They can coexist
without much problems, though strictly speaking some of these FAQ's
might have better places to go if the corresponding newsgroups exist,
say, "comp.unix.shells" (I did not check if these FAQ's are crossposted
to the more related groups or not, though).

For discussions in "soc.culture.china" and "soc.culture.taiwan", I put
the URL for the FAQ documents into my signature, but I still participate
in the discussions as a regular netter, and I never (or I should say
"seldom") mention or imply that "I am special because I am the FAQ
maintainer". Personally I believe *IF* I view myself special because of
this "volunteer" job, then I might view any other FAQ maintainers as
enemies since they "deprive" of my dominating position.

I guess as long as we keep in mind that the FAQ is technically no different
from regular posts (though it might be larger in most cases and it is posted
regularly) and the FAQ is used for providing information instead of for
our own egos, then the more FAQ's there are the better.

Forwarded message:
> Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 08:36:07 -0400
> Message-Id: <>
> From: (Larry W. Virden, x2487)
> Subject: Re: FAQs/REFs/COMs, Legitimacy (was Re: Style/History of FAQs (was...)) (fwd)
> I've seen a few places where competitive FAQs occur. I
> think this was at one point at least going on in the Java newsgroups
> and perhaps in one of the other programming groups. As a reader, I enjoy
> seeing alternative views.
> To bare the soul a bit though, as a FAQ maintainer, it can be at times a
> bit of a 'thorn in the flesh' so to speak (a splinter in the finger?).
> Particularly if no one ever comes out and says to you that there is
> anything particularly wrong, or different, or whatever about your faq -
> they just seem to prefer for no apparently reason someone else's work.
> I suspect that authors see this all the time. For someone whose only
> exposure to having some ego tied up into a public work is a FAQ, it can
> be a painful, but hopefully maturing, experience.

Tung-chiang Yang