Re: [isabelle] Suggesting to add common isabelle user questions to the wiki



On 27.02.2013 15:34, C. Diekmann wrote:
2013/2/26 Christian Sternagel<c.sternagel at gmail.com>:
[...]
The Isabelle mailing lists are also indexed by search engines like google, a
more common problem is that either the question was not asked at all (after
all, the group of Isabelle users is by far smaller as for popular
programming languages), or it has been formulated in a way that it does not
match your search.

Indeed, I was afraid to ask this newbie questions.

Don't be. We expect people to make a fair attempt to find the answer themselves, but if you cannot find the anwer, ask.

I think many answers for "frequently" asked questions are already part of
Isabelle's documentation. The main problem, as you found out, is that this
is not easily accessible via internet search (and most users seem not eager
to read documentation PDFs ;) ).

It is the nature of reference documentation that it requires you to know what you are looking for.

I think, instead of duplicating answers (which will often be outdated very
soon if they are not part of the official documentation), we need to find a
way to make the existing documentation more accessible.

For me, it is often not about the answers, but about the questions.
Different people approach problems from different angles. A reference manual will be organized by the inner structure of the software. A tutorial is about getting an overview, not about solving concrete problems.

We need users to pose their own questions. And usually, the answer will not just be a pointer to the official documentation. The answers may get out of date (which is a much bigger problem for the system internals than for the Isar level), but if they are on platforms where editing is possible, we can always comment on that, if we find that users get confused.

Whether this is on the wiki or an services like stackexchange[1], I don't really care. And I think neither of them needs an endorsement of the project leaders, just enough users contributing. And none of them
could replace the mailing list, because they are not made for discussions.

stackexchange works quite well.

Currently, of the stackexchange sites, stackoverflow.com would be the site where questions to using Isabelle are on-topic. This probably excludes questions regarding the logical foundations.

  -- Lars





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