Author Topic: Preventing deja vu all over again  (Read 1839 times)

Offline oyang

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Preventing deja vu all over again
« on: September 04, 2015, 04:58:17 PM »
Thanks everyone for the warm help and comments I've received as a brand new poster on these boards. I had a suggestion for these boards regarding making it easier for newbies like me to find help. A very common item seems to be wiring of phones to subsets.  What I would suggest would be for you to have a matrix table, with phone models cross-referenced to subsets (e.g. columns for subsets, rows for phones), where there you can find the hyperlink to to existing thread(s) already existing for a particular phone/subset wiring combination.

What do you think?  That could save a lot of wheel re-inventing.

Otto
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they aren't."

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 11:42:09 PM »
Thanks everyone for the warm help and comments I've received as a brand new poster on these boards. I had a suggestion for these boards regarding making it easier for newbies like me to find help. A very common item seems to be wiring of phones to subsets.  What I would suggest would be for you to have a matrix table, with phone models cross-referenced to subsets (e.g. columns for subsets, rows for phones), where there you can find the hyperlink to to existing thread(s) already existing for a particular phone/subset wiring combination.

What do you think?  That could save a lot of wheel re-inventing.

Otto
The problem is the software the board runs on. It would be simple is the board ran on normal HTML and could be posted to in HTML. But it can't be.

The best way to find this information is to use the search engine, or alternatively, just plain ask. It would be possible to do a table matching phones to subsets, it would be extremely difficult to include links, and then we get into problems with phones which use different subsets depending on the number of wires in the mounting cable. It could be more confusing than asking and getting information tailored to your needs.

We have a large number of knowledgeable users who would be more than pleased to assist you.

Dave 
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 11:47:18 PM by DavePEI »
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unbeldi

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 07:54:59 AM »
Thanks everyone for the warm help and comments I've received as a brand new poster on these boards. I had a suggestion for these boards regarding making it easier for newbies like me to find help. A very common item seems to be wiring of phones to subsets.  What I would suggest would be for you to have a matrix table, with phone models cross-referenced to subsets (e.g. columns for subsets, rows for phones), where there you can find the hyperlink to to existing thread(s) already existing for a particular phone/subset wiring combination.

What do you think?  That could save a lot of wheel re-inventing.

Otto

Indeed many discussion are repeated over and over. There are few of the basic issues anymore that haven't been discussed. New users who register for an account typically don't use the forum as a reference resource to research their problem or interest, when it is simple to just ask a question.   Like in general society, most people are not 'readers' anyhow that use reference materials to research and determine what needs to be done. Most simply live in the present and just ask a question to get to the result with the least effort possible.  The 'researcher' types that do exist probably are those who simply search the forum without asking for an account.

I think your ideas have been suggested or at least hinted on various occasions.  But even for the 'researcher' type of person, it takes quite some effort to search through the past and assemble directories of related topics.  The forum has no built-in system of categories that can be easily attached to a post or thread of posts.  The search function also is rather basic in its performance. I have spent only a little bit of time looking for third-party add-on modules to provide better search and categorizing features, but haven't found what I imagine.  I have observed the same difficulties in other forums in the past.

Other than that, the software certainly has all the functionality to implement your idea. The methods are simple to use.  I do think though that the organization of the boards and subboards is not well thought out to present reference information.  There are already many topics that have in principle reference-type content, but are lost in the sea of discussions.  So some reorganization would be in order to make reference topics more accessible.

However, certainly a basic starting point of your idea could be created in a couple hours of work.  It could serve as framework, as new cases would be added as they arise again.  But it is surprising how many variations of a topic actually do arise in practice; there is always a new twist that is specific to the case at hand.


PS:  The software does have a few configuration options for searches, and index creation. I don't know which are enabled. However, these only effect the built-in search capability.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 08:11:25 AM by unbeldi »

Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 08:31:41 AM »
The problem is the software the board runs on. It would be simple is the board ran on normal HTML and could be posted to in HTML. But it can't be.

The forum's language is BBCODE, and it does support tables though the standard table tag seems to lack formatting parameters like borders or background color.

Here is the BBCODE...

Code: [Select]
[table]
[tr]
[td][/td]
[td][b]534[/b][/td]
[td][b]584[/b][/td]
[td][b]634[/b][/td]
[td][b]684[/b][/td]
[td][b]685[/b][/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]20-AL[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  ?[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]B1[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]D1[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

...which produces the following table:

534584634684685
20-AL  X  X  X  X  ?
B1  X  X  X  X  X
D1  X  X  X  X  X



I had a suggestion for these boards regarding making it easier for newbies like me to find help.

I think if you had found this topic 1st, you may have got your phone wired up without any help.  I found this via google search before I joined the forum.  Let's say that I hadn't and I joined the forum 1st.  Would it have been easier for me to find the topic containing the cross-reference table?  I guess my point is that, to paraphrase unbeldi, it would take quite some effort to create but may be of limited usefulness.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 08:37:20 AM by NorthernElectric »
Cliff

unbeldi

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 08:39:28 AM »
Thanks for that!  And it only took you five minutes, I am sure.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2015, 09:38:08 AM »
Thanks, Cliff! 
 
This is a good example of a "How To" post that shouldn't get lost, as it's filed with the discussion.
 
Perhaps the moderators can copy it to a child board in Forum News that includes techniques for formatting and posting info on the forum.
 
 
The problem is the software the board runs on. It would be simple is the board ran on normal HTML and could be posted to in HTML. But it can't be.

The forum's language is BBCODE, and it does support tables though the standard table tag seems to lack formatting parameters like borders or background color.

Here is the BBCODE...  <snip>

Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

.

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 09:41:50 AM »
The problem is the software the board runs on. It would be simple is the board ran on normal HTML and could be posted to in HTML. But it can't be.

The forum's language is BBCODE, and it does support tables though the standard table tag seems to lack formatting parameters like borders or background color.

Here is the BBCODE...

Code: [Select]
[table]
[tr]
[td][/td]
[td][b]534[/b][/td]
[td][b]584[/b][/td]
[td][b]634[/b][/td]
[td][b]684[/b][/td]
[td][b]685[/b][/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]20-AL[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  ?[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]B1[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td][b]D1[/b][/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  X[/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[td]  [url=http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=784.0]X[/url][/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

...which produces the following table:

534584634684685
20-AL  X  X  X  X  ?
B1  X  X  X  X  X
D1  X  X  X  X  X



I had a suggestion for these boards regarding making it easier for newbies like me to find help.

I think if you had found this topic 1st, you may have got your phone wired up without any help.  I found this via google search before I joined the forum.  Let's say that I hadn't and I joined the forum 1st.  Would it have been easier for me to find the topic containing the cross-reference table?  I guess my point is that, to paraphrase unbeldi, it would take quite some effort to create but may be of limited usefulness.
I did not say it was impossible. I am totally aware of BBCode. But do YOU have the time to do it? I know I don't, and it is far simpler for people to simply ask. It may look simple on the outside, but to actually put together something like this would be very time intensive!!!

The mechanics of the table aren't the problem. It is only the tip of the iceburg. To begin with, you need to find the topics to link to, secondly, each entry has to be linked to that topic. Then the table can be made. Then if any error is made doing it, everyone jumps on you and tells you how it SHOULD or COULD have been done, or how THEY would have done it.

Then comes the constant maintenance to keep it updated with new posts. It is all well and simple to do a table - but then try to add the information and variation links needed to cover all situations.Yes, a table can be made up in 5 minutes, but it is meaningless without information and links to meaningful topics.

Certainly not something I am willing to do, when all someone needs to do is ask where they can find the information. There is a point where being a volunteer moderator is not a good thing, when people keep dreaming up things to use up more of your time which would have limited usefulness.

To date we (all the moderators) have spent very many hours re-organizing the board to make things easier to find, and yet spend many other hours moving subjects mis-placed by users to the correct board. And we do have personal lives as well. Please understand - some things aren't worth doing, especially when they increase the work load on moderators when there is an alternative way to find the information.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 10:49:54 AM by DavePEI »
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Offline oyang

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2015, 07:14:13 PM »
From the standpoint of a newbie, even when you search and find relevant threads on these boards, it can still be overwhelming because there are quite a few with different nuances. It was relatively straightforward for me to find most of the info on the 202D1 to the 684, and I would not have needed to ask for help except that the transmitter was burned out so thought I had not wired it properly.  However, for my current candlestick rotary, I'm still looking through the suggested links and having issues with trying to digest the two different links referred to me and how they apply or don't to my particular phone and subset.  So, I think that while some of you think this would not be helpful, from the standpoint of someone completely new, I do think it would be helpful.

A perhaps simple way to do this would be to maintain a text document (like MS Word .doc) that has a table with hyperlinks in it.  It wouldn't have to be programmed with code into the boards that way; someone could just download the doc and click on the appropriate hyperlink. I'm attaching a sample of what I have in mind.....

Otto
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they aren't."

Offline DavePEI

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 07:49:52 PM »
As i said before the simplest thing is to make the table.

Just like you having to search for applicable topics and then linking them into the table in a reasonable fashion, someone would have to spend many, many hours to find the topics to link to it - a full time job for many months. Sure it would be nice to have, but too much to ask from people who volunteer their time.

This is what you are missing when you ask this. It would be fine, it someone didn't have to spend the time necessary to do this. Sometimes people want things handed to them on a platter, when with a little work by themselves, they can find it on their own. I myself couldn't do it even if I had the time, as my eyesight is going. I am sure some of the other moderators feel the same. If a table were made up, it would only be as good as the care taken to make it, and then would require continual maintenance as new information appears.

Quote
From the standpoint of a newbie, even when you search and find relevant threads on these boards, it can still be overwhelming because there are quite a few with different nuances....

And for an experienced person, there is the same problem.  The nuances, i.e. four, five and six conductor mounting cords are incredible, number of contacts on the switch hook, etc. One needs that information to give the correct response. it isn't as simple as saying, "I have a candlestick - what subset do I use with it"?

Quote
I'm still looking through the suggested links and having issues with trying to digest the two different links referred to me and how they apply or don't to my particular phone and subset.

That is exactly why a one on one discussion is better than trying to use a table of links.

Your best way is a simple message stating the configuration of your phone, and what subset you have, and people will happily do their best to sort it out for you. There is not always a suitable existing response on the board, but there are always people happy to assist you.

Dave
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 08:29:19 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline NorthernElectric

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2015, 08:13:22 PM »
However, for my current candlestick rotary, I'm still looking through the suggested links and having issues with trying to digest the two different links referred to me and how they apply or don't to my particular phone and subset.

Folks weren't finished helping you with that one, they were just waiting for you to post photos of your hookswitch contacts, as poplar1 requested.

If you could post photos of the front and back of the hookswitch contacts, this would help determine if you have a 151AL, 51AL or 50AL..
Cliff

Offline oyang

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2015, 08:48:09 PM »
However, for my current candlestick rotary, I'm still looking through the suggested links and having issues with trying to digest the two different links referred to me and how they apply or don't to my particular phone and subset.

Folks weren't finished helping you with that one, they were just waiting for you to post photos of your hookswitch contacts, as poplar1 requested.

If you could post photos of the front and back of the hookswitch contacts, this would help determine if you have a 151AL, 51AL or 50AL..

Yes absolutely; the ball is in my court on that project!  My day job is keeping me busy, but I will be back to that project asking for more help once I follow up on the leads people provided (including providing pics to show if it is a 51AL or 151AL). It's also taking me time to read through the two threads that were suggested to me.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 08:55:20 PM by oyang »
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Offline oyang

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Re: Preventing deja vu all over again
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 08:53:23 PM »


Your best way is a simple message stating the configuration of your phone, and what subset you have, and people will happily do their best to sort it out for you. There is not always a suitable existing response on the board, but there are always people happy to assist you.

Dave

OK thanks Dave; I wasn't trying to create more work for people or suggesting that it's anyone's responsibility to catalog everything.  I was thinking of doing the table myself, actually, which was why I started that example table. Quite the opposite of trying to create more work for the experts on this board, my suggestion was intended to REDUCE the amount of work by allowing people to find the most relevant thread themselves before posting for help.  Indeed, I've found everyone to be super-helpful, which makes me feel a bit bad for imposing on everyone's generosity, and I was just trying to find a way to reduce the duplicate newbie questions you must get all the time!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 08:59:08 PM by oyang »
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they aren't."