Subject: FAQ: Want to ask a DIY question? Here's how. (V.15)


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This is an introduction to the UK.D-I-Y newsgroup for new and experienced Do-It-Yourselfers in the United Kingdom. If you want help, or just want to find out more about a problem before calling in 'the professionals' you are welcome to 'pick our brains'.
There is a good chance your query, or a very similar one, has already been discussed and answered by the group, so please have a look at the Google uk.d-i-y archive, and our companion website for Frequently Asked Questions (the FAQ) before posting a question here.
The Google uk.d-i-y archive is available for searching at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq and the UK.D-I-Y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
The FAQ website gives background information about a diverse range of DIY topics, and guidance on formulating questions to post here that will most easily get the answers you need. For example, you should explain the background to the problem as well as asking your question.
The FAQ includes detailed information on common DIY problems in areas such as central heating, plumbing, electrical, decorating, security, plastering, and tools. It also has a reference section pointing to other useful sites and companies.
You should be aware that although replies in most cases are perfectly accurate and sensible, there are occasions when someone posts an inappropriate answer. In this case one of the regulars is very likely to post a correction, so it is always a good idea to check back later.
The FAQ makes clear that commercial advertising in the group is NOT welcome. Unsolicited advertising is considered abuse, and is likely to be reported as abuse to the advertiser's ISP. However, replies to specific questions which mention products sold by the person replying are acceptable. There is more information on commercial participation in the FAQ.
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F O. SPAM

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John G wrote:

Woosh!
Searching for a clue by four by chance? ;-)
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Cheers,

John.

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So why /is/ the uk.d-i-y FAQ crossposted to free.uk.diy.home?
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Rob Morley wrote:

Probably because we get a significant number of free.uk.diy.home bods crossposting here, so being the generally friendly types that we are, we obviously thought we might as well share the faq as well! ;-)
(feel free to post the free.uk.diy.home one back here)
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 19:01:03 -0000, in uk.d-i-y Rob Morley

For information of course. The knowledge base in the FAQ is free and accessible to all.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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John G wrote:

??
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Grunff

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John G wrote:

This statement makes various assumptions that I don't like.

*It's a FAQ, not a charter*. If you want a charter, this is not the way to go. IMO to try and control this group by posting stuff like this is itself an unwelcome abuse.
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Chris Bacon wrote:

What assumptions? Every statement uses words/phrases such as "most cases", "likely", "good idea". Don't see any problem with it. Would you prefer it to be omitted altogether, so that a newbie might post a question, receive an instant but dangerous reply from a single moron, and then go off and accidentally top themselves or others, oblivious to the screams of "nooooo, don't do that!" posted here a few hours later?

But it's not just Phil's opinion, it reflects that of 95% of the users of the group, who *do* consider unsolicted advertising to be abuse, who *are* likely to report such posts to ISPs. That's the simple truth, and is why this info is totally appropriate to be included in an FAQ.
The wording of Phil's "Here's how" post has been discussed among the group before and AFAICR has has been appearing here in the above form for ages - which is not to suggest that it shouldn't be discusses or criticised, but it seems to me to indicate that most users of the group think it's fine.
David
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Lobster wrote:

Spot on David. In fact it has been discussed, reviewed and amended several times in the past.
It's very kind of Phil to maintain the FAQ (both website and reminder posts), and I believe that it is very useful to newcomers - the web FAQ attracts between 1500 and 2000 unique visitors per day (sometimes more).
--
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Lobster wrote:

That someone who posts advice which is wrong that it will be blindly followed. That, perhaps, people who post advice may be liable for any consequences.
That "regulars" are more likely to supply corrections than infrequent contributors. Dr. Dribble, for instance, is a "Regular".

Don't be so bloody silly.

It's not a charter. What if someone set up a rival FAQ, would that have any weight? Would it be 5% valid? No, that's plainly nonsense. Repeat: A FAQ is not a charter.

The nitty-gritty of the FAQ and "howtos" are great. It's the meaningless "official" verbosity and control stuff I strongly object to.
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Chris Bacon wrote:
<snip>

So you were probably an abused child. Deal with it.
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Chris Bacon wrote:

I think you will find that (i.e. dribble) was one of the reasons the above para was added.

Yes understood... but so what?
I agree with you that there is some information in the FAQ that might be more usually contained in a charter. However therein is a problem. Firstly, AFAIAA there is no charter for uk.d-i-y, secondly there is the very important issue of "accessibility".
Newcomers not that familiar with usenet are unlikely to seek out and digest group charters, and newcomers (to DIY and usenet) are something this group attracts in significant numbers. There is however a good possibility of them stumbling over the FAQ. So the fact that it reiterates (or in the absence of a charter states) some charter type material seems to be generally beneficial since it is often the only source of information people will see.
> The nitty-gritty of the FAQ and "howtos" are great. It's the > meaningless "official" verbosity and control stuff I strongly > object to.
The verbosity to which you refer is no more or less meaningless than if it were contained in a charter or anywhere else. All it does is express the desires of a sizeable proportion of the group (who have expressed a preference). In reality it obviously has no force of "law" should someone choose to ignore it, and it can't prevent abuse. Neither could an "official" charter.
If you feel that the language used ought to be different, then why not start a thread to discuss this issue in particular?
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 10:35:45 +0000, in free.uk.diy.home Chris Bacon

I have some sympathy with the suggestion that the 'Introduction' pages could be re-written more concisely. If you, or anyone else, care to make positive suggestions, or preferably actual re-wording, that would be helpful.
The FAQ website does indeed attract a number queries varying from the extremely naive to detailed DIY questions. These reach me as editor, and I handle them by advising the questioner to re-post the query here (with information on how to do that). I am sometimes able to give specific advise as well as advising to post here.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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wrote:
|*It's a FAQ, not a charter*. If you want a charter, this is not the |way to go. IMO to try and control this group by posting stuff like |this is itself an unwelcome abuse.
If anyone wants to write a charter, they are free to RFD it in the normal way. A No Adverts clause would IME be non controversial.
-- Dave Fawthrop <dave hyphenologist co uk> 17,000 free e-books at Project Gutenberg! http://www.gutenberg.net For Yorkshire Dialect go to www.hyphenologist.co.uk/songs/
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Dave Fawthrop wrote:

a) This would sort things out. b) I agree with your latter statement.
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wrote:
|Dave Fawthrop wrote: |> Chris Bacon wrote: |> |*It's a FAQ, not a charter*. If you want a charter, this is not the |> |way to go. IMO to try and control this group by posting stuff like |> |this is itself an unwelcome abuse. |> |> If anyone wants to write a charter, they are free to RFD it in the normal |> way. A No Adverts clause would IME be non controversial. | |a) This would sort things out. |b) I agree with your latter statement.
There is a web program which writes the boilerplate for uk.* newsgroup charters. :-) If only I could find it :-( -- Dave Fawthrop <dave hyphenologist co uk> 17,000 free e-books at Project Gutenberg! http://www.gutenberg.net For Yorkshire Dialect go to www.hyphenologist.co.uk/songs/
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On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 09:41:56 +0000, in uk.d-i-y Chris Bacon

The wording is what has been previously suggested, discussed and agreed on here. I have no problem with it being changed to improve it or reflect current thinking, but I don't have a clue what you are actually trying to suggest. If you make a proposal along the lines of "I suggest changing XXXX to read YYYY because ...." it will be considered and possibly adopted. Just to say you don't like it is not enough.
Phil The uk.d-i-y FAQ is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk / The Google uk.d-i-y archive is at http://tinyurl.com/65kwq Remove NOSPAM from address to email me
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