Help talk:Contents

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Goal and structure of this help page

Goal of this help page: Since this is the page linked to on the permanent side bar, I think the structure of this page is very important. I've restructured this page with the goal of helping new users quickly grasp the workings of this site, with accessible links to more information for both new and seasoned users.

Structure of this help page: I've structured this page by starting with the main three types of pages used on this site: commentary pages, user subpages, and discussion pages. By giving a brief explanation of the purpose of each of these pages at the very beginning of this page, my hope is that users will gain a quick and lasting understanding of what is appropriate on each page (commentary pages in particular).

I think the number of main bullets on this help page should be kept to as few as possible. I think there are two main topics besides types of pages that deserve their own main bullets: site policies and how to edit pages. I think the final main bullet, other helpful pages should be kept distinct from the related links section because, as implied by the title of this page, the help contents are supposed to be given on this page.

That's the rationale for all main bullets I've used on this page.

--RobertC 20:22, 6 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Hi Robert, I really like what you did with the page. It is a big improvement. Thanks, --Matthew Faulconer 07:56, 7 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Help pages vs. site policies: Having slept on it, I still like the structure of format of this new help page (phew), but I realized there is some confusing overlap between the commentary help pages and the site policies. Since there are already many links to the policies page, and since the policies page is a good place to list all the formal rules, I think the best path from here is to incorporate (quote) passages of the policies page on the commentary help pages. I probably won't get around to working on this for a while, so if anyone else wants to start working on it, be my guest. If we quote some of the policies on the commentary help pages, it'll be important to keep track of any changes to the policies page (the right way to do this would probably be to make transclusion pages, but that'd probably be more confusing and complicated than is worth it).

The reason I've gone away from putting the "what is good commentary vs. what is bad commentary" on the policies page, is b/c I'm thinking of there eventually being help icons on every page. I don't think it'd make sense to have the help icons link directly to the entire policies page, so I wrote the commentary help pages with the help icons in mind. I think the best way to make the help pages and the site policies page to work together is to have one page list the formal policies in painstaking detail and have the other pages summarize these detailed policies and refer to the other page for more details. And I think it makes sense to have the site policies page list the detailed site policies and have the help pages refer to and summarize the relevant policies in the appropriate sections, referring to the site policies for more details.

Formatting of this page: If you go through the history of this help page, you'll see I played with different ways of formatting it. In particular, I was trying to get a table of contents to be generated for the page. I settled on manual formatting (not using the === section headings) because I figured this is a help contents page, so it should be in outline form already, so a table of contents would be redundant. Plus, I think it looks more like a contents page with the bullets (as opposed to the site's default section formatting).

--RobertC 12:13, 7 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Where does one leave questions about using the site?

For example, I'm not sure if it is considered appropriate to quote general authorities or scholars in the exegesis (or other locations) and don't see an obvious place to ask this question.