[ros-users] Improving the visibility of answers.ros.org [Was: Issues with wstool Error processing 'rospack']

Christian Dornhege dornhege at informatik.uni-freiburg.de
Sat Apr 20 00:16:24 UTC 2013

On 20.04.2013 01:50, Michael Gratton wrote:
> On 20/04/13 03:24, William Woodall wrote:
>> Questions like these should really be posted on answers.ros.org
>> <http://answers.ros.org>.
>> If you post it there can tag it with wstool, I will try to answer your
>> question.
> On pointers to answers.ros.org, it would be nice if package pages on the
> wiki had a more obvious connection with a.r.o.
> I've always found the "FAQ" link to be somewhat less than-obvious -
> expecting it to go to the kind of traditionally out-of-date,
> non-maintained pages that "FAQ" links usually point to. It might also be
> that it's hidden away in a sidebar.

I agree that this is really misleading. I'd especially expect a static
site with past question, but not the possibility to issue new ones.
Besides the suggestions you give here, it might already be enough to
just change the name to something more obvious like: HELP
There could even be two links FAQ and HELP pointing to answers.ros.org
until the more direct features are implemented.

> Much in the same way as the SIGs now have a Google Groups widget
> embedded in their pages showing latest discussion, it would be good to
> have an a.r.o widget embedded on each package page with a few things,
> perhaps under a "Support" heading:
>   - A link (or perhaps better, a text input) labelled "Ask a question
> about $PACKAGE_NAME" that - importantly - when followed creates a
> properly tagged question on a.r.o - presumably tagged by $PACKAGE_NAME
>   - A dynamic list of the top say 5 questions on a.r.o tagged with
>   - A link "See all questions about $PACKAGE_NAME" that points to a
> search on a.r.o for all questions tagged with $PACKAGE_NAME
> It might also be be worthwhile removing the "Support" link at the top of
> the common page template, since that's probably how most users end up
> posting a question to this list. It's certainly the first place I would
> go to ask a question about a random package.

Actually this is somewhat odd. The support page states in the second
sentence to not post questions to the mailing list. Maybe that's already
to late for the attention span used in the internet and that should be
made the first link.

Also section "3: Guidelines... (Please read before posting)"
is mostly not read before posting.

I don't really have an idea how to make people follow those things
without forcing them to read this before posting (which would be hugely


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