I sometimes try to embed examples and scripts into the Q&A discourse and wonder if we could build a browsable well structured HowTo section for things like the usage of tools or best practice solutions?

1 Answer 1


What you have described in your very brief question sounds like Canonical Q&As. In principle I think they can be accommodated within focussed Q&A on Main, but they should still conform to the protocols that are in place for any Q&A that is to be hosted on Main.

However, I think by searching this site for canonical and looking for canonical Q&As on Main, any successes that we have had creating and maintaining them have been few and far between.

I suspect the reason is that we as volunteers underestimate how much effort is involved in creating and maintaining them until we have done one or a few, and run out of steam.

An initiative that you may want to follow is Warlords of Documentation: A Proposed Expansion of Stack Overflow. If providing documentation, in addition to focussed Q&A, can be shown to work on Stack Overflow, then in time we may see it spread to GIS SE. However, I think anything like that here is still well into the future.

Personally, the terms "HowTo" and "Best Practice" are ones that attract me to open questions to assess whether they really belong amongst focussed Q&A, and I often find that they do not, because I think they tend to use unclear language or are designed to try and attract multiple answers. Focussed Q&A is about trying to find a single answer, notwithstanding that there may be multiple (usually 5 or less) candidates for that offered, so that users can vote as to which they think answers the question most clearly.

  • For my personal understanding if I do Q&A. I have to live with the a trade off between the public or people driven solution finding process, that contains sometimes a teaching concept and the repetion of answers within a discourse to present material / solutions that are missed or distributed over the WEB or GIS SE as teaching material?
    – huckfinn
    Feb 12, 2016 at 6:20
  • @huckfinn You have placed a question mark on what looks like a statement. Can you clarify what you are asking in this comment, please?
    – PolyGeo Mod
    Feb 12, 2016 at 6:24
  • Your answer is a very good one and I've rushed over Warlords of Documentation stuff and see that the "Creation of HowTo..." has more side effects in a community sense, I not reflected before. One solution cold be to consider your own Q&A stuff as a trade of and handle the repetition part for myself and the question part: Is it really a trade off.. ..sorry for the inner dialog outside..
    – huckfinn
    Feb 12, 2016 at 6:45

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