Oops, re aptitude : was [Re: Edgy in the news]

Jonathan Jesse jjesse at iserv.net
Thu Nov 2 03:14:10 UTC 2006

As far as I understood that good housekeeping seal of approval was done
through the migration of the document to help.ubuntu.com and away/redirected
from wiki.ubuntu.com?
AM I wrong there?

-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-doc-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com
[mailto:ubuntu-doc-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of Matthew Copple
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 9:50 PM
To: ubuntu-doc at lists.ubuntu.com
Subject: Re: Oops, re aptitude : was [Re: Edgy in the news]

On Wednesday 01 November 2006 15:15, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-11-01 at 21:59 +0100, Andreas Lloyd wrote:
> > One central point would be to integrate as much of what Automatix does
> > directly into the GNOME application installer
> Good point
> > With regards to the problem of faulty advice, that is very tricky to
> > cover.
> For the websites:
> Maybe there should be an official area by Canonical, one supervised area
> at help.ubuntu.com/community, and a free area at wiki.ubuntu.com. All
> three should have a distinguishable website design that makes the
> different levels obvious.
> I don't see a way around some oversight over the community part of
> help.ubuntu.com, at least for some articles. E.g., it really should not
> be possible to maliciously or ignorantly add harmful advice to
> EdgyUpgrades, especially not around the release of Edgy.

I had a thought in that regard. This is more of a brainstorm than a 
fully-formed idea, but it might serve as a foundation for discussion:

Why not institute the ubuntu version of a "Good Housekeeping Seal of
for community-contributed how-tos? Give those pages a graphic, or perhaps 
more prominent search placement (if that is possible technologically) if
meet basic quality criteria. Just throwing out ideas here, but some of those

criteria could be:

1. Format and style -- does the page meet ubuntu style standards? Is it easy

to read and understand?

2. Accuracy -- is it accurate, and does it fix the problem presented 
efficiently? This could be verified by a system similar to that used for 
review of packages -- requiring, for example, that a certain number of "joe 
users" comment on the page and indicate that they have used the how-to 

The seal of approval could be a dynamic thing -- given only after a
person or team of persons have reviewed the page, and should the page be 
changed or updated, the approval has to be given again.

> The mailing lists and forums are an even harder problem, both because
> they are a more sprawling environment and because the amount of
> wrong/outdated info that is given is huge.

I think most users understand that it is "caveat emptor" with the mailing 
lists (at least the -users list) and the forums. There's just too much 
bandwidth there to effectively monitor, anyway.


> The task at hand I think is to educate to broad community to give useful
> advice. How to do that I don't know either, but I think it's high time
> to start to think about it

Essentially, we have to figure out ways to use carrot, knowing we really
have a stick. Possibly some sort of recognition program for outstanding and 
highly knowledgeable users, like the Microsoft MVP program?

Another option might be to institute an informal user certification program
not as involved (or as expensive) as LPI, but something that gives users an 
incentive to embed themselves more deeply into the community while not 
costing them an arm and a leg.

Matthew G. Copple
mcopple at gmail.com

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