Help topics vs. help triggers

Rohan Kapoor rohankap at
Sun Jun 8 01:18:32 UTC 2008

It sounds good, we should work on it. However, this may take a while due to 
the high volume of troubleshooting topics.

Maybe a FACs section instead?



From: "Matthew Paul Thomas" <mpt at>
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2008 8:25 PM
To: "Ubuntu Doc" <ubuntu-doc at>
Subject: Help topics vs. help triggers

> On Jun 7, 2008, at 7:46 PM, Nick Ellery wrote:
>> ...
>> -- Perhaps a troubleshooting guide, similar to the one in the Official
>> Ubuntu Book would be good. Issues with X, dpkg, and the like could be
>> added here
>> ...
> I agree there should be more troubleshooting advice in the help, but I
> don't think it should be in the form of a troubleshooting guide.
> Ubuntu Help is arranged by topic: files and folders, music, photos, and
> video, keeping your computer safe, and so on. Troubleshooting, on the
> other hand, is an example of a trigger -- the frame of mind that sends
> someone into the help. Other triggers include "What does ______ mean?",
> "Where can I find ______?", and "Give me a quick overview of this
> topic".
> In some cases a troubleshooting question will be solved by a page that
> isn't specifically intended for troubleshooting. That's why it's better
> to arrange help pages by topic than by trigger.
> So an "I can’t open a folder" troubleshooting page should be in the
> "Files, folders, and documents" section. A "When I plug in my camera,
> nothing happens" troubleshooting page should be in the "Music, photos,
> and video" section. An "I get an error when I try to check for updates"
> troubleshooting page should be in the "Keeping your computer safe"
> section. And so on.
> Perhaps those on this mailing list who frequent Ubuntu forums could
> write troubleshooting pages for the problems people most often report.
> Cheers
> -- 
> Matthew Paul Thomas
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