GNOME Bugzilla – Bug 98394
The GIMP needs a new FAQ
Last modified: 2015-11-24 00:09:39 UTC
The old FAQ hasn't been updated since 1999. Even then it was getting a bit
crufty. There has been no FAQ for 1.2 at all.
Carol, edsapir and I were talking about what is needed to get a FAQ on
#gimp. I think that some kind of chapter-based scheme (similar to the
comp.lang.c FAQ at http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html) is good, and
edsapair suggested wiki (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki) as an approach.
The most important thing, though, is to have FAQs and answers grouped in
one place. Chapter divisions, maintainership, etc will sort themselves out
once the FAQ is in place, IMHO. But to get a FAQ in place, we need some
ideas on things like submission criteria, we need a forum for proposed
answers, and we need someone (or a group of someones) to assimilate all
that information into one document.
I agree that the GIMP would need a new FAQ. The current ones (User
and Developer FAQs) are outdated and do not give the correct
information in many cases. However, there are a few important points
that I would like to stress:
- The first virtue of a FAQ is to be short and concise. If it is too
long, then the users will have a hard time finding an answer to
their questions (or in other words, finding the questions in the FAQ
that are as close as possible to their own questions).
- The FAQ should not repeat the tips of the day.
- The FAQ should not be a substitute for the online help. If some
questions come up because the help pages are not addressing a
problem correctly, then it is better to spend some time improving
the help pages instead of working around it and adding this to the
- The FAQ should answer real questions from the users. The questions
that are never asked by the users do not need to be in the FAQ (we
can make exceptions for "what is the GIMP?" and "where can I get
I think that it would be better to host the FAQ on www.gimp.org if
I created a much modified version of the current user faq, including
updated answers, removal of obsolete questions, and several new
FAQ's. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the documentation, I noticed
that the license on the GIMP User FAQ doesn't allow modification. :(
If we can't get a hold of Miles O'Neil, we'll have to do a clean room
reimplementation of the FAQ. This time, let's use the GNU FDL as the
license for the FAQ.
My experience with using wikis and FAQ-O-Matics is that the quality
of answers varies dramatically, and that there are always many more
questions than answers. Of course, we could have a designated FAQ
maintainer to look over the answers and make sure they are complete
and high quality, but if that is the case, it would be about as much
work as a conventially maintained FAQ.
Yes, we should try to contact Miles and get his permission.
I am not too fond of the Wiki idea. I'd rather have a document that
is under CVS control (like all other pages on www.gimp.org) and one
maintainer who takes care of this (and other web editors who could
fix some problems while the maintainer is away).
Wikis are often CVS or RCS-backed. (For example, TWiki is).
This was discussed at camp, but got lost in the ether afterwards.
We need a maintainer for a FAQ, and no-one has volunteered yet.
Changing milestone to Future.
I would like to maintain a GIMP FAQ as also stated at camp - but
seeing that a site people spent a lot of time is still waiting to
replace www.gimp.org is not exactly encouraging.
I can also help for the FAQ. Some time ago, I collected some of the
questions that were posted frequently in comp.graphics.apps.gimp. I
hope that I can still find that list somewhere. ;-)
Regarding the web site, I agree that it is not very encouraging.
As far as I know, everybody on the team has decided to stop working on
the site until it is moved, so we are all waiting for this to happen
before making further improvements. I have just opened a separate bug
report about this (bug #127895) because this is also preventing us
from getting new people on board (like the mailing lists).
A FAQ would indeed be nice but it doesn't block the 2.0 release, so
there's no point in having the report on the 2.0 release milestone.
Changing all www.gimp.org bugs from gimp product to the gimp-web product,
including old closed/fixed bugs, and reassigning.
FYI: A new developers FAQ is taking shape at
There has been some effort to establish a FAQ in the wiki, but it seems to be
abandoned - but since it is a wiki, anyone could contribute...
*** Bug 561104 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
http://www.gimp.org/docs/userfaq.html has been rewritten - I'm solving this as fixed, issues with the current content should be filed as new bugs.