0
$\begingroup$

The "Related questions" list does a great job in presenting the most upvoted (and whatever other parameters are used) questions related to a subject, and the subgroup of linked questions, when present, is even better. However, given the amount of high quality questions and answers that are present in physics.se I wonder if there isn't something more that can be done to index the best-of of the various topics.

What I'm thinking of are list-questions (probably community wiki) presenting the most upvoted, frequently asked, high-quality questions/answers. Eventually with a tree structure with links to similar list-questions on more specific topics. Something like the following:



Common questions on: Quantum mechanics:

General scope:

Link to common questions on interpretations of quantum mechanics

Link to common questions on Schroedinger equation:

Link to common questions on group theory applied to quantum mechanics



and so on, I think you got the idea.

Would something like this be compatible with the policies/doable? I'm not meaning this in a somewhat abstract way: if I create a community wiki post on the lines described above, would this be considered inappropriate/off topic?

Here is a list of cons/pros that I can think of:

Cons:

  • Who decides which are the "best-quality" questions to be worth putting in such lists? For high-rated questions with lots of views this would not be too much of a problem, but in other situations the choice may be more subjective. A poll in these cases would be appropriate, but we can't create a (probably meta) post for any such choice. However, it may be feasible to have a twin-question on meta for each such list-question where to decide these things.
  • Who can create/modify these lists? Making them community wiki enhances the problem lowering the rep needed to modify them lower. Still, the fact that most of the edits by newer users must be peer-reviewed eases this problem.
  • It would be time-demanding to mantain such lists. Yes it probably would. However it would also, if well played, help people to quickly find what they are looking for if something similar has already been discussed, thus lowering the duplicate questions asked and allowing to not reinventing the same wheel endless times.
  • They would become extremely large. This is easily prevented by appropriate "directory structures", with links to sub-lists when one contains too much links to be useful.

Pros:

  • It would provide a peer reviewed list of valuable discussions. All the indexing systems (related/linked questions, tags, advanced search capabilities) provided by the stackexchange network are very good, but they have intrinsic limitations: with more and more questions asked it can become hard to locate the treasures hidden in the sea.
  • Less duplicates: for a new user it may not be so easy to navigate between questions to find what he is looking for. The proposed kind of lists would definitely help on this (of course provided they are visible enough. Maybe they could even be linked in tag wikis to do that?).
  • Easier to link OP to similar discussions.
  • It would improve the overall quality of physics.SE. Ok, this is maybe not really a pro but my subjective take on the whole proposal. Still, wouldn't it be great? :)
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This is a good idea on paper. I think implementing it will have far more problems than any of us yet realize. But if a way can be ironed out to do this, I'd be for it $\endgroup$ – Jim Nov 26 '14 at 16:48
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How is this different to the highest-voted questions for a given tag? Is it really worth it to go to such lengths for the differences? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Nov 26 '14 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilioPisanty is different in that it would be organized by content, and not by votes. Infact (in the way i thought of it) the questions/answers in such lists would have high-quality content by the fact itself of being there. This system would also allow to separate the various topics more clearly, while the tag system is limited by various factors (they shouldn't be too many, "stylized" names, they'd generate confusion if too much specialized,...). Also this system would provide a top-down perspective on the most "enstablished" content of the site. $\endgroup$ – glS Nov 26 '14 at 19:21
2
$\begingroup$

if I create a community wiki post on the lines described above, would this be considered inappropriate/off topic?

Yeah. It's not a question, so it shouldn't be posted as one.

Besides, what you're describing here is precisely the reason tag wikis (and tags themselves) exist. As Emilio pointed out in the comments, going to a tag page and sorting by votes already gives a fairly good idea of what the community considers to be the best questions about that topic. And a curated list of common questions is exactly the kind of thing that would help to make a tag wiki great. If you look at the best-maintained tag wikis on Stack Overflow, like C++ and PHP, they already include links to good questions and other good resources. (Keep in mind that those tag wikis are the result of many people collaborating, so if you're writing a tag wiki on your own, don't feel any pressure to come up with something that detailed.)

If you feel motivated to create something like this, I'd encourage you to head over to the tag wiki for or whichever one you want to work on, and get started!

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ well, I did not know tag wikis could be used that way, thanks for the tip. Given this possibility I understand this whole thing is not worth it. A natural follow-up question arises: what exactly are the policies on tag wikis? (how long should they be ecc.) I found this on the subject but it doesn't really say what should or should not be allowed. $\endgroup$ – glS Nov 30 '14 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ It's pretty much left up to whoever wants to maintain the tag wiki - other than the site-wide rules about being nice and so on. In general, any edit to a tag wiki should improve it (whatever that means), and the wiki should describe how the tag is used on the site, not just define what the term is, but beyond that it's up to the editor(s) to decide on format, length, content, etc. You might be inspired by the C++ and PHP tag wikis on Stack Overflow; I edited the links into the answer and I would definitely recommend you have a look at them. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 30 '14 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ I already did, and found them quite awesome. So at the end of the day it's about using good sense to understand what's appropriate and what's not. Perfect. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – glS Nov 30 '14 at 17:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .