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I see sometimes that some interesting questions that appear on the site have already been asked in the past and are flagged as duplicates. I thought it could be interesting to have a collection of the most asked, important and/or well-answered questions. It's still a vague idea, also because I don't know completely the dynamics of the site, but I think it could be interesting to have an easy-to-browse encyclopedia, yet at the same time different from the wikipedia style.

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You mean kinda like FAQ questions (on the main site)? That's an old effort, though, and I would argue that

  1. There are already plenty of automated solutions, including the ability to sort by votes and by frequent on the main page and on specific searches. These automated solutions go a long way for e.g. finding that duplicate that probably exists. My impression is that search-then-filter-then-sort-then browse is an underused way to find content on this site, and it's a lot more powerful than we give it credit for.

  2. To go beyond that, you'd need a curated list, and we don't really have the volunteering capacity to keep such a curated list up to date. (However, if we suddenly get five people jumping at the chance, then go for it.)

  3. More than that, curated lists have the problem that they're pretty subjective, and if you're relying on the list to be an indicator of things like "good" or "interesting" questions, then making it depend on someone's subjective judgement is not, I think, a direction this site should be taking.

However, if people want to jump on the old thread I linked to above and keep it up to date, there's nothing really stopping them.

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I for one (not that my opinion goes a long way around these parts) think this as a really good idea. With over 87,000 questions and answers on this site and with many of these answers written by seriously good communicators, if collected in properly they could make an outstanding resource (not saying that it's not already :) ).

Don't get me wrong Physics SE is great but one question, as you would expect, does not naturally lead onto the next. Let us say I am studying QFT and the 'S-matrix' and find a question on this site saying e.g. 'How is the S-matrix defined?' naturally the next thing I would want to know is 'What is the S-matrix used for?' and 'How do I use the S-matrix?' and then possibly 'Any examples of the S-matrix?'. As it currently stands I would find my self having to individually search for each of these answers on SE or in books or on the web1.

What would be great would be a resource that had for example:

S-Matrix

  • How is the S-matrix defined?
  • What is the S-matrix used for?
  • How do I use the S-matrix?
  • Any examples of the S-matrix?

where one question naturally leads to the next and where they are chosen on quality and richness of information. Such a source may already exist, if so please direct me to it. If not I would be happy to contribute in the creation of something like this.

1Rarely do I find a source that answers all the questions I have on a topic.

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    $\begingroup$ This is what I was trying to express. Thanks for the better explanation! :D $\endgroup$ – GRB Dec 17 '16 at 18:40
  • $\begingroup$ The tag wiki is meant to be exactly this sort of resource. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 19 '16 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Tag wiki's don't sort the questions in to a chronological order for which the subject should be learned, they (as far as I know) just give you questions under a specific topic. $\endgroup$ – Quantum spaghettification Dec 19 '16 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. A tag wiki is completely editable and can display anything in any order that the editors choose. It's like an article associated with a tag. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 19 '16 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Sorry my bad :). I have just had a look at a few and although some seem to give a (brief) overview of the topic they are very much in the style of wikipedia and not the form I have suggested here. (I was hard pushed to actually find one that gives any links at all to questions) $\endgroup$ – Quantum spaghettification Dec 19 '16 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ So go add links to questions ;-) Tag wikis are only as good as the effort people put into them. You can find a few good examples on Stack Overflow, for example the C++ tag wiki. $\endgroup$ – David Z Dec 19 '16 at 22:12
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    $\begingroup$ My answer raises several objections to the concept, which you blissfully skip over. Who, exactly, do you envision categorizing by hand those 90,000 questions? Who is going to maintain such a list, and ensure it stays updated? If it is created and then it falls into disrepair, I would argue that it eventually becomes more harmful than useful. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Dec 23 '16 at 5:54

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