Wiki / FAQ Discussion

In the Moderation discussion Forum moderation the concept of organizing all the information in the different threads came up. Some people said we need an FAQ or a wiki or something to manage all the information so people aren’t asking the same question over and over.

I’d like to hear from new folks and veterans. New folks would you realistically use an FAQ or a wiki?

Veterans are folks interested in helping to organize a wiki like @WillAdams has done?

As he will tell you this isn’t a one shot deal. He has worked on it for years and it shows. Will’s dedication and consistency is impressive.

What do you think is the most useful approach here?


Yes and Yes. I would use it, (have had my xcarve for over a year and still need help) and I would love to contribute to it. I think alot of the new users are lost after that first carve. I know I was. I was so lost I took notes on things I didn’t understand to research later. A well thought out wiki or FAQ would be invaluable to the new user. Were you thinking of a collaborated effort? If so maybe an outline to start?


I was thinking of a collaborated effort with a mix of people just starting out, people like yourself, and veterans that know the ins and outs. For it to be successful I think it would need to have all 3 perspectives. Once you have the curse of knowledge it’s really hard to remember what it was like when you had no clue what you were doing.

There’s a lot to cover:

  1. Glossary of terms
  2. Getting started projects
  3. Materials, bits, etc
  4. Techniques
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Software

All of these topics are covered in the forum somewhere so what I’m wondering is what is the benefit of having the wiki?

Will people just go in and read the wiki or will people post links to the wiki pages when people ask questions on the forum?

One place to go to find articles published about a particular part of the machine, technique, etc. Would you rather go to some place like this, or do a search of the whole forum? And what would you search for?

These items need to have permanent edit capability so they can be updated as things change.

I’ve written lots of articles, but even I have a hard time finding them when I want to reference them. (Some are out of date because of new information, but edit period has expired so they can’t be updated…)

Both, and why not?

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They are all covered in the forum, however it is really hard to find! Case in point, I tried to find a post from @PhilJohnson the other day to help someone, searched for 20 minutes. I’ve read the post several times but never bookmarked it. It took me 20 minutes to find and I knew what I was searching for!

Both!!! Read the wiki and if you have more questions ask.

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Here’s a prototype to help think through the organization…

A well maintained and organized Wiki is invaluable. The Shapeoko Wiki is a testament to that fact.

The same goes for a FAQ that goes hand in hand.

Noob Question; “What is a gcode sender? Which one is the best? Where do I find one?”

FAQ; At the minimum, a G-code sender program will send G-code commands from the PC to the Arduino*. See Wiki “gcode sender” for more information.

*Taken directly from the Shapeoko Wiki

A Wiki is like reading the manual “RTFM”!

So what happens when a new person posts a question that is covered by the FAQ and the replies to the post only say “Check the FAQ”?

Isn’t that the same thing that essentially pushed the forum down this path where people couldn’t handle being told to search the forum? Aren’t we just swapping “use the search feature” with “check the FAQ”?

I’m not saying the FAQ/Wiki isn’t a good idea, I’m just saying that it’s not gonna stop people from blindly asking basic questions and getting upset when people don’t spoon feed them the answer. By being the “inclusive” community, those new members are coddled and it leads to exactly what we’ve seen for the past few months.


I’m not totally familiar with how this forum is set up, and if the inventable crew would be able to do the following.
In a bunch of “answer hubs” as soon as you type your title for the topic you get suggestions for already asked questions based on keywords used in the question. I think when you try to contact the support you have some similar mechanic which is directing you to some commen answers.

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Good idea @FoxxFighter . I believe that feature already exists under the search function… if you type gcode under the search bar, relevant topics appear.

And I echo @JustinBusby comments… the issue isn’t that the content isn’t here in the forum but rather how people search for content. It won’t take long for someone to be pointed to the wiki and will be offended that the direct link was not given.

The idea of a wiki manual makes sense to me. I was one of those ones that read most of the forum before I even ordered my XCarve so I may not need the info sorted that way. Let’s weigh the effort required first before just creating a FAQ or wiki…

It does it on the desktop version of the forums. Not on the mobile from what I recall.

I agree that it seems like the same telling people to use the search function or to look at the wiki. But I think it is much easier to give the people who asked commen questions the link to the right wiki entry than to do the search and take an appropriate thread for the answer. The big problem over the last months was that the answer to ever newbie question was just “use the search function” and not something like “the search function came up with this thread … wich May answer your question” I think some people giving the first answer where to lazy to use the search function by them selfs to give an appropriate link. This has drastically change last week. All of a sudden everyone saying use the search function also gave a link. So to make this a good habit it needs to be easy. I often read some newbie questions and thought this would be easy to search, but a was too lazy to do it myself so I just didn’t respond. If it is much easier to find the right answer to the comments question I am more willing to copy the link and post it for the newbie. And with a wiki you can always have an updated answer as things may change over time and you could stil give the same link and don’t have to find the right thread. Just my 2cents

That may be a problem, for me I just go exclusively mobile on the forum and so I think a bunch of others.

This is another discussion but this mentality right here is 100% WRONG. The burden on searching is on the poster and not people replying to the thread. The “lazy” people are the ones not searching (or checking the FAQ ) before posting.

Again, the presence of an FAQ/Wiki will not change people’s attitudes and we will see it change from “search the forums” to “read the FAQ/Wiki” and people will still get offended.

Pleas don’t get me wrong I totally agree and that’s what I said the one who doesn’t search is the lazy person. What I wanted to say is that instead of just say use the search function is to tell new ones that when they search “here” in the wikis they would find “this” answer (with links) so to say a nice way to say I’ve you had searched you could have find it.
Most people get offended because it is the first respond without a real hint. And as I said I’ve seen this has drastically changed in the last days. Everyone said youse the search function and gave a link in addition and nobody was offended anymore. I just wanted to say I would answer more of this question if it is easier for me to find the right link to post for the asking person. Because I’m lazy :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Seems like we need a better autocomplete that shows you posts in the wiki and the forum before you publish your question so you get the answer before you click post.


Here’s an experimental glossary wiki to test out the idea.


So, how do you acquire information that you need that you don’t already know? Ask someone?

I’m not sure whether I like the wiki concept or not.

You can think of the wiki concept as an “operator manual”, or “technical manual” that explains how something works and what things you do to get it to function as it should.

You could buy something like a JTech laser and not read the operators manual (or wiki). You may even get it to work. But at some point you will have to know something that you can’t just reason out and there is the operator manual (wiki). Oh, like when power goes off I have to press reset to get the laser to come back on. How many people are going to pull that out of their hat?

Take a look at the effort involved by Bart to draw out very specific information on all of the parts that make an X-carve. Theoretically, there should be a manual that covers the operation and use of an X-carve that is almost to that detail level. In the old days that would be the technical manual, today they call it a wiki.


I think a wiki should be in classic wiki form, not just a sticky on this forum. Again the ShapeOko wiki by Will is a shining example. It’s the Wikipedia layout we all know, which makes things much easier to find.

imho off course.


Oh, me neither. I find a glossary to be a waste of time and effort. If the word processor I’m using will produce one on its own, I may or may not produce one.