Wiki / FAQ Discussion

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.

Yes, that’s one reason a software license costs $150.

I didn’t even have to think about it, I sent them my money and I’m a happy camper.

As the focus of Inventables has gradually moved from “hobbyist” to “start your own business” I think that @Zach_Kaplan would confirm that the level of computer knowledge of new users has probably gone down - these are not computer people buying the machines anymore. They might not know how to spell FAQ and might only know of wiki as a shuttle bus at the Honolulu airport.

So for starters you probably need to name the FAQ something like “Start Here” and the wiki “User contributed documentation” or else new users won’t even see it. But even with those changes these people don’t have the technology training to know to look before asking or awareness that the forum isn’t heavily staffed by Inventables employees and therefore paid to answer repetitive questions.

The auto-search when posting is the only thing I suspect will make any difference at all.

I think that’s where the forum comes in. Guy that doesn’t know asks “is it possible to make something bigger than your workable area?”, experienced user says “Sure, new guy! It’s called tiling, and here are a couple links from the wiki. Can’t wait to see what you make!”
It’s on the users to not get a RTFM attitude.
When the guy comes back to ask a follow up. Everyone chimes in on their personal tips and tricks.
As it is now, even if someone politely suggests to use the search, it’s a mess. You might find relevant information, but you’ll have to read about the guy asking if he can carve the tiles in his shower, the guy that hasn’t had time to put together his x-carve because he’s tiling his kitchen floor, and all the guys that misspelled ‘tilting’.


When I worked for Honeywell they had a “librarian” hired to do one thing - searches. I have no idea how many hours she saved the engineering staff, but I can tell you one thing about it. Anytime she asked anyone to do something, it happened immediately, no questions asked.

Searching is an art, or at least an acquired skill. Honeywell recognized the value of one who was good at getting the best, most relevant information in the shortest time by hiring a professional.

The engineering staff recognized the value of that skill and provided the searcher all the assistance that she needed in appreciation for the work that she did for them.

I guess the relevance is that most searches done on the Inventables forum are not done by professionals, so much time is wasted trying to find the information that is needed.

The implication is that Inventables needs a better search engine with more capabilities if they want to provide easy access to the information stored on the forum to the forum users.


This discussion has also been split over multiple threads now. Very confusing.

The value of the FAQs is it can be kept clean and up to date making searches much easier and successful. Asking the question, “How do I _________” and the reply, “Try Searching the FAQs for _________”, will not contaminate the pool of information. That question could be asked and answered 10,000 times in the forum and it won’t hurt when you search for the answer as you will only be searching the FAQs.

Also, a one stop location for definitions of terms used would be of great help to new users.

How many of you know what know what a Bulwark, Carling or Chine is? When I started building boats I didn’t either and referenced an online glossary on a regular basis for the info. I believe once we have been around the X-Carve for a while we tend to forget we use terms which may not be readily understood by new users.

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The glossary angle is very important, and not knowing the terminology is why newcomers need to be given the benefit of the doubt when they can’t find something.

There’s one here: (and there are translations to French and Italian — love to have more)

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This too.

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Why recreate the wheel, right?.. pretty sure those ones can be stolen…err…leveraged and just massaged as needed to give them an Inventables touch …



This is my number 1 candidate for understatement of the year.

I made up a thread that consisted of links to some of my articles just so I could find them without spending all day.

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