Laser Forum FAQ - Database of Information etc.

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Colinkites2000, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Colinkites2000

    Colinkites2000 Member

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    Hi All,

    I've been thinking about this for a little while since I logged onto this forum a couple of years ago. It seems like a lot of sailors have the same questions or that topics have be discussed at length multiple times. On the other hand, a sailor may have a question where bits and pieces of each topic was covered in multiple posts etc. Sometimes searching the forum yields results but can be tedious and time consuming. Has anyone ever considered getting started on a FAQ type of project that would have answers to the most commonly asked questions here like;

    - How can I go faster in heavy air upwind?
    - How do I build my own dolly for cheap?
    - How do I fix gelcoat cracks, spider cracks etc.?

    I never saw the Dr. Laser site, but imagine it covered much of this material in an organized fashion. Maybe this is a project some of us would like to begin. I've seen it done on other forums with experts selecting the best answers from the past and crediting the author beside each answer... or even writing new ones. We could divide the topics into sections and compile information from various sources to provide a nice, free online reference.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers
    Colin
     
  2. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    they do make Laser sailing books ya know....

    I'm sure most people here know how to read
     
  3. tomsinamerica

    tomsinamerica New Member

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    Colin,

    I think that's an awesome idea... I'm not sure I'd be qualified to give any answers but I think it would be a great resource for people to get "real world" advice from people who can remember (or still experience) the type of issue the everyday laser sailor faces rather than the top flight who tend to be concerned about things I've no idea about...



    Ross... not sure if you're trying to be funny but given that some of your posts are about making the laser a better, more accessible/cheaper class of sailboat, I would have thought you'd have something more positive to say about this? As my mother once said... if you've nothing constructive to say, don't say anything at all....
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I think that is a great idea. I've been reading this forum for a couple of years, and a number of the same topics crop up continuously, such as various aspects of hull repair, buying a used boat, and sailing tips.

    I'm certain that such a project would be welcomed by Bradley Green, the owner of the forum. He has set up the TLF Knowledge Center under the "Other" category. This is a wiki, which would be a perfect place for a collaborative effort. However, I just looked at it, and there's no visible index. The only way to find a topic is with the search feature. There's only a few articles on there, unless someone has been secretly working away at it. Perhaps after members have created the "perfect" article, Bradley would place fixed files in a FAQ area such as you suggest.
     
  5. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    "Ross... not sure if you're trying to be funny but given that some of your posts are about making the laser a better, more accessible/cheaper class of sailboat, I would have thought you'd have something more positive to say about this? As my mother once said... if you've nothing constructive to say, don't say anything at all...."

    I'll give you that much boyo, but alot of the Basic LAser answers can get answered from some of the book already aout there, no reason to reinvent the wheel

    http://www.laserinternational.org/library.htm

    such as:

    The Complete Book of Laser Sailing 2nd Edition
    The Laser Campaign Manual - Ben Ainslie
    Championship Laser Racing - Glenn Bourke
    The Complete Introduction to Laser Racing - Edited by Ben Tan
    The Laser Book - Tim Davison, 4th Edition
    Laser Racing - Ed Baird
    Mental & Physical Fitness for Sailing - Alan Beggs, John Derbyshire & Sir John Whitmore
    International Laser Class Association Handbook 2007

    those will answer pretty much everything you will ever need to know, and more

    I have all of them, and trust me, their good, the Ben Tan is my favorite one, a bit older, but its got everything

    But I would be more than happy to answer questions, the Laser isent that hard of a boat to uderstand that, its not a 470
     
  6. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  7. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    because we're sitting on it lol!

    just do a search, and you can easily enough find it, or scroll back at least 5 pages and youll find it

    and the books have allready been written for the newbs!
     
  8. tomsinamerica

    tomsinamerica New Member

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    Ross... not sure if you've missed it - but we live in the information age? As a method to reduce the cost of entry to the sport, the online reference would be a huge cost saving for a new sailor. Just add the cost of all your books together and it will come to a fair amount of cash.... maybe enough to pay for your JC strap idea.....


    To reiterate... Colin, great idea, I'm all for it and will read it with interest... If there's something I can contribute then I will although it will probably be limited to how best to pack up quickly or something equally useless!
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Using the Search feature can be time consuming, time that can be spent sailing instead. I have all those books too and have read them, but not everyone can afford to buy them. Let's help the people out. Those who really get into Laser sailing will buy those books anyway, eventually-- it's human nature.

    I think maybe this thread was started not to debate whether or not the idea should be done, but who is onboard to help. So who is in?
     
  10. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    I understand, and I get it, but its been done allready, God help us if we have to pick up a book and read! I would think you would be open to having books Merrily, have written several yourself, but as people grow in things, they usually buy the books, and dont even get started that they are expensive, thats a load of crap

    and I seriously doubt people would rather spend their saturday on the net using the search function, than sailing, so that argument doesent even come into play, most people are porbably on TLF at work, or at home after dinner or some such time

    but yes it is a good idea, and I would be more than happy to help

    ( I just think its a bit much, then again, that could be said about all my ideas too, its a give and take world)
     
  11. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I really take exception to interjecting that kind of language into the discussion.
     
  12. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    ok, I'll try and take it easy, but I will not apologize to the Rev Al Sharpton!
     
  13. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Maybe TLF Knowledge centre just needs a revamp of it's search keyword capabilities.

    If we put all the amazingly accurate and learned advice people tell newbies on here in a database, what would we have to talk about? We'd only come here to abuse Ross instead.:cool:

    Sounds tempting I know.
     
  14. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    there you go!

    there should just be sections for:

    Repairs
    Sails
    Rigging
    Develpoments(?)

    stuff like that, give stuff its own forums
     
  15. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    There's no need to apologize to the Rev. Al Sharpton, but now you owe me an apology for saying that (as the writer of a book about Africa), and let's go ahead and get an apology to the readers of TLF for the original language.
     
  16. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    lets not get ridiculous here....

    my Rev comment was in no way towards you, more a joke about mainstreem media today, how anyone that says something that someone doesent agree with, they always end up apologizing to the Rev, somehow
     
  17. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Got it. Do you have anything for insomnia?
     
  18. Colinkites2000

    Colinkites2000 Member

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    This thread is a typical example of what I am talking about regarding the search function. In order to find what you are looking for, you generally will need to sort through one or more threads filled with complete BS. People bickering back and forth, jokes, maybe some unqualified replies from people who "think" they know etc. I think that kind of thing is great for the "fun of the forum" aspect but is just annoying when you are trying to find answers.

    Laser books are good, it's true, but I think a project like this would be good for the sport, perhaps better than some of the books listed in some areas.

    I think the Wiki in the knowledge center is the perfect way to go.

    Merrily you are right, I'm more interested in the question of "Who is interested in helping?"

    Cheers,
    Colin
     
  19. SailNC

    SailNC New Member

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    A wiki is a great place to store this type information. Probably the most important way to make it useful is to set up categories using either [[Category:Category name]] or {Category name}, so pages can be classified when they are created. This will automatically create category indexes.

    Ideally your Main Page would then contain links to the major category indexes.

    There can even be a section for Ross to post book reviews, so as to let us know which ones are worth spending money on. :)

    Rob
     
  20. SailNC

    SailNC New Member

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