I have been giving some consideration to the internal architecture or structure of the starters section without seemingly rocking the boat too much.
Each & every time a new post is added within the starters section whether it be in the "Learn & teach" forum or the "Tutorials section" the preceding older post is shoved further down the list. Now in a sense this is okay in respect of the "Learn & teach" area because one would expect a forum discussion section to perform in this manner. The most current & recent question to remain at the top of the stack, in this way new lifeblood is being kept contemporily up to date. The odd bump post will project an older post back to the top of the tree of course but fundamentally keeps the forum structure current & topical!
I would like to propose two alternatives for setting up the "Tutorials" section to try to limit the dis-fragmentation & build some strategy that will provide a simple but effective index system to aid navigation & simplify information in respect of "search & find"
In the initial stages
What if we essentially kept the same layout as the “Learn & teach” forum & allow Tutorials and teaching aids, FAQ’s to be added in a some-what random fashion but used the facility to “Pin” at the top of the list a scrolling Contents & index post or one of each in the important topics section.
A user could then click on this “Pinned” post & in turn that would open to reveal a list of alphabetical broad sweep categories of reference material, tutorials, walk through’s FAQ’s etc. You could sub-divide these areas into categories like (albeit this example isn’t alphabetical however)
1) All things WinBuilder
a) Current WinBuilder version
b. Older versions of WinBuilder
c) WinBuilder Projects
d) Winbuilder Scripting
e) Log Files & Error reporting
f) Useful tables
g) Useful Downloads
2) All things Linux & other OS’s
a) What is linux?
c) Distro’s availability.
d) Downloading Linux
g) Time to dump windows
3) All things MultiBoot
c) Dual Booting
d) Booting off various media
e) Useful boot disks
4) And So forth etc
This is just a snapshot example as any amount of categories are feasible as long as the “Pinned” post is editable & scrollable! The sub-category links would open into the list of the forum topics that would be currently available. So looking at 1A) for example you would first open “1) All things WinBuilder” then the user would be referred to the a) to h) categories within “All things WinBuilder”, once there all the user needs to do is click on the appropriate sub-category to be given a series of links that provide tutorials on “Current WinBuilder version”
If each post is given a specific reference number the search and find option could locate the topic from a database index, e.g prefix "All things WinBuilder" firstly with a alphabet letter then each post with a unique incrementing number in this way the topic is categorized & numbered to track it’s location.
Okay here is alternative (2)
This option is a little more radical & would need some rebuilding to achieve.
First go to the top title bar & click on “Downloads”, once the page opens take a look at the main box on the right hand side, got it? Now if you can imagine once you click on the tutorials link within the starters section a downloads equivalent page would open but the categories would be the various sections e.g. “All things WinBuilder” & within a suitable link provided would be all the sub-categories in connection with “All things WinBuilder” & therein would be all the tutorials FAQ’s etc in connection with the subcategory. The same criteria would apply to any number of categories you wanted as long as the page was scrollable and continuous. The advantage of this option is the user would navigate to the right section & sub-category, post his tutorial etc so in fact this option is self maintaining to a certain degree?
Add to any of the two alternatives above a “Search Form” with the search where with all the sub-categories within you will able to hopefully the reference information you wanted.
Anyway enough of me ranting on about architectural structure what do you think these alternatives or have you got ideas of your own that would rationalize the “Getting Started” Section.
Otherwise I can foresee that as time passes & topics are added, finding the right information (as Boot-land grows) will become increasingly difficult to find. In one sense one could argue this is further disfragmentation but at least topics are categorized into a serviceable categorised comprehensive structure!