[Foundation-l] Again, a Wikimedia wiki project that indexes problems and solutions

Yao Ziyuan yaoziyuan at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 05:36:26 UTC 2012

Hello All,

What I want is a wiki that indexes problems and each problem's wiki
page will also document solutions to that problem. Since problems and
their solutions are documented by humans, our remaining problem is how
can the wiki index problems efficiently?

Problem base (PB) wikis already exist, such as WikiHow and
WikiAnswers. But I think they're not well-organized enough. For
example, WikiHow has a category called "Air Conditioning" which
collects solutions related to air conditioning:


As you see, there are no subcategories in this category. All solutions
are just listed in A-Z order. A person must scan these solutions one
by one to find a solution that matches his problem.

What's the ideal PB in my mind? Under a topic like "Air Conditioning",
the PB should further categorize problems in three ways:

1. By symptom ("What's wrong?")

2. By task ("What do you want to do?")

3. By component ("What component is your problem in?")

Each of the above can walk a user down several levels of subcategories
until actual problems come into sight. This is what I call

"By symptom" and "by task" are actually approaches that categorize
objects (here, objects are problems) by function, while "by component"
is an approach that categorizes objects by structure.

Best Regards,
Ziyuan Yao

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