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Integrate a manual in a Q&A site?

asked 2016-06-09 12:06:42 -0500

Pgr's avatar


I'm considering the possibility of using Askbot for the community support forums of an open-source project. The idea is to use self-hosted, assuming it can be used that way for free.

I'd like to ask for some opinions as to a specific issue we have. There is a book with lots of valuable technical content for our project. This book was on sale but now there's a possibility that the author will agree to releasing it online for free.

The book is very well organized and broken up into sections that I think we could paste it in bits on a Q&A site as questions and their answers. Then it would naturally evolve with new answers from other users, edits, etc.

My questions:

  1. when I was thinking of doing this on StackExchange, I feared that the rules there wouldn't let me for some reason, they are very legalistic. I wouldn't be bound by any such rules on Askbot, would I? I could host my community and make my own rules, right?

  2. what if, instead of breaking it questions and answers, I wanted a more differentiated area of my Q&A site to hold the book in its current, structured form? I mean, keeping the same look and feel of the site, add something like "Reference Manual" to the menus and just show the table of contents, linking to a bunch of long pages, each with a full chapter. We would then be able to cross-link between the manual and the Q&A area, but they would be two separate organizations of information. I suppose this feature doesn't exist, and I would have to change the code in Askbot, but this could be done with some ease, right?

At this point I'm not asking for technical details, I just need to validate my strategy and the options available to me. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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@Evgeny is it normal for the question to await moderation for so long? I'm guessing some notification just got lost in the way... thanks if you can solve this!

Pgr's avatar Pgr  ( 2016-06-11 07:02:02 -0500 )edit

@Pgr, no sorry it's my fault.

Evgeny's avatar Evgeny  ( 2016-06-13 05:29:58 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-06-13 05:35:49 -0500

Evgeny's avatar

When you deploy the site based on Askbot, of course you will be determining the rules of how the site is used. The software is open source and free to download and use.

Regarding the second part of your question - sure, you can modify the software to better suit your needs. How "easy" or "difficult' it might be depends on many factors.

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Asked: 2016-06-09 12:06:42 -0500

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Last updated: Jun 13 '16