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FAQs or "Frequently Asked Questions" and PIPs or "Periodic Informational Postings" started out in news groups as a way to try to keep groups focused on new and interesting issues rather than on issues which had been discussed over and over for years and years. In 1991 the news.answers group was created so that FAQs could be crossposted to this group and people could easily scan this group for just the FAQs. In 1992 the rest of the "big 7" *.answers groups were created and in 1995 the humanities.answers group was created. Today there are over 2500 FAQs that are regularly posted to news groups and archived on Web, Gopher, and FTP servers around the world. Usually the easiest way to find a FAQ is to use the search abilities of one of the hypertext archives.
Note: It is common to use the term "FAQ" to refer to any periodic posting, even though it may not be in Q & A format. In the rest of this page I use `FAQ' in this way, i.e., to mean any periodic posting.
Finding Hypertext FAQsThese four sites HTMLize all FAQs that are posted to the *.answers groups, and let you search or browse through the FAQs. All URLs in each FAQ are turned into links and thus you can easily jump to the maintainer's hypertext version of the FAQ, if there is one.
The following sites contain links to some hypertext FAQs organized by category. They are not comprehensive.
Finding Plain Text FAQsFAQs are posted in plain text format and spend some time in the *.answers groups. Since news articles expire, sometimes very quickly, you often will not be able to find the FAQ you're looking for in the news group(s). You can find the plain text version of the FAQ in these archives:
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology archives are organized by news group and archive name. To find out how to receive plain text FAQs in mail, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with help in the body of the message (the subject will be ignored).
- SUNSite Archives
- Sterling Software's archives are organized by archive name
Other FAQ-Related Links
- Infinite Ink's Launchers of MetaFAQs (FAQs about FAQs)
- Infinite Ink's Writing FAQs
- Al Gilman's RTFM Insanely Great
- Yahoo: Reference:FAQs contains some of the links given here and some other FAQ-related links.
- A book about FAQs is being written by a group of FAQ maintainers. Would you buy a book like this? Please send us your feedback.
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Last significant update August 11, 1997
Last tweak August 11, 1997