How about a database of solved issues, proven workarounds and generally resolved questions?

Everyone in the wider community will likely know the Stackexchange network of sites. Stackexchange, starting with its programming community Stack Overflow, took over a lot of traffic from various forums, mainly by realizing that as someone coming in from a search engine, you don’t want to read the discussion, you want to get the answer to a question.

I am recently doing more work in DEVONthink again, and find myself looking for information, workarounds, scripts etc. a lot on this forum. There are a lot of hidden gems in here; old user-contributed scripts that may or may not work with current DT versions, workflows, workarounds to missing features, you name it.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of a forum, there are queries for which you’ll find eight, ten or more threads, only one of which goes beyond “yeah, that would be a great feature, +1” and contains helpful information.

So I would like to propose creating an FAQ-style database to aggregate all tried and tested, “actionable” solutions that are spread across this forum.

Now, “database” sounds far more involved than this needs to be – in the simplest possible approach, I could imagine a few thematically sorted, curated threads in which every post contains a question with well-defined scope and a clear, sourced answer to that question. Perhaps the forum could get a special category for those, but that would not be necessary. Besides offering solutions to searchers’ questions, such a thread might also be interesting for the development team when prioritizing new features because you’d have a single place where people can “like” workarounds, so you’d get a more concentrated view on what (perhaps missing) features people actually need and use.

What do you all think about this?

Like DEVONtechnologies | Questions and Answers?

I can’t speak for the OP, obviously. But the link you posted is more of a FAQ kind of thing. If I understand the OP correctly, they’d like to see answers to questions like

  • how can I get my sync to work (sub-issues: with iCloud, CloudKit, Bonjour, local, WebDAV)
  • how do I get my CSS to work in MD
  • what’s the best format to archive an HTML document (just joking)
  • how do I add the second most recent date in the file to its name

I know, most of them are answered in the documentation, kind of. Or in the forum. However, the documentation is more about being complete and thorough. Stackexchange is a “recipe” kind of place: How do I go about baking a cake? Spare me the details about growing wheat. (another bad analogy, I know)
Regardless: Creating that would require an incredible amount of work, and (as with Stackexchange) we’re talking about a moving target. What was a good solution yesterday might be frowned upon tomorrow. As much as I understand the desire to have such a collection of problems and solutions, I doubt that it would be feasible any time soon.

Yep. Would need lots of funding from DEVON technologies (probably not possible or reasonable) or lots of qualified volunteers for a very long and on-going time.

My experience is that many problems/issues are avoided (and solved) by reading and using the outstanding DEVONthink manuals.


You phrase my intention better than I did in my original post: The Q&A section of the webpage is less aimed at “troubleshooting recipes”, which I feel are all available on this forum, just not very accessible since you have to read through potentially many thready to find the single post that answers your question.

Similarly, the documentation, as @rmschne points out in their answer, is great and I’m quite happy with it – it’s just not covering the scope I’m thinking about here.

I am not sure about whether this would be a high maintenance thing, since I’d imagine forum users doing the “discovery” and updating more or less on the side while reading around.

A remaining question is whether or not people would actually find such a collection of pointers into the collective forum information useful. I know I would, which is why I proposed such a scheme here – but if there are no other optimistic voices, I don’t think it’s worth pursuing further. What do you think?