DIYFAQ History

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The DIY FAQ pages have changed over the years from a simple "collected wisdom" article posted monthly to the uk.d-i-y usernet group, later onto the web as a static web site, and finally to this wiki version. Here is the history from the earlier versions:

Early History of the FAQs

These web pages are largely derived from the work of Matthew Marks, who originated them in 1996 and maintained them until 1999. In the early years the FAQs were text-based pages which Matthew regularly posted to the uk.d-i-y newsgroup. He gathered useful articles from newsgroup discussions and, with the author's consent, edited them before adding them to the FAQs with an acknowledgement of their source. He also wrote articles himself and the quality of much of the material here is a result of his careful and dedicated effort.

As the content grew, the FAQs were divided into five broad categories to keep related topics together, to make them more manageable and to keep downloads small. In 1997 CliveE compiled a section of References (DIY manuals, catalogues and websites) which became a FAQ in their own right and were added to Matthew's regular postings. John Schmitt soon realised that the FAQs would be even more useful if they resided on the web in a permanent location and if there was some interaction between them to aid navigation. In 1997 he took a snapshot of the FAQs, converted them to HTML web pages and hosted them on his local server. This worked for a while but pressure of work and the rapid evolution of material at that time meant that the web-based FAQs lagged the newsgroup postings. John was also at that time developing his own excellent FAQs (see links on Contents page).

In 1999 Clive took another snapshot of Matthew's regularly posted FAQs, converted them to HTML and placed them on the eidosnet website under ~ukdiy. This host originally had the advantage that uploads could be made from other ISPs (e.g. using one's employer's network connection ;-)) but that mechanism was withdrawn very soon after. Clive reorganised the content somewhat to keep page sizes small in an attempt to keep download times short. Links were added to aid navigation within the pages and between pages so that anyone arriving in the middle of the site would be able to navigate the whole site. For a while the web pages and the regular newsgroup postings ran side by side but keeping the content in synchronism was a major effort so it was eventually decided to move almost entirely to the web. One newsgroup posting remained: for the benefit of newcomers, Matthew still automatically sent out the FAQ Introduction page to the newsgroup every ten days.

Up until 1999 Matthew was the "FAQ Maintainer", having the last word on what was and was not included. In October 1999 he handed over that responsibility to CliveE. The history from that date is detailed in the table below.

Moving forward

Key Dates
Date Change
Sept 2000 Major rewrite of Introduction page.
Jan 2001 Andrew Gabriel took over from CliveE as FAQ Maintainer.
July 2001 Phil Addison takes over from Andrew Gabriel as FAQ Maintainer.
Dec 2006 DIY Wiki created and setup by Grunff, and John Stumbles
April 2009 John Rumm takes over from Phil Addison as FAQ Maintainer
Jan 2022 Original FAQ pages and site retired, and the domains re-pointed at the DIY wiki pages