Last updated June 5, 2008. Created by NancyDru on November 13, 2007.
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Getting Started

With this module, when a question is entered it goes into a queue (a separate table) and is not yet a node. That queue is accessed from the Administration menu.

All potential experts must access the single queue and select (promote) their questions. At that point the module creates a "question" node and pre-populates the question text. It does not suggest, or fill in, the title.

It has apparently been left to the adopter of the module to determine how to display the actual Q&A nodes.

On a teaser display (such as "taxonomy/term/xxx"), the module hides the answer and requires a click on a link to "read the answer." There is no customization for this. On a full display, the answer is shown.

Settings

There are many fewer options for Question than FAQ.

  • Require registered users
  • Instructions for the user - set very similar to what was used in the FAQ term (category) description.
Customizable Header

The Question module does have a field for "Instructions for the user." However, this is for the entire module and is not customizable for multiple experts.

This, then, leaves to the adopter the task of creating a customized page or using Views, which is not installed on two of the sites for which this feature is being investigated.

Notifications

The question module does not seem to have this capability, and Subscriptions cannot be used since the questions are not nodes.

Permissions

The question module has only one permission, "manage questions." We took a quick look at the code and need to do further testing with this permission because it looks improperly used.

Scorecard

  1. FailedThe expert had to be notified when a question was posted.
  2. PartialThe answered questions needed to be available in a Q&A format.
  3. FailedThere should be no administrator overhead in the process.
  4. PartialThe process had be governed by appropriate permissions.
  5. PartialWe wanted a customizable header for the question page.
  6. OkayWe preferred a ready-made solution to creating our own module.
  7. OkayIt had to allow unanswered questions.
  8. PartialIt had to be extensible to more than one expert. (Possible only when answering the question.)

Conclusions

The documentation on this module is woefully inadequate (as a matter of fact, there is more on this page than is available from the module's owner). The issue queue is disconcerting. There are so many coding standards violations that producing a patch was unworkable. These facts do not bode well for the future of this module.

Yet there is some promise to this module on sites that require only one expert who is also an administrator and who has the expertise to diagnose and solve potential problems her/himself.

Potential Improvements

  • We had to submit a bug report to get the taxonomy term on the node entry form moved back to the top of the form.
  • This is not Drupal standards and will lead to experts not properly tagging the node.

  • Integrate with the FAQ module for the Q&A page.
  • Having to create our own Q&A page is not difficult - just annoying - and relies on that misplaced taxonomy term. This doesn't look like a major effort.

  • Move the question queue out of the administration menu.
  • Just because someone is an expert on a topic does not make them administrative material. As a matter of fact, some effort went into just allowing the expert access to the site at all.

 

Looking for support? Visit the Drupal.org forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.

Comments

glad to read the article. Although it came at a point I had all ready put a bunch of work into the Question module set up and theming it for the site. It also seemed like the Question module was a little better suited to my needs ie. A dear Abbey style section of the site.

Problem came with permissions as you note above. The 'Abbey' in this case was a volunteer and not a role I would wish to give access to editing other nodes on the site.

So as a quick fix, instead of going back to the drawing board with FAQ, my co-worker whipped up this patch for us.
http://drupal.org/node/317412

may help some of you out.