I was reviewing a question where I noticed that it was recommended to "future proof" older answers. I must admit that even after searching https://meta.askubuntu.com/search?q=future+proof I'm baffled as to what this actually means. I'm all for updating Q&A's as we go but as I'm only human I don't know the future. So I'm curious as to whether there is an approved definition of this phrase or failing that, any tips on how to see far enough into the future to actually manage this.
Here's what I do:
- Try to be generic instead of mentioning specific versions of things. (This can be hard).
- Concentrate on the "teaching to fish" part of the answer. That is, instead of saying "oh yeah, do foo, then bar, then baz", try to explain why things are, this teaches the person how to learn to learn. So even if an answer is out of date, the context on how to figure out the problem can still be useful in the future.
- I try to make screenshots as generic as possible.
- Break down your answer so that it's updatable over time. Sort of like how people make "modular code", I try to section off complex answers so that people can independently update them without having to rewrite the entire thing.
- Encourage people to keep your answer up to date.
- Every once in a while (I try once a year) go back to your old answers (sort by views!) and make them up to snuff for the latest LTS. This is also hard and time consuming.
So basically, I try to strip down specific versions (unless of course this is unavoidable) to make the answer more generic so that when Ubuntu + 1 comes out I don't have to go modify every answer.