Outlines can be done in two different ways in QDL. First, you can simply use HTML to do lists, indenting the sub-topics. Second, you can do nested posts, which are automatically indented, and which is the much more powerful method. As individual posts, the items can be pasted into other branches of the hierarchy (if they belong there too), and updating them in one place will update them in all places. From each place you can find out how many different places include that item. You can control the rights, and you can select a custom icon for the item. Best of all, posts are collapsible, so you can show/hide whichever branches of the tree you want, making it easy to navigate large volumes of material. So this is the recommended method for all but the simplest outlines. Here are the guidelines.
  • No scattering.
    • Outlining enables people to go directly to the topics of interest, where they'll find all of the related material. So before posting something, try to put it in with related material, and/or don't get bent out of shape when a moderator moves it there. :)
  • No redundancies.
    • If it turns out that the jist of your post has already been explored, you'll be asked to consolidate what you're saying with what others have already said, and/or breaking out your contribution into its own post, but not repeating what others have said.
  • Be brief.
    • Titles should be as brief as possible (256 characters max), while still clearly identifying the statement. "New Idea" is brief, but doesn't narrow it down much. You can say that much just with the icon selection.
    • You can add a description in the body of the post, but try to keep it to just one paragraph or so. If you want to post several pages of material, do it in a sub-post, and just have the abstract in the body of the main post.
  • Use icons to designate the type of post.
    new proposal
    solution to problem
    still brewing
    general comment
    this is going to blow up
    this is hazardous
    general information
    lock down on this
    approved for inclusion in the conclusion
  • Collect conclusions/solutions at the end.
    • Outlines are inherently divergent, but in the end, it all has to come back together again into a plan. Where this is useful, insert a "hard rule" to separate the body of what has gone before, and then add posts focused on how to integrate "all of the above" into a unified concept.

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