In looking at badges, I notice many terms for which I am unable to find a definition on the site. I'm sure it must exist somewhere, but even using the search box hasn't seemed to help. I did also try the FAQ, but it appears to be more geared toward basic use of the site, not definitions of terms.

For example, what is a rollback? I can guess from context. Sort of.

Or, if I want to know what the list of privileges are, I can't use the search box to find that list. I have to know to look under the FAQ, expand "What is reputation", and click either "privileges" or "additional privileges". For that matter, I can't even do a search on reputation in order to get the reputation FAQ.

Basically, I'm trying to figure out how to be less confused without making silly mistakes. :)

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2 Answers

The list of privileges is also found (on the main site I guess) by clicking the arrow next to your name on the top, then clicking 'privileges'. It shows you how close you are to a privilege and you can click on each one to have it describe what it is.

Yeah, this might be one of those aspect where programmers programmed a website and were a little 'too close to their code'. I've been a user since the beta of StackOverflow a few years ago and even I'm a bit confused when I come back after a while of not using the site.

The badges have funny names like 'Strunk & White because they're based on badges given in XBox video games. The only way you'd know that is if you listened to the StackOverflow podcast in the months leading up to the release of the original site for programmers.

Someone might suggest you going to http://meta.stackoverflow.com to suggest general changes across all the websites, but hopefully one of the StackExchange user support employees (not sure what you call those guys) will see this and respond accordingly, only they can modify stuff in the FAQ.

I think that's a good idea that the search should search the entire site, including the FAQ, maybe with a little off colored box at the top suggesting a link to something in a non-Q&A page that matches your search like google does when its trying to sell you stuff.

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Hey, I was about to offer some suggestions on finding stuff on Meta Stack Exchange ;) ... also, once the site has pro-tems, they can edit the FAQ here (a little bit of it anyways). Lastly, even us "stack regulars" have a hard time remembering where everything is all the time. (PS: Here's the "big list" meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7931/… ) –  jcolebrand Jun 25 '11 at 2:33
    
Peter: thank you! I suspect this is simply a case of my many years as a software tester coming into play. If it's confusing me on a regular basis, it's probably confusing other people as well. So I tend to try to get it fixed/fix it myself, if I can. –  Suzanne Hillman Jun 27 '11 at 1:59
    
jcolebrand: I don't think we should need to remember where things are! Search tools are good things, when they do what I expect. ;) And thanks for the big list link! –  Suzanne Hillman Jun 27 '11 at 2:01
    
I have now asked for a change to the search tool. :) meta.stackexchange.com/questions/96505/… –  Suzanne Hillman Jun 27 '11 at 2:24
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To answer "what is a rollback?", go to http://meta.stackoverflow.com/, type rollback in the search box at the top, and you'll see this post as the first result, and this question with a perhaps more helpful answer as the second result.

In general though, the SE sites don't really do a great job of explaining all the ins and outs of usage. Searching on meta.SO can be frustrating sometimes. Making silly mistakes and being (gently) corrected, or asking here, are probably the best way to learn. We're friendly. ;)

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I suppose I should be more accurate and change "avoiding making silly mistakes" to "be able to come back and remind myself what things mean". I do like avoiding silly mistakes! I like being able to refresh my memory for effectively random trivia more. ;) (Not only did I previously test software, but I wrote a lot of the documentation in every testing department I worked for. Otherwise, I forgot how to do things!) And thanks for links! –  Suzanne Hillman Jun 27 '11 at 2:03
    
And... I would absolutely have guessed wrong about what rollback is! :) –  Suzanne Hillman Jun 27 '11 at 2:16
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