Even so, I want the FAQ to be as widely useful as possible... catering toward the beginner if it makes a difference.
I don't tend to like the "simple" Wikipedia -- as often as not I find the articles to be incomplete or less useful than their full counterpart. For example, the Bubble Sort entries:
Both entries share the same problems. The "simple" version uses smaller words (which does actually make it more readable to most people), but it shares the same flaws. In particular, the bubble sort algorithm is actually not as easy to understand as some of the more "advanced" algorithms, like insertion sort, because people don't naturally think the way computers do; bubble sort thinks the way computers do.
The full entry actually does a better job of explaining the algorithm because
of the additional stuff, particularly the animated GIFs. The "simple" page uses the same example text, but that example is not really that easy to follow, in large part just because it is a large list of numbers with parentheses here and there
. I know that doesn't frighten most of us, but we are an unusual group. Most people will not even bother
. (It's sad, I know.)
Finally, the "simple" page just gives you actual code. It makes no effort to help you understand what it is actually doing. Hence, it is more difficult to reason about because of the extra language fluff invoked by bogging down in Java details. (But hey, what language is that anyway? What does
mean?). People don't need micro details to understand an algorithm. Simply saying that you are done after going through a loop without swapping anything is enough -- because that's how human brains work (not computers).
Anyway, those are some of the things in my head.