in reply to How (Not) To Ask A Question

jeffa++. May I add my current fave to this by ESR - How To Ask Questions The Smart Way.

That covers a few other things as well.


cLive ;-)


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Re^2: How (Not) To Ask A Question
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jul 19, 2006 at 12:46 UTC

    I always found that article condescending. Hereís a new guide that Iíd link in great preference to ESRís screed: Getting Answers. Itís geared towards the benefit of the one doing the asking, unlike most guides, which are geared towards the benefit of the ones answering.

    From the introduction:

    Other people have written articles on this subject before, but they suffer from problems. My goal is to avoid those problems and make something thatís directly useful to you, the person with problems, rather than something thatís mostly useful for the people answering the questions.

    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way is pretty condescending, especially if you already feel insulted by somebody telling you that you need help asking questions. If youíre pointed at a guide with a filename of smart-questions, that means this person thinks you have stupid questions, and who needs that?

    Help Vampires: A Spotterís Guide is great, but itís written from the other side. While itís great for people who hang out and answer a lot of questions, and helps them deal with the titular Vampires, itís not something thatís very useful for a person asking questions.

    Another guide I just discovered is GettingHelpOnIrc. Itís a handy companion to this one, although more geared towards the nitty gritty of IRC etiquitte and less towards the actual questions.

    And so I present to you Getting Answers. The goal of the article is to get answers to your questions, nothing more and nothing less. Iíll completely ignore boring stuff like the proper way to greet people or when to read the topic. This guide will walk you through ten basic things you can do to increase the chances of getting answers, and increase the quality of the answers you get. Getting a reply of rtfm! is considered failure, no better than no reply at all, and getting advice that solves your problem is success. All else is secondary to that.

    Makeshifts last the longest.