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Asking questions

Want to get great answers to your Tek-Tips questions? by jerryreeve
Posted: 16 Dec 02

Here are some suggestions, and a rule or two, for using the Tek-Tips forums. These suggestions and guidelines are based on comments from various members and have developed over the last few years. There are very few hard and fast rules - please read the guide-lines and use your common sense.

1.    Be nice. Try not to get impatient if someone doesn't understand your question.

2.    Be nice. Try not to get impatient if someone doesn't give enough information for you to understand their question. This is a hard and fast rule. Bad tempered replies don't help anyone, and will just get deleted by site management anyway.

3.    Choose the right forum for your question. There are quite a few forums here at Tek-Tips, take a few minutes looking through the list of forums and pick the one that looks closest to your question.

4.    Don't ask people to help you do illegal things or offer to do them yourself; respect copyright laws while you're at Tek-Tips. This is a hard and fast rule.

5.    Avoid posting the same question in multiple forums. Try to determine the best forum for your problem or question and post it there. If in doubt, ask. You'll be directed to another forum if necessary. If you don't get an answer in a reasonable time, then post to a different forum.

Tek-Tips doesn't provide the ability to post into more than one forum at once. The main problem with this is that other members will not know about the duplicate postings. If a discussion is restricted to one thread, it is easier to follow up, comment and get closure on a discussion.

6.    Avoid asking multiple questions in a single thread, you'll get better results if you keep your questions focused on a single well defined issue.

7.    Use a descriptive Subject. Many of us will skip over reading the post if the subject doesn't indicate the question.

Don't use Subject's like this...
    Does anybody know...
    Urgent help needed!
    Error message
    Basic question
    My )&*#$^)#&^$ PROGRAM won't ...

Try Subject's like this instead...
    How do I enable multiselect on Listview?
    How to get ADO connection
    Avoiding recordset overrun

8.    Make an effort to look in help files and/or other documentation or articles.  Help article's are often available online at the software or hardware vendor's web site.

Use the Search facility and try to find answers before you post a question.

Read the FAQ's here at Tek-Tips and try to find answers before you post a question.

Even if you don't find an answer to your question and end up asking in a forum anyway, researching and thinking about your problem will help you ask a focussed question that will get answered, rather than skipped over..

If an answer exists in a FAQ or a previous thread, youÆll probably be directed to that FAQ or thread rather than repeating the answer in your thread.

FYI: to direct someone to a FAQ or thread, simply type (or copy and paste) the FAQ or thread number in your post, like this: FAQ183-874 or Thread183-108148

9.    Just so you don't get the wrong idea: no question is too basic for Tek-Tips forums. We simply suggest spending a few minutes trying to find the answer yourself, and then if you can't, post your question.

There is a lot of knowledge and help here.

10.    Don't worry if English is not your first language; that's true of a lot of Tek-Tips members and no-one here will criticise your use of English. You will find that more people will be able to help if you use English; please stick to English when using Tek-Tips.

11.    Try not to fall into the temptation of answering or asking questions by email, if you do (and we all do sometimes) then please post the solution on Tek-Tips when you're done so that everyone can benefit and we know the problem's been solved. Best thing is, if someone e-mails you, politely tell them to post it on tek-tips, thank them for the e-mail, but refuse to answer.

12.    Include the version and service pack or patch-levels of the product you are using; a solution that works in one version may not work in another. If you are connecting to a database, give details of which database and which connection method you use. If you are using external add-ins , controls or dll's please specify.

13.    If you are asking a question related to code, please post the shortest example of code that will reproduce the problem you're experiencing. Include relevant declarations and controls that are affected.

Provide sample result (or desired result) of your code if you can.

Please report the exact error message if you are asking a question about an error you are receiving, please...Telling us you are getting an error is unlikely to result in a useful response. "My app errored!!!" or "Please Help." will not get as quick or accurate reply as "When I run my app under these conditions I get a syntax error on this line ... The error mesage is ..."

14.    Please acknowledge answers that help. Sometimes an answer is given but the questioner never replies in any way. It is hard to know if the problem was solved or if the questioner just hasn't seen the answer yet.

If one of the answer's solves your problem, post a short reply and let everyone know what worked for you. This lets the person who posted the answer and everyone else who reads the thread know which answer was correct for you. That way other people can benefit from the knowledge base we are building here.

Tipmaster Stars  are a way to provide positive feedback. We all (even those us who say we don't!) appreciate receiving stars - but only when they are deserved...

FYI: You "award Stars" by clicking on the link at the bottom left of the post.

"Let <username> know
this post was helpful!"

Please post the solution if you solve a problem yourself. That way, all questions will have the solutions. And all of us can learn from others' experience.

15.    When you reply to long threads note the person you are addressing. That way we'll know to whom the post is directed. For example,

I don't think the solution you posted will work in Version 5; that feature was introduced in V6.

Summary. Tek-Tips provides us with an opportunity to help and be helped. Please remember to show respect and appreciation to all other members of the forum, keep enjoying the forum and the programming. And, from time to time, give them $5 or so    http://www.tek-tips.com/supportus.cfm

This FAQ, like a lot of others on Tek-Tips, was based on MikeLaceyÆs FAQ which in turn was based initially on Terry Broadbent's FAQ.

Back to Nortel: Norstar systems FAQ Index
Back to Nortel: Norstar systems Forum

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