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Guidelines for asking [closed]

asked 2017-11-06 18:49:18 +0200

Jim K gravatar image

updated 2021-06-11 07:12:24 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

On this site, it's reasonably straightforward to upvote image descriptionor downvote image descriptionquestions, or ask for corrections or clarification image description.

But how do I decide what counts as a good question or a bad question?

From what I could find, the closest thing to guidelines is at https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/A.... Also, this answer gives links to a different site.

For example, consider the question at https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/questi.... It seems like a bad question for many reasons:

  • title is too long and doesn't seem like a summary
  • no version number or operating system
  • not clear what file types are involved
  • no reproducible steps were given
  • The whole question is very unclear.

However, I did not downvote because I cannot point to any recognized standard that was not followed.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2021-06-11 07:12:41.842680

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If a questioner only has 1 point, and ask a reasonable question, I often up vote just to help them get started here.

I recently tried to participate at askbot.com where I only had 1 point. Oh, my gosh. How terrible it is not to be able to add links, images or vote.

So to me the 1 up-vote to get them 10 points, helps build members here who have shown some basic trustworthiness.

But note that I didn't up-vote the example given, which is a terrible question IMHO. ... But might be foreign lang.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2018-11-17 05:15:21 +0200 )edit
1

May be: "If you are no fluent with English, repeat the question in your native language". It would give another opportunity to understand the question.

LeroyG gravatar imageLeroyG ( 2020-05-19 21:08:16 +0200 )edit

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answered 2017-11-17 19:23:23 +0200

Jim K gravatar image

updated 2018-02-08 18:51:30 +0200

Here is a suggested list of guidelines for asking questions.

  • Research the problem online first to avoid duplication. Mention what you find. Attempt to solve the problem before asking, and explain what efforts you have made. Programming questions should include code snippets.
  • Simplify and isolate the problem as much as possible. Use elementary problem solving or debugging techniques. Describe problems encountered and show error messages.
  • Give all information and steps necessary to reproduce the problem. Attach* a sample document if necessary. Provide version, operating system and locale when relevant.
  • Use common grammar and wording so that people in other countries besides your own can understand. Calc formulas should use ; for the separator.
  • Clearly state the actual question and desired results. The title should be a short summary, and add relevant tags. Do not check the "community wiki" checkbox.
  • After asking, monitor the question for a few days in case corrections or clarifications are requested. Edit the question or add a comment as needed, but do not use the answer box unless you are providing an answer to your own question.*
  • If a useful answer is given, mark it as correct by clicking ✔ in the upper left area of the answer, and consider upvoting.* Otherwise, explain in a comment below the answer why it is not acceptable.

* Requires the number of karma points listed here.

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Comments

Thanks, for the tips.

leoirias@hotmail.com gravatar imageleoirias@hotmail.com ( 2017-11-25 02:35:07 +0200 )edit
2

May I add:

  • To edit, complete your question, or answer a request for clarification, do not use the answer box. Use comments or edit your question.

Regards

pierre-yves samyn gravatar imagepierre-yves samyn ( 2017-12-12 08:33:44 +0200 )edit

I was just now thinking about that. Yes, it has been added.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2017-12-12 09:50:42 +0200 )edit

Agree, but then they will probably end up solving most of the Q's themselves. :-~

More seriously, I think this list needs to be shorter rather than longer. 3 points might do: a) Help goes to those who earn it. b) Show that you're trying to learn and solve your own problem. c) Provide lots of clear and exact details and don't leave anything out.

Now I have to ask myself If I always live up to all that, and I know that I don't. So d) sit on it awhile before submitting.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2017-12-20 07:04:38 +0200 )edit

@EasyTrieve: Your list is a good summary, and could be all that is necessary as a reminder for people who have some experience. It's also a reasonable answer to what counts as a good or bad question (feel free to post it as an answer).

People who are new may not know that "exact details" includes version and locale, for example. And the "community wiki" checkbox was not obvious to me early on. So I think such tips are helpful as well.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2017-12-20 19:53:38 +0200 )edit
4

answered 2018-02-14 00:39:47 +0200

EasyTrieve gravatar image

updated 2018-02-14 00:43:12 +0200

a) Help goes to those who earn it.
b) Show that you're trying to learn and solve your own problem.
c) Provide lots of clear and exact details and don't leave anything out.

Now I have to ask myself If I always live up to all that, and I know that I don't. So

d) Sit on it awhile before submitting.

Extra credit) Make your question as simple and clear as possible. Spell things correctly out of respect for those who have to read it.

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answered 2021-04-16 15:31:11 +0200

From what I could find, the closest thing to guidelines is at https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/A....

+1. I've revamped that guide a bit, feel free to update it further if needed. The trick being to find the balance between something easy and quick to read vs. detailed but too long to keep reader's attention.

However as long as there is no very obvious link at the Ask landing page to the guide, then there is no point giving hints about how to ask a question. Because if users are given this very topic in the Ask site, it means that they have already posted...

I've sent a message (feedback form) asking for the link to the Getting started guide to be more visible (at least in bold) on the right of the question list and in the top area when in the asking question page.

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Asked: 2017-11-06 18:49:18 +0200

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Last updated: Apr 16