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Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help


Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help

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Opus
Opus
Old Hand
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As someone who generally posts more questions than answers, I thought this was a great article. Any way to make this required reading before someone creates their first post? This would have saved me a lot of time and those answering my questions, as you stated. Nicely done.
Loner
Loner
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Actually I tried to answer that question, it was quite a challenge !!!
Sometimes it is hard to write a question, I read a question that is a page long with tables and query and everything, I just don't have patience to read a page long question.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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We can recommend it, but not sure many people will read it. Lots of people want to get an answer, post quickly, don't think about reading anything, including the sign-up screen. Smile

Great article, Jeff!

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
My Blog: www.voiceofthedba.com
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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You raise a point that goes beyond just posting on forums - In the general office situation this is also common:


Funny that you should mention that, Bad Dog... We've been having a bit of a debate on one of the threads about the differences between a "Programmer", a "Good Programmer", and a "Great Programmer". I think you've identified a couple of areas we missed Smile

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Marie Wilkinson
Marie Wilkinson
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I've never posted a problem because I have been too intimidated so this was a wonderful 'how-to'. Thanks.
Jason Selburg
Jason Selburg
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Loner (11/27/2007)
Actually I tried to answer that question, it was quite a challenge !!!
Sometimes it is hard to write a question, I read a question that is a page long with tables and query and everything, I just don't have patience to read a page long question.


My preference is to have the question summarized first. Then break it into details. This gives the reader the ultimate goal upfront and if they're interested they can read further.

______________________________________________________________________

Personal Motto: Why push the envelope when you can just open it?

If you follow the direction given HERE you'll likely increase the number and quality of responses you get to your question.

Jason L. Selburg
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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I suspect that the very process of presenting and describing a problem often makes the solution suddenly pop into the head.


Well said and absolutely true... the "Old School" method of writing down the steps to be done define the old "Divide and Conquer" method which is very effective in solving problems. Once done, those steps also make pretty good comments in the code.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
bc_
bc_
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in response to "Mr. or Mrs. 500"--

it wasn't just you, i couldn't see the bad code example either. seems to happen quite frequently in these articles with code snippets...

burke

bc
Jeff Moden
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GilaMonster (11/27/2007)
Nice. I'm also a little tired of people looking for a free lunch. Problem is, those who need it most will likely not be the people who read it.


Heh... I know exactly what you mean, Gail. I've even had people post that it's my job to give them an answer on the forum despite the fact they've posted no code and no data and the principle behind their question defies every good rule of RDBMS usage. Of course, if you ask them why they want to do such a {bad} thing so you can help them find a different/better way, they either get real indignent, provide correct but undetailed answers like "It's for a Report" or they simply go away.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Group: General Forum Members
Points: 213447 Visits: 41977
Doug Wittich (11/27/2007)
My pet peeve besides those given already: Poor choice of subject. So many "Newbie needs help" and "help me" threads abound. I'd much rather see a topical subject.


Spot on, Doug, a doubly appreciated (but I had to get that one out of my system BigGrin )... I've got 3 more articles in the works (2 accepted but not scheduled and one 2-parter in the process of being written) that cover more topical topics like...

Hidden RBAR: Triangular Joins
Performance Tuning: Concatenation Functions and Some Tuning Myths
Very High Speed Running Balances, Running Counts, Ranking, and Percentiles (this will be the 2 parter... haven't totally settled on the name, yet).

But, I also remember when I was a "newbie" and, if I see that they're actually trying without the arrogance that some show, have a bit of a soft spot for them. Thought I'd post something to help the "good ones" get better answers to their questions. And... it wasn't just for newbies. Sure, it was for them and some of the people who regularly ask questions like the one in the article, but it was more for me... I've gotten pretty tired of spending more time setting up test data than it takes to solve a problem and I'm sure some of the other heavy hitters would agree with that! Smile

I'm hoping that some of them will actually take the time to post test data correctly so we don't have to spend so much time on not answering the question.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. -- Red Adair

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Forum FAQs
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