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Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Lynn Pettis (4/13/2009)
In my blog, th flip side, I mention that the post should be concise yet detaled. Sort of an oxymoron, but it works.. The code should be well formatted with appropriate white space. The sample data readily consumbable without reformatting. The sample data easily comparable to the output.

You only need enough of an explaination so that people can understand the problem. They don't need all the details of the system, nor necessarily all the data from the tables, either in rows or columns. Just what is needed to understand and assist in solving the problem.


Sorry I missed it... what's the link for that, Lynn?

--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:
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Lynn Pettis
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Here is the link http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/lynnpettis/archive/2009/04/05/dealing-with-difficult-forum-users-the-flip-side.aspx#comments.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
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Jack Corbett
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JJ,

The length of a post is not why I would skip one. It is the coherence and readability of a post that matters to me. I'll scroll through a long post if it is coherent and has some white space. If I have scroll through a hundred lines of code that is not in a code block, contains no white space, and no other formatting, I'll skip it and move on to the next question.



Jack Corbett

Applications Developer

Don't let the good be the enemy of the best. -- Paul Fleming
At best you can say that one job may be more secure than another, but total job security is an illusion. -- Rod at work

Check out these links on how to get faster and more accurate answers:
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Crosstabs and Pivots or How to turn rows into columns Part 2
peter-757102
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You can problably psychologically trick a potential reader into feeling the post is short.
There are two ways.


Add the test code and the solutions you already tried as sql scripts

This doesnt take much place and it also allows you to add some detailed comments there without blowing a reader off in your main post.


Split tekst of the post itself in two parts

Describe in the first post the problem, end with a note that details follow in following posts. Have these following posts ready as you want people to read them as one if they are interested in it.

This first post if recognised by someone as something he or she knows a lot about serves just that. Catch their attention and also invoke anyone with a similar problem. Once that happends, reading more is not an issue as it is part of solving the problem.
JJ B
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I like to see the question up front and the explanation about the question second.

Grant: I like this too. I don't know that most posters are sophisticated enough to think about this, but it is another tip that could be added for people learning to post.

I'll scroll through a long post if it is coherent and has some white space.

Jack: Cool. That's more patience than I have.

Split text of the post itself in two parts.

peter: I've started doing this myself in other contexts. I also believe it helps and is another tip that could be shared. But this one is dangerous to share with people I think because it could cause people to post a lot of little posts unnecessarily.

Thanks all for weighing in. I was curious what you would say.
vliet
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Most of you are asking for readable SQL and good example data. But how often can you transform real problems into such an academic setting? More often than not, bad performance or unexpected results come from some task, stored procedure or script you've inherited using a database scheme that is almost unbearable to look at. I know one should not use cursors unless blah blah blah, but if I need to fix some very complex stored procedure with nested cursors I do not want to rebuild it from scratch. English is also not my first language but that should not keep one from posting.

Not every company can affort a DBA. Developers that have to perform design and maintenance on databases did not always choose to do so. SQL is unlike any other programming language, because it is dealing with sets instead of items. That is a very hard thing to understand properly when your daily business covers only objects. Please give them some credits ...

That said, I should also state that this site is (together with Stack Overflow) the best forum I know, and the first to search when you're dealing with any SQL-related problem. Please keep up the good work!
OCTom
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vliet (10/10/2013)
Most of you are asking for readable SQL and good example data. But how often can you transform real problems into such an academic setting? More often than not, bad performance or unexpected results come from some task, stored procedure or script you've inherited using a database scheme that is almost unbearable to look at. I know one should not use cursors unless blah blah blah, but if I need to fix some very complex stored procedure with nested cursors I do not want to rebuild it from scratch. English is also not my first language but that should not keep one from posting.

Not every company can affort a DBA. Developers that have to perform design and maintenance on databases did not always choose to do so. SQL is unlike any other programming language, because it is dealing with sets instead of items. That is a very hard thing to understand properly when your daily business covers only objects. Please give them some credits ...

That said, I should also state that this site is (together with Stack Overflow) the best forum I know, and the first to search when you're dealing with any SQL-related problem. Please keep up the good work!


With English not being your first language, you do remarkably well. I know plenty of native English speakers who are not as good as you. I do not speak a second language. I am impressed by those who do.

I always try to give others the benefit of the doubt because I do not know where they are from. Also, there may be some medical reason for misspelling and poor grammar.

Manners are important in all settings.

And who knew "The Thread" would still be going strong after this long?
Eric M Russell
Eric M Russell
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The thread started when someone asked the regular contributers on the site if it seemed that the questions being asked were getting worse. The first poster wondered if people were trying less, unable or unwilling to search, and unwilling to try and help themselves before posting a question.

I think that this can be partially explained by the fact that the professional and academic user base of SQL Server is expanding. Thanks to business intelligence and Microsoft marketing, we now have more corporate executives, data scientists, small business owners, university students, etc. who are casual users of SQL Server.
That's a goog thing.

These arn't stupid people; they're just out of their element and frustrated by what they perceive as cryptic advice provided by techie geeks. They're neither a DBA nor a developer, and have no desire to become one. Often times they're just trying to get SQL Server installed on their desktop or trying figure out why this thing that's been running fine for the past three years suddenly stopped working. They probably feel the same way I did when my mini-van kept sporatically running hot, and I got a half dozen different diagnosis from a half-dozen people claiming to be auto repair experts; all of them suggesting replacement of a different part.

Of course, there are also a lot of idiots on the internet. The internet has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people, and it seems like it's the idiots who are the most vocal. If someone is completely irrational or offensive, then it's best to ignore them. That's exactly what most of us would do if we encountered them on the street, so we shouldn't feel like we're being rude. It frees up our time to focus on real people with real problems (or at least those who suffer from the type of problem what we can actually help with).


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
sandra.macdonald
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It is sad that people feel a need to be rude. I, and several of my co-workers value this site as a primary reference when trying to solve coding problems. I am nearly always able to find what I need by searching. I have only posted a couple of times and did get the help I neded. The subscription feed is also useful to me in developing my skills.

As they say, what comes around goes around, and those of you who work so hard on this site certainly have a lot of good karma coming your way!

I guess those of us who benefit should take the time to say so now and then. THANK YOU!

Sandi in Tucson
aochss
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Eric M Russell (10/10/2013)
[quote]
These arn't stupid people; they're just out of their element and frustrated by what they perceive as cryptic advice provided by techie geeks. They're neither a DBA nor a developer, and have no desire to become one. Often times they're just trying to get SQL Server installed on their desktop or trying figure out why this thing that's been running fine for the past three years suddenly stopped working. They probably feel the same way I did when my mini-van kept sporatically running hot, and I got a half dozen different diagnosis from a half-dozen people claiming to be auto repair experts; all of them suggesting replacement of a different part.


A couple of points...

Eric, Totally didn't think of it from that point of view. Very nice...

Even as a long time user (ten years) of this site, I posted a question a week or so back with a lengthy explanation, some sample data and expected outcome. For my efforts, I received two "please provide DML statements and expected data" replies . My first thought was to spit back and complain about the "experts" being curt and rude. After doing the "count to ten" thing and giving it some more thought, they were pretty much correct. Sample DML for both table and data allows for people to test your issues/problems directly on a SQL server instance instead of just thinking it through in their heads.

I appreciate this site more than others (Stack Overflow, Exchange) for the fact that it doesn't make gathering points/reputation levels the main focus of the site. I also like that new users can reply and post without having to gain a certain "status" like on other sites. Programming should not be a competition on who is smarter, better or more clever, it is about gaining AND sharing the knowledge with others so they can have the "AHA" moment as well.

Thanks SQL Server Central community and keep it going.

Anton



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