Decorum in the Forums

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119655

    Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/pressrel

  • Tatsu

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7824

    Very nice, I especially liked this comment:

    I would ask and hope that everyone who posts an answer be respectful of other's ignorance. Treat them with respect and give them an answer or a suggestion and not berate them for not knowing something in advance. They are visiting this forum because they need help.

    The fact that the person asked indicates that they know they have some ignorance and to post the question even though they might be embarrassed to do so deserves quite a bit of respect. Answering questions politely and with consideration encourages the person to post more questions which, in turn, helps everyone and further strengthens the community.

    I would like to add one thing too. When posting a question, please enter an appropriate subject. If you're getting an error message, use part of the error message (especially the number) in the subject. If you are experiencing some unusual behavior, provide a brief description of the behavior in the subject. This helps in two ways.

    1. If I am browsing the forums looking to answer questions (which is not nearly as often as I would like being a full-time student while working) and I see something in the subject that looks like something I have run into before, it will catch my eye and encourage me to go directly to it and try to help. If I see "Need Help ASAP" in the subject, I may actually miss it in favor of something that looks more familiar to me.
    2. If I am searching the site looking for a solution to a problem and the problem has been discussed here before I can find the solution a lot faster if it is described in the subject. If I have to look at each "Need Help ASAP" topic one-by-one I am much more likely to post a new question which wastes my time and anyone else that looks at my question.

    Thank you,

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 993749

    Very nice, indeed!  It's this type of attention to the forums that makes SQLServerCentral so great. 

    We all have to remember that a person asking a question has already swallowed a certain amount of pride... let's make their visit one to remember for the RIGHT reasons.  A Mentor-like attitude on our part not only helps the person asking the question, it reaffirms our professionalism as database Architects, Developers, and Analysts to the user community in general.

    I agree with Bryant Byrd's post above... there are a couple of things that people needing help can do to expedite a correct answer from the forum...

    1. To reiterate what Bryant suggested, put something pertinent in the subject line of the thread.  When I'm in a hurry (most of the time), I tend to skip things like "Need help ASAP" or "SQL Question" in favor of those subjects that I know I have some expertise in.
    2. Format your code.  SQLwritteninallonelineandalllowercaseisdifficulttoreadandunderstand.
    3. Limit the scope of your quesiton to 1 or 2 problems.
    4. Provide table details and some data.  If you really want to help busy folks like me answer your more complex questions, post not only the code you need help with, but post some table creation and data insert statements and then explain the relationship between the tables you are trying to achieve.  Remember that your original code may be the problem so don't rely soley upon it to explain what you are trying to do.
    5. If an error has occurred, always copy and paste the full error message as well as the offending snippet of code (do not include passwords, SSNs, or other sensitive information).
    6. Identify the version and edition of SQL Server you are using.  It can make a significant difference!

    I look forward to another full year of great questions, great answers, and helpful articles.  Hat's off to Andy, Steve, and the rest of the folks at SQLServerCentral.com!

    --Jeff Moden

    Database Architect/Data Analyst

    --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
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243360

    I second all of the good feedback about this article and have another suggestion. I have posted several solutions recently - well, I thought they were solutions to which there has been no further feedback.

    It would be great to see some confirmation - "thanks, that worked" is all I'm talking about, just to let other people who read it know.

    Phil

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119655

    Phil, could you post the links here?

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243360

    Thanks Andy

    A couple here.

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/forums/shwmessage.aspx?forumid=8&messageid=153039#bm153082

    http://www.sqlservercentral.com/forums/shwmessage.aspx?forumid=169&messageid=152271#bm152956

    A couple of other limbo posts have been answered since I wrote my comment. It might just be the Christmas break, but you know how it is when you take the time to answer something, only to hear nothing and wonder whether the poster has even read it...

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • David Burrows

    SSC Guru

    Points: 64419

    I agree Andy, I have seen some threads go 'cold' (I think this a minority though) which means you do not know if the solution(s) worked or not or whether the person has bothered with the answer or not (or even read the anwer!)

    A nice thankyou is a great 'pat on the back' and does wonders for morale

    Well! It does for me anyway

    Far away is close at hand in the images of elsewhere.
    Anon.

  • Tatsu

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7824

    This is where I get in trouble with the SSC development team

    Would it be possible to get a feature added to the forums that allows us to upload a file containing code with a forum post? I know there are security considerations but, to keep it simple, it could be limited as follows:

    • Text files only
    • Only one file per post
    • File extension always changed to .txt

    When I am in the newsgroups it is very hard to find a solution with a lot of code in the posts but when I am trying to solve a problem for someone the code is often very valuable.

    Just a thought

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • Ron Cairns

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 100

    Yes,

    It's all fine if the person who posts a seemingly stupid question, showing he's out of his depth or a complete tyro, then we should say "Welcome ...but this is what you should do..."

    On the other hand there seem to be more and more questions here and on other forums indicating that the user is not totally new to SQL or VB or C++ and yet their question is a howler...

    May I suggest a new emoticon for 2005 that of a smiley face with a pistol to their head?

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119655

    We'll kick around the upload option - at least that's not a no!

    No pistol icon, interesting idea though.

    We've talked off and on about the idea of being able to 'close' a thread, that way we could query to find those that are open to see if we can contribute something - the 'I agree' post if appropriate, but we have seen cases where people continue to post long after you'd think it would be gone! We'd welcome other ideas on how to spot posts that need a reply but havent received one.

  • Tatsu

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7824

    This might be overkill but if it were possible for the person starting a thread to flag it as a problem/question thread the thread could have a special icon so it would stand out. Secondly, the person that started the thread (also a moderator/admin maybe) could then mark it solved when a solution was obtained. This would not close the thread but would change the icon on the thread listing so that people could move on to unsolved mysteries and such.

    The system could email the person starting the thread when there have been a couple replies but the thread has not been marked as solved to help encourage people to do the final "Thank you". And, for a little more overkill, the original poster could also mark the responses that helped them solve the problem and they would be worth extra points in the contests

    Am I dead yet?

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

  • Andy Warren

    SSC Guru

    Points: 119655

    Maybe. To both the idea and being dead yet!

    Seriously, it seems complicated, but I don't there is a simple solution other than not change anything. We'll think on it more, focus on what we're trying to encourage/fix the most.

     

  • Phil Parkin

    SSC Guru

    Points: 243360

    One idea that is a little simpler is for each user to have a count of "open" posts. If the count is 1 or greater, display a message every time the user logs in:

    "You have nnn open posts. Click here to review/close them"

    Clicking on the link navigates to a page showing all of their open posts, which they can then choose to close if they wish.

    Obviously you don't want to make it too irritating, but this strikes a balance, I think.

    Phil

    If the answer to your question can be found with a brief Google search, please perform the search yourself, rather than expecting one of the SSC members to do it for you.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 993749

    I kind of like Andy's idea... all of the ideas are great ones but it's not really broken.  Maybe leave it like it is?

    --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
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems

  • Tatsu

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7824

    Andy,

    I am a software developer so I can't help thinking of new ideas . I am not trying to cause trouble or anything. I know you guys have lots of other work to do and I don't think you need to do anything unless you decide that certain behavior needs to be encouraged.

    I do like Phil's idea though .

    [font="Tahoma"]Bryant E. Byrd, BSSE MCDBA MCAD[/font]
    Business Intelligence Administrator
    MSBI Administration Blog

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