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  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994858

    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
    "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
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442144

  • Jack Corbett

    SSC Guru

    Points: 184376

    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
    Consultant - Straight Path Solutions
    Check out these links on how to get faster and more accurate answers:
    Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
    Need an Answer? Actually, No ... You Need a Question

  • peter-757102

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6877

    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

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4571

    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

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1986

    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

    SSChampion

    Points: 11755

    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

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125026

    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).

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • sandra.macdonald

    Valued Member

    Points: 52

    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

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1677

    Eric M Russell (10/10/2013)


    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

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    I got to be real for a minute or so here. We work in a very pressured business with targets that change like the wind. Users do not usually appreciate what we do and we can be fired for doing the right thing even at the right time. We can be the scapegoat or the villain just because marketing or others will not standup and admit that it was them. This causes us to be emotional. Some times real emotional.

    Also if you are going to be good in IT areas you have to be passionate.

    Now pushed by the drive and desires, over burdened with too much work, and stressed just because of the type of work we do we often will be curt, rude, or just mouthy. Some would say that it comes with the business, it does not. We can still be nice and stay away from being rude and mouthy. Just like when we get home and we check the attitude at the garage door we need to shelve the feelings, frustration, and even anger when we deal with others in the profession. If you have to yell or get angry play golf or go home and split some wood with the old splitting maul, but do not yell at those who would help you get past the problem. It does not work well that way.

    But when one on this board or other boards fires up a spout of lava, just let it be and treat it as their turn. Smile help them and go on. Your time will also come!

    M.

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • lsager 34516

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 749

    I think maybe, when people have been in a particular field for a long time, they may forget what it is like to be the newbie. This is the start of my 3rd career and I was very successful in my past two. I had a lot of responsibility and knowledge that was in high demand and respected. Now I work for and with people half my age and am seen as ignorant with some. I realize it comes with the territory, and I like learning and gaining new skills so I deal with it.

    However, and the reason for my post, I do not come to your sight for help. The responses that I have read for other people's questions usually ooze with sarcasm and cynicism and my ego can only take so much, so I generally do not go out looking for someone to tell me how lazy or ignorant I am. Some of us try to learn on our own but then we get stuck and nothing seems to make sense and so we reach out for a little help. Please remember that just because people don't understand the way that you do doesn't mean they are lazy or not trying, it just means they don't understand what you are saying, the way you are saying it. Maybe there is a shared fault. It is frustrating to not understand something. It is equally frustrating to not be able to make someone understand, and there is never any good reason for insults and profanity on either side.

    I hope this helps.

  • Miles Neale

    SSChampion

    Points: 13147

    lsager 34516 (10/11/2013)


    I think maybe, when people have been in a particular field for a long time, they may forget what it is like to be the newbie. This is the start of my 3rd career and I was very successful in my past two. I had a lot of responsibility and knowledge that was in high demand and respected. Now I work for and with people half my age and am seen as ignorant with some. I realize it comes with the territory, and I like learning and gaining new skills so I deal with it.

    However, and the reason for my post, I do not come to your sight for help. The responses that I have read for other people's questions usually ooze with sarcasm and cynicism and my ego can only take so much, so I generally do not go out looking for someone to tell me how lazy or ignorant I am. Some of us try to learn on our own but then we get stuck and nothing seems to make sense and so we reach out for a little help. Please remember that just because people don't understand the way that you do doesn't mean they are lazy or not trying, it just means they don't understand what you are saying, the way you are saying it. Maybe there is a shared fault. It is frustrating to not understand something. It is equally frustrating to not be able to make someone understand, and there is never any good reason for insults and profanity on either side.

    I hope this helps.

    I hope that this is a comment in general and not a response to what I wrote here in the previous post. There are many here who will help, and there is a lot of information to be had. Yes there are some who have been rude and suggest that others are lazy but that is not the end of the story.

    When you are stuck please continue to reach out, there is help here. You might have to ignore the posts of an idiot from time to time but just because a foolish prattler responds inappropriately do not think that all will do so.

    M.

    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 395579

    lsager 34516 (10/11/2013)


    I think maybe, when people have been in a particular field for a long time, they may forget what it is like to be the newbie. This is the start of my 3rd career and I was very successful in my past two. I had a lot of responsibility and knowledge that was in high demand and respected. Now I work for and with people half my age and am seen as ignorant with some. I realize it comes with the territory, and I like learning and gaining new skills so I deal with it.

    However, and the reason for my post, I do not come to your sight for help. The responses that I have read for other people's questions usually ooze with sarcasm and cynicism and my ego can only take so much, so I generally do not go out looking for someone to tell me how lazy or ignorant I am. Some of us try to learn on our own but then we get stuck and nothing seems to make sense and so we reach out for a little help. Please remember that just because people don't understand the way that you do doesn't mean they are lazy or not trying, it just means they don't understand what you are saying, the way you are saying it. Maybe there is a shared fault. It is frustrating to not understand something. It is equally frustrating to not be able to make someone understand, and there is never any good reason for insults and profanity on either side.

    I hope this helps.

    I'm so sorry you feel this way. I've seen responses like that and I do my best to help stop them and respond to people kindly when they're seeking help. Please don't hesitate to post your questions here. I assure you the rude posters are in the minority.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

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