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Tips for Asking Development Questions...

Discussion in 'XenForo Development Discussions' started by Jaxel, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    As a programmer, your skills are pretty much universal; if you can program in one language, you can program in almost any other language. The issue is almost always a syntax one. PHP and OOP are not my native tongue, but I get by, mostly because of the help I get from others. As you can see, I ask a lot of questions as I program; mostly its of the benefit of myself, but often its also for the benefit of others. When I come to a problem in my code, I don't give up, nor do I expect others to help me. But none the less, I post my problem here on the forums. After I post, I don't sit back and wait for a response; I go to try and figure out the solution on my own.

    If you read a lot of my threads, you will see that not only do I ask a lot of questions, but I also answer the majority of them myself. Before I ask a question, I usually try to find to see if someone else has asked it first. Often I find a thread with the same question, with a response a few days after the initial post along the lines of "I fixed the issue, thank you...", and thats it! This is a big no-no; they don't document the progress of their work. This I feel is the most important. What if other people have the same issue? Now the question must be asked again, because they failed to document the solution.

    We all know that people are self-serving: "Self Interest Predominates"; something my Freshman English teacher used to say... Documenting your progress and solution isn't very self serving, is it? You've already solved your problem, why waste your time telling others how you solved it? I could say Utopian ideas such as "pay it forward" or "what goes around..."; but that convinces no one. How about this... What if something goes wrong? The issue pops up again? Since you didn't document your results, you need to find the solution. If its a year or two down the line, you're not going to remember it. Sometimes you look at your own code and think "why did I do that? this doesn't look like good code...". Now you can look back and find out why; maybe it serves a purpose?

    By documentation, I don't mean simply posting your answers... I also mean posting the problem. I also see a lot of people asking questions, but they don't post their code. They don't give others the reasonable amount of data required to debug their problems. With my Media Library mod, people say "I'm having trouble submitting some videos"... What videos? What errors are you getting? How do you expect me to debug the issues if you don't supply the relevant data? I myself have become so callous towards these kinds of reports that I tend to just ignore them... If a user can't be bothered to do everything they can to help their situation, then neither can I be bothered to do everything I can.

    "God Helps Those Who Help Themselves"... something my father likes to say...
     
    Enguerran A, Aceros, Bob and 8 others like this.
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    I tend to work on it, but I also tend to never figure out my situation myself. But mostly, others figure it out. Although, I do prefer to post my solutions if I figure them out... my last one was really dumb, where I was using the wrong variable... But... lol. Very good advice.
     
  3. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, another piece of advice... When titling a thread, make sure to put your question IN THE THREAD TITLE! Threads with the title of "I have a question" are so vague, that I don't bother reading them. If you can't be bothered to put your question as the title of your thread, I can't be bothered to READ your thread.
     
  4. Kintaro

    Kintaro Well-Known Member

    I think that a bump to this thread can be useful ;)

    bump!
     

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