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[Sticky] Can we have some guidelines for framing questions?

asked 2011-11-30 06:17:06 -0500

FranciscoD_ gravatar image

updated 2019-02-01 11:28:35 -0500

hhlp gravatar image

Currently, the only guideline says "please enter a descriptive title for your question". Can the following also be added under this sentence?

  • Please frame your query in question form using proper punctuation and sentence case.
  • Please use relevant tags
  • Please use tags 'fedora16', 'fedora15' etc. for fedora release versions
  • Please use all smalls for entering tags.
  • Please use the meta tag for feature requests, bugs etc.
  • any more?


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I was thinking the same @FranciscoD_ . Its rather too problematic at times to modify or rather figure out a assertive sentence or a doubt into a full fledged question.

SoumyaC gravatar imageSoumyaC ( 2011-11-30 06:26:28 -0500 )edit

What does "frame your query in question form" mean?

Can you give an example please?

deemyboy gravatar imagedeemyboy ( 2014-05-19 17:26:07 -0500 )edit

5 Answers

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answered 2012-02-02 00:38:20 -0500

FranciscoD_ gravatar image

Added a page on the fedora project wiki about this:

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Please feel free to add more points to it.

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2012-02-02 00:40:36 -0500 )edit
bodhi.zazen gravatar imagebodhi.zazen ( 2012-02-14 16:29:14 -0500 )edit

answered 2011-11-30 10:16:55 -0500

There is of course great advice on this classic link

Some bullet points:

  • Use meaningful, specific subject headers
  • Write in clear, grammatical, correctly-spelled language
  • Be precise and informative about your problem

Precise includes a description of the problem and often a listing of the hardware and version of fedora and sometimes window manager (gnome will be assumed).

Perhaps a brief summary of helpful commands to identify hardware, lspci -v , common logs (/var/log/Xorg.0.log), and some tips on selinux (checking for avc denials).

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I want the user to have these in front of him when he types in the question. Like a "sticky" item or such..

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2011-12-01 02:53:40 -0500 )edit

answered 2012-12-20 03:47:24 -0500

Jomoos gravatar image

updated 2012-12-20 03:54:06 -0500

"Imagine you are trying to answer the question"

In my opinion, even if we forget every other guideline, remembering and following this simple rule will produce a good question. A quote from Jon Skeets Blog.

Once you've finished writing your question, read it through. Imagine you were coming to it fresh, with no context other than what's on the screen. Does it make sense? Is it clear what's being asked? Is it easy to read and understand? Are there any obvious areas you'd need to ask about before providing an answer? You can usually do this pretty well however stuck you are on the actual question. Just apply common sense. If there's anything wrong with the question when you're reading it, obviously that will be a problem for whoever's actually trying to answer it. So fix the problems. Improve the question until you can read it and think, "If I only knew the answer to the question, it would be a pleasure to provide that answer." At that point, post and wait for the answers to come rolling in.

Like Martin Golding's famous quote on programming("Always program as if the person who will be maintaining your program is a violent psychopath that knows where you live") ask a question with the following in mind

Always ask a question as if the person who will be reading and answering 
your question is a violent psychopath that knows where you live.
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answered 2011-11-30 06:32:11 -0500

shaiton gravatar image

updated 2011-11-30 06:32:49 -0500

One of the software developper rule is:

never assume the user will do as you want.

"Please use tags 'fedora-16', 'fedora-15' etc. for fedora release versions" is not relevant. Better is to work upstream and find a smart fix. See question #533.

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On the contrary, I've been active on another forum which is askbot style, people have been requested to use certain tags, and they stick to it which makes the forum way easier to navigate through. If you don't use the tag, your question doesn't get the attention it should. It's not a lot to ask.

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2011-11-30 07:04:51 -0500 )edit

Oh you mean don't let users the ability to create tag, only use existing ones? Could be a solution.

shaiton gravatar imageshaiton ( 2011-11-30 07:12:05 -0500 )edit

I would be careful not to be too restrictive. Perhaps a required version field in a dropdown. Treat it on the backside like a tag, but one that can be counted on to validate. However, DO NOT take away freedom.

sinthia gravatar imagesinthia ( 2014-05-25 23:08:55 -0500 )edit

answered 2012-02-07 04:18:54 -0500

LinuxKing gravatar image

Thanks for the info. I will try to do my homework and find out how to properly use this service. I appreciate the help I received from everyone. At the time I posted my original query I was more concerned about helping a blind friend get his laptop connected. Now I have more time to study I will try to improve.

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Asked: 2011-11-30 06:17:06 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 11 '14