Asking a question? Read this!

Read the parts in italics, in case you are in a hurry.

Questions are very welcome on this blog, and I like to spend time answering them. Many times I too get to learn something new and interesting which is the whole idea of the blog.

However I thought of putting up some notes on the way to ask questions so as to reduce the number of comments which go to-and-fro just to clarify what is happening. This will save time for all of us and increase chances of getting to the answer quickly.

Here is a nice article on how to write e-mails, and much of it applies to comments too.

  • Please do not refer to me as “Sir”. In case you are looking for something to start off, a simple Hi would do 🙂
  • Write in correct English. I don’t care if you use US/UK, but do not use SMS lingo. Thanks to WordPress, there is sufficient space on my account to accommodate full words. Of course, couple grammatical errors or typos are acceptable.
  • Assume no background knowledge. Unless the question is really related to the post, provide a short (couple lines) of background to let me (or other readers) know what your question is about.
  • Use pastebin. If you have a question related to some code (longer than 10 lines) and do not mind sharing it add it to something like pastebin. It does syntax highlighting, and keeps the comment short and readable.
  • Google is your best friend. Spend some time (at least a couple minutes, the time it would take to write the comment) trying to search for the answer before shooting off a question. With forums like StackOverflow in so many subjects now, it is likely that your question is already answered giving you an answer much more quickly!
  • Ask question at relevant post. I don’t know why I have to say this, but you have better chances of getting answers if you ask the question on the relevant post and not on my about page, or even this page.

Well thats it for now. Comments and questions welcome!

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