10 golden rules of asking questions in the OpenSource community

Based on my tutorial website I frequently receive questions from users. Some are very nice, precise, encouraging and some are of perceived bad quality. I also ask lot of questions in the Eclipse community and I try to ask good questions. Of course I frequently fail to ask good questions 😉 but at least I try.

So what makes a question, a good or even an excellent question?

I personally believe the following rules are a good guideline:

10 Golden Rules

  1. Don’t be rude
  2. Try to be as precise and as short as possible
  3. Do your homework before asking (Google, search newgroups, read tutorials,…)
  4. Try to ask one question at the time
  5. Proof-read your question after writing it
  6. Don’t expect others to do your work
  7. Avoid private email if other channels exists
  8. Remind yourself that people help you voluntarily
  9. Read and follow up on suggestions
  10. If you get a solution let others know

What do you think? Did I miss an important point?

For a detailed discussion of how to ask good questions see How to ask smart questions.

About Lars Vogel

Lars Vogel is the founder and CEO of the vogella GmbH and works as Eclipse and Android consultant, trainer and book author. He is a regular speaker at international conferences, He is the primary author of vogella.com. With more than one million visitors per month this website is one of the central sources for Java, Eclipse and Android programming information.
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