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Old 11-29-2003, 11:29 AM   #1
teval
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 720

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Getitng people to ask better questions


I have an idea to make questions simpler to answer. Faster too

When someone clicks post, make a link to a page, make sure it's very visible . Add it next to poast new thread or something like that, or at the bottom before they click submit they would have to check it that they looked at the suggestions. Something like that. It would tell them things like:

"If you have disk problems please include the output of:

fdisk -l

in your question"

Things like that. If anyone's interested I could come up with a comprehensive list. I always find myself asking for output from certain commands like that.
 
Old 11-29-2003, 11:54 AM   #2
jeremy
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If someone (or a small group of people) would like to make a comprehensive Linux Answer for this I will put a link to it on the new thread page (similar to how the HCL is now).

--jeremy
 
Old 11-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #3
teval
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Location: Toronto, Canada
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 720

Original Poster
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I'll do that tonight if you want
 
Old 12-01-2003, 06:08 PM   #4
teval
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Sorry, turned out to be a bit of a bigger project then I thought

Here's part of it:

Any Question in General,

Before posting any question, please spend 10 minutes searching google for the answer. 10 minutes will save us time answering questions which have widely available answers, and will get your answer faster.
Please also search the board to see if it's been asked before.
Please put a good and brief description of your problem in the subject. This is very important in getting a quick answer, as questions with subjects like 'Help' are generally avoided.
"Help I'm stuck" is bad,
"<x> doesn't work" is a lot better,
"<x> crashes when <quick desc>" is perfect


Please try to answer these questions if your posts fall under any of these categories:

The golden rule! Include the exact output of any error you see. This is critical as "It crashes" won't get you an answer. "It crashes and says, X11 error can't find screen 0" will get you an answer.

Any hardware problem,
What's your kernel version?
uname -r
At the console will give you that. Also please tell us if you've changed it at all.
Has this worked at all?
Does it work with a different OS?
If you can get Knoppix, and boot from it, does it work with it?
What did you do before it stopped working? Any new installs, or anything like that.
What distro do you have?

I can't read partition x, or a harddrive isn't working anymore,
Include all the hardware questions here too.
Include the output of:
fdisk -l
cat /etc/fastab
All as root
Have you checked your cables?

My videocard doesn't work properly,
Have you checked the manufacturer's website?
Have you followed things to the letter?
Have you compiled modules for it (If it's Nvidia, never used ATI)?

Application x doesn't work,
Has it worked at all?
Are you installing it from an RPM, source, apt-get, etc ?
What distro are you using?
Have you read the documenation? Or at least made an effort to. We know it's hard to get used to it at first, but you'll have to eventually.
Have you tried changing to a different version?

What other categories should there be?
Do you want it in a different format?
 
Old 12-01-2003, 08:56 PM   #5
Tinkster
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Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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Hi Teval,

and good luck with that undertaking.

I think there's two big problems you'll be facing
with this approach.

1. Things can be called differently, many
won't say "my video-card doesn't work",
they'll go on about "My millenium, my gForce,
my Radeon, ..." You'd have to have many
cases included. Also consider the poor
spelling/typing of oh so many people who
come here ;) I believe that this is a rather
complex task, not even the best CRM's
are really good at it, and that's due to
the nature of human language.

2. People will just freak out over that,
because they can't be bothered doing
that ... and if someone who just installed
MDK for the first time sees "please give
me the output of fdisk -l" he'll just bail out
because the question won't tell him how
to acquire that info. If you add "Open a
terminal" he'll think "What the hell is that?".


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 12-02-2003, 01:14 AM   #6
MasterC
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Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
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I must agree, however...

As noted above, the idea 'works good on paper, but fails in practice' as oh so many do, I think it could be adjusted to work kind of well. But also, as noted by Tink, the work involved is too great for the result. Instead, wading through the posts with:
post the output
Followed with the response:
How?
Followed with the response:
Open a terminal...
Is simply "How it goes" and although it's commendable to work towards fixing that, in the end it's near pointless and will fall by the way side, or end up discouraging more people than helping.

I think what's in place now for duplicate posts (Has this been asked already? button) and the ability to search the site are just about as far as most people are willing to go. You always have the die hards, hwoever I find most of them have literally exhausted their resources before asking questions, and know what pertinent info to post up so the above would be wasted on them as well.

Good Luck with whatever happens!

Cool
 
  


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