How do I ask a good question?

How do I ask a good question?

  

We, the community and outsystems staff would love to help you. To improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Search and research

...and keep track of what you find. Even if you don't find a useful answer elsewhere on the site, including links to related questions that haven't helped can help others in understanding how your question is different from the rest.

Write a title that summarizes the specific problem

The title is the first thing potential answerers will see, and if your title isn't interesting, they won't read the rest. So make it count:

  • Pretend you're talking to a busy colleague and have to sum up your entire question in one sentence: what details can you include that will help someone identify and solve your problem? Include any error messages, key APIs, or unusual circumstances that make your question different from similar questions already on the site.

  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation are important! Remember, this is the first part of your question others will see - you want to make a good impression. If you're not comfortable writing in English, ask a friend to proof-read it for you.

  • If you're having trouble summarizing the problem, write the title last - sometimes writing the rest of the question first can make it easier to describe the problem.

Examples:

  • Bad: Aggregrate issue
  • Good: Why do aggregates don't optimize themselves like the old simple queries do?
  • Bad: scanning document
  • Good: How can I scan documents locally from the browser and insert the images into outsystems database?

Introduce the problem before you post any code

In the body of your question, start by expanding on the summary you put in the title. Explain how you encountered the problem you're trying to solve, and any difficulties that have prevented you from solving it yourself. The first paragraph in your question is the second thing most readers will see, so make it as engaging and informative as possible.

Help others reproduce the problem

Not all questions benefit from including code. But if your problem is with code you've written, you should include some. But don't just copy in your entire program! Not only is this likely to get you in trouble if you're posting your employer's code, it likely includes a lot of irrelevant details that readers will need to ignore when trying to reproduce the problem. Here are some guidelines:

  • Include just enough code to allow others to reproduce the problem. So include a minimal OML, Extension.
  • Use your personal-cloud to show us a real life example so we can see where it breaks.

Include all relevant tags

Try to include a tag for the language, library, and specific API your question relates to. If you start typing in the tags field, the system will suggest tags that match what you've typed - be sure and read the descriptions given for them to make sure they're relevant to the question you're asking! 

Proof-read before posting!

Now that you're ready to ask your question, take a deep breath and read through it from start to finish. Pretend you're seeing it for the first time: does it make sense? Try reproducing the problem yourself, in a fresh environment and make sure you can do so using only the information included in your question. Add any details you missed and read through it again. Now is a good time to make sure that your title still describes the problem!

Post the question and respond to feedback

After you post, leave the question open in your browser for a bit, and see if anyone comments. If you missed an obvious piece of information, be ready to respond by editing your question to include it. If someone posts an answer, be ready to try it out and provide feedback!

When asking about a forge-component. Post it via the forge, instead directly in the forums

When you do this, there will be a relation made between your question and the forge-component. This will help us immensely about what component you are asking about!

What we are not

We are not here to make your (home)work. Please put some effort in what you want to make and show it to us.


Don't reply on very old posts

The world is changing fast and Outsystems delivers even faster. Don't reply to very old topics just because they have some keywords related to your problem. Create a new topic and link to the old topic if necessary.

Post only once

Stick to 1 post. The question is less likely to be answered if you post it several times. We are here to help you, but we are not present 100% to react instantly.
We have work to do, you know :)


When the problem is solved

Please remember to inform the community the problem is solved. Preferably also tell us how you solved it (by picking the right answer in the replies, or you have solved differently. This will help others in the future!

disclaimer: taken from stackoverflow and altered it a bit

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this.  As someone that likes to participate in this Forum, you have covered many of the items that can sometimes frustrate those trying to help.  It should be mandatory reading when anyone creates a new thread.
Thanks, It isn't 100% me, but I found it very useful to place it here.


If there is something missing, wrong or whatever, don't hesitate to post it :)

I just saw one that is annoying as hell - ask your question once!!  There have been several posts recently where the same question is posted multiple times in diffent sections of the Forum.  Pick the one best place and post just once.
crap, cannot edit it...


Nice,

Great post.
Just post the changes you want as a reply, and someone with admin rights can edit it for you when they see it.

I would add a point: Don't reply to very old topics just because they have some keywords related to your problem. Create a new topic and link to the old topic if necessary.

Regards,
João Rosado

Don't reply on very old posts

The world is changing fast and Outsystems delivers even faster. Don't reply to very old topics just because they have some keywords related to your problem. Create a new topic and link to the old topic if necessary.

Post only once

Stick to 1 post. The question is less likely to be answered if you post it several times. We are here to help you, but we are not present 100% to react instantly.
We have work to do, you know :)
Hi J.

Edited your post to include those last notes. Cheers
thanks!

ack, forgot this

When the problem is solved

Please remember to inform the community the problem is solved. Preferably also tell us how you solved it (by picking the right answer in the replies, or you have solved differently. This will help others in the future!