Asking questions correctly

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This is a collection of advice, based on the observation at Discord, by revi.

Do Some Research

Review the help center. Have a look at FAQ. Check what has been asked at community noticeboard. If you think that the "do this" button can solve the problem, try that first. There's no point asking a question that can be answered with a simple search or documentation read.

If you won't work on resolving your problem, why should we?

Don't ask to ask

There's more than two websites dedicated to telling you about this: Don't ask to ask, just ask, Please Don't Say Just Hello In Chat.

But in a nutshell: if you want to ask something, you don't need to say "I have a question", or "Can I ask you something?". Just ask your question right away. Like, "How do I enable this extension?" or "I can't upload this .exe file, how do I upload it?" From there, we can just work on addressing your issue, or answering your question. If you say "I have a question", we need to ask you back, "What is the question?", and therefore you are wasting a bit of your time because we have to wait for your actual question to answer it.

Be Specific

We cannot read your mind. We are not omnipotent. You have to be specific about your question. We cannot help you if we cannot understand the problem you are facing. So, you will need to tell us these things.

  • You need to tell us what kind of thing you want to accomplish. Wikipedia-like infobox not working when you imported it? Getting your old Fandom pages migrated? Whatever it is, you have to tell us, so we can advise you on the best method to achieve it.
  • If you are getting an error, or unexpected behavior, then you need to tell us the following things.
    • If you can see an error message, copy it and paste it. Don't edit your message, except to hide your IP address if there is one in the log. If you are on IRC, you might want to use pastebin for long error messages. Screenshots also work, but full messages are preferred whenever possible.
    • Tell us how you saw that error message. What were you doing before you saw the error message? What page were you editing? (Copy and paste your URL bar in the browser) Don't skip something. That might be the key to finding your error.
    • Tell us what you think is the correct behavior, and what you get. You might be working on a thing that is not supported on Miraheze, and without it, we will not be able to tell you "That is not supported. Sorry."

Be Patient

As k6ka wrote on Discord...

1. Patience is a virtue in life.
2. This is a volunteer project, so people are not sitting around staring at Discord 24 hours a day ready to respond in a heartbeat. They have lives of their own and things of their own to do as well.
3. If someone doesn't respond immediately, sending them more messages won't make them respond any faster. If I'm away on vacation, sending me fifty emails will not get me to respond any faster than if you just sent me one email. In fact, sending me more messages might delay your response, since now I have to weave through your ocean of messages.

Whenever you repeat your question, repeatedly post "do this now", excessively ping someone who can answer your question, or otherwise annoy other people, then they might skip your question and/or request because they don't want to deal with your demanding tone. Please respect that everyone has other things to do beside handling your request.

Miraheze has no Service-level agreement, which means there is no guarantee that anyone from Miraheze will respond to your question within any given time frame.

See also