File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Ranch Office and the fly likes what makes good replies? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » This Site » Ranch Office
Bookmark "what makes good replies?" Watch "what makes good replies?" New topic

what makes good replies?

Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
i have created this thread so that people may contribute to what makes good replies to questions.
IMO a good reply is
1) not only to the point but also goes that little ahead to clarify. i find this in most of maha anna's posts.
2) quotes from a specification or from an API
3) has examples in code.
Anything more?
Frank Carver

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I respect any post where the author has taken the time to check and verify what they say. Code examples have been compiled and run, urls have been visited, specifications have been checked and so on. Don't be afraid to edit one of your posts to correct mistakes after submitting it.
Posts where the author has taken the time to check his/her actual words are especially good. Not everyone here is skilled in reading English, so clarity is vital. Avoid abbreviations and jargon (or at least describe what they mean), double-check your spelling and grammar so that if necessary someone can use a dictionary or automatic translator to help.
This is not to say that off-the-cuff responses are bad. Sometimes a guess or rough idea now is useful where a researched answer tomorrow is not. If you are not sure of something, though, please say so.
Also, extra points for understanding and making good use of the facilities of the bulletin board software. Don't quote previous posts, they are visible just above the reply. Use UBB code (or HTML where enabled) for bold and italic. Use the UBB 'CODE' tag or the HTML 'PRE' tag around code examples to preserve indentation and spacing.
In general, a good post is one where the writer has thought hard about how a reader might use it, and made sure their post is correct, readable and informative.

Read about me at ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
paul wheaton

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20972

I find that any clues to solving my problem are a big help in replies.
The thing that drives me nuts is when somebody asks a question and I can't figure out what they are asking!
Or when somebody uploads a mountain of code and says "why won't it work" - I skip these messages entirely. If somebody has a few lines of code, I'll look at that. The moral of this whining story is to simplify your problem. I know that when I have a big chunk of code that I want the world to figure out for me, I try to make a sample showing the problem in just a few lines. Usually, while simplifying, I figure it out on my own.

permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
maha anna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 31, 2000
Posts: 1467
To add to what rahul_mkar,Frank and Paul said,
One more key is, before answering a person's request, I try my best to understand what the person really asks. I try to read his /her mind from his/her point of view. Then pickup the correct point what he/she missed. Now try to STRESS that point which will first make the original poster happy. Then try to give some more information to others also so that it can be useful to others also.
When we write , I think we should be polite to others and respect others point of view also. Sometimes, others may not really understand what we really meant in a post. In these situations, I always think it is myself not putting in a clear way. It is not the other person's fault. So next time , try to refine our post by understanding the request clearly and write in simple words which will be enjoyable to all kind of people whether their first language is English or not.
maha anna

[This message has been edited by maha anna (edited July 28, 2000).]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: what makes good replies?
jQuery in Action, 3rd edition