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This is a question about posting regarding syntax help.

Often, I've come to Stack Overflow with an issue only to find that it was a typo or syntax character out of place.

While I greatly appreciate the help, I don't want to be a "help vampire" or clutter the site with useless questions.

Are there specific tags to get people to just help read through code of syntax issues? I don't mean to rely on people for free help, but I'm a single developer and don't have people that can help me drudge through my work and sometimes it's difficult to catch your own mistakes.

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Typos or syntax errors are highly likely to lead to your question being closed as too localised, I'm afraid, anywhere you tried. –  J. Steen Feb 11 '13 at 16:20
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@J.Steen No, Code Review is not the place. The code posted there should be working code. It's not a debugging service. –  Bart Feb 11 '13 at 16:21
    
@Bart Then I definitely know, thanks. Removed that part of my comment. =) –  J. Steen Feb 11 '13 at 16:21
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Finding syntax errors is generally best addressed through using a compiler in my experiences. Typos are mostly from just re-reading your code several times. –  Servy Feb 11 '13 at 16:22
    
Also, tonnes of experience. Sometimes you just learn what that cryptic error message really means by trial and error, over and over again. –  J. Steen Feb 11 '13 at 16:23

2 Answers 2

A piece of debugging advice that every programmer (and computer user) should know, but many seem not to, is to decompose and isolate.  I’ve seen many questions here that post a 20-line routine or script, and the OP says, “This doesn’t work.”  So break it into pieces and see where it fails.  Or, if applicable, add print (or echo) statements in the middle to get an understanding of what is happening.

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SO is not the place for error analysis and troubleshooting. You should attempt to compile your code, and attempt to fix each error. If you are unable to fix it, then you should ask how to fix a certain type of error, specific to the language you are fixing (if not already on SO).

Also, if your code is providing an incorrect output, that is sometimes ask-able on SO. Otherwise, I have but 1 piece of advice to leave you with: go through your code backwards, checking for typos. Reading backwards forces your mind to scrutinize the code, instead of skimming through, going forward. This will help you fix incorrect syntax and typos, but not much else.

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