How to ask a Smart Question on SO?
I've been spending a lot of time perusing SO and there seem to be a lot of people asking what I'm going to call ineffective questions (I will refrain from linking to examples because that tends to generate heated argument about what's wrong with the post instead of answering the question posed). There seem to be a number of posts on SO regarding stupid questions, the steps you should take before asking a question, and what to do if you don't get an answer to the question.
- When do YOU post a question to Stack Overflow?
- What is the minimum complexity required for a question in this community?
- There are no stupid questions - or are there?
- How to get attention for your old, unanswered questions
not a complete list
But only twos posts on actually asking an effective question.
- How to ask great questions (on asking questions in general, e.g. requirements gathering)
- How to ask a Smart Question on SO! (down-voted into oblivion)
I have found a few links to Eric S. Raymond's essay How To Ask Questions The Smart Way (probably one of the best resources available on this topic), but we don't seem to be encouraging people to read it.
What is your advice for asking an effective question on SO (RTFM and LMGTFY are irrelevant as the aim of Stack Overflow is to be repository for programming information)? As the person answering a question what information helps you to provide an effective answer? What are some questions on SO that you feel are particularly well thought out and what did those questions do right?