I just answered this question:
A few days back I discovered this HOWTO:
This article discourages the use of "How do I...?" and "Can I...?" at the start of a question title. I have to agree but I seemed to have been brainwashed into using this style from the beta days (until recently) when I seem to remember this was ok and even preferred. In fact the PodCasts from back in the day extensively discussed "Asking Great Questions".
The preferred approach according to Jeff's guidance is to do something like:
- Raise an existing X11 window via command line?
- Inserting BLOBs at a high-rate in PostgreSQL?
- Constructing images using HTML markup?
..and so on.
However the examples given don't really make sense because they don't make any sense grammatically as questions even though they have a question mark tacked on the end. I see these as question topics rather than questions.
Whilst there is a label "Title" next to the new question textbox, all over the site we see "Question" phrasing all the time. I think folks are subliminally brainwashed or feel obliged to ask their question in the title (albeit in abreviated form) rather than stating the "topic" of their question and what they're trying to do.
Perhaps this needs a re-visit and maybe use of phrasing such as "Please tell us the topic of your question" and somehow with some clever design and better phrasing program users to think this way?