I've faced a problem in SO and I don't what to do. Hope, you can help.

After 2-3 months, I learned how to ask questions, so SO can help me, providing all information, that can help, asking question that have not subjective answer, but different solutions.

Last week, I've asked a couple of questions, but for some of them I got no answer, for others only one, but they weren't full and answerers usually didn't come back with some additional information even if they didn't provide full answer.

I've read faq for answer what do to. I was adding some information, googling on this issue, trying to change the question, so it fully describes the problem, editing text, so it be readable and easy to understand.

What should I do, if I ask properly described, not subjective questions and don't get an answer?

P.S. Please, don't suggest starting bounty. I don't have really a lot reputation. After a couple of questions, I won't have ability to do it again.


Here're two questions I've asked recently. For the one I didn't get answer fully and waiting for a while for a respond from the answerer, I just accepted it, because no one else added another answer and I didn't get any respond from that answerer. For the second one I didn't get any answer, so I just added my answer based on what I could find on this topic googling.

How to close and open access to SQL Server 2008 in Windows application?

What is syncobj in SQL Server

Where am I wrong?

  • 8
    provide specific examples, like it says in the sidebar of the /ask page right here on meta. Let us judge what happened based on the data rather than your description of it. – Jeff Atwood May 27 '10 at 6:23
  • Sorry, I wanted the question to be more general, maybe there's a general issue on this topic, that's why I didn't add any specific examples. I've updated my question. – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 7:54
  • Why are you all upvoting Jeff's comment? I've already added specific examples? Jeff, I'm not against you:) My point is that maybe up-voters think that I haven't posted any examples. – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 12:09
  • See also: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7046/… – Ether May 27 '10 at 15:04

Initially asking the question

For initially asking the question I have a few suggestions, given the specific examples:

  • Start out with the most interesting content first (inverted pyramid). One way is to start out with the question and then provide the details below the question.

  • Ask only a single question. Some answerers may refrain from answering if it seems to be an overwhelming amount of work to answer.

  • Spice it up with formatting to make it easier to see what the question is about at a glance.

  • Consider to make the title catchy.

Getting attention

Once the question has rolled off the main page it can be difficult to get attention to it. I suggest to:

  • Review it and edit to improve grammar, etc. You have already done so in the two examples, but a minor point: I think you should use the definitive article that, I far as I know, is not used in some Eastern European languages. For instance With the first solution instead of With first solution. It is not technically incorrect as leaving out the definitive article is common in technical writing, but I think it makes reading easier for most of the intended audience.

  • I understand the point about bounty and reputation but this is really the best option. I once had the same problem with a question and putting a bounty on it resulted in a fantastic response. Consider answering a few questions and gain the required reputation.

  • 1
    You're all right, nothing to say. My grammar isn't really fluent. I'll read what you've told and work on my mistakes. Thank you. – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 9:16
  • 1
    Great points, especially inverted pyramid and the catchy title. – The Unhandled Exception May 27 '10 at 11:52

What is syncobj in SQL Server

This is a good, clear question and I'm not sure why it didn't get an answer. Maybe we don't have enough SQL Server database people browsing the site? You certainly did the right thing by researching it and answering yourself, so this is all correct.

The only thing I can think of with the above question, is that it's not really a programming question but a pure database question. That doesn't make it wrong, but it is not really programming. You could have tried that on a specialized database forum and perhaps gotten better results.

How to close and open access to SQL Server 2008 in Windows application?

This question is a bit problematic in that

  • it's a bit of a "design my application for me" question
  • it's awfully broad in scope
  • access 97 isn't exactly a modern toolset that many programmers use today

In my opinion, the best (read: easiest to get good answers to) Stack Overflow questions are about short snippets of code and have a very narrow focus around specific issues with that code.

  • Thank you. I feel better to know that it's not only my fault. I doesn't use any forums or other sites. If googling and trying some solutions by myself doesn't help, I ask it in SO, but I'll try to find some DB forums. Maybe you could suggest some? – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 9:19
  • 2nd question: I agree that easy question get easy and fast answers, but most of easy question have answers. All you need is google. Just write your question title and you'll find an answer. I agree that ms access 97 isn't modern, but it's not my choice. I have to find some solutions by myself, that's why I like to ask "best practices" questions. Most of developers are using existing solutions, existing architects, existing algorithms. What if you want to have you own ones? Why when you ask for a log file format, you get an answer "use Log4Net(j)", even if there isn't one? Sorry:) – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 9:24
  • p.s. Anyway I didn't get any respond on my two questions in comments. – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 9:43
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    @hgulyan - just a further thought - I wonder if mentioning Access 97 (especially in bold on the first line, plus tags) caused a lot of people to stop reading. When actually that is largely unrelated to the question. If it had focused on the SQL-Server aspect (perhaps mentioning that the specific client was Access as a footnote) it may have been more obvious to SQL-Server devs. – Marc Gravell May 27 '10 at 9:51
  • 4
    @hgulyan I admire the way you're thinking about how to make your questions better. If only more users were so thoughtful... – Jeff Atwood May 27 '10 at 9:53
  • 2
    @Marc Gravell, Yeah, you're right. It's because every time I try to ask a general question, I get comments "What language do you use?". I'll use your advice. Thank you:) @Jeff Atwood, I consider, that SO was much more better on the start. Maybe asking this question separately will make some of us to think of this:) – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 10:09
  • @hgulyan: I didn't see your question originally, but I just read it: I would have ignored it, simply on the basis of the fact you're using Access 97. To call a 13 year old product "not modern" is an abuse of the English language. – John Saunders May 27 '10 at 11:35
  • @John Saunders Sorry if I said something wrong, I just agreed that Ms Access 97 isn't really what is used nowadays. Every time I ask access 97 question, they say, it's out of support. I'm trying to convince my boss to change apps to VB.NET with WCF, but it's not easy to change all apps that have created starting 1997. – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 11:44
  • 1
    @Marc Very truth. That logic is what leads me to always try to find a way to isolate my C# problems from being in SharePoint before asking them, just so I can avoid having SharePoint mentioned anywhere in the question body. – Grace Note May 27 '10 at 12:06
  • @Jeff Atwood, I've asked a question upon this. Hope it will change something:) – hgulyan May 27 '10 at 12:30
  • @hgulyan: I suggest you don't try to get him to convert to .NET - just get him to convert to a supported version of Access. – John Saunders May 29 '10 at 1:23
  • @John Saunders, 1) Why not? 2) Which of access versions is the best? – hgulyan May 29 '10 at 8:03
  • @hgulyan: 1) He's familiar with Access and comfortable with it; maybe don't change too much at once. 2) I'd just use the 2007 or 2010 versions, the latest you can get away with. They'll be supported for the longest time (a good argument to a manager), and will likely have the best features. – John Saunders May 29 '10 at 23:16
  • @John Saunders, Your arguments are very true. I just consider that web applications or .net framework based solutions are better, that's why I want to get rid of access, but if we decide to change access version, is it easy or it's almost the same as writing a new application? – hgulyan May 30 '10 at 7:43
  • @hgulyan: you're running a very old version, and I don't know your code. I think it will be pretty easy - download a trial version and find out. – John Saunders May 30 '10 at 18:03

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