Important Q&A Guidelines

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The Coilgun
Welcome to the Q&A Section! Before you post here, we have some guidelines we’d like you to follow.

Browse for Similar Threads​

Before you post a question here, it’s a good idea to look around to see if anyone else has asked the same question in the past and see if the thread helps. However, we understand that sometimes similar questions may have different solutions, so existing answers may not always help. In these cases, you can post your own question.

Do Not Excessively Bump Your Thread​

Bumping your own thread is frowned upon in general, but it is especially bad form when you do so often. We understand that it doesn’t feel great when your thread gets buried without an answer, but it just might be that nobody can help with your question. It’s also possible that not many people are online at that moment. Give it a few days, and if there are still no answers, try bumping to see if anyone notices. However, if you still don’t get an answer, then it is not okay to keep bumping.

Don’t Beg Others to Solve Your Problems for You​

We all have our own lives, projects, and things to do. We can’t hold your hand all the way to the finish line. Therefore, we ask that you do not ask people to solve your problems for you, have a “do it for me” attitude, or ask an excessive amount of questions. This section is intended to help you gain more knowledge, help you learn something new, or get you out of a tough spot. Therefore it is best that you investigate the subject first, and see if you can fix it yourself rather than asking everyone to do so for you.

Be Reasonable With Your Questions​

Asking questions about how you can connect your Mega Drive to your toaster, or asking how many FLOPS the Mega Drive can do is not very helpful. Your questions should have some relation to something you’re working on or something you’re interested in. They should be grounded in reality.

Be as Descriptive as You Can​

Vague questions are impossible to answer thoroughly. Therefore, it’s expected that you provide as much detail as you can when asking questions. For example, if you’ve made code modifications, you should show your code and describe what you have tried so far, what the result is supposed to be, and what’s going wrong. However, you want to avoid adding any unnecessary information or details that are unrelated to the problem. This will complicate your question and make it difficult to see the relevant parts of your problem.

This same principle also applies when answering questions, too. When writing an answer, you need to ensure that you are giving the person who asked enough information. In general, you should explain to them what they did wrong, how it can be fixed, and how they can avoid running into the same issue again in the future. You don’t need to necessarily give a full solution, but helping them find their way to the solution is important. In addition, linking to relevant resources or material is highly encouraged.

Give Relevant Answers And Be Respectful​

Your answers should be relevant to the question being asked. It is important to be focused on the topic. Posting about something unrelated will not be helpful. Guiding users to form their question better, or not answering directly when some other factor (such as a better way to accomplish their goal) can be very helpful. On the other hand, it can also derail a conversation when not done respectfully. Insisting that someone is doing something “incorrectly” or not in a way preferable to you is not helpful. Furthermore, telling someone they should not do something without a solid explanation will not help the user learn from it.

Know the Limits of Your Knowledge​

We all want to be helpful, some more than others. However, you have to be aware when you don’t know enough to give a good answer. If you accidentally provide false information, irrelevant solutions, or bad solutions, you are actually harming the submitter. It is okay to be wrong or misinformed, but it is important to know when you don’t know enough to be helpful. Please avoid commenting in these cases. Pushing the user in the right direction if you have partial knowledge can be helpful, but you must acknowledge that it is a guess, rather than giving the impression that you know 100% what you are talking about. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know enough to solve a problem, but there is definitely something wrong with misleading someone.
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