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There are often postings by new users in the style of:

"Hey, my $foo dosen't work. I tried to fix it, but it's still broken. Any ideas how to fix it?"

It would often be really helpful to have some log output. Sometimes the user is not experienced enough to find the correct files, messages, but what every user can include are the steps he tried before posting to solve the problem.

Would it make sense, and would it be possible, to display a short reminder before the first posting is done, to include such information? It shouldn't be really big or annoying, just 2-3 lines like "Did you include $foo?".

I know its already written in the FAQ but we know how often new users read it.

What do you think?

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As of three days ago there's a "how to ask" page that's (supposed to be) displayed to users with <= 10 reputation, with question-asking tips on it. One of the sections is:

Be specific

If you ask a vague question, you'll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer.

The page works on SO, but for some reason I can't get it to show up here; I assume it's disabled during the beta, but I'm not sure. Once it is enabled we can probably add things to it, I'll look into it


Edit: I should read that blog post more carefully:

For now, these measures are (mostly) only enabled on Stack Overflow, as it’s the only site large enough to have these big city problems at the moment.

I asked some people about ways to deal with missing information, and for a smaller site like ours it's probably best to just leave a comment about it. If it's a recurring problem we can come back to it, but (I think) it's not a big issue yet

  • Great, that is what I thought of :-) – echox Oct 7 '10 at 14:37

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