Guidelines for answering questions

So, we’ve got a nice topic about how to post an effective question in the forum.

Guidelines for posting this forum

It’s one of the most favored topics among us … um, maybe … sorry, I’m not very sure about it, because I see a lot of posts against those guidelines. :(

Now, thinking the other way around, I believe it could be very effective to think about how to answer those questions to improve our communication in the forum. Don’t you think so?

So I’d like to post some guidelines for answering questions one by one in the following posts.

Comments, amendments and additions are welcome, of course. :D

Link to Guide, Reference and Wiki

As andy_s has put it quite right, 98% of the questions will be solved reading the guide and/or reference.

We should point the corresponding parts of the documentation in answering a question.

A link to a good wiki article is a real help, too.

Ask before Answer

It’s very common that the poster fails to state his problem in a well sorted fashion. If he could do it, probably he could have solved it on his own.

So we should try to sort his problem with him before we try to answer.

Note that sometime one would ask some seemingly simple question to get a quick-and-dirty work around, hiding his real problem.

Be Patient

Don’t lose your temper. :D

I am new at this site, but I thought I would add my two cents. I think that when answering questions, it is important to remember that the person asking it may not be as technically advanced as you are, so you may need to "dumb down" the answer.

Hi CompGeek, thank you for your comment. And welcome to the forum.

So I think those who answers questions in the forum are learning the communication skill. They will get the better understanding of the issue and the improved communication skill by answering the questions. :)

Write a Wiki

If you think the current problem is one of the frequently asked questions, and if you are sure you have a decent solution for it, then you should definitely write a wiki on it.