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gbritton
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

2780 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  10:50:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent description of how to post questions with links to helpful websites (poorsql.com and convertcsv.com)

http://spaghettidba.com/2015/04/24/how-to-post-a-t-sql-question-on-a-public-forum/

Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  13:03:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks great ... but I fear you are indulging in Wishful Thinking ... or trying to push a rock uphill!

Average User wants free consultancy ... the sort that requires no investment on their part.

I think a DBA-ESP tool, so us lot can just guess precisely what was in the O/P's mind, is the ultimate solution ... Whoops! I appear to have indulged in a spot of wishful thinking myself
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  13:04:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On second thoughts ...

Graz just needs to build all that good stuff into the Post A New Thread box ...

... I'll get my coat!
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gbritton
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

2780 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  13:25:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL! But can we put the link (or the content, with the author's permission) on sqlteam.com and include in the FAQ? Then we can just point to it when we get the kind of vague questions we try to answer anyway.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  13:42:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There was a thread on here with detailed requirements (although, personally, I think it's tone was a bit User Hostile). Some folk had that in their Signature ...

I'll see if I can find it.

My 2p-worth is that it would be best it we created a new thread, here, with suitable instructions (referencing external sites like SQL Fiddle and Convert CSV etc) and then link to that
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  13:50:17  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brett's original post, bless him
http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/brettk/archive/2005/05/25/5276.aspx

Taken from the Newbies FAQ Thread:

Requirements for homework questions 07Mar2006
http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=62702

Example of Failure to meet the minimum requirements 07Mar2006
http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=62834

(Just had a look at that one, it made me chuckle!!)

An example of a well formed a question on SQL Team which will get a quick answer - i.e. the information you need to provide 06Nov2006
http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=74221

How to format your question or a reply (in particular see the [code] option 18Sep2007
http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/pop_forum_code.asp

(Personally I'd include an illustrated example of using the [CODE] tag instead)

Edited by - Kristen on 04/27/2015 13:53:25
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gbritton
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

2780 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  14:00:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All good stuff! What I'd really like to see is a How to Post Questions on the FAQ and in BOLD typeface at the top of the New Topic form.

You know, I've had people who ask vague questions cuss me out when I ask for data I need to answer them properly.

Remarkable, unbelievable laziness, not to mention impolite.

The comments on homework questions are quite funny. What I really don't get is, most colleges and universities have TAs or their equivalents assigned to each class who are there for the express purpose of answering the kinds of homework questions that get posted here.

Edited by - gbritton on 04/27/2015 14:00:38
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  14:13:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'll give it a go ... here's a suggested First Draft. If people think its a good idea I suggest you make suggestions here, I'll do my best to collate, and then when everyone is happy I can put it in a new thread which a MOD can make sticky, or whatever.

I suspect my First Draft is way too facetious!!

Proposed text:

If you are posting some SQL for people to review you can post it unformatted like this

SELECT Col1, COL2 From MyTable wHeRe Col3 = 'foobar'

or you can use the [CODE] tag and cut & paste some PROPERLY formatted code. You will get FAR more answers FAR quicker if you go to the trouble of presenting your code so that it is easily readable. I'll tell you what happens otherwise: each of us Cut & Paste your can't-be-bothered & unformatted code into a SQL tool so we can try to see what is going on. Don't be surprised if 90% of the clever people here who might give you an answer will decide they can't be bothered.

PoorSQL.com provides an excellent, and free, online SQL formatting utility.

Here's what your SQL example should look like:

[CODE]
SELECT Col1, COL2
FROM   MyTable
WHERE  Col3 = 'foobar'
[/CODE]

If your question involves some example data then please include a worked example like this (ideally using a #TempTable so that we can easily run it and check that our answer actually works):

[CODE]
CREATE TABLE #MyTempTable
(
    ID     int NOT NULL,
    Name   varchar(20),
    Salary decimal(10,2)
)

INSERT INTO #MyTempTable
SELECT 1, 'Joe Bloggs", 12345.67 UNION ALL
SELECT 2, 'Jane Doe", 76543.21
[/CODE]

and then an example of the Results that you expect:

I want to know the total number of people with "e" in their name, and their average salary. The expect result is

PeopleCount AverageSalary
----------- -------------
2                44444.44
"

If you just post a vague description of columns and tables you are much less likely to get many responses. It is also quite likely that the answer will not solve the problem you have - by the time you have re-asked the question again, maybe several times, time will have passed and your deadline will be looming. Please ask a concise question with sample code and data.

Note that if your question looks anything like Homework then you will only get an answer if you also post the SQL you have written so far. We can easily answer your homework for you, but of course you won't learn anything, and your Tutor will be checking this, and other, sites to see if people are cheating. SO we won't answer your homework question for you, but we will help correct any code that you have written.

We don't need to see real table names, or data - it might well be that your actual tables names & data are confidential - that's fine we just need a worked example.

If you need some help to quickly convert your actual data into a suitable #TempTable definition and some INSERT statements then you may find this article helpful:

http://spaghettidba.com/2015/04/24/how-to-post-a-t-sql-question-on-a-public-forum/

Edited by - Kristen on 04/27/2015 20:44:26
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gbritton
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

2780 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  14:17:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beautiful! Now, can we get it put it in the FAQ and add a link in the New Topic form?

FWIW I use poorsql.com a lot (and the plugin for Notepad++). I like it better than other, free alternatives.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  14:30:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gbritton

Beautiful! Now, can we get it put it in the FAQ and add a link in the New Topic form?


Probably not ... the forum software is very old and Graz won't want to modify anything unless essential.

A Sticky at the top of the "New to SQL Server" forum
http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=23
could happen though

quote:

FWIW I use poorsql.com a lot (and the plugin for Notepad++). I like it better than other, free alternatives.


If you can knock some words together I'll stuff it in my draft for people to say if they want any further changes. I've not used PoorSQL or SQL Fiddle for that matter ...

By the by, PoorSQL sounds like a depressing name to me. Suggests it encourages writhing PoorSQL, rather than sorting out / pretty-printing SQL to make it Pretty

Edited by - Kristen on 04/27/2015 14:31:32
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gbritton
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

2780 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2015 :  14:54:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree, "poorsql" sounds depressing. What it is of course is a pill for poorly written sql. I would have chosen a better name, perhaps "fixsql.com" (which is actually available, btw!)

I'm just ripping off the quote from spaghettidba, but this would do:

Please please please, format your query before posting! You can format your queries online for free at PoorSQL.com

Be sure to wrap your formatted SQL in code tags: http://www.sqlteam.com/forums/faq.asp#format

Edited by - gbritton on 04/27/2015 15:03:35
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2015 :  04:49:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not had any feeedback, other than gbritton. I see people posting the external link to spaghettidba and Bretts post ... does noone think my earlier post worthwhile? no suggestions? no alterations?
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2015 :  06:19:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bump
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graz
Chief SQLTeam Crack Dealer

USA
4149 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2015 :  09:53:05  Show Profile  Visit graz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think this is all good information. I'm actually getting ready to make some changes that will make this type of content more visible. Hang onto this and hopefully we'll have a good place for it in a week or two.

=================================================
Creating tomorrow's legacy systems today. One crisis at a time.
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Kristen
Test

United Kingdom
22859 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2015 :  10:20:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cheers Graz. Happy for you to just help yourself to the content, or I'll remake a new thread if that is more suitable. Whatever works for you is fine by me.
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