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It doesn't work

by Martin Aspeli last modified Aug 23, 2007 07:59 AM

A short rant for people on mailing lists

Most days, someone will pop up at the Plone mailing lists, chat room or in my inbox saying something like “I tried to do X, but it didn’t work.”

It may be irrational, but this annoys me so much I want to be rude to them. They took the time to  ask for help, and then they included no useful information to help anyone help them. It’s doubly annoying if they’re talking about software I wrote or documentation I provided, since it implies there’s a problem with it, but gives me no chance of fixing it (or defending it, as it may be).

So, the next time something doesn’t work, ban the phrase “doesn’t work” from your vocabulary and think:

  • What exactly did you do (be specific, i.e. break it down into steps)

  • What did you expect to happen?

  • What happened instead?

  • Did you get an error? If so, describe it and supply any error messages

This isn’t terribly difficult and won’t take you very long, and it will get your issue resolved much, much quicker and gain you more respect.

Phew (again).

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Posted by Anonymous User at Oct 21, 2007 07:34 PM
if only they would read the basics...

Testing OpenID

Posted by at Oct 27, 2007 12:39 AM
Just a quick test to see what it looks like to comment with an OpenID login. Pretty slick.


Posted by at Mar 10, 2009 03:54 AM
Do you think it will be worth the while to formalize this with a form-based service and use it like we use

Thanks for your kind reminders

Posted by at Dec 03, 2009 03:21 PM
I agree and feel the same way when a client or my boss writes me to complain the website doesn't work. I am one of those people who have posted requests for help on the Plone forums. I don't always get a response and will consider your advice on writing clearer requests.

As someone who is very new to Plone it can be daunting to know what to do, who to contact, how to ask the question, unsure you'll have any luck with a response. It can feel random; but part of me wants to reach out and buy all of you a beer--honestly.

To you! Cheers!
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