Back to Basics: Drawing a line between Rails and HTML

Railers (if you allow me to you so),

before_create

I am not a moderator of Ruby on Rails(RoR) forum, I am not trying to
become
one, and I am not pushing for any moderation of this sort. However, I
am a
bit worried that some of the questions we get on this forum are not
really
Ruby on Rails questions. In addition, some of questions are already
taken
care of by the many tutorials that are available online.

I know that we have different backgrounds and levels of programming
complexity. I am not in any way trying to scare new Rails developers,
but I
think we need to draw a line between RoR and non-RoR questions.

1. Posting Right Questions

There are some questions that are not necessarily worthy posting on this
forum. For example, questions on how to create HTML elements like
textboxes,
buttons, forms, e.t.c. in Ruby on Rails. These are HTML specific
questions.
If one wants to create them using Rails helpers there are tutorials that
are
dedicated to that. All in all, there are guides on how to do that on
rubyonrails.org (for example this one:
http://guides.rubyonrails.org/form_helpers.html). If one is not sure of
something in Ruby on Rails, they may search online first, before posting
on
this forum. Things are happening very fast. It is very likely that most
of
the “general questions” about RoR have been answered via blog posts or
various forums already. We need to know the difference between a search
engine and a forum
. Only when there is no tutorial or blog post
tackling a
particular question then we can go ahead posting it here.

2. Differentiating between Ruby and Ruby on Rails Questions

This is slightly similar to the first one but I think it needs special
treatment. We need to understand that this forum is not a Ruby forum; it
is
a Ruby on Rails forum. I know that this is one of the most difficult
thing
to do on this forum; even myself I admit that I am not good at it but
I’m
trying my best. Some of the questions that we tend to ask here are Ruby
specific. Most of Railers would not love to respond to Ruby questions,
not
because they cannot manage to but because a Ruby forum actually exists
and
this forum is dedicated to seeking help with Rails, announcing Rails
projects, and discussing all kind of matters surrounding the Rails
framework
and the community. If we need any help with Ruby related problems or
Ruby
syntax (such as looping, hashing, mapping (e.g. map, each, inject,
reduce),
e.t.c), let us direct them to the right forum.

3. Framing Questions and Email Titles/Subjects before Posting

We need to take our time framing our questions before posting them on
this
forum. Some of the questions do not make real sense at all. It becomes
hard
for us to figure out what someone is looking for, and (I’m sorry to say
that) we tend to ignore them. Some of the subjects are too general like
“I
need help” , “I have problems with my Rails application” or “Newbie
question”. Remember that questions on this forum are searchable online,
posting search engine compatible questions will do us all good. Having
“good
questions” and “straight-forward email subjects” will also help others
who
may be experiencing similar problems like ours. This will help them not
to
replicate the same questions here. There is one thumb rule: if you are
failing to ask the question well, then you don’t even know what you are
looking for.

4. Posting Jobs

Let me take advantage to remind everyone that when we are posting about
an
open job position or looking for a Rails developer, we are requested to
prefix email subject with [JOBS] tag. I cannot say why we need that, but
that is a request that is clearly spelled out on the forums page.

5. Readme

We are all dedicated to providing good and beneficial
responses/solutions to
questions that come on this forum. Let us make sure that we ask those
questions that will attract more attention for response, and will in the
end
benefit more people. Remember that the frequent/regular responders (the
likes of Brian Crossland, Peter B., Fredrick Cheung, Collin Law and
Chris
Kottom, just to mention but a few) on this forum were not specifically
employed by this forum to our answer questions, but they do this in the
spirit of sharing. They too have other projects and businesses to do,
and
they get busy too. Some of them only spend limited time looking at forum
issues/questions, so they will go for those that are straight-forward
and
easy to understand.

self.last

Enjoy your coding!


Edmond
Software Developer | Baobab Health Trust (http://www.baobabhealth.org/)
|Malawi

Cell: +265 999 465 137 | +265 881 234 717*

My array starts from 0.5*

Well said. While language barriers may occasionally keep a member
from asking a question properly, it is TRULY in the best interest of
the user to ask a well-written, intelligent, pertinent question. I’m
a recent college grad and am appalled by the lack of creativity/
ingenuity/drive displayed by my own student peers.

It seems common enough for people to find a forum and ask a question,
rather than research the topic themselves. Personally, I tend to
exhaust all resources before asking people for help, and then I take
quite a bit of time in formulating my question.

Recently I joined Stack Overflow (which many of you are likely
familiar with) and they have very clear information about how to post
on and use their forums. Included in this information is scoop about
asking questions clearly, I think all people who use forums for
knowledge should adhere to similar policies.

Because really, these forums are our tools and communities combined.
Abuse them, use them poorly, and they’ll probably stop working
properly for you.

On Mar 18, 10:33am, Edmond K. [email protected]

On Mar 18, 3:33pm, Edmond K. [email protected]
wrote:

something in Ruby on Rails, they may search online first, before posting on
this forum. Things are happening very fast. It is very likely that most of
the “general questions” about RoR have been answered via blog posts or
various forums already. We need to know the difference between a search
engine and a forum
. Only when there is no tutorial or blog post tackling a
particular question then we can go ahead posting it here.

2. Differentiating between Ruby and Ruby on Rails Questions

I don’t worry an awful lot about this, although I don’t read the pure
ruby forums that much (so in that sense I’m happy to get my dose of
ruby related questions). On top of that, I’m not sure it is always
clear to the person asking the question what is core ruby and what is
a railsisms. To me it’s a much more fuzzy line than the html & css
type question.

3. Framing Questions and Email Titles/Subjects before Posting

We need to take our time framing our questions before posting them on this
forum. Some of the questions do not make real sense at all. It becomes hard
for us to figure out what someone is looking for, and (I’m sorry to say
that) we tend to ignore them. Some of the subjects are too general like “I
need help” , “I have problems with my Rails application” or “Newbie
question”.

Sometimes it’s even hard to work out what the question is, or it takes
multiple back and forths to coax out the relevant piece of
information. Treading the line between too much and too little
information does require some skill.

4. Posting Jobs

Let me take advantage to remind everyone that when we are posting about an
open job position or looking for a Rails developer, we are requested to
prefix email subject with [JOBS] tag. I cannot say why we need that, but
that is a request that is clearly spelled out on the forums page.

There was a discussion a few years back about whether or not jobs
posts should be allowed here. In the end, the compromise emerged that
if they were easily identifiable (eg by having a tag in the subject)
then those not interested can filter them out relatively easily. It’s
not stuck to very rigorously (not counting the countless job postings
that have nothing to do with rails that never make it to the mailing
list.

Fred

All good guidelines. It’s unfortunate that the people who follow this
mailing list most closely (and therefore are most likely to read this
post)
are probably the ones who are already adhering to best practices.

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