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Avoid Bad Posting Habits

Some bad habits appear to be creeping in as we add new members to the forums.  We’d like to draw them to your attention so that you can avoid them in future.

  • Posting in the wrong forum
  • Vague Subject Lines
  • Incomplete Problem Descriptions
  • Hijacking threads
  • Contacting the major posters directly
  • Not searching for answers before posting questions
  • Demanding an immediate response
  • Using text-message abbreviations
  • Asking for answers to interview questions

Posting in the Wrong Forum

We have created forums for specific purposes.  For example, the FAQ forum is specifically for posts addressing frequently asked questions.  The FAQ Discussions forum is for requesting new items for the FAQ forum, or for talking about these.

The FAQ Discussions forum is NOT a general purpose place for placing posts.  Please review all forums and choose the most appropriate forum (server jobs, parallel jobs, metadata and so on) prior to posting.

Agencies seeking developers please limit your posts to the Seeking Talent forum.  It helps both you and developers seeking engagements to be able to find these posts quickly.

Vague Subject Lines


One of the important utilities on this site is the Search facility. This helps people to find answers without necessarily having to post a question.  While it is true that the Search facility allows the entire text to be searched, what is presented is a list of subjects, so the more details the better.

A subject line such as "Mysterious Error" does not help searchers who might be helped by your topics.  A subject line such as "Error 39204 while starting a job" is a more appropriate type of title. Make your subject lines as descriptive as possible.

Incomplete Problem Descriptions

Many times answers are delayed because of critical missing information that is then required from the poster before an answer can be crafted.   When you post your problem please make sure to include as much information as you can, including:

  • Complete description of the problem, including exact error messages (if present)
  • What product you were using, and what you did leading up to the problem.
  • Steps you’ve already taken trying to resolve the problem, and their results
  • Relevant system information (Operating System, hardware configurations, etc.)

Hijacking Threads

This term refers to posting a message on the end of a thread that does not relate, or relates only very slightly, to the original thread topic.  Again, it thwarts the intent of the search mechanism to change the topic being discussed. Don't hijack threads; start a new post instead.

Contacting Major Posters Directly

Many of the major posters are self-employed consultants; all of the major posters are busy at their respective jobs.  They read the hundred or so posts daily, and respond to them in good faith.
They do this for free, and at the cost of their valuable time.

Contact via private message of the form "please reply to this post" is, frankly, offensive: rest assured that they do read every post.  If they have not responded to a post it means one of three things:

  1. They have not yet had the time to read that post;
  2. They have nothing to contribute that other posters have not already contributed, or
  3. They simply do not have an answer.  (Yes, this is possible!)

Contacting a poster via private message or private email soliciting personal advice is regarded as a request to employ that person's services and will result in a response to that effect.  If you want their dedicated assistance you’ll have to pay for their time.

Not Searching for Answers Before Posting Questions

There are over 60,000 answers here.  If you have a question, it is likely that you are not the first to have that question.  You will find the search option in the menu at the top of the page.

By searching first you may find your answer faster than posting and waiting for a response.  Further, if there are fewer posts, the quality and value of the site will be enhanced because there is less redundancy.

Demanding an Immediate Response

Our forum members read the hundred or so posts daily, and respond to them in good faith as part of their efforts to promote the DataStage product line.  They do this for free, when they can, and at the cost of their valuable time.

If you require urgent responses, sign up with your support provider for premium support.  This will indicate to you the true cost of urgent.  Even at premium levels many support providers only guarantee a response within 24 hours; why would you expect better from a free site?!!  In the near future the DSXchange will offer a monitored forum as part of its premium (fee-based) services.   This forum will be monitored by experts that will address posts as part of the service.

Using Text-Message Abbreviations

Text-message abbreviations have a place, but it's not in our forums.  For answers to be effective, the recipients need to be able to understand the question.  Many of the posters on this forum do not have English as a first language.  Decrypting SMS-style abbreviations only makes their task of comprehension more difficult.  You would not create system documentation using these abbreviations, please accord members here the same courtesy.

Asking for Answers to Interview Questions

It is morally and ethically wrong to expect someone to do an examination or an interview on your behalf.  Employers are expecting to ascertain YOUR skill set, not those of the experts on this forum. 

Posts that are clearly lists of interview questions will receive short shrift.  You need to gain your own skill set through training and hands-on experience, not by taking short cuts and claiming other people’s answers as your own.

If you get a job based on received but imperfectly-understood answers, then cannot get the product to perform as it is intended to, it reflects badly not only on you but also on the product (the latter unfairly).

As a group, most of our members earn their living from working with the products.  It is in all our best interests to help people to become as well qualified as possible.  This does not include helping people fake their way through an interview.