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5 replies Latest Post - ‏2012-12-11T18:24:30Z by SystemAdmin
SystemAdmin
SystemAdmin
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Pinned topic Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi

‏2012-12-11T15:30:00Z |
Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi
Updated on 2012-12-11T18:24:30Z at 2012-12-11T18:24:30Z by SystemAdmin
  • SystemAdmin
    SystemAdmin
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    Re: Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi

    ‏2012-12-11T15:43:55Z  in response to SystemAdmin
    I think need to put some kind of FAQ for how to ask questions and then just link questions like this to that FAQ. I know that Neil wrote some things down before in a thread that were good advice. Maybe we just need to repost some of that advice as it's own topic.

    http://whathaveyoutried.com says a lot of important things. So does ESR ( http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html ), although that document may be too long.

    But there are also a lot of forum specific things. Like making sure you specify the version you are talking about, since so many things are version specific. And how screenshots, TWX files, and steps to reproduce are usually more helpful than log files and stack traces. (I can count on one hand the number of times stack traces have been helpful to me. Unfortunately, since so much happens in interpreted Javascript I find IBM BPM stack traces essentially boil down to "I set up the transactional environment, but then when I actually tried to do something it failed".)

    Because otherwise we just end up ignoring these questions. Or running around in circles asking the same questions over and over again. Usually with a 24 cycle between responses because of time zones.

    Anyone else think a "How to ask questions FAQ" would be worthwhile?

    David
  • ldyer
    ldyer
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    Re: Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi

    ‏2012-12-11T15:46:46Z  in response to SystemAdmin
    +1

    Cheers,

    • lisa
    • kolban
      kolban
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      Re: Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi

      ‏2012-12-11T17:12:18Z  in response to ldyer
      Ive been using forums/newsgroups/mailing lists since the 1980s (BBS). Obviously a document on "how to post a question to the IBM BPM forum" will do no harm ... however, it is likely to do very little good (as a whole) either. Questions will be posted to the forum by folks who are brand new to IBM BPM and simply don't know how to phrase the question because of subject matter content.

      Imagine a chap whose boss says "IBM BPM is down, Bob is on vacation, do what you can." ... there would be a forum post from someone who has never met BPM before.

      I commonly look at how many times a person has posted before when judging the the quality of the question. If someone has posted but once or twice ... they may be new to the subject or industry and we all have to start somewhere.

      The conceptual ethic of "computing" is changing. I'm old school. I read, study, play and read again (as best I can) before formulating questions. The current generation of folks have new expectations on software. Some expect no manuals needed, some expect simply to "surf the web and pick it up as they go along", some expect a product to use a model that they are familiar with which is different from what a vendor has chosen. It is these types of questions that frustrate me. And ... by its nature ... my frustration is subjective. I have seen postings made to this forum where I look at the question and <sigh> and say ... "no-one is ever going to answer that" ... but yet, I get astonished when a response is made a few days later which apparently answered the question or prompted for more information related to the original question. It is those moments where I sit back and ponder.

      I don't expect many to read a "How to post to this forum" article prior to posting, however .. the value in such an article would be the ability to quickly reference it and post that to questions that seem vague.

      I'd suggest we create a page on the BPM Wiki which would capture our thoughts on this topic. We should make that page open to the whole community to be able to contribute.

      Neil
      • ldyer
        ldyer
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        Re: Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi

        ‏2012-12-11T18:12:44Z  in response to kolban
        Neil, I like that approach...As with most content on the bpmwiki, this content should be by the people, for the people....so, everyone please have at this new page! (you can change title, location, whatever you want)

        http://bpmwiki.blueworkslive.com/display/commwiki/Good+practices+for+effective+forum+discussion

        PS. You could link to good examples (actual forum threads) and also provide a quick reusable template to copy into a new forum thread....to give you a quick "form".

        Cheers,

        • lisa
      • SystemAdmin
        SystemAdmin
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        Forum FAQ (was: Why should we get "cannot read property" error in lombardi)

        ‏2012-12-11T18:24:30Z  in response to kolban
        I've spent nearly as long on forums myself. And I do have a feeling that I may be chasing at windmills here. The fact that there have been so many articles written about how not to ask questions on forums perhaps shows the futility of forum based Q&A as well. That's why I don't think having a FAQ will really fix the problem, as much as it will just give us an easier way to respond to questions. And also to harness the power of the community in what are the best practices for getting results. And I think your idea of a wiki article is a great alternative to just another forum thread.

        Depressingly, I think this is actually a solved problem. Have you ever been to a Stack Exchange site like http://stackoverflow.com? Those sites are such a leap forward in community based Q&A. I wish I had been the one to come up with that concept. There are so many things that exist on Stack Exchange that I wish we had here. Reputation based privileges. Community editing and moderation. The ability to refine and edit both questions and answers after the fact. Tagging. Voting. A posting system that automatically searches for similar articles. A posting system that forces the user to acknowledge the rules and etiquette. Unfortunately I just don't see a way to build enough critical mass on Stack Exchange and neither do I see IBM moving these forums over to a more stack exchange like system.

        It just strikes because I see a post like this one and think, "I have six years of experience with Lombardi/IBM BPM, and ten with BPM in general, and I have absolutely no way to help this person." They will probably think "this is an easy question, why has no one answered it?" while the rest of us are skipping it because "I have no idea what they are talking about, what they are trying to do, what they've tried, or how to help them". I attribute it to slightly different reasons that you do, but the net result is the same. It just makes me sad.

        I'll try to create a framework wiki article in the next couple of days.

        David