Philosophy of responses

It is apparent that folks pose some odd questions. Respondents tend to interpret the questions very literally and provide answers which demonstrate the flexibility of KiCad.

I suggest that the initial response be a query to determine a few facts, like:
The posters KiCad experience level,
His/her overall experience level,
How the question fits his development plan, etc.

Secondly, responses should encourage following the standard KiCad development model rather than suggesting steps a new user will not likely navigate successfully (irrespective of whether the advice is accurate or not).

Granted people have different needs but is providing workarounds and tricks the “best” advice?

I suggest encouraging users, particularly new users, to learn to do things correctly is the better answer.

It comes off snobbish when user asks “how do I do X” and the answer is “who does X? the correct way is to do Y”.

So it’s always safe to actually answer how to do X and not assume that user doesn’t know better and hasn’t thought of Y. If X can not be done but there is a good workaround or trick to achieve something close, mentioning that is usually helpful if not for the initial user then at least to someone else who will later stumble on the thread via web search.

Best possible answer is to both answer how to do X (or workaround) and provide arguments for why Y might be a better idea. That is usually more effort answer.

On the other side a good way to ask question when you want to do X is to ask “how do I do X and here is why I’m trying to do X” or provide more context on what your actual end goal is. In that case you will usually get the best answer on how to achieve the goal whether it’s X or something else.

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It can be a fine line. I try and stick with the question asked unless there is some obvious flag.

It is also disappointing that users have bad attitudes about perceived short comings.

There is no perfect CAD tool. When I teach a KiCad class, I tell them there was a perfect tool but it was destroyed a long time ago in a galaxy far far away by the evil Empire. Since then it has been a struggle to rebuild.

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I understand your comment. However, you can form the reply to explain WHY “Y” is better.

Then again there are a few who need a mild slap in the face to get their attention. :grinning:

There is a KiCad standard development model? That’s news to me

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Yeah, because this is a support forum with a lot of people visiting that might have the odd answer to match?

Is regularly being done if the respondent thinks it might be helpful to find a solution.

https://docs.kicad.org/5.1/en/getting_started_in_kicad/getting_started_in_kicad.html

Plenty videos available as well.

Or in other words, most people will do that already and the oddball lands here either due to behavior (can’t be arsed) or not being able to find what they need. I extrapolate here, but when I have a problem - no matter what it is - I usually ask Google first and in 99.9% of the cases other people had the problem already and solved it and I can just piggy back on their solution. Posting a question and waiting for an answer needs some effort and patience/time which I only want to spend if I couldn’t find a solution on my own.

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I don’t want this to become a forum of rules.

There is one forum that I joined when trying to learn more about a common ‘hobbyist’ prototyping / programming platform. Not only were there a plethora of rules (even regarding attachments and external links), one would usually be handed a link to the site’s Forum 101 thread at least once within the first few posts. The regulars also made no secret of the superiority they felt over the masses of newbies streaming through the site.

Arbitrary deletion of threads aside, I like this forum just the way it is.

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I think it comes down to the replying poster etiquette.

If possible I would answer…

Here is how you do x
You might also want to try Y.

Some time ago there was a suggestion to attach the version number of the kicad version used by each OP and the response was that making such things mandatory for forum posts was seen as a bad thing. On this forum it’s users helping users and threshold for entry is kept as low as possible.

The experience level of users asking questions is indeed an important point when answering questions and sometimes difficult to estimate, but often it’s clear from the sort of questions being asked.

Concerning workarounds…
KiCad is growing and getting better at a quite impressive rate in the last few years, but there are still a bunch of subjects for which there is no proper implementation, and a workaround is the best answer I can offer.

A literal interpretation of the question, and answering it, soulds like a good approach to me. But when I see it fit however, I also offer suggestions for alternate workflows or different approaches.

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Having regularly read this forum for a couple of years, I have found most of the above questions are usually answered by the content and style of the questions asked by the OPs.

I believe jumping through a “twenty questions” hoop before asking anything will detract many from using this forum.

Also: Who needs to answer? How often will the questionnaire need to be completed? Each time a post is started? Only once?..which leads to: Where would the information be stored? How would a responder access the information? How often would the information need to be updated?

Getting very messy for an information forum :worried:

JMHO.

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