I spend a good chunk of time everyday answering questions on the JDeveloper discussion forum on OTN.
A lot of people find these forums to be a good source for answers to their questions and problems. And it shows - I think we are getting close to a hundred new thread on the JDev forum every day.
However I think there are some things that posters to the forums can do to make the whole experience of using the forums a lot better.
So here are my 10 commandments for the forum poster divided into 5 rules for correct posting and 5 for being a good member of the community.
Five rules to getting a better solution
1. Have a meaningful subject line
I'm tired of seeing a subject line like "I need urgent help". Your subject should specify what the problem core is and in what area
2. Give details about versions and technologies
Are you using JDeveloper 10.1.3.1 or JDeveloper 9.0.4? Are you using ADF BC or EJB?
3. Give detailed error messages
Don't say - it throws an error - tell us what the error is and give the stack trace.
4. If possible provide steps to reproduce the problem
If something doesn't work for you - I can't know why if you don't tell me what you did. Sometime you can even post code that reproduce the problem
5. Search before you post
It's for your own good - it brings you the solution faster.
Search both the forum and Google for your question - you'll be surprised how many times you'll find a solution that someone else got.
Five rules to become a better member of the community
6. Get a name
In your forums preferences you can set up a name or handle that will help us recognize you (and even a link to your blog).
Do you really want to be known as user5667847?
Using your real name is even better - then when someone meets you in a conference or an event - They'll already know who you are.
9. Track your threads
In your forum preferences check the option that alerts/emails you when your thread has been updated. This way you'll be able to get better response time and also answer follow up questions.
10. Don't just ask question - give some answers as well
The forum is a community - the community will only grow if you'll be an active participant. Posting question is just one side of the coin - actually answering other people questions is even more important.
So go ahead and show off the knowledge you have gathered - it is the first step to take if you want to become an Oracle ACE.