comp.dsp Procedural FAQ
This FAQ is here primarily to answer only one question:
Why doesn't anyone answer my post?"
If someone on comp.dsp told you to read this document, there's still hope.
comp.dsp is a great place to hang out and get intelligent answers to
difficult (or not) questions. So what went wrong?
There are a lot of reasons why people don't answer questions on comp.dsp.
It could be:
But the most likely reason is:
- Nobody knows the answer (but comp.dsp has a pretty good track record)
- Someone who knows hasn't read the question yet (be patient!)
Hard as it may be for you to believe, it could be your own doing. The
good news is that you can probably fix the problem yourself. Ask yourself
- You did a bad job asking the question.
You can find more guidelines at
DSP guru's comp.dsp culture page
- Did I provide enough context?
If you're having a problem with a specific processor, tell us which one.
Are you using an operating system? Which one? Did you design the hardware
yourself, or did someone else? Who? What have you tried? How did it fail?
We need details!
If it is an algorithm or general method you need help with,
before you ask the question, give as much background regarding what
you are really doing as you can. Don't simplify it so people have
to give you answers that start like "If you are doing [...] then
you should [...], but if you are [...] then [...]." If the responses have
to start like this, it takes a lot more time to formulate the several
possible answers than it would take to respond more completely to the
correct one. It is much easier to discard irrelevant information than
it is to read the mind of the poster for missing relevant information.
- Did I ask a specific question?
"I need help with [insert topic here]" is not a good question.
What is it you don't understand? We can't read your mind!
- Did I write all the words I intended to?
Sometimes, we omit words when typing and imagine them when rereading. Check carefully.
- Did u typ out all the wrds, or wr u 2 cryptc?
(Translation: Did you type out all the words, or were you too
Historically, the people who answer questions on comp.dsp don't like to work
just so they can read your question. You can answer questions this way, but
you should never ask like that. This is a Newsgroup, not a chat room. If you want
us to take time to answer your question, you are required to take time to ask it.
Type everything out. (Well, almost everything).
We do use some common acronyms, some of which are listed here.
- Is this a homework question?
We can usually tell, and we're not going to do your work for you.
We might help you over a rough spot so you can do it yourself.
Just let us know it's homework and tell us what rough spot you're having trouble with
and we'll try to help you around it.
- Was I rude?
Don't bite the hand that feeds! If you're new to comp.dsp and you've insulted
someone here, it was probably one of our friends. You may need to apologize.
- Did I ask a question related to Digital Signal Processing?
This is the wrong place to ask about Windows drivers for your soundcard.
Make sure your question is actually about DSP*. There are a lot
of knowledgable people here, and you may ask where to ask. If it is
short, you might get the answer instead of a referral.
* A broad subject that includes algorithms for communications, audio, sonar
and radar, chips and boards, and programming and simulation tools.
- Is my question easy to find?
If your question is a one-liner, and you have a 20-line signature, it's easy to miss.
This is also true if you're quoting a huge amount of irrelevant text, and inserting one
tiny question in the middle. Quote sparingly, and insert a blank line before and after
a one-line question.
- Is my question in the body of the message,
not just in the subject line?
- Is the subject line descriptive?
"Low Pass to High Pass transformation question" will get more attention from those
who can help than "Urgent!!! Please Help!!!"
and at Eric S. Raymond's
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way .