Over time I have received an increasing number of WPF questions from random people. Many of them are sent directly to my personal e-mail account (I’m not sure how people find that address), and others are posted as comments on unrelated blog entries. I appreciate that folks look to me for answers, that’s quite a tip of the hat. However, it is much better to use Microsoft’s WPF Forum to post a question and get answers to it. Here are a few reasons why:
- If the entire question/answer thread is carried on via e-mail, nobody else will be able to read it later. The answer becomes a “one time” solution which must be recreated the next time someone has the same question. If the thread is on the forum, then it is very easy to find it via a quick Google or forum search.
- I might not know the answer. Someone on the forum will. Keep in mind that folks from the WPF group at Microsoft answer questions on that forum, as well as a bunch of other very knowledgeable individuals.
- I might not have the time or interest to answer your question. Believe it or not, I have a job, a girlfriend, social engagements, family to visit, pet projects to work on, a piano to practice, articles to write, blog posts to create, etc. 🙂 I don’t always have enough time or interest to dig into someone else’s problem. However, someone on the forum will. It’s amazing how quickly most questions receive an answer on the forum. It’s like a feeding frenzy over there (yeah, I’m looking at you Drew! 🙂 ).
Please keep in mind that the intention of the post is not to shoo people away. Quite the contrary. I encourage people to join me on the forum. If you have a question which pertains to a particular blog post of mine, feel free to drop a question about it in a comment right then and there! Just don’t ask unrelated questions in a post’s comment, or in an e-mail, because of the reasons listed above.
To end this post on a lighter note, here is an amusing (and 100% true) story. A while ago some guy e-mailed me a very poorly worded question, asking how to do something; I’m still not quite sure what. I didn’t have the time or inclination to help out, so I didn’t reply. Shortly thereafter he followed up with (and I quote):
“I am very disappointed for you. I told you this is extremeley urgent for me and you ignore my query. I told you my deadline is soon and you do not give me any help at all. You must give me solution TODAY, that I have no time to wait for you and my patence is finished.”
I kid you not! 🙂