Skip to content
Find file
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information. is a single-purpose website for hosting a guide to asking smart technical questions so the asker is more likely to get back useful answers.

This guide is written as an antidote to ESR's "How to Ask Questions The Smart Way", which celebrates hostility and rudeness. It claims that RTFM is "an ancient and hallowed tradition". It claims that abusing those who don't ask questions correctly is "healthy and appropriate." These are the attitudes of bullies, and AskSmart specifically refutes those ideas and others in ESR's piece.

Guidelines for writing AskSmart

  • Phrase directions in positive, not negative ways. Instead of "Don't do X", say "Instead of X, do Y" or better yet, just "Do Y."

  • Do not mock the reader.

  • Assume the best of intentions of the reader.

  • Not knowing the answer, or not going through proper steps before asking a question, is not a moral failing.

  • No sarcasm.

  • No belittling.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.