How to Best Ask For Help on the Forum

How to Best Ask for Help

Before we go into this subject: first, and absolutely foremost: always search before posting your question. Your question may have already been posted and answered in the forum. Searching can help you save loads of time and effort!

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s go: How can you write a post that is most likely to get the help you need? You might think that logically, a good title for your post would be “Help with an error”, right? Well… not exactly.

Put yourself in the shoes of the person browsing our forums looking for an issue they can help solve. Does “Help with error” tell them anything about what the actual issue is? Will they click on your post and read it if the post just below yours on the list of topics has a clearer title?

Here are a few tips on how you can write posts which will get you faster and better answers:

  • Post title: use only terms that are relevant to the issue or question you have. Avoid commonplace words for a support forum such as “help”, “please”, “urgent”, “hello” – they say nothing about what your issue is. Save these terms for the actual body of your post.

    • A good template for an issue is “This happens when I do that”
      • Bad title: “Hello. I need help with an error”
      • Good title: “Error XYZ123 when launching KNIME AP”
    • A good template for a question is “How do I…?”
      • Bad title: “A question about workflows”
      • Good title: “How do I export a workflow to…”
  • Post body: Here is where you should say hello. Be friendly, for sure. :slight_smile: Describe the issue in more detail. Make sure you mention:

    • The version of the Analytics Platform you are using, as well as your operating system
    • What you are trying to do
    • What is preventing you from achieving it
    • What you have already tried to do to solve this issue (very important!)
    • You can use this as a template:
      • “Hello Community! I’m using version 4.7.0, trying to do ABC but I keep running into problem XYZ. I’ve already tried clicking on these buttons, I’ve tried dragging these components, but the problem persists. Here is an image of what I see. Thank you!”
  • Resources: the more information you can provide, the better! While screenshots are useful, they rarely tell the whole story. Think of adding:

    • Reproducible workflow examples (see the linked post for more detail)
    • Sample input and/or output data, if at all possible. If your data is business confidential, please consider creating a small mockup dataset to allow community members to recreate the problem
    • Other output images that illustrate your issue
    • A sample of the relevant messages from your KNIME log (not the whole thing!)
  • General Tips

    • Keep it short. Most of the time, you will be getting a response from a community member who helps others in their spare time.
    • Break up your text into paragraphs - nobody likes reading a 10-line wall of text :wink:
    • Add tags using the optional tags field when writing your post –for example, tag Python related questions with Python to get more relevant attention for your topic. This is especially useful when reporting bugs!
    • If you are including any code in your post - for example, from a Python snippet - please consider using the Blockquote and Preformatted text options in the post editor to make your post more readable.