Here is a short list of questions to check after you've written a question (and to think about before you write the question):

  • Have you asked a practical, answerable question based on an actual problem that you face?
  • Have you done some research before asking the question? 1
  • Have you explained what you've already tried, to solve your problem?
  • Have you specified which platform you're using, including version where relevant?
  • If your question includes code, have you
  • worked through the Stack Overflow question checklist, which is equally relevant to code questions here?
  • created a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example? 2
  • If your robot or robotic system program produces results which are different to what you expect, have you stated what you expected, why you expected it, and what your actual results were?
  • Have you checked that your question looks reasonable in terms of formatting?
  • Have you checked the spelling and grammar to the best of your ability? 3
  • Have you read the whole question to yourself carefully, to make sure it makes sense and contains enough information for someone coming to it without any of the context that you already know?

If the answer to any of these questions is "no" then please take the time to fix up your question before posting, by going through this list. While we understand this may seem like a lot of effort, it will help you to get a useful answer as quickly as possible; and you might even solve your problem yourself in the process! 4

Don't forget that you're basically asking other people to help you out of the goodness of their heart - it's up to you to do all you can to make that as simple as possible.

1 If you went from "something's not working" to "asking a question" in less than 10 minutes, you probably haven't done enough research. This should include things like normal web searches (e.g. for an error message you're receiving), checking the documentation, debugging and searching on Robotics and Stack Overflow itself similar questions.

2 Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example is often shortened to MCVE.

3 We understand that English isn't the first language for many members of the Stack Exchange community. We're not looking for perfection - just some effort. If you know your English isn't good, see if a colleague or friend can help you with your question before you post it.

4 This is a bit like rubber duck debugging, and if you find the answer yourself, you can always post your own answer to your question if you think it might be useful to others.

Many thanks to Jon Skeet for his excellent Stack Overflow question checklist, which accounts for much of this checklist.


1 Answer 1


I think the most critical point on that list is,

Have you explained what you've already tried to solve your problem?

You didn't try anything yet? Then, unless it's a conceptual question, there's probably not anything for us to help you with. Open-ended design, hypothetical,


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