On the forums most people include the CiviCRM version and the CMS and version in their forum profile.

I find this very useful even though people sometimes forget to update it and it is of limited value for consultants who work with many versions (although those people are usually savvy enough to include that information in the actual post).

Here that information is often missing from a question.

Is it important to have and if so how/where do we tell people we need that information to be able to provide a relevant answer. Should it be part of https://civicrm.stackexchange.com/tour?

Should we have a standard comment asking for the information that is routinely added to questions that don't include those details.

Should we have tags for the different versions of CiviCRM? (perhaps starting with 4.2 or 4.4) Would this help people find Q and As that are relevant to them?

If we don't think it is important should we always answer based on the latest version of CiviCRM (ie now we answer for what applies in V4.6)?

Let's use tags for CMS and CiviCRM version number and if appropriate extension version number.

I think we need a FAQ where we can link folks to specific "canned" responses to certain items. A post like the one you suggest - "Here's a list of information we need to answer your question accurately" would be good. So is Coleman's Troubleshooting popups, autocompletes, or other javascript problems. On the CiviCRM Partners list, it's also come up that there should be a page on "So the feature you want is missing" so we don't tell newcomers, "Hey submit a patch or pay someone lots of $$", and instead recognizes that different folks are at different levels of engagement.

I'd also add a page to respond to the very common "I can't believe CiviCRM doesn't have this "!

I'm not sure how best to implement this though. Should it be in StackExchange itself? If so, how? The community wiki? Or should we just have a FAQ on wiki.c.o? Or something else?

  • 1
    In the stack exchange model you can have the community wiki for common items. Also when people don't search it is really important to mark questions as duplicate --- meaning send people to a specific question. Then we build up a good set of answers to a single question instead of having them scattered across many questions. This model really builds on the idea that there is not one single right answer to most questions. – Elin Apr 16 '15 at 14:13

I think adding the CMS and version number is nice but insisting on it might be seen as persnickety and turn people off. Most times it isn't that relevant.

I like the idea of having some canned responses, and I think we should do this on the site with some appropriate question. In addition to @Jon G's suggestions, it would be helpful to have one on how to pose a good CiviCRM question with answers for various types of questions such as interpreting what to do with error messages, reporting suspected bugs, asking if functionality exists, asking how do I..., etc.

  • For lots of items CMS does not matter at all. I think there is a difference between the Q&A format of stack exchange (which is not about helping someone trouble shoot) and a help forum. If there is a good question there should be answers that start with "In version x and Joomla this is what you would do" that cover many specific versions. In cases where something is really related to a CMS and/or version then obviously use the tags appropriate for that. – Elin Apr 16 '15 at 14:18

Agree with Joe Murray, it is nice but I would not insist...although it certainly helps to know!

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