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Help with .NET

I'm about to start coding a new application with .NET (C#). I haven't used .NET before and I'll probably have questions.

Years ago there was one place to get and give help, i.e. Compuserve. Later there were the microsoft.public newsgroups. Now I see there are many separate sites: including the micrsoft.public newsgroups, www.windowsforms.com, www.gotdotnet.com, discuss.develop.com, and many others.

Why so many places? Which one[s] to use? What's the etiquette: is it rude (like spam) to post the same question to more than one place?

My experience with Compuserve is that every question was answered: the MVPs made sure of that. Whereas my experience with the microsoft.public newsgroups a few years ago was that at least 50% of the questions went unanswered: personally I felt there were too many daily questions there to even read, let alone answer.

Christopher Wells
Saturday, February 07, 2004


Odds are that most of your questions wil have been asked, and answered, by someone else.

My advice is to spend some time studying the more advanced features of Google, because you will almost always be able to find an answer to your question from there.

One little Google nugget that I love, if you want to search the MSDN web site for something, put this in your Google search: site:msdn.microsoft.com <search goes here>

Microsoft's search engine sucks, so I use this technique to have Google search it for me. Much better results that way

Mark Hoffman
Saturday, February 07, 2004


Oh, I should point out that you can use that Google technique to search any web site, not just MSDN....

Mark Hoffman
Saturday, February 07, 2004

Not sure about .net, but language-oriented IRC channels are often very helpful.

Egor Shipovalov
Saturday, February 07, 2004

If you do not want to use the advanced features of Google, give Vivisimo.com a chance.  They have a category section where they group up common words that are found within your query.

Makes finding things a lot easier sometimes.

T.J.
Saturday, February 07, 2004

What Mark Hoffman wrote plus the following:


CW wrote, "What's the etiquette: is it rude (like spam) to post the same question to more than one place?"

Posting the same question on various message boards is a pretty common practice, however, you shouldn't be surprised if someone eventually gets in your face if you make a habit out of doing this. Personally, I don't believe people should spam message boards unless they have a good reason for doing so and they let people know why (i.e. they have a urgent deadline to meet) and where they are doing it (i.e. here are the boards where I posted this message).


CW wrote, "My experience with Compuserve is that every question was answered: the MVPs made sure of that. Whereas my experience with the microsoft.public newsgroups a few years ago was that at least 50% of the questions went unanswered: personally I felt there were too many daily questions there to even read, let alone answer."

This may have changed. I don't know. From what I have read the MVP program has become more popular recently due to more people being awarded MVP status than in the past, and with greater frequency (it apparently used to be only a few people selected annually, now it's several quarterly, if memory serves).


CW wrote, "Why so many places?"

Everyone has their own reason for starting a message board. Microsoft does it for several reasons (saves them money, marketing, etc.). Some people do it to make a name for themselves, and the list of reasons why goes on and on ....


CW wrote, "Which one[s] to use?"

That is up to you to decide. You may only want to participate on only one board or may want to visit several of them on a frequent basis. Different strokes for different folks.

One Programmer's Opinion
Saturday, February 07, 2004

One other Google tidbit... keep bookmarks for your favorite search queries.  E.g.,

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&group=microsoft.public.dotnet
(Search the microsoft.dotnet.* usenet hierarchy)

I've rarely had a question that someone hadn't asked before in the microsoft.dotnet.* groups.  Also, your chances for getting a response depends on which group you post it in.  Some groups, like the VB group, have very active MVP's who make sure that virtually every question gets an answer.

Robert Jacobson
Saturday, February 07, 2004

>> language-oriented IRC channels

Egor, could you name a few please? I can't find my way around IRC yet.

Alex.ro
Saturday, February 07, 2004

The only IRC channel I found on freenode was #c# for c-sharp, at it's pretty dead too, often less than 20 users online, whereas #perl #java and #php are over 200 most of the time.

Anyone know any others?

Matthew Lock
Saturday, February 07, 2004

Thanks, people.

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, February 10, 2004

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