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We have a lot of talented members on JavaRanch, and the temptation to contact them privately to ask a question might be overwhelming. Please resist that temptation, for several reasons:

  • All the members here are voluntarily providing their expertise to help the community. In some ways this is similar to a builder volunteering their time to work on a community hall that is not paid for by the government. However just because the builder was willing to work on the community hall for free does not mean that they are willing to work on your house for free. In the same way it can be considered insulting to have a stranger make a request that equates to asking for free personal consultation.

  • A volunteer's time available for voluntary work may be limited. Asking them to spend what spare time they have on your personal problem instead of something that may benefit the community can be seen as being selfish and greedy.

  • The volunteers here have decided to join this community. In asking for private help you are effectively saying that you are rejecting the community that the volunteer has adopted - this is usually considered very bad manners.

  • So instead post your question at the appropriate forum in the saloon. That way you will get public answers from anyone who knows to contribute something, and the whole community can benefit from it.

    See also UseTheForumNotEmail and take a look at our other tips on HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch.
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