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This is another follow up to Let's talk about closure.

Our on topic Help page has not been substantively revised in many years. As the one (I believe) Help page that we have the ability to write, it's the canonical place for us to state our community's scope, values, and specific expectations.

I'm offering a revision on which I would like to solicit feedback from the community, as well as proposals for 2-3 examples of excellent questions - excellent in terms of great communication that clearly expresses an issue and receives a great solution. The questions, in short, that you would want new contributors to use as their models.

Note: we can rewrite the on-topic page but not the off-topic page, which contributes to what I've chosen to include here.

What topics can I ask about here?

Salesforce Stack Exchange is for Salesforce administrators, developers, architects, and anyone else implementing and customizing Salesforce products. Our scope includes the core Salesforce platform and CRM application, all Salesforce clouds, including Marketing Cloud, Pardot, and Analytics Cloud, Trailhead, and Quip. We also cover the Heroku platform itself, but not general programming questions on Heroku.

We encourage questions about any facet of implementing and customizing the Salesforce platforms. Whether you build using code or declarative customization, your questions are welcome here!

Questions and answers from users of all levels, from beginner to expert, are welcomed. All we ask is that, whatever your level, you make an effort to participate in our format, which is described below. This helps keep our community effective and valuable for everyone. To get you started, here’s a few examples of great questions that have been asked and answered on Salesforce Stack Exchange:

  • [placeholder]
  • [placeholder]
  • [placeholder]

Salesforce Stack Exchange is not a forum. It’s a community knowledge base, built and curated by you. One of the key values of Salesforce Stack Exchange is maintaining a high signal-to-noise ratio and ensuring that the questions and answers we feature provide value to everyone — not just the asker and the answerer, but the thousands of other users that come to Stack Exchange to find solutions to their own problems. We want a successful answer to be a clear, complete, and accessible reference for everyone who has the same problem!

To build that community value, we maintain a clear format, often summed up as "questions that have specific answers". While not every question fits this pattern in the same way, a general expectation is that a question post should include

  1. A specific, detailed description of the issue (“it doesn’t work” is not enough to allow the community to help).

plus

  1. The implementation that led to the issue (the code, metadata, or design, in its current form).
  2. and/or the research and work you’ve done so far on the issue.

To learn more, please read [ask] and "What types of questions should I avoid asking?".

Don’t worry if community members ask you to add information to your question or clarify your posts: we’re trying to help you ask the best question possible, to make sure you get a high quality answer and share value with the whole community. If you don’t understand right away, ask for guidance about what you need to do, and don’t hesitate to edit your post to add information and help the community understand your challenge.


There’s a few things we request that you not ask about or contribute to the site.

  • We’re not a place to exchange code or find implementation services. Questions that ask for the community to write code or provide step-by-step instructions for implementation are often not received well and are likely to be closed. The community is here to provide mutual support, so we expect to see the work you’ve done so far in your questions. Similarly, we ask that answers provide clear, written explanation, and don't merely consist of pasted code.
  • Because Salesforce certified professionals are bound by confidentiality agreements, we do not allow any content that is from, or looks like it’s from, Salesforce certification exams. Questions asking for certification content to be answered or explained are removed immediately and without exception.
  • We don’t allow complete solutions to Trailhead challenges. Questions about specific problems encountered in completing Trailhead modules are welcome, but please do not provide complete solutions or details to challenges that would impede others from effectively demonstrating their own independent work.

If you have questions about what’s welcomed on SFSE, please feel free to ask a question on Meta Salesforce Stack Exchange, which is for questions about the site itself.

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    I'll see about finding some examples for the placeholders, but I find this new revision vastly improved from the previous text. – sfdcfox Dec 3 '19 at 18:20
  • Late comment but I would love some improvements to the "re-opening a closed question" sections. To me re-opening is the weakest part of the close vote process. Would love to see more users coming to meta to ask how they can re-open questions as well. – battery.cord Dec 9 '19 at 15:39
  • @battery.cord Do you mean this page? Unfortunately we can't edit that one. – David Reed Dec 9 '19 at 15:41
  • Thats a real shame. Going through the list 1. I don't think I would see a comment under a question I closed. 2. Doesn't specify that the first edit by any user will cause the post to enter the re-open q (does above but not here) 3. I don't think this would cause any traction at all but im not a mod 4. Id say the average user would have less than 3k rep when their question is closed. I'm unsatisfied with this guidance & the re-open process as a whole. I'd really rather it just said "come to meta" or that the users who closed it were more involved in editing/re-opening. – battery.cord Dec 9 '19 at 15:48
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    I wish we could rewrite most of the Help Center. Unfortunately, On Topic is what we get. I'm open to persuasion that we should compensate by including more material there, but I also don't want to make it so long nobody reads it. – David Reed Dec 9 '19 at 15:55
  • I'm going to move forward with this change without example questions, since I think Adrian raised some important points there and I don't yet have a solid proposal for which questions constitute the best examples. – David Reed Dec 12 '19 at 17:35
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Your proposed text is definitely a significant step up from our current text. I can't think of anything I'd add/remove/reword after my first readings.

One thing of note: participating in meta requires 5 rep (1 upvoted question or answer, 2 accepted edits, associating an account used on another SE site, accepting 2 answers, probably a few more things...). I don't imagine that'll be much of an issue for the people who would actually ask for question help in meta.

The group of people who wouldn't do that and the group of people who won't read help pages (even when directly pointed to the help pages) probably have significant overlap.

Meta's S/N ratio isn't imperiled, and it gives a clear avenue for getting help for the people who would actually bother. So I think the meta bit is fine as-is (it might help to add a link to meta, perhaps).

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I think a good starting point for finding questions which would be worth inclusion is simply looking at our highest voted questions. Personally I also would then look for posts which have a grammatical title ending in a question mark. I would also try to focus on questions which are widely applicable, tightly focused, and well written if we are going to include links to them in the help center.

One last note. Whatever we decide, we should try to minimize overlap of askers/answerers to the posts we include, as those people will likely see a sizeable benefit in up votes, view counts, etc. We might even consider making them all wikis, though I think that would be going to far.

A quick list:

  1. What are Salesforce ID's composed of?
  2. Any reason to skip DML on empty lists?
  3. How can I efficiently generate a Set<Id> from a List<SObject> structure?
  4. Is it possible to run a SOQL Query and get a MAP returned?
  5. Is there a way to do Like against a list of Values?
  6. Can report data be accessed programatically?
  7. How to run a scheduled job every 15 minutes?
  8. How do you deserialize json properties that are reserved words in apex?
  9. Can I get my security token without having to reset it?
  10. Why Are Data Silos Important in Unit Tests?
  11. Is it possible to test apex that relies on field history tracking?
  12. How many SOQL queries are spent for subqueries?
  13. What is the Difference Between Controllers and Extensions?
  14. How can I convert a 15 char Id value into an 18 char Id value?
  15. What standard and custom fields are indexed?
  16. What are the object and field name suffixes that Salesforce uses? Such as __c and __x
  17. How to use fieldsets with Lightning?
  18. Is there any way to unschedule an apex scheduled job programmatically?
  19. Is it possible to test list size from a VisualForce page?
  20. https://salesforce.stackexchange.com/a/80458/2995
  21. What formulae does the Geolocation Distance use?
  22. Bug in String.split('.')?
  23. When should a static intializer be used?
  24. How to access outer class instance variables from inner class in controller?
  25. Can you use generics in Apex?
  26. How to sort Wrapper list?
  27. How can I determine how many future calls have been executed in 24 hours?
  28. Can I prevent an insert to be rolled back even if my class (later) runs into an exception?
  29. SObjectException No More. Intentional Change?
  30. What is the maximum number of items in a SOQL IN clause?
  31. Do promises work in Lightning?
  32. Which one is better : Loop with SOQL or create a List then Loop?
  33. How do I parse a JSON map into an Apex Map?
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  • what? no "why are my apexmocks not working?" :-) – cropredy Dec 9 '19 at 19:31
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As for questions to put in as examples...

After digging through my own comments for a bit, I found What causes platform events to fail to be published and should I cater for failed platform event creations?

  • The ask is clearly stated
  • The title is helpful
  • Research effort is shown
  • Gets kinda close to asking multiple questions, but packages things up into something that can be answered
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