There are four ways that the community can ask questions/issues and we need your help answering them to continue to grow the community. Answering and properly documenting common questions is very important and is a primary place where contributions are needed. Below are the different ways that you can help answer questions:
This is the place where the maximum traffic occurs, and where most people in the community are. However, these responses are not easily searchable so we have broken discussions into different channels:
- #deltalake-questions: Discuss topics about the Delta lake open source project and its development. https://www.delta.io
- #events: Share information about Delta Lake meetups and conference talks
- #general: All things Delta Lake
- #random: Non-work banter and water cooler conversation
When answering questions, the most important thing to remember is to make sure to research if there are existing answers and refer to them if they exist. Here are a couple of suggestions on strategies on how to answer questions on slack:
- If it is a technical Delta Lake question that is tied to an error, bug, feature, etc. answer them concretely. Link to existing Github issues as much as you can.
- Try to glance through the current Delta Lake questions, especially the ones answered by new community members, to make sure that the answers are correct for the relevant channel. Sometimes users answer questions incorrectly (e.g., wrong config name, wrong feature info, not up-to-date info, etc.) or answer them that is not appropriate for the channel (e.g., refer to vendor-specific solutions in the deltalake-oss channel and vice versa). This creates confusion that we want to avoid.
- If the question is not related to Delta Lake, redirect them to #random
Github issues get much fewer posts than Slack, but whoever does, it's usually a technical question about a bug or feature. The answers are searchable, so it's even more important that the responses be correct and unambiguous. Roughly follow the same suggestions as with Slack with the following differences:
- Github issues are unlikely to get non-Delta-Lake and non-technical questions. Rather you may get deeper technical questions, hard bugs and complex feature requests. Please pull in established contributors to discuss these issues.
- If it’s a question, redirect to them to Slack or Google Groups to discuss
- If the proposed solution is suboptimal, engage with them to see if you can make it better
- If issues are >=6 months and if there isn't anything new to add, GitHub automation and/or Delta Lake committers may close the issue, though those issues can be re-opened by anyone if this was a mistake.
As the Delta Lake community grows, answering questions in StackOverflow - and referring to them in distribution lists and Slack - will allow us to scale.
- Ensure answers are verbose with code examples (even if the question isn't) to ensure readers can understand the answer.
- If you’re not sure due to the author’s questions, instead of answering them, follow up via “add comment” to ask clarifying questions.
- At the risk of being too verbose, try to recreate their problem before answering it (unless it’s straightforward, it rarely is) in a notebook so that way you can provide a notebook as the response.
- Useful References include tips on how to make your answer great and how to make your answers more intriguing with good formatting using markdown.
The user mailing list has the same priority and strategy as that of Github Issues.