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I experienced a bout of this just this morning as I struggled with a PHP script. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong, and finally, after 40 rage-inducing minutes, I clicked the "New Post" button in the PHP Forum and started composing a post. Five or six minutes later the post was ready to submit...and also completely unecessary, since in the course of articulating the problem I had figured out the solution.
Which made me wonder: how many really great questions, questions that could be springboards for a reference thread or a valuable discussion, are lost to the human brain's tendency to solve it's problems in the course of figuring out what they are? Not that my particular question would have made for a life-altering thread, but this isn't the first time this has happened to me, and I'm certainly not the first person to whom it has happened.
I hate to think how much great information I'm not getting to read because other members are figuring things out on their own! :)
I have often thought “what a coincidence”. It’s like going to the doctor. As soon as I step in the doctor’s office I feel fine.
For decades I have worked in problem solving environments, and I once had a manager who said: “ As soon as you start taking data on a problem, it starts to go away”. I think the data doesn’t make the difference but it’s how we change our thought processes when we start taking the data.
Taking data is a little like typing the post. The “problem” becomes a little more objective. Also, the post is sometimes a written checklist like “I tried this and I tried that” but the checklist isn’t complete so before you post you must try that last possibility that may solve the problem…
So, there are ton of missing posts out there, especially technical ones. But the forum posting process is very much a supply and demand driven system. When no answer is supplied to the potential poster, from previous posts or otherwise, they will eventually post, in theory anyway : )
Of course it may be a problem that some interesting problems are never made public, but personally I would regard it as completely legitimate to present a problem, present your solution to it and then ask others if they can see some flaws in the solution or they can think of a better one.