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I come looking for some guidance on how to best help a user in a couple of ways.

They have come asking a question, which is a follow on from this question on Superuser about a specific problem. But in answering there question I've actually found out they need some general help with an over-all set-up.

  1. What's the best way for me to help the user clean up the question to reflect the fact they need help with (what sounds like) a full set-up? (and the best Stack site to move it too)

  2. What's the general guidance of the community for helping people with situations like this where there is likely to be protracted discussion?

  • Tough one. If they had 20 rep, you could take it to a chat room. The site isn't really designed to support extended dialog. It might help to break it into several questions. – fixer1234 Dec 9 '15 at 5:17
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No Stack Exchange site is designed for extended discussion. If you both had 20 reputation, chat would work, but failing that, you're kind of stuck.

Linking to How to Ask and suggesting that specific details and issues along with what was tried (and how it failed) should be edited in could salvage a question. It might not be the fastest way of learning, but a series of specific answers to a series of specific questions is a solid means to resolving a problem.

However, if the user is really lost/confused, I would suggest linking to an off-site resource - a tutorial or manual - in the comments. Stack Exchange can't handle everything, so it might even be necessary to suggest that the user ask a friend or post on a less moderated forum.

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