1

I read slhck's awesome answer about the target audience of SU, and I was hoping for a little more clarification. Usually when I see a question post using nontechnical language (random example), I try to answer in terms I think the OP would understand. But I see a lot of questions where upvotes all go to a technical explanation/solution that is more 'SuperUsery' but less in line with the question, like a command-line solution for a non-power-user. So, in general: Is it better to write in line with the understanding of the question author, or the average SU user?

4

IMO you shouldn't target your answers keeping a single user (the OP) in mind. Answers posted here are meant to help future readers as well, and obviously you cannot guess and cater to everyone's skill level. Answer the question in the best way possible, and if that means a technical solution is required, so be it. However, it would be nice if you could explain how the solution works, so that non power users can learn something and possibly even adapt the steps to solve similar problems in future.

3

But I see a lot of questions where upvotes all go to a technical explanation/solution that is more 'SuperUsery' but less in line with the question, like a command-line solution for a non-power-user.

That's where "Target your question to the worldwide audience too." comes in again, although in the opposite way; it's not only about helping the non-technical user but also about helping the technical users. If I know my way around CLI then I won't bother reading a long answer telling me what I already know most of. A quick command line to execute helps me a lot.

So, in general: Is it better to write in line with the understanding of the question author, or the average SU user?

As you can't predict who will read your question, I would say both.

This is of course not always easy, writing for a world-wide audience is a skill to gain as time passes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .