Are "Help me with this query" questions on topic here or are they 'too localized'?

I have a table, with indexes but the explain seems to indicate that the indexes are not used and I'd like some advice on how to speed it up.

  • 1
    Check the top-rated answer to What kind of questions are allowed on Database Administrators?
    – Mat
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 11:04
  • 2
    I'd say they're the same as any code question on SO. The syntax itself may be localized, however the broader problem and solution is not and can be re-used by many users facing a similar problem. The only hard part is titling/tagging the question appropriately when you don't know what the actual problem is :)
    – Rachel
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 13:08
  • definitely so ! they are often the toughest of problems for one person, that someone else would definitely have a solution too. The tricky bit is getting all the necessary details down. Its a learning curve in itself, but if people use sites such as sqlfiddle.com , SQL sentry and photobucket they will gain improvements in their general education and give an insight into fields such as training. Commented May 9, 2013 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


Basically the two commenters above (Rachel, Mat) summed it up nicely. You should feel free to ask the questions that you think are on target, but make sure that they are well-defined, that you have included your troubleshooting steps, what you think is broken, why you don't think you can fix it, and any ancillary data that may be helpful.

For example, you mention a explain. If you can insert that in the text of the post (use the { } code formatting block after pasting, in the editor above the post entry box to indicate code formatting) then by all means do so, but if not, maybe provide a link to a gist or pastebin that has the relevant details. There's also sqlfiddle, if you want to reproduce the basic issue you're seeing.

Otherwise, so long as you've done the above, we should be good on you posting whatever you think is relevant.

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