So, I try to answer questions on the mysql users list. It usually frustrates me, but I also want to help. And often, I learn things.
My 2nd biggest pet peeve is that people don’t think to Google their findings. Or even “MySQL” their findings. If you have a short phrase or word, type the following into your address bar and MySQL does the right thing:
http://www.mysql.com/short word or phrase
The bigger pet peeve I have is that people are AFRAID. They shake in their boots if there’s something they don’t understand. This is why there are such things as test servers. Most of the time you can run a query on a test server and see if it does the right thing.
We’re not creating bombs here. Sure, if you mess up a delete query you might mess up your system. But a SELECT query can always be “kill” ed. And a test server does not care if you delete data.
There’s no excuse for not having a test server. MySQL is available for many platforms. It’s plenty easy to mysqldump your schema, and your data too. Have lots of data? Use SELECT and LIMIT.
It’s quite frustrating as someone who helps people to get the attitude of “I don’t know what to do?!!?” So yes, when someone says “Would this work?” it makes me want to scream. Wouldn’t it be easier for you to try it, than to have me set up a test scenario for you?
Now of course, this is different from the “This should work and does not, why?” and that’s OK.