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EE Filters: The Short Version

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This is not the first EE Article about setting up an Expert Question Filter, but it is short and directly to the point.  Follow these simple steps and you'll be up running and with a Question Filter in no time at all.

You can do lots of complex things with Filters, but usually, all you really need is a Filter that selects questions in one or more Zones; that is, you want to see questions that are in topic areas where you have some expertise.  So, setting up a Filter is all about selecting some Zones.[step=""]Note: I'll also cover an often-overlooked but key feature of the EE Filter system:  The ability to get email notifications of new questions in your favorite Zones.[/step]

Creating a Filter

Steps 1 and 2 are the same for each of the following three options:

1) Get to the Experts Zone
     (Click the Answer tab on top of any EE webpage).
2) Click Create Filter
     (it's under Expert Tools on the right).

Option #1: Use the Zone Selector

3) Click Zones (on the left).
4) Browse around the Zone hierarchy and put checkmarks next to one or more Zones.

5) Scroll down to the bottom of that zone selector and click Update Query
6) Just below that, under Filter Summary enter a name for your
     Filter (for instance, "VB Programming")
7) Click Create Filter.

You are done!

The only hard part about all of that was finding the right Zones in the zone selector.  So I'm now going to tell you a secret:  There are are least two other ways to select the desired zones.

Option #2: Zone Name in the Terms Criteria
The simplest technique is to use the Terms criterion rather than the Zones criterion.

1,2) ...as above.

3) Click Terms (on the left).
4a) Enter a zone name or partial zone name in the second box.
4b) In the third box, select Zone Name.

5,6,7) Same as above.

You are finished.  However, this is a rather "blunt instrument" because the partial zone name may cause the Filter to include zones you don't really want.  For instance, "Windows" includes Windows Programming, Windows 3.x, Windows 7, Windows MFC, and many, many others.

Option #3: TAID(s) in the Custom Query Criteria

The next way is a more advanced, but it is very precise.  It lets you isolate specific zones and even exclude zones.

1,2) ...as above.

3) Click Custom Query (on the left).
4) Enter text in the following format:
taid:(nnn OR nnn OR nnn)

Open in new window

...where you replace nnn with specific Zone ID values.  

5,6,7) Same as above.[step=""]Note: TAID is an acronym for Topic Area ID -- EE Zones were previously called "Topic Areas" and so we still see that term occasionally.[/step]
So now you just need a list of Zone ID values.  That list is available here:

    Zone list (Thanks go to webtubbs  for compiling that list!)

Here is the same list, but with the zone names in alphabetical order:
   TAID    Zone Name
   ----    -------------------------------------------------------
   323     .NET
   3647    .Net Application Servers
   3917    .Net Compact Framework
   4768    .Net Editors & IDEs
   5719    .NET Framework 1.x
   5327    .NET Framework 2.x
   5651    .NET Framework 3.x versions
   69      3D Game Programming
   3580    3D Graphics Software 
   3577    3D-Studio 3D Graphics Software
   3170    4GL Databases
   2844    802.11 Wireless Access Points
   254     802.11x
   2845    802.16 Broadband Wireless Access
   5313    Access Architecture/Design
   5316    Access Coding/Macros
   5315    Access Forms
   5314    Access Reports
   5520    ACT
   3300    Action/Adventure Games
   5663    ActionScript
   3658    Active Directory
   97      Active Server Pages (ASP)
   5428    ActiveX
   5510    Actuate
   5638    ADA
   623     Admin Only
   5951    Admin/Mod/PE Only
   951     Admin/Mod/ZA Only
   246     Adobe Acrobat
   5621    Adobe Creative Suite
   113     Adobe Director
   114     Adobe Dreamweaver
   187     Adobe Fireworks
   116     Adobe Flash
   5645    Adobe Flex
   3602    Adobe Freehand
   3226    Adobe GoLive HTML Editor
   3601    Adobe Illustrator
   3606    Adobe InDesign Publishing Software
   3632    Adobe JRun
   3623    Adobe Lightroom
   3607    Adobe Pagemaker Publishing Software
   75      Adobe Photoshop
   3594    Adobe Type Manager
   4489    AEC FastTrack Schedule Project Management Software
   3791    Algorithms
   3253    All-Purpose Editors & IDEs
   5698    ANT
   3382    Anti-Spam Email Software
   3380    Anti-Spam White Lists
   3399    Anti-Spyware
   5386    Anti-Virus
   178     Anti-Virus Applications
   3409    AOL Web Browser
   3630    Apache Tomcat Application Server
   110     Apache Web Server
   5349    Apple
   5438    Apple
   5351    Apple Desktop
   5353    Apple Display Monitors
   5350    Apple Hardware
   5352    Apple Laptop
   124     Apple Networking
   22      Apple Operating Systems
   5370    Apple Programming
   36      Apple Software
   4668    AppleScript
   5605    AppleShare IP
   5606    Appletalk
   5365    AppleWorks
   3735    Application Protocols
   462     Application Servers
   3585    ArchiCAD Software
   5970    Article Tips
   3492    AS / 400
   235     Assembly Programming Language
   5641    Asterisk Open Source Telephony
   5659    Asynchronous Javascript and XML (AJAX)
   169     Asyncronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
   234     ATG Dynamo Application Server
   5589    Audio Editing
   3582    AutoCAD Software
   5724    Automated Tests
   5685    Automation
   5699    Automotive
   3355    Avast Anti-Virus Software
   5977    AVG
   3668    Backup & Restore Software
   3673    Backup Exec
   3381    Bayesian Filters
   233     BEA WebLogic Application Server
   3490    BeOS
   382     Berkeley DB
   5703    Beta Site Feedback
   5665    Biztalk Server
   5549    Blackberry Operating System
   176     Blackberry Programming
   5435    Blogs
   177     Bluetooth
   5653    Bootcamp
   4670    Bourne Shell (sh)
   4673    Bourne-Again Shell (bash)
   168     Broadband Internet
   5471    Bryce 3D
   3504    BSD Unix
   3499    BSDI BSD
   241     Btrieve 4GL Database
   5692    Bulletin Boards
   3266    Business Management Software
   5511    Business Objects
   5415    Business Process Execution Language
   5695    Business Travel
   3242    C / C++ / C# Editors and IDEs
   83      C Programming Language
   3245    C# Builder
   327     C# Programming Language
   847     C++ Builder
   84      C++ Programming Language
   971     CAD & Architecture Software
   5394    Calypso
   3805    Carbon Programming Language
   100     Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
   4170    CD / MP3 Music & Players
   253     CDMA
   4237    Cellular Phones & Carriers
   5950    CentOS
   99      CGI Scripting
   5595    Change Management
   3360    Chat / IM Software
   5479    Checkpoint Firewall
   5480    Cisco PIX Firewall
   1011    Citrix
   5500    Clarion
   5469    Classic Consoles
   5338    ClearCase
   3807    COBOL Programming Language
   3804    Cocoa Programming Language
   3264    Code Obfuscators
   3243    CodeForge
   3252    CodeWarrior
   3227    CoffeeCup HTMLEditor
   5506    Cognos PowerPlay
   5411    Cold Fusion Markup Language
   112     ColdFusion Application Server
   3221    ColdFusion Studio
   1071    Community Support
   5976    Community Volunteers
   5686    CommVault
   3260    Compilers for Software Development
   5426    Components
   236     Computer CPU Processors
   4504    Computer Displays / Monitors
   2810    Computer Fans and Cooling
   5634    Computer Games
   2908    Computer Hard Drives
   5625    Computer Hardware
   2811    Computer Memory (RAM)
   50      Computer Modems
   2820    Computer Motherboards
   48      Computer Scanners
   162     Computer Scanners by HP
   3041    Computer Servers
   2822    Computer Sound Cards
   4650    Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
   3057    Computer Web Cameras
   846     Conferencing Software
   5670    Consulting
   5475    Consumer Firewalls
   5519    Contact Management
   5560    Content Management
   5711    Continuous Integration
   5581    CORBA
   5704    Core Conference
   1073    Core Conference 2010
   3603    Corel Draw
   5406    Corel Photo-Paint
   3144    Corel Presentations Presentation Software
   3125    Corel Quattro Spreadsheet Software
   5408    Corel Ventura
   786     Corel WordPerfect Office Suite
   3157    Corel WordPerfect Word Processing Software
   5974    CPanel
   747     CRM Software
   3044    CRT Monitors
   40      Crystal Reports Software
   583     CS EAB
   4672    csh / tcsh
   1072    CV_Admin
   5334    CVS
   5531    CYGWIN
   3839    D Programming Language
   3706    Data Hosting/Data Havens
   5514    Data Manipulation
   5515    Data Mining
   5383    Database
   38      Databases Miscellaneous
   238     DB2 Database
   5347    dBase
   4202    dbPowerAmp Software for Ripping and Encoding MP3s
   5333    DCOM
   3509    Debian Linux
   3262    Debugging Software for Development
   3845    Delphi Components
   3851    Delphi Curiosities
   3846    Delphi Database
   3844    Delphi IDE
   3850    Delphi Printing
   85      Delphi Programming
   3848    Delphi.net Programming
   3263    Deployment Software for Development
   5593    Design & Methodology
   5671    Design Patterns
   5387    Desktop Anti-Virus
   5380    Developer
   5622    Developer Tools
   3211    Development Editors & IDEs
   3210    Development Software
   3588    Digital Camera Acqusition Software
   3592    Digital Camera Software
   3958    Digital Cameras
   5718    Digital Forensics
   5375    Digital Living
   5440    Digital Living Hardware
   5447    Digital Living Software
   4509    Digital Music and Video
   4058    Digital Video Recorders / TiVo
   324     DirectX Graphics & Game Programming
   5710    Disability Access
   5715    Disaster Recovery
   3678    Disk Partition Tools
   5425    Document Imaging
   5696    Document Management
   5427    Document Object Model
   3794    Documentation in Programming
   3261    Documentation Software for Development
   5561    Documentum
   3722    Domain Name Service (DNS)
   5946    DOS and Windows
   61      DOS Games
   5708    Dovecot
   5528    Dragon NaturallySpeaking
   3500    Dragonfly BSD
   3672    DriveCopy
   3676    Drivers
   5963    Drupal
   171     DSL Lines / Cable Internet
   3982    DVD Players & Recorders
   3721    Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
   3880    Dynamic HTML (DHTML)
   891     EAI
   4203    Easy CD/DA Extractor Software for Ripping and Encoding MP3s
   3233    Eclipse
   3766    E-Commerce
   5417    E-Commerce Security
   5579    Editors IDEs
   5539    Education Industry
   183     EE Bugs
   302     EE Community Cleanup
   522     Eiffel Programming Language
   5701    Electronic Systems
   3251    Emacs
   5389    Email Anti-Virus
   130     Email Clients
   3723    Email Protocols
   3654    Email Servers
   14      Email Software
   5961    Embedded Databases
   5679    Embedded Hardware
   3476    Embedix Handheld Operating System
   3745    Encryption for Network Security
   3636    Enhydra Application Server
   5390    Enterprise Anti-Virus
   5476    Enterprise Firewalls
   3819    Enterprise Java Beans (EJB)
   5487    Enterprise Software
   55      EPOC / Symbian Programming
   763     ERP Software
   5512    Essbase
   5693    Essential Business Server
   131     Eudora Email Client
   5396    Evolution
   3074    Evolution Groupware Software
   132     Exchange Email Server
   3829    eXO Velocity
   182     Expert Advisory
   5289    Expert Announcements
   181     Expert Input
   5148    Experts Lounge
   138     Experts-Exchange Lounge
   5945    Expression Web
   3879    Extensible HTML (XHTML)
   105     Extensible Markup Language (XML)
   3881    Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT)
   5720    F#
   3513    Fedora Linux
   139     Feedback
   3674    File Compression Utilities
   3655    File Servers
   3737    File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
   242     FileMaker Pro Database
   5965    Final Cut
   3404    Firefox Web Browser
   3169    Focus 4GL Database
   3595    Font Creator
   73      Font Software
   6020    FORTRAN
   41      FoxPro Database
   191     Frame Relay
   5677    Free Pascal
   788     FreeBSD
   117     FrontPage-Expressions
   3656    FTP Servers
   3384    FTP Software
   5956    Fusebox
   5599    Gambling
   4279    Game Boy Advance Handheld Video-Game Console
   64      Game Emulators
   66      Game Programming
   70      Game Programming User Interface
   62      Game Tips & Tricks
   5624    Gamers
   5620    Gaming World
   2       General Business & Productivity Software
   180     General Community Support
   46      General Computer Systems
   783     General Laptop
   78      General Macintosh Programming
   805     General Multi-Media Software
   250     General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
   3514    Gentoo Linux
   3596    Ghostscript PDF Software
   325     GIS & GPS Programming
   249     Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)
   3505    GNU HURD Unix
   5521    Goldmine
   5722    Google Chrome
   6061    Google Chrome OS
   5404    Graphics
   68      Graphics & Game Programming
   3849    Graphics and Delphi Programming
   5571    Grid
   4205    Grip Software for Ripping and Encoding MP3s
   5664    Groove
   5580    Groovy
   3077    Groupware / Collaborative Software
   785     Handheld and PDA Programming
   4277    Handheld Video Game Consoles
   175     Handhelds and PDAs
   562     Hard Drives & Storage
   5483    Hardware Components
   5540    Health Care / MUMPS
   5594    HelpDesk Authoring
   4519    Hidden
   5049    HijackThis Software
   5619    Home Security
   3994    Home Theater Audio / Video Receivers
   4014    Home Theater Speaker Systems
   3980    Home Theater Systems
   3981    Home Theater Wiring & Accessories
   108     Hot URLs
   3506    HP-UX Unix
   5494    HR Human Capital Management
   5432    HTMLkit
   5397    HTTP
   101     Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
   3736    Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
   5953    Hyper-V
   5680    Hypervisor
   826     IBM AIX Unix
   5530    IBM ViaVoice
   232     IBM Websphere Application Server
   3604    Illustration Software
   3590    Image Correction Software
   5960    ImageMagick
   3621    Images & Photo Software
   5448    Imaging Software
   5507    Impromptu
   4488    IMSI TurboProject Project Management Software
   5535    Industry Specific Software
   5662    Infopath
   5959    Informatica
   3183    Informix Database
   5553    Infragistics
   3168    Ingress 4GL Database
   5943    InnoSetup
   5574    Installation
   5575    InstallShield
   3795    Intellectual Property
   244     Interbase / Firebird Database
   5374    Internet
   3351    Internet & Email Software
   3779    Internet Advertising
   3847    Internet and Delphi Programming
   3739    Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
   3401    Internet Explorer Web Browser
   3388    Internet File Sharing Software
   342     Internet Marketing
   3726    Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)
   5343    Internet Protocols
   3778    Internet Search Engine Optimization
   5472    Internet Security
   172     Internet Service Providers (ISP)
   5501    InterSystems Cache
   3749    Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)
   3282    Investment Software
   4649    IP PBX Systems
   5477    IP Tables/IP Chains
   4648    IP Telephony
   5637    iPhone
   3612    iPhoto Photo Software
   4177    iPod
   5354    iPODs
   3750    IPSec Security Protocol
   104     ISPs & Web Hosting
   5969    IT Administration
   5379    ITPro
   4208    iTunes Software
   5368    iWork
   3818    J2EE
   3825    J2EE Frameworks
   3826    Jakarta Struts
   3828    Jakarta Turbine
   3816    Java 2 Micro-Edition (J2ME)
   3638    Java Application Servers
   3835    Java AWT & Swing
   3241    Java Editors & IDEs
   3823    Java Naming & Directory Interface (JNDI)
   3832    Java Native Interface (JNI)
   86      Java Programming Language
   3827    Java Server Faces (JSF)
   202     Java Server Pages (JSP)
   3821    Java Servlets
   4605    Java Standard Edition
   3824    Java Standard Tag Library (JSTL) & Server Tags
   3822    JavaMail
   87      JavaScript
   5675    JavaScript Frameworks
   3833    JAXP & SAX (XML APIs)
   3631    Jboss Application Server
   3236    JCreator IDE
   5433    JDeveloper
   3235    jEdit Editor
   3635    JonAS Application Server
   5964    Joomla
   5705    Jquery
   5585    JScript
   5966    JSON
   5972    Kaspersky
   5958    KDevelop
   3904    Kernel And Operating System Specific Programming
   4674    KornShell (ksh)
   5716    KVM Switches
   5717    LabView
   4204    LAME Software for Ripping and Encoding MP3s
   5650    Language Integrated Query - LINQ
   5957    Latest Threats
   3597    LATeX Font Software
   5678    Lazarus
   3046    LCD & Plasma
   4637    Legacy PBX
   74      Lightwave 3D
   3185    Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
   5399    LimeWire
   3515    Lindows / Linspire Linux
   32      Linux
   159     Linux Administration
   5631    Linux Distributions
   502     Linux Network Security
   123     Linux Networking
   160     Linux Printing
   77      Linux Programming
   161     Linux Setup
   5975    Linux Virtualization
   5517    LISP
   3370    List Server Software
   5309    Live/Office Communications Server
   5545    Longview Solutions
   3126    Lotus 1-2-3 Spreadsheet Software
   3111    Lotus Approach Database
   848     Lotus Domino Email Server
   3140    Lotus Freelance Graphics Presentation Software
   133     Lotus Notes
   245     Lotus SmartSuite
   3156    Lotus Word Pro Word Processing Software
   3407    Lynx Web Browser
   2846    Mac Airport Wireless Access Point
   60      Mac Games
   3485    Mac OS 10.1 (Cheetah)
   3487    Mac OS 10.2 (Jaguar)
   3486    Mac OS 10.3 (Panther)
   5363    Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger)
   5648    Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard)
   3484    Mac OS X
   3480    Macintosh Classic Operating Systems
   3067    Macromedia Breeze Conferencing Software
   3223    Macromedia Homesite
   115     Macromedia UltraDev
   5551    MainFrame Operating Systems
   3806    Main-Frame Programming Languages
   5714    Managed Services
   3265    Management & Debugging Software
   3516    Mandrake Linux
   5416    Marketing
   5603    Marketing Software
   3273    MAS90 Financial Software
   65      Massive Multiple Online Role Playing and Other Online Games
   329     Math & Science
   3809    MatLab Programming Language
   5674    Maya
   3354    McAfee Anti-Virus Software
   5942    Mdaemon
   5541    Measurement Industry
   3677    Memory Boosters
   5523    Message Queue
   4848    Mice / Keyboards
   5297    Microsoft
   39      Microsoft Access Database
   5068    Microsoft ADP
   5312    Microsoft Applications
   911     Microsoft ASP.NET Web Matrix
   5318    Microsoft Development
   5348    Microsoft Dynamics
   5968    Microsoft Enterprise
   604     Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet Software
   5342    Microsoft Hardware
   5660    Microsoft Identity Integration Server
   186     Microsoft IIS Web Server
   5317    Microsoft Money
   3066    Microsoft NetMeeting Conferencing Software
   35      Microsoft Office Suite
   5298    Microsoft Operating Systems
   3131    Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation Software
   5339    Microsoft Programming
   931     Microsoft Project Project Management Software
   3609    Microsoft Publisher
   5303    Microsoft Server
   5655    Microsoft Virtual Server
   3218    Microsoft Visio
   866     Microsoft Visual Basic.Net
   3216    Microsoft Visual C#.Net
   3247    Microsoft Visual C++
   867     Microsoft Visual C++.Net
   120     Microsoft Visual Interdev
   3217    Microsoft Visual J#.Net
   5319    Microsoft Visual Studio Express
   3560    Microsoft Windows Operating Systems
   605     Microsoft Word
   3124    Microsoft Works Spreadsheet Software
   5513    MicroStrategy
   343     Miscellaneous
   59      Miscellaneous Games
   45      Miscellaneous Hardware
   122     Miscellaneous Networking
   82      Miscellaneous Programming
   174     Miscellaneous Security
   34      Miscellaneous Software
   96      Miscellaneous Web Development
   3521    MkLinux
   5401    Mobile / Handheld
   3810    Modeling Programming Languages
   282     Mod's only
   5647    Mono - Multi-Platform .NET Framework
   5436    Movable Type
   4626    Movix
   3403    Mozilla Web Browser
   4211    MP3 Download Software and Web Sites
   23      MS DOS
   3268    MS Dynamics GP
   5341    MS Forefront-ISA
   1012    MS SharePoint
   5228    MS SQL DTS
   5948    MS SQL Reporting
   42      MS SQL Server
   5311    MS System Center
   5588    Multimedia Programming
   3834    Multimedia Programming with Java
   5955    MVC
   237     MySQL Server
   5700    Navigational Systems
   5344    Net BIOS and NetBEUI
   3234    NetBeans IDE
   3502    NetBSD
   3228    NetObjects Fusion
   3068    Netscape Conference Conferencing Software
   3364    Netscape Email Client
   3405    Netscape Navigator Web Browser
   3465    Network Analysis Software
   3457    Network Auditing Software
   2833    Network Cards & Adapters
   5534    Network Design & Methodology
   5532    Network Management
   5533    Network Operations
   51      Network Routers
   5629    Network Security
   193     Network Software Firewalls
   2840    Network Switches & Hubs
   5626    Networking
   2834    Networking Cables
   2836    Networking Hardware
   2835    Networking Hardware Firewalls
   52      Networking Hardware for Macintosh
   3734    Networking Protocols
   194     Networking Security Vulnerabilities
   47      New Computer Users
   106     New Internet Users
   322     New to Experts-Exchange?
   3837    New to Java Programming
   136     New Zones
   3659    NFS File Server
   4281    N-Gage Handheld Video-Game Console
   4278    Nintendo DS Handheld Video-Game Console
   4282    Nintendo Video Game Console
   3669    Norton Ghost Backup Software
   1014    Novell Groupwise
   3729    Novell Internet Packet Exchange (IPX)
   125     Novell Netware Network Software
   3803    Objective-C Programming Language
   3086    OCR / Scanner Software
   3363    OE-WindowsLive
   3063    Office & Productivity Software
   5503    OLAP
   3811    OMG UML Programming Language
   3591    Online Digital Photo Services
   5591    Open Source Programming
   243     OpenBSD
   422     OpenGL Graphics & Game Programming
   5431    OpenLaszlo
   5697    OpenXML_OXML
   3406    Opera Web Browser
   3714    Operating System Specific Networking
   5573    Operating Systems Development
   21      Operating Systems Miscellaneous
   3755    Operating Systems Network Security
   5604    Optical Networking
   3202    Oracle 10.x
   5652    Oracle 11.x Database
   195     Oracle 3rd Party Tools
   3199    Oracle 7.x
   3200    Oracle 8.x
   3201    Oracle 9.x
   5489    Oracle CRM
   43      Oracle Database
   5492    Oracle ERP
   5495    Oracle HCM
   603     Oracle IAS Application Server
   196     Oracle Product Info
   5498    Oracle SCM
   5382    OS
   126     OS / 2 Network Security
   31      OS / 2 Operating System
   37      OS / 2 Software
   158     OS/2 Setup
   5667    OS-X Server
   5627    Other
   3350    Other Strategy Games
   134     Outlook Groupware Software
   3610    Page Layout / Desktop Publishing Software
   3619    Paint Shop Pro Photo Editing Software
   3471    Palm OS Handheld Operating System
   56      Palm OS Programming
   5654    Parallels
   5423    Parsers
   90      Pascal Programming Language
   3769    Payment Processing Recommendation and Integrating
   63      PC / Windows Games
   3681    PC Anywhere Remote Access Software
   5445    PC Laptops
   2799    PCMCIA Laptop Interface
   624     PE Adm
   5546    Peachtree
   5398    Peer to Peer
   5395    Pegasus
   5668    PeopleSoft
   5336    Perforce
   5484    Peripherals
   91      Perl Programming Language
   5485    Personal Computers
   330     Philosophy & Religion
   3589    Photo Album Software
   3575    Photos & Graphics Software
   190     PHP and Databases
   189     PHP for Windows
   5713    PHP Frameworks
   188     PHP Installation
   103     PHP Scripting Language
   5666    phpBB
   3076    phpGroupware Groupware Software
   67      Physics & Artificial Intelligence in Game Programming
   4949    PL / SQL
   4283    Playstation Video Game Consoles
   5973    Plesk
   5429    Plug Ins
   825     Pocket PC Other
   5419    Point of Sale
   4325    Politics
   3725    Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3)
   5707    Postfix
   849     PostgreSQL Database
   5644    Power Questions
   4835    Power Supplies / UPS
   92      PowerBuilder Programming Language
   5583    PowerPlant
   5584    Powershell
   5516    Predictive Analysis
   3145    Presentation Software
   4490    Primavera SureTrack Project Management Software
   49      Printers
   163     Printers by HP
   5656    Private Discussions
   5598    Probability & Statistics
   185     Processor Programming for Specific Platforms
   5393    Products
   3799    Program Quality Control
   5628    Programming
   255     Programming for 802.11x Wireless Standard
   865     Programming for ASP.NET
   71      Programming for Game Consoles
   76      Programming for iSeries / AS400
   81      Programming for OS / 2
   10      Programming Languages
   3797    Programming User Management
   3167    Progress 4GL Database
   3798    Project Management
   4486    Project Management Software
   3048    Projectors
   5391    Proxy/Firewall Anti-Virus
   4280    PSP Handheld Video-Game Console
   5538    Public Agency Industry
   5537    Publishing Industry
   3314    Puzzle Games
   331     Puzzles & Riddles
   5340    PVCS
   683     Python Scripting Language
   3653    Qmail Email Server
   3841    QT Programming Language
   5642    Quality Assurance
   3608    Quark XPress Publishing Software
   3270    Quickbooks Financial Software
   3271    Quicken Financial Software
   3434    Quicktime Player
   3840    RAD Programming Languages
   3433    Real Audio Media Player
   3421    Real Jukebox Software MP3 Player
   5372    REALbasic
   3522    Red Hat Linux
   5424    Regular Expressions
   3544    Reliant Unix
   3680    Remote Access Software
   5310    Remote Desktop/Terminal Services
   5569    Removable Backup Media
   5508    ReportNet
   5689    REST
   5536    Retail Industry
   3670    Retrospect Backup Utility
   3326    Role Playing Games
   3808    RPG Programming Language
   5578    RPM Installer
   5422    RSS
   3671    rSync Backup Utility
   3853    Ruby Scripting Language
   5582    RubyOnRails
   3408    Safari Web Browser
   5522    Salesforce.com
   3657    Samba File Server
   3386    Samba File Sharing
   5723    SAP
   5490    SAP CRM
   326     SAP ERP
   5496    SAP HR HCM
   5499    SAP SCM
   5505    SAS
   4008    Satellite Dishes & Receivers
   3698    Satellite Internet
   1031    SBS Small Business Server
   3545    SCO Unix
   5409    Scribus
   3852    Scripting Languages
   5954    SCVMM
   3389    Search Engines
   3768    Secure Socket Layer (SSL) & HTTPS
   5384    Security
   3800    Security Issues in Programming
   5547    Security Software
   4510    Security Utilities
   135     SendMail Email Server
   5388    Server Anti-Virus
   5944    Server Applications
   3882    Server Side Includes (SSI)
   3627    Server Software
   3551    SGI / Irix
   5550    Sharp Zaurus Operating System
   4676    Shell Scripting
   5691    Short Message Service
   5502    Siebel
   5596    Signal Processing
   3724    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
   3269    Simply Accounting Software
   5949    Skype
   3530    Slax / Slackware Linux
   5443    SmartCards & Readers
   5555    SmartCards Security
   6040    Snow Leopard (OS 10.6)
   5421    SOAP
   3062    Software
   4206    Software for Ripping and Encoding MP3s
   3423    Software MP3 Media Players
   3093    Software Office Suites
   1013    Software/Systems Design
   3584    SolidWorks CAD Software
   3272    Southware Financial Software
   3378    Spam Assassin
   3379    Spam Black Holes
   3377    Spam Cop
   5413    Speech Synthesis ML
   3338    Sports Games
   3129    Spreadsheet Software
   5676    Spring
   5518    SPSS
   4948    SQL Query Syntax
   239     SQL Reporting
   5231    SQL Server 2005
   5639    SQL Server 2008
   5504    SQLBase
   5509    SQR
   3385    SSH / Telnet Software
   5706    SSIS
   3143    Star / Open Office Impress Presentation Software
   4988    Star / OpenOffice
   3127    Star / OpenOffice Calc Spreadsheet Software
   3112    Star / OpenOffice Database
   5559    Star / OpenOffice Draw
   3158    StarOffice Write Word Processing Software
   5381    Storage
   5570    Storage Technology
   5418    Stores & Carts
   3435    Streaming Media Players
   5335    Subversion
   137     Suggestions for Experts-Exchange
   3598    Suitcase Font Manager
   5952    Summit 2009
   5402    Sun Java System Web Server
   3535    Sun JDS
   2971    Sun Microsystems Desktop Computers
   5617    Sun ONE
   29      Sun Solaris
   5497    Supply Chain Management
   3536    SuSE Linux
   44      Sybase Database
   3353    Symantec Anti-Virus Software
   3477    Symbian Handheld Operating System
   5971    System Administration
   3675    System Diagnostic Software
   3667    System Utilities
   3274    Tax / Financial Software
   3286    Tax Software
   5544    TaxCut
   3854    TCL Scripting Language
   5610    TCP/IP
   3758    Telecommunications
   4627    Telecommunications Providers
   4120    Televisions
   5669    Teradata
   3256    Test / Validation Development Software
   582     Test With Points
   262     Test Without Points
   3620    The Gimp Photo Editing Software
   5597    Theory
   3663    tHttpd Web Server
   3365    Thunderbird Email Client
   5566    Tivoli Storage Manager
   4520    Topic Area for Testing
   3045    Touch-Screen Displays
   5609    Transport
   3558    Tru64 / Digital Unix
   3583    TurboCAD Software
   5543    TurboTax
   4491    TUTOS Project Management Software
   5548    Ubuntu
   5600    UI Design
   3579    U-Lead Cool 3D 3D Graphics Software
   504     Unix Network Security
   127     Unix Networking
   30      Unix Operating Systems
   157     Unix Setup
   79      Unix Systems Programming
   5690    URL/URI Usage and Design
   3727    UseNet (NNTP)
   3738    User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
   94      VB Controls
   95      VB Database Programming
   5330    VB Objects
   5331    VB Script
   5088    Version Control
   3250    vi
   3050    Video Cards
   5590    Video Editing
   4275    Video Game Consoles
   173     Virtual Private Networking (VPN)
   5682    Virtualization
   5369    VirtualPC
   5377    Virus & Spyware
   93      Visual Basic Programming
   5332    Visual Basic v1.0.5.x
   5337    Visual SourceSafe-Team Foundation
   5321    Visual Studio
   3493    VMS / OpenVMS Operating System
   5643    VMware
   3683    VNC Remote Access Software
   5529    VoCon
   845     Voice Over IP
   5527    Voice Recognition
   5412    Voice XML
   5702    VSTO
   5481    Watchguard Firewall
   5709    Web APIs
   170     Web Application Hosting
   98      Web Authoring
   107     Web Browsers
   5385    Web Development
   5403    Web Development
   109     Web Development Software
   5712    Web Frameworks
   72      Web Graphics Software
   3705    Web Hosting
   102     Web Images
   11      Web Languages/Standards
   89      Web Ontology Language (OWL)
   463     Web Servers
   5688    Web Services
   3923    Web Services and WCF
   5414    Web Services Description Language
   3411    Web Site Statistics Software / WebTrends
   5687    Web/Cloud Computing
   5556    WebApplications
   5661    Web-Based CMS
   5050    WebDAV File Sharing
   3065    WebEx Conferencing Software
   5557    WebObjects
   3237    WebSphere Studio
   3665    WebStar Web Server
   3422    Winamp Software MP3 Player
   28      Windows 2000 Operating System
   3565    Windows 2000 Server
   666     Windows 2003 Server
   24      Windows 3.x Operating System
   155     Windows 3.x Setup
   5301    Windows 64-bit
   5947    Windows 7
   128     Windows 95 - 98 Networking
   442     Windows 95 and 3.x
   25      Windows 95 Operating System
   156     Windows 95 Setup
   26      Windows 98 Operating System
   3911    Windows ATL / WTL / COM Programming
   4675    Windows Batch Scripting
   5658    Windows Home Server
   5576    Windows Installer
   5967    Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
   230     Windows ME Operating System
   3432    Windows Media Player
   3420    Windows Media Player Software MP3 Player
   88      Windows MFC Programming
   3572    Windows Mobile (Pocket PC / Win CE) Operating Systems
   58      Windows MobileProgramming
   503     Windows Network Security
   201     Windows Networking
   129     Windows NT Networking
   27      Windows NT Operating System
   166     Windows NT Setup
   3914    Windows OLE Programming
   80      Windows Programming
   3679    Windows Registry Cleaners
   5657    Windows Server 2008
   5300    Windows Tablet
   5346    Windows Ultra-Mobile PC- Origami
   5299    Windows Vista
   5681    Windows XP Embedded
   231     Windows XP Operating System
   5345    WINS
   5587    Winsock
   57      Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
   5616    Wireless Local Area Network
   2843    Wireless Network Access Points
   2842    Wireless Network Cards & Adapters
   787     Wireless Networking
   2847    Wireless Networking Range Extenders
   2849    Wireless Print Servers
   3935    Wireless Standards
   54      Wireless Technologies
   5577    WISE
   3147    Word Processors
   5437    WordPress
   5646    WPF and Silverlight
   3540    Xandros Linux
   4284    Xbox Video Game Console
   5683    XenServer
   5684    XML Databases
   5694    XMPP
   5673    XPath
   5672    XQuery
   5962    XSL Formatting Objects
   33      X-Windows Window Manager
   3664    Zeus Web Server

Open in new window

If you don't see the desired Zone name immediately, try using your browser's find feature to locate a zone in that list (e.g., search for "AJAX" -- its Zone name is "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)").

More Complex Criteria
Since I'm keeping this article short, I'll not go into the many complex ways that you can modify your Filter.  Refining a Filter is just a matter of including or excluding zones and (sometimes) setting other search criteria.  A bunch of not-too-obvious options are described in this article:

     EE Advanced Search and Saved Searches

Using the Filter
Other articles (see References, below) tell you how to use a Filter to help you answer questions.  Here's my short version:
[step=""]In the Expert Zone, I click one of my Filters (under Expert Tools on the right).

That displays the matching questions in a list view.  I peruse the list, and click on Questions that look interesting.  Without scrolling, I can see the first few lines of the questions in the View Question panel.  

If I decide to take a closer look, I drag an item from the list and drop it onto a second browser window.  This technique is discussed in some detail here.[/step]
You can work directly in the View Question panel of course, but since I have two wide-screen monitors, I've found it much easier to work with a secondary browser window.  Try it, you might like it.

Email Notification of New Questions

Using this feature is optional, but I recently set up a Filter to provide email notifications for newly-posted questions and I've found it to be very useful.  I looked at my Zone Rank in my Profile and saw that I was edging up on a new T-shirt in several Zones, so I created a Filter and set it so that EE would send me an email whenever there was a new question in any of those Zones.

To Get Emails About New Questions:
Create a Filter as described above, but in step 6, when you give the Filter a name, also select one of the Alert options.I chose Hourly Digest, but what you select will depend on how hungry you are :-)  If you set it to Every Question, you will get an email immediately whenever a new question is asked in any of the Zones in your Filter.  It's usually a big advantage to be the first Expert to respond to a question, so having EE send a "heads up" to your inbox can be your golden path to drawers full of T-shirts, ladder position, platinum-plated trophies, and EE glory.
EE will send you emails about new questions!

Summary

EE Filters make it very easy to find questions that you can solve.  It is a vast improvement over the previous system, but many Experts don't use it -- perhaps because it seems intimidating or difficult to set up.  It's not.  Just select a few Zones, save the Filter with a name, and (as they say in England), "Robert's your father's brother!" (er... there you go!)

There are many options I've not covered here, such as creating a Filter to see questions that contain any of a set of keywords (that you know you can answer), setting up to look for only 500-pt questions,  finding neglected questions (for bonus points), ... and there are many other options.  

But the important thing is getting set up with your first Filter -- to generate a list of open questions in your favorite Zones.  That's the "hard part" and this article has shown you how to do that easily.

References:

Other EE Articles about Filters and Searching include...

How to create a Question Filter at Experts Exchange

How to setup a Filter to view Questions Awaiting Answers

EE Advanced Search and Saved Searches

Other options for the Custom Query criteria (thanks again to webtubbs!)

   Experts Exchange Search Help Page
   EE Zone list    

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6
Comment
Author:DanRollins
  • 2
4 Comments
 

Administrative Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
DanRollins,

Nice work on describing what is really the underpinning of Experts Exchange's entire system.

I have published this, and have awarded it bonus points.

Thanks, and congratulations!

ericpete
Page Editor
0
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:pgnatyuk
Really helpful. We may add a help section in the Expert Zone.

Regards,
Pavel
0
LVL 50

Author Comment

by:DanRollins
Even better than Hourly emails:  
Use webtubbs's very cool Win7 Gadget, which you can download here:

http://www.webtubbs.net/EE/EEFilters.zip

webtubbs is the creator of QuickEE, a full-featured tool that many of the EE hotshots use.  I don't use QuickEE, but I love this new low-impact desktop tool... It updates constantly and uses your existing EE filters.
0
LVL 50

Author Comment

by:DanRollins
0

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