Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when posting a question on these forums.
USE SEARCH FIRST
There is a pretty good chance that unless you have some really odd or unique problem that it has been addressed on this forum before (or even hundreds of times before for some issues).
Use the forum's search feature first to see if there are already some good threads on the subject. It's easy to search - just click the "Search" button at the top right of the page.
The Flash forum sticky How to help yourself with Flash
lists several methods of finding answers to the most common questions.
I cannot stress this enough. We cannot possibly help you if you simply post a thread, copy and paste your whole script and say "it has errors what's wrong with it?". Keep this in mind:
DON'T USE STUPID TOPIC NAMES
- Explain to us what your script does (or what it's supposed to do).
- Explain to us what exactly the error is. Is it a Flash IDE error? Your own error reporting? Server error? Or is it just not doing what you want?
- Remember that you know a lot more about your script than we do. Don't assume we know just what it does.
Post a descriptive topic name! Give a short summary of your problem in the subject. Don't use attention getting subjects, they're not fair to other users! Things like "PLEASE HELP!" or "URGENT" make your post unfairly look like a priority over other users post who need help just as much as you. Posting non-descriptive leading in topic names just to get more reads will not be tolerated.
Here's a great list of topic subjects YOU SHOULD NOT POST by freebsd
- Help me
- You must know the answer
- Please help this female newbie
- Something wrong
- Come on PHP gurus
- This one for you
- Just wondering
- This is too complicated for me
- Very urgent
- I have a question
- Stupid question
- Newbie needs help
- pulling my hair out
- this is driving me nuts
- WHAT THE?!?!
Generally anything similar to those is unacceptable. Just post your problem.
Here is a good example of a way to post a question about communicating with the server:
"Need help getting Flash to talk to server"
These are bad examples:
ONLY POST THE PART OF YOUR SCRIPT THAT HAS PROBLEMS
- "I can't figure this out!"
- "Stupid question..."
- "Female newbie needs server help"
- "Help me! Urgent!"
Please do not post your entire script in a message. To get help faster, post only the code most related to the problem you are experiencing - really try to single it out. If you have to use 2 or more posts just to fit your code in, that is probably a good clue that you are posting way too much of it and it's not going to be easy for anyone to help you pinpoint the problem, especially not having run the script themselves.
A PICTURE CAN SAY A THOUSAND WORDS
Sometimes it can be hard to describe your problem verbally, in these cases a single or series of images could convery everything. To use an image with the forum you have to first upload it to an online server and then post a link to it. I personally recommend ImageShack
as your free all in one solution to this. Here's a simple step by step guide of how to get your image into a thread:
- Head over to ImageShack
- Pick "Image" as the type and then browse to the image on your system
- Click the "Host It" button at the bottom of the form.
- Once the image has been uploaded you will be presented with a series of links to the image.
- You should pick "Thumbnail for forums (1)".
- You could pick the "Hotlink for forums (1)" or "Direct link to image" options but doing this for images with a large file size is generally frowned upon and could result in your thread being locked or deleted.
- Paste that code into the the message reply box and voila! you have clickable thumbnail images.
Here's what the three options looks like:
PUT YOUR CODE IN IN ACTIONSCRIPT OR CODE TAGS
Thumbnail for forums (1)
Hotlink for forums (1)
Direct link to image (wrapped in a forum img tag)
Very often we see people post a huge ugly script right into the message. There's a problem with that - tabs and spacing don't show up properly, and there's no syntax highlighting. That makes it difficult to read!
There's some really neat vB code built into the forum that will format and syntax highlight your code when you post it. Method one is to select the text you want to highlight as ActionScript code and then click the highlight button on the toolbar above the message window. It's the yellow marker. In the popup type in "actionscript". The result will look like this:
- actionscript Code
// this is some easy to read ActionScript
The other method is to highlight the text as code which is more generic and doesn't have line numbers. To do that select the text to format and press the code button on the toolbar. That's the one with the hash symbol (#). The result will look like this:
// this is some easy to read ActionScript
Alternatively to using the toolbar you can just type the tags into the message window. To use the actionscript ones you would type:
// some code
To use the generic code version you would type:
// some code
Note: A full list of the supported highlight types can be found here
TELL US WHAT VERSION YOU ARE USING
The functionality and methods used across the different versions of Adobe software can be greatly varied. Take Flash for example; Flash MX doesn't allow you to dynamically load external FLV files whilst Flash MX 2004 does. That however does not incorporate the On2 codec as Flash 8 does. Another simpler example is that Flash MX uses ActionScript 1 whilst later Flash versions support ActionScript 2 which has slightly different syntax amongst other things.
If you don't tell us the version you're using then anyone willing to help you has to either guess what you're using and possibly waste their time writing and posting code that will not work for you or they have to make a post just to ask what version you're using. It saves time and energy if you just tell us from the start.
To make this even easier there is a drop down list next to the new thread title box. This will let you select a application or language that will be prefixed to the threads title so it will look like this:
[ActionScript 2] Drawing API causing problems
IF YOU GET AN ERROR ON A CERTAIN LINE, TELL US WHAT'S ON THAT LINE AND THE LINES ABOVE AND BELOW IT
It's not too helpful when you mention an error on a certain line but don't tell us what code is on that line. Because errors can sometimes be caused by lines of code above or below the one the error is mentioned on, please post those lines as well.
ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT "DOESN'T WORK" MEANS
Please tell us what your script is supposed to do and why it "doesn't work". Or if you don't feel like explaining what the whole script is, at least tell us what the offending code is supposed to do. When you come in and say "it doesn't work" or just "it has errors", that means nothing. There could be a million things wrong and no one will know where to look.
DONT CALL US, WE'LL CALL YOU
One great point of using the forum is that the questions and answers can be helpful to other users in the future. They might arrive at your thread via a forum search, a search engine or simply by browsing the forum. If you private message your questions to other members then it doesn't help anyone except you which is rather selfish.
Another thing not to do is to post your thread and then PM one or more members asking them to look at your thread. If they can reply and if they want to reply then they will see your thread the next time they visit the forum.
IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE ADVICE, DON'T ASK FOR HELP
Often times, people post questions about their script with the wrong mindset from the very beginning. Soon they are receiving replies, and silently debugging their code, making no effort to even acknowledge the people helping them! It becomes one sided, and the poster isn't aware that many of the people helping them hope to learn something as well! Letting people know of your progress and how their suggestions apply (or do not apply) will not only help you figure out your problem quicker, but you'll be returning the favor to those of us who learn more by helping.
In even worse scenarios, sometimes the poster will argue back even when they don't know what they're talking about. Hey - if you know it all, don't ask for help.
When people give you free code that may solve your problem, by all means, try it out! And if it's not what you need, at least thank them.
And if people post code that is over your head, ask them for an explanation. Too many times I see great solutions posted, then the original poster doesn't understand it and goes hunting around the Adobe livedocs and finds some function they think will solve their problem but really has nothing to do with their problem! The solution you are given may not always be something you are totally familiar with, so just ask for a better explanation!
REMEMBER THAT WHEN PEOPLE HELP YOU, THEY ARE DOING YOU A FAVOR
Regardless of how big your ego is, it is not someone else's privilege to debug your code. It is not their privilege to have them help you. It is yours. Remember that when people help you they are doing you a favor. You are not doing them a favor by letting them see your incredible application. Be patient, help people out by posting good descriptions of what you need help with, and not snapping at people with garbage such as "if you aren't going to help don't waste my time replying".
This post is almost a direct copy n paste of JeffCT
s PHP post located here
. If you want to find out even more information then head over to that thread and check out the extremely helpful user comments. Thanks JeffCT