June 24th, 2003, 01:49 PM
New users - HOW TO POST A QUESTION - READ THIS FIRST
Originally posted by JeffCT on 10-19-2001 03:51 PM in PHP Forum
Edited by SilkySmooth on 24th of June 2003
I figured this was necessary because a lot of people come in and post threads without thinking, and without realizing that there is no possible way they could get help because of the way they posted the question. Here are some general guidelines.
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.
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:
1. Explain to us what your script DOES (or what it's supposed to do).
3. Remember that you know a lot more about your script than we do. Don't assume we know just what it does.
Don't use stupid topic names
Post a descriptive topic name! Give a short summary of your problem IN THE SUBJECT. Don't use attention getting subjects. They don't get attention. They repel attention and annoy people.
Here's a great list of topic subjects YOU SHOULD NOT POST by freebsd:
1) Help me
3) You must know the answer
4) Please help this female newbie
5) Something wrong
6) Come on PHP gurus
7) This one for you
8) Just wondering
9) This is too complicated for me
11) Very urgent
12) I have a question
13) Stupid question
14) Newbie needs help
15) pulling my hair out
16) this is driving me nuts
Generally ANYTHING similar to those is unacceptable. Just post your problem.
Here is a good example of a way to post a question about ereg() and regular expressions / validating emails
"Need ereg regular expression help"
or even better:
"validating emails w/ ereg() regular expressions"
These are bad examples:
"I can't figure this out!"
"Female newbie needs regex help"
"Help me! Urgent!"
ONLY POST THE PART OF YOUR SCRIPT THAT HAS PROBLEMS!
PLEASE do not post your entire script in a message. And if you have to use 2 messages that's a good indication that you're going to annoy people. Only post the part of your script where you have problems. That's it. Just a very small piece of it. It's not hard. Just find the part you think doesn't work and post that. WE DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR ENTIRE SCRIPT. And if you post the entire script it's going to take us a lot longer to find the problem.
PUT YOUR CODE IN in vB code!!!
Hundreds of times per week we see people post a huge ugly script right into the message. There's a problem with that. The tabs don't work. There's no syntax highlighting. That makes it difficult to read!
There's a really neat vB code built in that will format and syntax highlight your code when you post it. You can use that easy PHP button right above the box where you type your message. The result will look like this:
Or if you are using other languages use [...code] [.../code] tags around it for similar effect. (REMOVE PERIODS)
// this is some easy to read PHP code
If you get an error on a certain LINE, tell us what's on that line and what's on the few lines above 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 the one the error is mentioned on, please post a few lines above that line.
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.
If you're not going to take the 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 manual 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 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".
September 14th, 2003, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the advice Silky.
One question... I've noticed that, when using the code tags... and depending on the length of the code... the page side-scrolls dramatically.
Is there something that can be done to avoid this?
September 15th, 2003, 12:16 PM
There isn't really anything you can do about it unless you manually edit it. There are times when writing code that you will have very long lines, sometimes it is easier to truncate them sometimes it isn't.
If the line is as simple as a PHP Echo and it isn't really relevant to the problem / question then just truncate it down otherwise if you think it is important to your problem / question leave it in.
-- SilkySmooth --
October 26th, 2003, 10:29 AM
Thank you for this, the search tip was so obvious yet exactly the one I needed !
November 5th, 2003, 07:23 AM
If we believe that our post has gone too far down the list and not had a reply, as we okay to "BUMP" them to top of list agian?
November 5th, 2003, 08:59 AM
pgudge, no, this is considered rude as it could be that people have read your question and do not know the answer. Also you have to remember that people like myself who are prominent on DevShed are not actually living here, we do not sit here 24/7, but when we do come, the more experienced of us which actually look for threads which have not received replies before we look at threads that have received replies.
So posting a bump will not only annoy people but it could also have the disadvantage that experienced users will miss it because it has been replied to.
Of course there is also a second option, not bumping the post but supplying more information, perhaps you didn't describe the question / problem properly the first time or you have fixed part of the problem etc, in this case it might be a good idea to add more info which will of course at the same time bump you to the top of the list, but you still run the risk that the experienced users here may not view your thread.
-- SilkySmooth --
November 5th, 2003, 11:47 AM
I totaly understand all that, SS, I wasn't going to do it after about 2 hours, I meant as in a week or so.
Personally I would edit my post to reflect changes but the replying would work. And when ever I come along to DS I tend to look for 0 reply posts to try and help whilst i'm here, wish I had more time.
Thanks for that.
November 6th, 2003, 05:55 PM
Well, I am sure I have fallen into this catagory. My biggest problem is that I don't know the topic or term to use for what I am trying to accomplish. That is mostly the reason why I hardly ever post. Right now I am curious as to opinions to Style sheets.
November 16th, 2003, 04:37 PM
It would be great if there was a way to subscribe to a post without replying. So that I could receive e-mail of a response without having to return and check. Is this possible. Thanks for the pointers. I'll take heed to them. I'm just lurking to learn right now and would hate to reply simply to be aware of responses.
November 16th, 2003, 05:19 PM
You can subscribe to a thread without having to post. Underneath the related threads section there is a subscribe button.
March 26th, 2004, 02:43 AM
I just registered, and this was excellent information on what to do and what not to do.
Of course, I understand the good sense in only posting the part of the code that gives the problems... But for newbies like me, we just don't know...
March 26th, 2004, 10:38 AM
The simple solution to this problem is to instead post a link to where the file can be access or alternatively you could upload the file so people can download the code and look at it.
-- SilkySmooth --
June 23rd, 2004, 12:53 AM
To further that idea a little, if you want to become an active member of this forum, it would be suggestible to make things available permanently. IMHO, it's a detrement to the forum, for links to go into 404 status, becuase imagine that you have another user with your problem, or something similar... they won't be able to see the example in it's complete form.
Originally Posted by SilkySmooth
That being said, if you plan on linking outside of devshed, it would be beneficial for it to stay in that location. Think about the people that do take the time to search through the forum to find their solution, but when they do find it all the examples of code, are off of the site and no longer available, so please do be courteous when linking off site, make it stick!
March 25th, 2005, 08:06 AM
I'm wondering if a mod could stick this thread to the top of other forums too - in particular the CSS Help forum and the Web Design Help forum.
I like sitting here and trying to help people with their problems - it's challenging and rewarding (maybe that's a sad reflection on my life - I don't know). However, I get frustrated by the stupidity and plain uselessness of the titles some people give their questions. Here are a few examples of not thinking before you type and being generally unhelpful...
I know there's a good list of examples at the top of this thread, but I thought a few real examples might be useful. Now, I know it must seem like I have too much freetime, but I just wanted to make a point and hopefully get this stickied on the other forums too.
Last edited by BonRouge; June 8th, 2005 at 07:52 AM.
October 27th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Thanks for the tips. Never thought of searching before and it sorted my website problem without me having to spend hours explaining.