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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Exclamation New users - HOW TO POST A QUESTION - READ THIS FIRST

    Originally posted by JeffCT on 10-19-2001 03:51 PM in PHP Forum

    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.


    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).

    2. Explain to us what exactly the error is. Is it a PHP error? Your own error reporting? MySQL error? Or is it just not doing what you want?

    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
    2) Hello
    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
    10) possible?
    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!"
    "Stupid question..."
    "Female newbie needs regex help"
    "Help me! Urgent!"


    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 php 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 PHP 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:

    PHP Code:
    // 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 PHP 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".
    Last edited by SilkySmooth; June 24th, 2003 at 01:47 PM.
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  3. Second highest poster :p
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

    New users, please read this document. It introduces the idea behind communties like this and also explains how to ask questions so you can get the right answer

    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

    Edit: updated link... sites keep changing
    Last edited by a.koepke; September 30th, 2003 at 11:43 PM.
    - Andreas Koepke

    Koepke Photography

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  5. Banned (not really)
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Policy on "bumping" threads
    Believe it or not, but this is not a paid support forum. Everyone here is a volunteer just trying to help people out or find an answer to a question that's important to them at the time.

    If you've read the rest of this thread and you've asked a smart question with a smart subject and with all of the details explained, then be patient and wait for an answer. It may take some time for the right person to find your thread and provide some help.

    DO NOT post a reply to yourself in the thread asking for help again and effectively "bumping" the thread to the top of the forums so it's seen more. Your thread does not need to be at the top to be seen, its needs a descriptive subject so people will be interested in your problem and in helping you.

    In the event that a couple of days pass and you still have no response, you have two options, as I see it. Option 1, and this is another believe it or not, is realizing that no one here right now can answer your question. Just sometimes there are questions that no one has any experience with and they will simply go unanswered. Accept it and try elsewhere.

    Option 2, even if you accept Option 1, is to post a follow-up to your question providing more details as to your problem or perhaps restating the problem. Maybe your questions was just confusing or vague and that's why it didn't get answered. DO NOT just post a reply such as "anyone out there?" or "can you help, please!!??" or your thread may just be deleted by the Moderators.

    Bottom line: If you NEED HELP NOW!!, then that's not what this forum is for. You will get expert help eventually here, as there are a ton of really smart people that help out around here, but you must be patient and earn their help by asking smart questions and using smart subjects.

    Thank you.

    ---John Holmes...
    -- Cigars, whiskey and wild, wild women. --
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    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

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    Unfortunatly the very first suggestion on here does not work well at all because I can only preform 1 search, afterwords I am forced to waist my life away 60 seconds at a time.
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  9. mod_dev_shed
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Originally Posted by tac
    Unfortunatly the very first suggestion on here does not work well at all because I can only preform 1 search, afterwords I am forced to waist my life away 60 seconds at a time.
    Then use Google:
    site:forums.devshed.com search terms
    # Jeremy

    Explain your problem instead of asking how to do what you decided was the solution.
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Policy on posting homework

    1) In general don't post it. We aren't here to do the work for you.

    2) If you feel you are really having difficulty with something in your class post your question but observe the following

    • Specify that it is homework
    • Expect that you are going to do the majority of the work to complete the question. we may offer guidance as to where to look in the manual, or how to tweak what you have posted to get it to work right
    • explain what part of the question you are having trouble with
      tell us, or better yet, show us in your post what you have tried to do to come up with the solution needed
    • don't post that it is urgent, none of us are facing the deadline, it isn't our assignment
    • after getting help, make sure you visit the forum in the future so you can assist others with what you have learned. Don't post a question, get an answer and disappear! This is a community.

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