Page 1 of 3 123 Last
  • Jump to page:
    #1
  1. No Profile Picture
    Dev
    Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,436
    Rep Power
    41

    Exclamation [NEW USERS] - How to post question


    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.

    BE DESCRIPTIVE

    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'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:

    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
    17) 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 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!"

    ONLY POST THE PART OF YOUR SCRIPT THAT HAS PROBLEMS

    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.

    PUT YOUR CODE IN IN PHP VB CODE

    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 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($your_code_is_easy_to_read)
    {
         
    people_like_it();

    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.

    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 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 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".

    Comments on this post

    • canadiancreed agrees : If I coudl give rep, I would.
    • kickingback agrees : this is a great contribution; very well thought out; I hope users apply it
  2. #2
  3. phpkid ~~~~~~ :o)
    Devshed Frequenter (2500 - 2999 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,534
    Rep Power
    16
    I found this to be really really good.

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    Everyone should read this so as to get best of out open source community.

    JD

    Comments on this post

    • !webmaster agrees
    Last edited by ManiacDan; March 9th, 2011 at 02:02 PM.
    _____________________________
    d.k.jariwala (JD)
    ~ simple thought, simple act ~
    I blog @ http://jdk.phpkid.org
  4. #3
  5. The Basketball Star
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    H-Town
    Posts
    550
    Rep Power
    13
    My biggest pet peeve is just outrageous gramatical errors. The worst or the ones where the write so "complex" (sarcastic) that they can write 7 lines of information in only one sentence. Maybe people should read over what they write because I do not know how someone could write like that. Even when I do figure out what they are saying and know the answer, I still don't answer because of the terrible grammar. It's just appaling to me. Plus when someone writes improperly, you sometimes can't even understand what they are asking.

    Most people consider programmers to be the most intelligent people, but half of us don't even show it because they can't even write properly.
  6. #4
  7. The Basketball Star
    Devshed Novice (500 - 999 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    H-Town
    Posts
    550
    Rep Power
    13
    Let me add another thing. JeffCT suggest putting code in php VB code because it makes it easier to read and I totally agree. But what some people fail to realize is that it doesn't word wrap. So if you have an extremely long line of code it streches the window very wide and makes it difficult (or just a lot of trouble) to read. I won't lie, I've done it before. I think it's because in our editors, we have it set to word wrap, so we don't realize how long it is really. And when you writing the thread, it word wraps in the <textarea> field too. So I recommend just throwing in some returns to break it up into several lines. It makes it easier on all of us. And if you forget to do that and see it's long when you are shown how it looks, go back and edit it. It's worth the "trouble."
  8. #5
  9. No Profile Picture
    small, green, and connected
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    FL, SC
    Posts
    63
    Rep Power
    13

    Lightbulb content alert


    It would be very courteous of posters to give some kind of notice of the content of the sites they refer to if it is potentially offensive. E.g.,

    I need some help with my site http://barely-clothed-women.com - note:some adult content.
    Admittedly, domains that descriptive don't really need much clarification, but please remember that there are minors and people of widely ranging sensibilities on the forum. Even if you consider wet-bikini desktops wholesome family entertainment, others may not.

    Your consideration would be appreciated by at least one regular.

    -wg <><
  10. #6
  11. An Ominous Coward
    Devshed Specialist (4000 - 4499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,425
    Rep Power
    0
    Let me make yet another suggestion:

    If you're new to the subject you are thinking of posting on, go here first:

    http://www.devshed.com

    I came to this site by mistake at work one day while trying to discover why my script hung in a browser. The script was JavaScript so, you guessed it, I wound up directly in the Client-Side JavaScript forum. I didn't know for the longest time that there was so much more to DevShed than just the forums. There is a TON of useful information just waiting to be found. If you need some help with the basics, try the tutorial for your language on Developer Shed FIRST.

    From the DevShed article "An Object Lesson In JavaScript":
    I'm here to tell you that it ain't so.
    Don't worry, it's not just the forums.
  12. #7
  13. Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    395
    Rep Power
    30
    Originally posted by Benahimvp
    My biggest pet peeve is just outrageous gramatical errors. <snip>
    I have to say mine's spelling, not grammar. Please notice the two "m's" in grammar. That would logically cause "grammatical" to have two "m's", not one.

    Here's the link to Merrim-Webster's online dictionary/thesaurus. It's a valuable link to have if you have difficulty spelling or aren't sure exactly what some words actually mean. I'd recommend you bookmark it.

    http://www.m-w.com/netdict.htm

    While the ability to articulate isn't universal, the interpretation of the art of being well-spoken is very much in the mind of each reader. Translated, I can say something two different ways. If the first is comprised of small syllable words, simply written, it is universally translatable. (If it's simply written, everyone will understand it) If it is concisely written, it will contain fewer but larger, more complex words and have a richer, more elegant interpretation. By it's very nature, it will not be universally comprehensible. Such is the nature of human speech.

    To further complicate the issue, part of the art of elegant speech is organization, just as good programming requires organization, something each of us strives for.

    <hopping off soapbox>
    HeadElf
    OfficeElf.com
  14. #8
  15. No Profile Picture
    Web.Dev.
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    68
    Rep Power
    14
    Hi all,

    I don't think it is the spelling or grammar (well, maybe some of the posts require consideration), but as long as the sentence makes logical sense. Then I'm not too bothered.

    Don't get me wrong, I make some stupid mistakes, but I think my sentences make at least some logical sence. I guess this comes under grammar, but hey, I'm no English teacher

    So, note to all: Proof Read!



    Brent
  16. #9
  17. Senior Member
    Devshed Intermediate (1500 - 1999 posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Enschede, The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,527
    Rep Power
    15
    Even when I do figure out what they are saying and know the answer, I still don't answer because of the terrible grammar. It's just appaling to me.
    ...
    Most people consider programmers to be the most intelligent people, but half of us don't even show it because they can't even write properly.
    While I think it's a good thing people check their post for errors in English grammar and spelling I don't expect all posts too be perfect. Thing is many people here (like me) don't speak English as a native language and may have some problems writing correct sentences. Seeing people saying they won't help just because of that and even linking the ability to write correct english to intelligence says more about the person who wrote it I think. Like some people already said: as long as it's logical/understandible it's fine with me and personally I love helping people who take the effort to write in a foreign language, even if it's not correct, in order to get some needed help so I'd like to encourage them not to worry too much about grammar and stuff but concentrate on coding!!

    Regards
  18. #10
  19. Contributing User
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Galway, Ireland
    Posts
    7
    Rep Power
    0
    I'd like to suggest that everyone download the PHP Manual .chm file.
    php.net is an invaluable resource, and there's no reason why you shouldn't have all the info at your fingertips at all times. It also makes it less cumbersome to find the right info.

    Direct Link: http://www.php.net/distributions/man..._manual_en.chm
    Other Languages/Formats: http://www.php.net/download-docs.php
    Gamers Europe :: Keeping it Simple
  20. #11
  21. Contributing User
    Devshed Frequenter (2500 - 2999 posts)

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    2,692
    Rep Power
    21
    I'd like to suggest that everyone download the PHP Manual .chm file.
    Absolutely --> a must have.

    I am also converting the updated manual to a dreamweaver mx extension to plug right in to the app, and converting it to a plug-in for quantaplus2 for kde/linux desktop users. I will post links to the projects as soon as they are done.....
    ~ Joe Penn
  22. #12
  23. phpkid ~~~~~~ :o)
    Devshed Frequenter (2500 - 2999 posts)

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,534
    Rep Power
    16
    Alright, its corrected.

    JD
    _____________________________
    d.k.jariwala (JD)
    ~ simple thought, simple act ~
    I blog @ http://jdk.phpkid.org
  24. #13
  25. No Profile Picture
    Dev
    Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,436
    Rep Power
    41
    Originally posted by jdk
    Alright, its corrected.

    JD
    Thanks jdk, but the question mark doesn't need to be there, "How to post a question" is not a question itself, just a statement. And if you were to use a question mark, there would not be a space between the last letter and the question mark. Just letting you know
    Thanks
  26. #14
  27. Flash Master / PHP Jester
    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Posts
    133
    Rep Power
    13

    Smart Alecks (sp?)


    Perhaps this isn't the right thread to add to but I didn't see one on 'how to reply.'

    I definitely agree with all of the above comments. It is the original poster who is asking for help. However, I would like to make a point in regards to the replies that some people make.

    *** If you aren't interested in helping the person who posts a question, please do not reply to it at all ***

    This point has a reason and an implication. The reason being that many users who could potentially help the problem skip over the thread because they see that someone has already posted a response. The implication that I am referring to is that, for whatever small-minded reasons, there are people who enjoy making smart-aleck responses to questions that they deem obvious or below them. It seems to me that this is contrary to what the forum is designed to accomplish. If a person asks the question, it is obvious that the solution is NOT obvious to them. As long as they follow the above rules, they shouldn't recieve insults.

    Again, if you aren't willing to explain something that you find elementary, please resist the urge to exert your awesome technological brilliance and let someone else do it.



    -Joe
  28. #15
  29. An Ominous Coward
    Devshed Specialist (4000 - 4499 posts)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    4,425
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Indivision's Post


    Well, it's one thing to not be downright nasty, but it's another to correct people who obviously didn't do any of their homework, didn't read this topic, don't want to do their own work, are being discourteous themselves, etc.

    I've begun to simply ignore posts like I described above. Threads that have lame topics like "Newbie needs help", et al., but have a valid question, I simply add a pointer to this thread right at the top of my response.
Page 1 of 3 123 Last
  • Jump to page:

IMN logo majestic logo threadwatch logo seochat tools logo