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  1. #26
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    tictac
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  2. #27
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    tactic (dyslexic )
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  3. #28
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    ^ Wrong thread

    Yeah, tictac is a good example of this.

    There are people who just don't grasp logic etc, but they do try and ask the right questions. They tend to have manners and are greatful for help, and do listen to advice. I have nothing against them.

    There are also people who could grasp it if they gave it an attempt. These are the people that expect stuff to be done for them with nothing in return. I just don't answer these unless it's with critisizm of the idea they want help with. Those without manners don't deserve manners in return.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  4. #29
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    ^ Wrong thread

    Yeah, tictac is a good example of this.

    There are people who just don't grasp logic etc, but they do try and ask the right questions. They tend to have manners and are greatful for help, and do listen to advice. I have nothing against them.

    There are also people who could grasp it if they gave it an attempt. These are the people that expect stuff to be done for them with nothing in return. I just don't answer these unless it's with critisizm of the idea they want help with. Those without manners don't deserve manners in return.
    Actually, you just revealed a tactic in how to deal with some posters
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  5. #30
    SitePoint Mentor silver trophy
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    Just had a look at my ignore list and I have 56 members I have tried to help that have not said my post was of any help or said thanks.
    I have seen a few of these people posting again and I could have helped them but didn't.

    I also had one moderator but was not allowed to add them to my ignore list as the forum software would not let me

  6. #31
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    In this post I'll go defensive, but someone's got to play devil's advocate. I too find it a little irritating, but if they're rude to act, you're all as rude to react. What's even worse is that often innocent people are attacked, ignored and just turned off; I saw it happening quite a few times and, dammit I was guilty of doing myself as well.

    What we often forget is that behind those usernames are real people, from different cultures, with different levels of education, different virtues, different personalities. They're not a class of students, they didn't pass tests to get here, so how can we raise expectations? Until a member has to pass a test to join SitePoint Forums, we can't do that.

    There are of course characters who perfectly understand what they're doing and they have their agenda's, but most people are mere human beings and they will do what they think is right in strive for their own goodness. The ways they do it merely shows their level of knowledge -- it's all they know. So why do we punish? Perhaps we should educate them so that they do not make such blatant mistakes in first place?

    With that said, and from the technical side of the aspect, wouldn't it be possible to filter out words like "urgent", "help", etc. in thread titles? Just don't let people use them and explain why. Give them guidelines as soon as they try something like that. This wouldn't solve all problems, but sitting here and whining about it isn't gonna help anyhow.

    The test idea is valid too, although a bit extreme. That would solve these problems for definite, if executed well enough.

    P.S. 56 members on ignore list, including a mod? Outrageous!
    Saul

  7. #32
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
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    ignore list

    I don't have anyone on my ignore list. But that doesn't mean I have to reply to every thread I read. If I make a suggestion as to how to implement a barcode application and the OP insists that I fix their broken code that won't work anyway, refusing to consider advice from other members, then I simply ignore that thread, not the member.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by php_daemon View Post
    So why do we punish? Perhaps we should educate them so that they do not make such blatant mistakes in first place?
    Behold! The secret objective of my thread! I'm actually using responses here in a rather massive FAQ style posting that I should be finishing in 1-2 weeks. Why 1-2 weeks? Because it's MASSIVE and will contain lots of tips on running through standard debugging processes to prevent even needing to post at all, and finding the solution on your own.

    There will also be a section on "Best Posting Pratices", which might end up becoming part of the current posting guidelines in the FAQ. For now, I'm bunting my head against the wall trying to figure out IBM's annoying stepchild known as DB2 so I can figure out the workings of the db2 PHP module (joy!).

  9. #34
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Aha! a hidden agenda...

    Not a bad idea. I do hope people actually read it.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  10. #35
    ✯✯✯ silver trophybronze trophy php_daemon's Avatar
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    That's a good deed you're doing I hope SP guys will find a way to redirect to it whenever a lost sheep tries to post a thread with the talked-about keywords (let's be fair and admit that stickies aren't as effective as they're supposed to be).
    Saul

  11. #36
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    stickie

    2 questions
    1. What's a FAQ?
    2. What's a sticky?

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Formulating Good Posts

    Introduction

    This post is meant to describe good ideas about how to post and get your question answered. The content here will hopefully make it so that your post does not go into the wandering abyss of Unanswered Threads, never to return.

    Do I Need to Post?

    When formulating your problem, you should be sure that you've taken all the necessary steps in debugging your issue. It is often sad to see many a simple javascript/css issue solved simply by looking at the firefox error console and copy-pasting the error. Make sure this does not happen to you!

    Remember to also read all sticky threads for the particular forum you want to post to. They often have several FAQ's that might solve your problem right away.

    Please, do not post homework problems without some kind of indication that you actually intend to learn the theory behind them. The point of homework is to measure that you actually learned the theory. If you just get someone to quickly give you code, you don't learn anything. Then you'll have a higher chance of failure in a real job, because you can't think for yourself.

    (Contributed by Datura)

    Legality is another big issue with posting. Asking how to do a logo "just like" something is the copying of a design (web or graphic wise), which is not ethical (and in some cases not legal). Another example is asking how to make tools which violate any kind of Terms of Sevice. A lot of the frequent posters have a job, so being affiliated with illegal / immoral methods is not a good thing.

    Is My Question in the Right Forum?

    Make use of subforums. If you have questions that are about MySQL, don't simply post to the database forums, post to the MySQL subforum in the databases forum. People may not look at the parent forums because they're not comfortable in answering all the questions there. Subforums make it easy for those posters to hone in on an area that they have expertise in, getting your question more likely to be answered.

    "General Development Issues" and "General Application Design and Theory" are places for, as they say, things that are general and do not pertain to specific languages. Examples would be "What's the best directory structure for storing a lot of images?". This is not tied to any particular language, but is useful information to any sort of developer. For "General Application Design and Theory", something like "Questions regarding best practice for interfaces" would be a good example. Interfaces are available in a number of languages, so this question about general usage fits right in.

    Also, if whatever it is you want to do requires asking someone else to do it (IE. freelancing work), put it in the Marketplace. If you offer to pay someone money to do something, there's a section in the marketplace called "Looking to Hire" where people actually have to pay to post there. By doing the same thing in the free section of the forums, it's considered spam and will get your post removed.

    (Contributed by Mittineague)

    If you don't think you can afford paying someone to do it, the Marketplace also offers a "Trade Your Services" section. You can utilize this to offer something else in return, such as links, hosting, or anything else you deem valuable to a potential helper.

    How Is My Subject Line?

    Lots of posts occur everyday, so when people look to see which ones to solve, they first look at the category, then the subject. This quantifies them as to if they can provide useful information to you, the poster. If your subject is not expressive, you won't get a response, or your response might take longer. Common issues with subjects include:

    • Not Descriptive
    • URGENT style subjects


    Not Descriptive

    Often a subject is not descriptive as to the true issue at hand. If you're having a CSS issue, simply putting your subject as "CSS Issue" doesn't really tell anyone anything. Something along the lines of "CSS - Footer is not pushed to the bottom" is more appropriate.

    A really bad example of a non descriptive subject is "hlp plz???". This says NOTHING about what you want to accomplish. While some of the forum members don't speak English that well, it is still a good idea to at least throw some meaningful keywords in the subject.

    URGENT style subjects

    A lot of people I see post put things "URGENT" or "PLZ HLP!!!" or "!!!!!!!!!! CSS ISSUE !!!!!!!!". These are done as an attempt to distract from other posts and focus the helpful posters onto your own question. However, this won't work out like you want it to.

    URGENT is a big no-no because this is a volunteer community. No one is getting paid (at least that I'm aware of), and when you post, you're at THEIR mercy, not the other way around. Most helpful posters will skip your message entirely just seeing that phrase.

    URGENT style subjects also create a feeling that your thread is more important than other people's. This does not condone a community type feeling, and can be felt as aggressive by other users that need help. To conclude here, post your question and leave it there. If it's done properly, you'd be surprised at how quickly you could get a response (I've personally responded to some posts 5-10 minutes after they started, other posters I know have done the same).

    How Am I Asking My Question?

    Don't come bringing a question with some sort of attitude. This will quickly get your question ignored by a lot of people. While I'd love to say "Well this is common sense", it does happen. Once again, people aren't getting paid, they owe you nothing.

    Make sure you explain the whole entire issue, and don't dumb it down. A common problem to see is when someone says "Here's my issue", it gets solved, then they bring 10 other factors into the equation. If you're going to ask a question, ask the full question.

    Remember to use formatting. If you're posting CODE, use the "Go To Advanced" button, highlight the CODE, then use the Syntax dropdown to select the particular code highlighting to use. This preserves whitespace, and gives us helpful posters easy to read code. Sometimes the syntax highlighting even helps spot the issue right away, but showing unusual highlighting.

    How Are My Responses?

    People are here to help. If they give you good information, please THANK them. Make them appreciated. Appreciation is so few these days, that people remember who appreciates them, and helpful posters are more likely to answer questions of people who appreciate them. Sometimes posters might even go an extra mile for you (I won't guarantee this will happen, but appreciation is more likely to increase the chances).

    When people show you documentation, it's best to just take a look, and not get "Don't RTFM me!!" right away. Often we do this as helpful posters because we want you to be more self-reliant. Let's face it, not knowing how to answer something isn't the greatest thing ever. The more we can quickly establish ways to figure things out, the better off we are overall.

    Forum posters aren't around 24/7, but documentation is (Unless servers die, but most documentation has lots of mirrors so..). If you can start to find your answers in the docs, you'll be better off, and you might end up becoming a helpful poster.

    ====================================================

    Phew, that's a killer.. Okay that should be enough for a basic list of things. I'll look tomorrow to see if I missed anything. Feel free to toss recommendations as you see them, I'll edit up a storm to get this thing in working condition.

    BTW, DB2 setup is incredibly evil and IBM makes baby chris_fuel cry
    Last edited by chris_fuel; Mar 4, 2008 at 10:40. Reason: Added section on Legality per Datura's Posting

  13. #38
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    That's a very good start, Chris. Well done!
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  14. #39
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    That is excellent Chris. Once this is all finished and shiny and posted in the right places, I will include a link to it in each greeting I do in the Introductions. Not all posters register there, but many do.

    It is also wonderful to have and point to it when there is one of those demanding and rude guys.

    Thanks Chris for this great effort.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  15. #40
    HAHA!
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    What I think is sickening is the attitude sometimes. A while ago I replied to somebody's thread and wasn't 100% spot on or gave the reply the poster was looking for so her came back saying:

    "That's not what I was asking for - please don't distract!"

    Those kind of people should be put on an internet wide blacklist and be banned from posting for good!
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  16. #41
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    market place

    Don't forget that the marketplace also has a "trade your services" forum too. For those that can't pay for work it provides a possible option.

    Like "fast, good, inexpensive - pick two" some posters want work done "now, bug free, and free" and just don't "get it". But I imagine most could at least offer something in exchange. Graphics, scripting, server space, etc. heck, maybe even a back-link would do.

  17. #42
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    "IE Javascript Debugging With Visual Studio Express: A Visual Guide"

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=535468

    One guide to add to the "Do I Need To Post?" section. I'm going to try and separate them out into their respective forums, then link to them in my main document. This one in particular I did first because Javascript IE debugging is a PITA without it .

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Don't forget that the marketplace also has a "trade your services" forum too. For those that can't pay for work it provides a possible option.

    Like "fast, good, inexpensive - pick two" some posters want work done "now, bug free, and free" and just don't "get it". But I imagine most could at least offer something in exchange. Graphics, scripting, server space, etc. heck, maybe even a back-link would do.
    Should have thought of that myself... well, awesome anyways . I added a paragraph in there regarding that, nothing your contribution in there. I plan to keep contribution sections so people know who to really thank if certain pieces help them out.

    Which btw, if anyone doesn't want to be listed for contributions let me know. I don't want to take credit for the entire thing if other people helped with it.

  19. #44
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    In the Design Your Site > Graphics and Multimedia section we very often get a request to tell a poster how to copy a work that somebody else did. It is a question I always refuse to answer, it violates ethic and legal standards (copyright) as well. I point this out to the poster when I see it and do not give them the means to copy.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  20. #45
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Hmm, I'm thinking of a general "legality" section for that. Do you have any example posts? I don't frequent that forum enough to know what posts to look for.

  21. #46
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_fuel View Post
    Hmm, I'm thinking of a general "legality" section for that. Do you have any example posts? I don't frequent that forum enough to know what posts to look for.
    I am trying to find some more later on, but these are some nice examples in the Graphics section of the forum.

    This is an issue with copying:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=523914




    This is an abandoned thread, people trying to help with no response from the OP later on:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517129

    Good example of asking for a freebie and a copy of somebody else's work, responses: zero, as it should be:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=516732

    Freebie request in disguise:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=534157
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  22. #47
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    I added another paragraph to the "Do I Need To Post?" section on Legality. It's somewhat short and generic, so let me know if there's anything that needs to be brought out specifically.

  23. #48
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_fuel View Post
    I added another paragraph to the "Do I Need To Post?" section on Legality. It's somewhat short and generic, so let me know if there's anything that needs to be brought out specifically.
    It is fine in this generic way. To go deeply into specifics is not your intent with this anyhow, would get much too long and would also be only partial, therefore becoming like a tax code that needs the holes stuffed over time.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  24. #49
    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    I created a post which consolidates most of the stickies:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=535939

    Makes it easier to point people to a page that has all the important topics in one place. Going to add non-stickied and articles at some point.

  25. #50
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    The thing that gets me is when I post links to online docs and tutorials that I think would help them learn (which they don't read), and post simplified code examples and "dumbed down" explanations (which they don't want).
    I think that's called laziness.

    It's like those people who have a problem and hurry to a forum, without trying to solve it themselve (many times using a search engine and entering some keywords would do the trick). To me it's like they think: i post it on that forum and the pro's will give me a ready made answer in seconds


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