Arduino Forum

Community => Website and Forum => Topic started by: nickgammon on Feb 13, 2013, 12:19 am

Title: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 13, 2013, 12:19 am
I get a personal message every few days asking "how do I even post a question on the forum"? Plus we have the usual assortment of cross-postings, code not in code tags, etc. I propose a "tutorial" sticky along the following lines:




Post moved to:

How to use this forum (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.0.html)

If you want to quote it in other threads, suggested link:


Code: [Select]
[url=http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.0.html]How to use this forum[/url]

Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: CrossRoads on Feb 13, 2013, 03:09 am
That's awesome Nick, now we just need a way to enforce that newbies actually read it before posting.
Like the scroll down & click acknowledge that software licenses make you check off.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: JChristensen on Feb 13, 2013, 04:29 am

Like the scroll down & click acknowledge that software licenses make you check off.


And we know that everyone always reads those! :D (Sorry, could not help myself.)

Absolute bang-up, above-and-beyond job, Nick! I'm all for it. At least we could give the clueless a link to it.

BTW, I got one of those messages in the last day or so. Couldn't believe it, so I decided to just ignore it.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: Riva on Feb 13, 2013, 09:38 am
Looks well though out and if it can get people to read and understand before posting all the better. I tend to ignore meaningless subject headings and common questions that could be answered with a little searching unless I'm really not busy.

Quote
Be polite

A little courtesy and politeness goes a long way. Even if you think a question has been asked before, or you don't see the point of it, try to answer politely. Remember a lot of the posters with high post counts see the same questions every day, and they may get a bit terse if you appear not to have tried very hard to help yourself in the first place.

This cuts both ways though as some people reply in a flippant manner that does not become an official support forum.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: Grumpy_Mike on Feb 13, 2013, 10:25 am
Well done Nick.
I would add one more piece of advice.

If you do not understand the answer then google the words you do not understand. If you are still stuck then ask again explaining what you didn't understand about the answer. Try not to say you didn't understand any of it, be specific.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: leo72 on Feb 13, 2013, 11:17 am
I LIKE this guide.  ;)
+1
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: PaulS on Feb 13, 2013, 01:51 pm
Quote
Finish with a period (full-stop).

And only ONE!
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: PaulS on Feb 13, 2013, 01:58 pm
Quote
People are trying to help

If someone asks for more details, they are probably trying to visualize what you are attempting to do. Don't fob them off with "that's irrelevant" sort of responses. The more detail about your project, the better the help you will get.

I've pointed out fundamental flaws in code before, and gotten back "Yeah, I'll fix that later, after I figure out what is wrong with my code". We need to convey that if problems are pointed out, they should be fixed. That may well fix the problem that the poster is having.

On the topic of code, I think that the sticky should emphasize the need to post ALL the code. Where the problem is may not be where the poster thinks the problem is. It quite often isn't, and we waste a lot of time getting them to admit that the problem might originate elsewhere.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 13, 2013, 09:49 pm
Adding suggested changes has made the post exceed the forum posting maximum. So now it is split into two parts. Consider this one following on from the earlier one.





Continuation moved to: How to use this forum (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.0.html)
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: mmcp42 on Feb 13, 2013, 10:38 pm
excellent in every particular
if only we could get noobs (and some not-so-noob) to actuall read it!
can we email it to them as part of the sign-up process?
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 13, 2013, 11:00 pm
If there are no objections, I'll take the two relevant posts (points 1 to 12, and 13 to 14), put them in the "Installation & Troubleshooting" section, lock them, and sticky them. I get the impression that this section people visit first, being at the top.

Those moderators who speak other languages than English may want to make a copy, translate as required, and post the translated copies into their own International sections.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: JChristensen on Feb 14, 2013, 12:01 am
Just a bit of word-smithing, and some rationale for discouraging cross-posting:

Don't cross-post!

We know you are anxious to get an answer to your problem, but reposting the same question to multiple parts of the forum causes duplicate effort, and divides the focus on your problem. You'll get a better answer if everyone can discuss it in one place. Cross-posting is very annoying; the moderators will delete your extra posts, and you will get a warning. Save all the hassle, and just post the question once. It will be noticed.

If you aren't sure what section to post in (Programming Questions, Electronics, etc.) make a guess. Don't cross post "just in case".
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 12:10 am
Amended as suggested, thanks.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: PaulS on Feb 14, 2013, 01:16 am
On the issue of posting modified code, should it say something about posting the modified code in a new reply, rather than modifying an earlier post/reply? I find it irritating to have the original munged up code overwritten, so that you can't see what changes were made.

In the After you get a response section, should there be anything about not deleting the thread? I thought that posters could only delete their posts/replies, but apparently, and quite annoyingly, the topic starter can delete the whole topic.

And, still nothing about "ALL the code"...  :)
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 01:18 am

And, still nothing about "ALL the code"...  :)


It says:

Quote

Post a complete sketch (program code)!


As suggested by someone, qualified to be "the minimal code that exhibits the problem".
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 01:22 am

On the issue of posting modified code, should it say something about posting the modified code in a new reply, rather than modifying an earlier post/reply? I find it irritating to have the original munged up code overwritten, so that you can't see what changes were made.

In the After you get a response section, should there be anything about not deleting the thread? I thought that posters could only delete their posts/replies, but apparently, and quite annoyingly, the topic starter can delete the whole topic.


Point 14 above modified to incorporate your suggestions, thanks.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 01:28 am
Added extra line to ask for link to any user-downloaded libraries.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: rockwallaby on Feb 14, 2013, 02:05 am
Nick, this is spot on with what is needed.
I was about to write a similar post as this, but having just seen this with all the details, you have saved me a heap of time.

The only problem I see with a sticky is that it is not in your face, there are many people who have a problem want an answer fast and they bypass the reading of any sticky. Then it is us who then every time go through the same process of explaining to them some basic concepts, such as how about using CODE brackets or how about even showing us your code.

I was also thinking, how difficult would it be that when a person posts a new topic, he/she will need to go through some check list in an effort to try to make sure the post is posted in the relevant section and that the poster has supplied enough detail in their first post. It will take an extra moment or two, but it will probably tend to sort out the folks who are after a 'Plz help me or I will fail my exam' type'.

In the Home Automation and Network Objects section, I am seeing more posts that I believe should not belong there. Their questions are more aimed at basic fundamental electronics or other circuitry that would be better suited in other sections. The poster must wonder why they get very little response. I guess the same is happening in other section as well.

It appears to me more 'newbies' and or 'noobs' are on active the forum, the humble Arduino is more popular by the day, but that they are many total 'noobs' in forum use as well.

Yes Nick, your idea would be a real step in the right direction, I appreciate the effort you have put into writing your idea up.

Regards,
Paul

P.S.
Quote
Nick wrote:
10. Post in proper sentences

This is a forum you are using, not a mobile phone.

As a courtesy to the people you are hoping to have help you, type complete sentences. That is:

   Start with a capital letter.
   Spell words properly.
   Finish with a period (full-stop). (Just the one, thanks!)


Oh yes, I could not agree more and I feel irritated when I see such laziness.
There seems to be a lot of folk who lack articulation in any form of language, extra nooby!
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 02:58 am
Yes, well we are being told off in another thread by someone who claims to be a moderator on another forum, but can't be bothered to capitalize sentences, use a capital "I" to refer to himself, and is generally rude and abusive.

Quote
I was also thinking, how difficult would it be that when a person posts a new topic, he/she will need to go through some check list in an effort to try to make sure the post is posted in the relevant section and that the poster has supplied enough detail in their first post.


I have proposed exactly that to the forum administrators. However as an interim measure at least we have this thread, and if it can be linked to at the head of starting a new thread, all the better.


You can then, at least, say: "see 'How to use this forum' (link) point 5" rather than having to type the whole thing again.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 14, 2013, 03:11 am
Main post moved to How to use this forum (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.0.html)

Suggested link to quote it:

Code: [Select]
[url=http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.0.html]How to use this forum[/url]
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: JChristensen on Feb 14, 2013, 03:17 am
Got it bookmarked. Thanks again Nick, for a super job!
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: rockwallaby on Feb 15, 2013, 03:04 am
Looks good Nick.

One other thought that came to me was that when a user believes his/her question has been answered that they could mark the topic as being 'SOLVED', by editing the heading of their first post. Maybe for section 14 in your list.

This will help both people who are offering advice, but also other people with a similar problem to clearly see the state of the topic.
It also displays some respect from the original poster that the help received has been helpful.

Thoughts?
Paul
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 15, 2013, 03:36 am
Good idea, I forgot about that. Added that point to the end of things to do when you have a response.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: Riva on Feb 19, 2013, 07:05 pm
When we encounter posts from people who have obviously not read the sticky first do we -leave it/report it- to moderators so they can inform them or reply ourselves?
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Feb 20, 2013, 12:49 am
I wouldn't bother reporting it. Just reply yourself, link to the sticky, and maybe mention "check point 3" or whatever.

They won't all read it, but this saves you a bit of typing.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: JChristensen on Feb 20, 2013, 02:33 am

I wouldn't bother reporting it. Just reply yourself, link to the sticky, and maybe mention "check point 3" or whatever.


I've been doing some of this. If enough folks do, I think it's the best way to capitalize on the work that went into the sticky.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: el_supremo on Mar 28, 2013, 10:06 pm
Nick, one wee suggestion. Can the sticky be broken into sections that can be referred to from within an URL? I don't know the name of what I'm thinking of but instead of telling a user to "read section 7 of http://...../" you can say
read http://....../#7
which takes them directly to section 7 - which seems to be the section most new users really need to read :-)

Pete
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Mar 28, 2013, 10:18 pm
The name is an "anchor", but I'm not sure you can make a link to part of a post.

If I break the post into three parts (initial and two replies) rather than two parts, you can make a link to an individual reply.
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Mar 28, 2013, 10:22 pm
Maybe it's there, let me experiment:


foo

Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Mar 28, 2013, 10:32 pm
Try this:

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.msg1118324.html#post_codetags

Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: nickgammon on Mar 28, 2013, 10:55 pm
The final post on that page now lists all the anchors:

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,148850.msg1118343.html#msg1118343
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: el_supremo on Mar 28, 2013, 11:33 pm
Excellent. Thanks Nick.

Pete
Title: Re: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum
Post by: grendle on Apr 08, 2013, 01:09 pm
i must admit, i never read any of that stuff, which is why on my very first post on this forum i did all the wrong things, of which i will apologize for. i also made some jokes in one of the topics someone started about people demanding to be shown how to make an led blink, lol. someone pm'ed to see if i was kidding, i assure you, i was. again, apologies for that. morale of reply? new guys, follow the tips and rules here, noone has to help you, they do on their own free time.