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Topic: Proposed "sticky" : How to use this forum (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic

Nick Gammon

Feb 13, 2013, 12:19 am Last Edit: Feb 14, 2013, 03:08 am by Nick Gammon Reason: 1
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

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]


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.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

Jack Christensen

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.
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/


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.

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.


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.



Finish with a period (full-stop).

And only ONE!


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.

Nick Gammon

Feb 13, 2013, 09:49 pm Last Edit: Feb 14, 2013, 03:08 am by Nick Gammon Reason: 1
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


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?
there are only 10 types of people
them that understands binary
and them that doesn't

Nick Gammon

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.

Jack Christensen

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".
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/

Nick Gammon


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"...  :)

Nick Gammon

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

It says:


Post a complete sketch (program code)!

As suggested by someone, qualified to be "the minimal code that exhibits the problem".

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