Read this before posting a programming question ...

+1 think is useful.

In "Getting Help on the Forum" I would make something like this the first point: - Use a descriptive Subject for your post. A Subject like "Noob needs help" or "Guidance needed" will not induce people to read your message.

I, for one, tend to ignore any post which doesn't have some useful info in the Subject or which is ALL IN CAPS or which has the word "urgent" in it.

Pete

Modified to follow your suggestion, thanks.

You could include a link to the venerable "How to Ask Questions the Smart Way" at http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html#intro

My thought it that it may be helpful to organize it a little better, such that someone completely clueless to programming wouldn't have to wade through "Serial data arrives asynchronously" to get to "Post your code!" Put the important and easily understandable things at the top.

I don't think the problem is lack of available things to read. It's the fact that a lot of people don't want to read at all. Maybe we need an Arduino picture book...you know, bright colors, shapes, connect the dots....

(channeling a little Grumpy Mike today)

macegr: (channeling a little Grumpy Mike today)

Indeed.

I don't think the problem is lack of available things to read.

I agree.

It's the fact that a lot of people don't want to read at all.

That is a problem but my impression is that most folks new to Arduino have a difficult time knowing how or where to get the information they need. They come to the forum because they suffer from 3rd Order Ignorance.

For example, I can distinctly remember when I started that it was a few weeks before I realized there was a "Playground" and a few months before I realized what the "Playground" was. I assumed, with the title "Playground", it was a place for advanced users to exchange project details so I simply didn't bother to visit.

Maybe we need an Arduino picture book...you know, bright colors, shapes, connect the dots....

XD

macegr: I don't think the problem is lack of available things to read. It's the fact that a lot of people don't want to read at all.

Yes, sure. But my experience with other forums is that if there is a sticky at the very top where I am about to post "der, how do I get X to work?" and it runs through a lot of the preliminaries, then there is a chance I will read it.

My thought it that it may be helpful to organize it a little better ...

I can work on that bit.

Thumbs up from me.

If you are going to suggest that people use 115200 baud for serial comms, it might be worth mentioning that they will need to set the serial monitor to match. It's not necessarily obvious for beginners, and could save on 'My serial output is just weird characters' problems.

I think this was very useful, 2 questions answered (of mine) - I was wondering about char arrays and sram, since most boards (the cheaper ones not the mega boards) only have 2k of sram, this post would save someone a LOT of time lol.... cheers - i hope it stays sticky.

Yeah I hope so too ... but I am just a Pawn in the Game of Life ...

Excellent!

The "what have you tried" link alone doubles the usefulness of the post. :-D

When posting code, rather than posting a complex sketch, aim to post the simplest sketch that shows the problem. As a courtesy to the people trying to help you, make sure the sketch actually compiles and demonstrates the problem before you post it, and format the code.

Nice post Nick! My suggestion: Add number to each bold title so I can tell a noob to say read number 6 on the sticky thread about "getting help" and follow the "posting code" suggestion. Or simply issue a 6-5.

PeterH: When posting code, rather than posting a complex sketch, aim to post the simplest sketch that shows the problem.

Added this suggestion to the "how to post" list.

liudr: My suggestion: Add number to each bold title so I can tell a noob to say read number 6 on the sticky thread about "getting help" and follow the "posting code" suggestion.

Now numbered each section.

Jeremy Blum's tutorial series on Youtube is the single most helpful resource for anyone just getting started using the Arduino.

I watched all 14 videos twice before I even received my Arduino in the mail. I think everyone should be required to watch those videos before they post a thing:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA567CE235D39FA84&feature=plcp

Here's my contribution, a collection of common beginner trouble spots: http://www.cprogramming.com/tutorial/common.html

Thanks! And I’ll add the C++ FAQ Lite:

http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/

Nice.

[quote author=Nick Gammon link=topic=97455.msg786682#msg786682 date=1336426126] Thanks! And I'll add the C++ FAQ Lite:

http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/ [/quote]

I see there is also: http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq/

The few pages I checked appear identical between the two. :~