Posting Guidelines - Please read before posting


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Posting Guidelines

[ol][li]Use common sense - Just because it isn’t explicitly stated as one of the rules below doesn’t mean it’s OK. Use common sense and good Netiquette when posting, replying and browsing these forums. Do not take a demanding tone in the forums. As my grandmother said, you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar. A suggestion from genealogy: you will get much more help if you do your homework before asking a question. Do not ask people to do your work for you. Don’t be too general in your questions. Make your titles specific. Do not just post “newbie needs help.” Asking good questions is an art and a learned habit, do not be shy to learn how to ask good questions. It took me a while to learn. Lurk on the forums before posting. Netiquette: http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html
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[li]DO NOT CONTACT COMMUNITY HELPERS BY EMAIL OR PRIVATE MESSAGE WITH TECHNICAL PROBLEMS In the past, members have received a large amount of personal messages asking for help with various technical problems. Help is provided in the forums. It cannot be stressed strongly enough.
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[li]Private Messages and Email Please post your questions in forums instead of sending private messages to the administrators or moderators of the discussions. Doing so will enable the whole group to work on your problem. No matter how knowledgeable an individual is, inevitably people have different points of view and will offer different solutions. It only benefits you and the community when questions are answered in the public forums for all to read. As with all rules they can and will be enforced, so from now on however important your question is please DO NOT private message the administrator or any other users unless they have personally requested that action.
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[li]Read articles in the relevant section on the main site - Start by looking for and reading articles in relevant topics in our collection of articles in addition to the forums. Chances are answers to many of your questions will be there. By doing the prerequisite reading and learning, your questions and comments will be both more answerable and more interesting to others when you do begin posting.
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[li]Read the PHP Manual Be sure to visit the official PHP website ( http://www.php.net ) and read the documentation (they offer an interactive version of the PHP Manual including reader comments). You will be surprised how many questions can be so easily answered if initiative is taken and posters read the manual.
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[li]Take advantage of the online PHP Manual
Consult the Online Interactive PHP Manual available at (http://www.php.net/manual). You will find it contains many helpful annotations covering quirks, bugs and commonly asked questions. If you do not understand how the manual’s advice applies to your problem, then please state what you do not understand and carefully define your problem.
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[li]Download the PHP Manual Download the official PHP documentation (PHP Manual) from the php.net website and install it onto your local computer hard drive for reference.
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[li]Do your homework firstOnce you have exhausted the PHP Manual (http://www.php.net) and learned the basic concepts of PHP programming, you can research more effectively on the site or post more clearly defined questions and get lots of helpful answers. The community members are a helpful bunch, by and large.
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[li]A problem defined is a problem solved. So please clearly state what you are tying to accomplish, the goals of your project, before posting. Please state your problem in clear, plain language. Community members are much more likely to answer if you carefully define and explain what it is you want to achieve before posting a question.
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[li]Use Clear Language Avoid any defects of spelling or grammar that would interfere with understanding your question. Do not type in all lower or upper case. Avoid substituting online slang or abbreviations for real words. You do not have to write perfect English or construct sentences befitting a an English teacher, but make writing understandable. Do not assume everyone is an expert with all programming technologies, avoid excessive technical jargon.
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[li]“Bumping” Message Threads Please try to limit “bumping” of threads unless they are fairly old, dropping out off the first page of replies, and of interest to the general community. If you feel a thread like that needs bumping, please suggest in a private message to one of the moderators that we make it ‘sticky’ instead.
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[li]Private Messages and Email Please post your questions in forums instead of sending private messages to the administrators or moderators of the discussions. Doing so will enable the whole group to work on your problem. No matter how knowledgeable an individual is, inevitably people have different points of view and will offer different solutions. It only benefits you and the community when questions are answered in the public forums for all to read.[/li][/ol]

How to Ask for Help

Here are a four steps to take when posting a technical problem:

[ol][li]Make sure you check http://www.php.net and read the documentation (they offer an interactive manual with reader comments), you’ll be surprised how many questions can be so easily answered if initiative is taken and posters read the manual.[/li]
[li]Please do not post “Can you Make This” enquiries. Most of us here will help with existing problems that you have come across and will not create whole programs for you. You will receive help quicker if you show that you have gone to some effort toward a solution.[/li]
[li]Always provide as much background information as possible: Operating System : *nix, win etc etc; version of PHP (not necessary, but quite helpful for us)[/li]
[li]If you are posting an error, please let us know:
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[li]What the error message is. [/li]
[li]What line of code is causing the error[/li]
[li]Be sure to surround the code you post with the BBCode “Code” tags. A button for this is provided by a toolbar at the top of the “POSTING” page. [/li]
[li]Please read the php debugging tutorial as well.[/li]
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If you follow these four rules, you’ll find that you will get a far more efficient and worthwhile answer in a quicker time span.

Help Installing Third-Party Applications

This forum does not offer support for the usage of pre-made scripts. There are far too many applications of varying types available for users of this forum to be able to answer questions or provide support. You will have to refer to the original developers support forum to find a solution.

If your application is generating a specific error or you can narrow the problem down to a certain code segment, we may be able to give you a general answer to that specific PHP problem. We have no ability to help if you just say “Its not working, help me.”

Please seek help in the application’s support group first, wait for answers before asking somewhere else and try contacting the developers or authors. Be sure to check your configuration is correct and that the version of PHP you are running is compatible with the application or script.

Be sure to ask your hosting provider’s support team about the version of PHP or any upgrades and configuration details, versions and configuration of support applications such as MySQL, the operating system (have their been any upgrades or switches to another flavor of Unix?), are appropriate libraries installed with the operating system, the way ownership and permissions are handled on your server, any ‘wrapping’ of scripts, deployment of mod_php or PHP as a CGI script.

[size=14px] [b]Private Messages and Email [/b] [i]Please post your questions in forums instead of sending private messages to the administrators or moderators of the discussions. Doing so will enable the whole group to work on your problem. No matter how knowledgeable an individual is, inevitably people have different points of view and will offer different solutions. It only benefits you and the community when questions are answered in the public forums for all to read. [/i][/size]

[size=14px]If any topic is found to be disregarding any of the Post Guidelines, you topic maybe locked, and repeat offenders maby banned without notice.[/size]

This Posting Guide created by Steve Knoblock (builder), administrator and forum moderator. Thanks to evilcoder and Miles Burton, Paul Gardner, Monk, Bane for starting and helping with this evolving text.