I'm posting these as general guidelines for users to refer to when posting on the devnet forums. These are not rules, you will not get banned for not following them but you will probably be pointed towards them on a regular basis if you totally ignore them.
GUIDELINES FOR ASKING QUESTIONS
Start Here: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
In a nutshell:
GUIDELINES FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS
- Try a search first - Google, the PHP manual, the MySQL manual, Phuse and this forum are all good resources.
- Read the stickies - they're not there for nothing and cover some frequently asked questions.
- If you're looking for a script to do something in particular and have no wish to write your own please either go to hotscripts.com or advertise the job in the Job Hunt forum.
- Read the forum descriptions carefully, you want to post your question in the most relevant one.
- Do not hijack other people's threads, post your own topic and reference (i.e. link to) the other thread in it.
- Write your question carefully, think about what you need to achieve and exactly what help you are looking for.
- Write a clear subject line, it'll help people deciding whether to look at your post or not - 'help, PHP noob' is probably going to be ignored by some.
- Don't just post - 'This doesn't work' - tell us exactly what doesn't work and make sure to include any error messages you're getting.
- Use the bbcode tags for code blocks - for PHP code use the tags to enclose it, for all other code use the tags - this will make it much easier for people to read your code (especially if you've taken the time to indent it properly).
- Don't cross-post, once you've chosen the most relevant forum there is no need to post the same question in any of the others.
- Remember all the people here answering questions are volunteers, be polite to them, thank them for their help and if you aren't getting the answers you want refine your question don't have a go at the people trying to help you.
- If you work out the answer yourself post the solution - it'll help the next person who comes along with a similar question.
- If the solution someone else gives you works, post back and say so - it's always nice to know that a problem's fixed.
It's always good to remember that it's not just how you ask a question that is important - how you answer a question should be thought out too.
I DISAGREE/THINK THERE'S SOMETHING MISSING
- Don't just post RTFM - try and give a link to the section of the manual that is relevant.
- Read the question carefully, if you don't understand what's being asked, say so.
- Read the other answers in the thread, don't just read the first and last posts - you could be missing a lot inbetween if you do and it could make the help you give irrelevant. It may also be frustrating for those already involved in the thread to see that you've ignored their input.
- Try and help people help themselves, if someone has posted an link to the relevant area of the manual (or a tutorial or other example page) don't just post a cut-and-paste code snippet, yes you know the answer but give the poster a chance to try and sort it themselves.
- Respect other posters - if you are elaborating or disagreeing with what's been said be constructive.
- Explain your answer - don't just post a bunch of code with no clue as to what it fixes/replaces.
- Remember that just because you always do something one way does not mean it is the right way, neither is someone else's code immediately wrong because you don't recognise the functions they're using - use the manual to make sure you know what you're talking about.
- register_globals is off by default, unless you're helping those with older PHP versions (4.0.6 or below) please use the superglobal arrays when dealing with user input.
- Check your code - if you can just run it to check for parse errors.
- Telling someone to turn down their error reporting is not a valid solution.
This is the first draft of forum guidelines, if you disagree with them, think my wording's a bit off or have any other comments, please PM me (twigletmac) and I'll take a view on it. Likewise if you think I've missed something off.