Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Using the AutoIt forums

The forums are a great resource if you use them properly and that includes paying attention and not annoying respondents.

  • Make multiple threads about the same problem.  Stick to one thread and if a new problem, albeit the same project, arises then open a new thread for that problem.  We don't have the time nor the inclination to be following multi-posts all over the place only to find that a solution was already provided in one of your previous threads.
  • Get obnoxious with people when you are asking for help with a third party application.  After all we can hardly be expected to install some garbage software just for the sake of answering one of your questions.
  • Make posts with titles like "Help" or "Simple Problem".  Be sure that the Title and sub-title give some indication of what you need help with.  Again, we all have our own lives and most of us will usually only check those posts with an adequate description.
  • Waste our time by not giving us enough details about what you expect the end result to be.
  • Above all else, do not engage in arguments with people.  That can only result in a bad ending for someone, usually you.
  • Post malicious code or code that will violate a TOS agreement.  That is bound to get you banned from the forums.
  • Bump your thread unless at least 24 hours has elapsed. See Question number 7 in Let's Get Started. Remember that your code is generally not important to anyone except you and you will only annoy people by bumping posts too soon or too often.
  • Provide us with enough code to replicate the issue you are having.
  • Provide adequate details about the problem.  "This doesn't work [some code block]" doesn't cut it.  We need to know what you expected it to do and what end result you require.
  • Display to us that you have made adequate attempts at resolving the issue yourself, for example by reading the help file.
  • Use Code blocks when posting code.  Just click the icon that looks like <> and place your code between the [code] and [/code].  That makes for much easier reading.
  • If you are reading a file in the source and the issue or questin regards that file then provide is with some actual lines from the file.  If you can't fit it into a code block then post it as an attachment.  The actual contents of that file can be critical, particularly if the solution requires StringRegExp().
  • If possible, give us some indication of your experience so we can determine how deeply we have to go with the reply.
  • Be courteous at all times.  You will be treated the way you treat others.
  • Remember that people in the forums are not your personal slaves and in fact are there strictly as volunteers.  If someone posts a quick reply to your question and end up with "I'm too busy to do more at this time but I will check back" then respect the fact that they have their own work or personal agenda to get through and that obviously precludes spending more time on your problem at that moment.
  • If the English language poses a problem then ask for links to forums in your native tongue.  If none exist then post your question in your native tongue but be prepared for a delay until someone comes along who can either answer or translate the post.
If you have an issue with Valik, keep it to yourself.  It will be less painful that way and besides anything you need to know about him is covered in the help file.  Of course you have studied the help file thoroughly.  If you have not bothered to read it then don't bother posting at all because you won't get any sympathy and without that help file you are in water that is way over your head so just quit while you are still just a bit behind.  If you have an issue with any experienced members besides Valik, keep it to yourself because we don't need the whining.  If your problem is with Jon, good luck.

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