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Author Topic: Board rules / Forum policies  (Read 1401851 times)

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Joachim Müller

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Board rules / Forum policies
« on: September 28, 2008, 10:18:36 AM »

Below are the forum policies that everyone agreed to when signing up:
Board rules are being printed in large, bold letters on this thread. Explanations and additional information is supplied in regular font size. This thread is locked - you can not reply to it.
This thread has been created as a summary/replacement for the cluttered thread "Board rules".


Board Rules in other languages:
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 02:31:10 PM by Joachim Müller »
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[1] Board rules / Forum policies: Read the Documentation
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 10:20:11 AM »

1. Read the documentation first!
The documentation that comes with coppermine should answer most newbie questions.

It is mandatory to read the documentation before being allowed to post a question in the first place. If your questions shows that you haven't read the docs, you will probably only get a short answer that contains a link to the docs.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:09:29 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[2] Board rules / Forum policies: Read the FAQ
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2008, 10:21:11 AM »

2. Read the FAQ

There is a reason why there is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): they get asked very often. Hence, we have created one document that contains both the questions as well as the answers to common issues. Please read the FAQ before asking for help. Supporters are reluctant to post the same answer over and over again.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:09:44 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[3] Board rules / Forum policies: Search the Board
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2008, 10:22:18 AM »

3. Search the board
The search facility on the forums is probably your best friend when having a problem, there is a good chance that someone else has had the problem you are having and that a solution has been posted before, so to try and get an answer straight away use this tool. If at first you don't seem to find what you are looking for try again with different words.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:09:59 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[4] Board rules / Forum policies: Read the Stickies
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2008, 10:23:05 AM »

4. Read the stickies
Threads marked with a pin are listed at the very top of each board. They contain answers to many questions that were posted over and over again, or they may contain important announcements from the dev team. They also contain information what kind of postings are allowed on a particular sub-board and what information supporters need to answer your questions. Make sure to read the stickies on a board before posting to it.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:10:13 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[5] Board rules / Forum policies: Choose the proper board for your posting
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2008, 10:23:50 AM »

5. Choose the proper board for your posting
All boards have a brief description of what its threads should contain. Make sure to post in the board that fits your issue most.

Only post your question on the support board that corresponds to your version of coppermine.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:10:27 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[6] Board rules / Forum policies: Use a meaningfull subject line
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2008, 10:24:32 AM »

6. Use a meaningfull subject line
When posting on a support board, it's very likely that you need help, as much as everyone else who looks for help there, so don't use subject like "Help me please" or "Newbie needs help". Other "bad" subject lines are "Important", "I have a little question" etc.
Instead, use a short phrase that describes your problem - this will make things easier for supporters as well as other users who might encounter a similar problem and browse the board for relevant postings.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:10:41 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[7] Board rules / Forum policies: be detailed
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2008, 10:26:07 AM »

7. Be detailed
Post as many details as possible on the issue you're facing; for a start, you should post a link to your gallery and a test user account (without admin privileges). If the page in question can't be accessed by "regular" users (e.g. admin pages), post a screenshot.

There is a thin line between posting as much details as possible and cluttering a thread with too many unneeded details. Only post debug_output if a supporter explicitely asks for it.
Posting a link to your gallery is always mandatory.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:11:16 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[8] Board rules / Forum policies: Post Links
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 10:27:07 AM »

8. Post links
When posting a support request, it's helpfull for supporters in most cases to see what the actual page looks like, that's why it's mandatory that you always post a link to your coppermine gallery page when asking for support. If your site contains adult content, make sure to post a warning together with your link!

Supporters might get into issues if they accidentally visit a page that interferes with their employer's internet policy. If your site contains adult content (even mild nudity even falls into this category), post the words "not safe for work" next to the link.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:11:31 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[9] Board rules / Forum policies: Add Attachments
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 10:28:07 AM »

9. Add attachments
You can add files (some file types at least) to your posting on the board. When composing a message, click on "Additional options" at the bottom left of the screen and use the "upload attachment" function there. For security reasons you can not post executables or php files - rename them to txt or put them into a zip archive instead.

Do not hotlink images (as the link might go down later, leaving your entire thread useless for others with similar issues), but attach the images (e.g. screenshots) to your posting. To accomplish this, click "Additional Options..." when composing your message. Then use the "Attach"-field to browse your local files and attach the image(s) to your posting.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:11:46 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[10] Board rules / Forum policies: One Question per Thread
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 10:28:42 AM »

10. One question per thread
We have a strict "One question/issue per thread rule", which helps both supporters/moderators to keep track of open/closed issues as well as users who search the board or browse it, looking for answers to their question. Don't try to "hijack" other's threads by posting unrelated questions to an existing thread.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:12:01 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[11] Board rules / Forum policies: Post publicly
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 10:29:26 AM »

11. Post publicly
Sending private messages to supporters or devs, asking for help or support is a bad idea. The whole point of a support board is that others can see your questions and the replies. There is no individual support by email or private message. If sensitive information like an admin account is needed, the supporter will ask for it.

In other words: you are not allowed to send a PM or email to the supporters, devs or anyone else on this forum unless you have explicitely been given permission to do so. The ability of non-privileged users to send PMs has been disabled because of frequent abuse.
The only exception to this rule are security-related issues that have an impact on the most recent stable release: if you have discovered a security flaw in coppermine, you're allowed to contact one of the devs directly to alert him of the potential flaw.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:13:00 AM by Joachim Müller »
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[Summary] Board rules / Forum policies
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2008, 10:31:15 AM »

Supporters are reluctant to answer the same questions over and over again. If you chose not to read the docs and search first, or if you don't stick to this board's policies it's likely to get a harsh answer, or no answer at all. Keep in mind that all who work on this project are volunteers who don't get paid.

When I tried to come up with a document that describes in detail what to do and what not on the coppermine support board I came across a document that is extremely well-written and says it all. Although it discusses the use of mailing lists in the first place, it's the same for the use of the coppermine support board. I strongly recommend reading it before doing anything else on this board: http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
 Please understand though that the page I refered to is not affiliated with coppermine at all, so you will not get any particular insight in coppermine-related stuff. Do not ask them about coppermine, they don't know it. However, the author of the doc (Eric S. Raymond) has summed up what our board is about as well and how to post smart questions.

Another must-read article on this issue has been brought up by Abbas Ali:
Some might be interested in this lovely article -> Help Vampires

Please see that you are not in that category.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:13:14 AM by Joachim Müller »
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Board rules / Forum policies: Languages
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2008, 12:20:25 PM »

Languages:
The official language of the support board (unless indicated otherwise) is English. Questions and answers must be posted in English. There is a sub-section named "Language specific support" where you're allowed to post in your language - if a sub-board for your language exists. There is no sense in asking for sub-boards in other languages, as there are no supporters available for those other languages.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2010, 09:13:28 AM by Joachim Müller »
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Common policies
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2008, 12:42:15 PM »

As in most other boards, there are several other board rules that rather fall into the category "common sense", so they are not part of the actual board rules that you agreed to when signing up. However, it's important to bear them in mind:
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Common policies: Board spam
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2008, 12:43:44 PM »

Board spam
Of course, board spam (posting unrelated adverts, especially for online pharmaceuticals) is not allowed and will be removed without further notice. People who just dumped such board spam will be banned immediately.
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Common policies: Threads remain
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2008, 12:45:45 PM »

Threads remain
We don't delete threads if the request starter has found the answer he was looking for: the point of a support board is that questions and answers remain available for others with similar issues. For the benefit of others, threads don't get deleted. You have to understand this when composing your message in the first place - compose it wisely. The ability for regular users to edit their postings has deliberately been removed because of frequent abuse in the past. It's up to the decision of the board staff (admins, moderators, developers) wether a thread remains or not.
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Common policies: Resolve your threads
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2008, 12:46:26 PM »

Resolve your threads
If you have found an answer to your question, resolve your thread. Don't just post "I have found the answer", but tell others what you actually did to solve your issues. Posting a link to the page where you found the answer might help. Describing what you did might help as well. Finally, you can tag your thread as "solved" by clicking on the "Topic Solved" button on the bar at the left hand side at the bottom of your thread.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 11:28:56 AM by Αndré »
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Common policies: Don't double-post/cross-post
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2008, 12:47:37 PM »

Don't double-post
Don't start more than one topic with the same question. Postings that you compose as a reply to your own posting to clarify your previous posting are not being considered as "double-postings", so you can easily add information that you failed to post in the first place by replying to your own posting.

Don't cross-post
Don't ask your question as a reply to several threads - this only clutters the board and causes double moderation effort.

No thread-hijacking
If someone has started a thread, describing his/her issues in detail and asking for support, it's not a bright idea to hijack this thread and reply there, asking for support on your issues. When in doubt, start a thread of your own for your individual issues.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 07:15:08 AM by Joachim Müller »
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Read on
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2008, 12:48:22 PM »

Read on: this thread continues on the next page - please read on, using the pagination link at the bottom!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2008, 12:55:48 PM by Joachim Müller »
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