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Author Topic: Guide to the Coppermine Support Board  (Read 4195 times)

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Guide to the Coppermine Support Board
« on: February 24, 2004, 08:11:24 am »

In order to maximize the effectiveness of this support board, please follow this procedure before posting.

1. Read the documentation that comes with Coppermine.

2. Read the FAQ link at the top of this page.

3. Read the sticky titles.

4. Search the boards.
When searching, you should use unique words if possible. If you are looking for a combination of words, such as an error message, place AND between each word.  For example, if you wanted to find support regarding the error message "Script called without the required parameter(s)", you would search for

Script AND called AND without AND the AND required AND parameter(s).

You can decrease the number of results by adding additional quantifiers, such as the file name in which the error occurs. In our example, this could be:

Script AND called AND without AND the AND required AND parameter(s). AND db_input.php

Restrict your searches to a particular forum only if you have too many results returned to you.

If you search the board and do not find any useful information, you should post your topic.

Do not PM support requests to people you think can help you.  They are unlikely to respond, and you should think yourself lucky if they do. The entire purpose of this support board is to create a searchable pool of knowledge about Coppermine.  Private messages circumvent this process and prevent others from learning from your experience.  

5. Posting

When posting, give the topic a title that is useful and informative. "Hey" or "Please Help" or "Big Problem" is not informative. Instead your titles should give the reader an instant idea of what your problem is. The error message would be a good title in many cases. If there is no error message, then state the problem as simply as possible.  For example, if all your thumbs are purple, make the title "Thumbnails are purple" or "Thumbnail color is wrong." This helps people respond, and it helps people with the same problem as you.

In the body of your post, please give a thorough description of the problem.

Bad: "Hey, I can't upload pictures. What's wrong?"

Good: "When I try to upload pictures using batch upload, some files are uploaded, but others are not.  There are no error messages, but there are some red x's."

Also provide system information (OS, PHP version, image software, etc.) and the output of debug mode.  If you do not know how to activate debug mode, you have not followed step 1 of this post. Also, post a link to your site when possible (the URL where the problem occurs is preferred.) If the problem requires registration to be seen, post a test account username and password. DO NOT post your admin username and password.

If you have another unrelated question, return to step one and begin again.  Do not put unrelated questions in the same thread.  

Do not use slang in your postings.  "N00b" and similar terminology does not always translate on a global support board where many people do not speak english as a first language. If your post is full of such 'hacker' nonsense, you will deserve the replies you get.  Also, do not attempt to emphasize your problems by repeating letters over and over.  "Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" should mean you need a new keyboard.

Provide warnings if following links to your site will result in exposure to indecent material or material unfit for viewing at work.

If your thread goes unanswered, you may return it to the top of the list by posting "*bump*" to it.  Do not post "Hello?" or "Anyone here?" or "WAUGHHHHHH!!!!! :cry: " Do not post a new topic. Please allow an appropriate amount of time  before bumping. Think in terms of days.  

If your post goes unanswered, there may be several reasons:

a. No one knows.
b. People may be busy.
c. You did not provide enough information.
d. The problem cannot be duplicated. (We understand that ghost problems do occur, but we are not ghostbusters.)
e. Your post was offensive.

6. Someone responds

When engaged in troubleshooting with someone, make sure you understand what they are telling you to do.  Then, actually do what they tell you to do. If it requires file or database changes, make a backup before doing anything. After you try something, tell people if this worked, failed, etc.

Sometimes problems are related to server setup.  If you are running your own server, you may be told that this is not a server support board.  This means that your problem is related to your server configuration, and it would not have arisen if you knew how your server worked. You have a responsibility to learn the basics of servers if you are trying to run one. This does not mean server questions are not answered here, but very basic and silly "running my own server" questions may be mocked.  

Mind your manners when posting. No one is obliged to help you. Also, remember that body movement, gestures, and tone of voice are not available to readers to help them understand your intent.  

7. Problem solved

If the advice solved the problem, post a message in the thread letting everyone know the problem is resolved. Then, if you created the original topic, edit the title, and add "[Solved]:" to it. For example, you would change "Thumbnail color is wrong." to "[Solved]:Thumbnail color is wrong." Again, if you have another unrelated question, return to step one and begin again.  Do not put unrelated questions in the same thread.
"Then, Fletch," that bright creature said to him, and the voice was very kind, "let's begin with level flight . . . ."

-Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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