If you are looking at this then the chances are you have been directed here by a moderator (or other forum user) because you were not aware of one or more forum rules.
When you signed up for this forum you actually agreed to these rules, but new users seldom read them and then complain when they are enforced.
As this happens so often and mods are tired of typing the same thing in over and over again, this thread was created.
Consider it a guide on forum etiquette
Please read it all because if you continue to disregard them, we do have the powers to place you back on post approval and even ban you from the forums if you are a repeat offender.
The TGC Forum AUP
This forum - like all others - has something called an AUP, or Acceptable Useage Policy. This contains the rules of the forum and to be honest, few people read it. You can find this forum's AUP here:
The TGC Forums AUP
If you break any of the rules, you can expect to be punished in some way by a 'moderator', whos job it is to apply the rules for TGC. Remember that mods do not make the rules - they only enforce them.
Punishments can include editing, locking or deleting your post for minor indiscretions to 'noob slapping' (going back to having your posts approved again for a period) and being banned from the forums for more serious cases.
Don't get involved in arguments with mods as it will get you nowhere - other than receiving an extension to your existing punishment.
Mods are human and can make mistakes so you can always email a mod if you don't know why a punishment has been applied, or wish to suggest an error has been made - but be polite as the mod you contact may not know anything about what has happened.
When you first join these forums, your posts will require approval. Once we know you are a trusted member you come out of approval. This is based on the number of posts you make - not the length of time you have been a member.
While you are in approval, your posts and new threads will NOT appear straight away. Be patient and wait for a mod to approve it. Do not post it again or you will end up with multiple posts.
Please note that mods have no control over when your approval period ends, so please don't contact them regarding this.
But I Didn't Break The AUP!
You can still annoy other forum users without breaking the AUP. A bit of common sense can avoid this. Here are a few things to look out for:
1. Read The Forums
When you first join a forum, you should spend an hour or so scanning through the boards and reading as many posts as you can.
Yes, there are thousands of posts going back many years and we wouldn't expect you to read all of them. But, you can narrow the possibilities down by being selective.
If you are using DB Classic, then you only have one board to deal with. There are numerous boards so you should easily be able to select which one is most likely to contain what you are looking for - regardless of the product you are using.
Doing this, you will benefit from seeing many questions which are asked over and over again and avoid the 'flames' if you were to ask them again!
2. Read The Stickies
At the top of each board are a number of highlighted threads called stickies. They are glued in position because they contain useful information and should be read before
you post on the board in question. Doing so will avoid most of the nasty responses you may receive.
3. Use The Search Facility
Many users have been on these forums since the beginning of time. You won't believe how many times some questions have been asked before. Answering them over and over again can be extremely tedious and many members will tell you this in no uncertain terms.
At the bottom of every page of the forum are search boxes where you can type in a word or phrase and find if the subject has been covered on the forum before. In 99.9% of cases, if new users used the search, they would not need to ask their question. Doing so simply makes you appear lazy and other users will tell you where to go...
If you fail to find the answer to your question using the search, explain why what you found didn't solve the problem. Once people have seen that you have at least attempted to find a solution yourself they will be only too glad to help you.
4. Help Others To Help You!
(i) After typing your post and before hitting the Post Message button, READ IT!
Does it make sense? Can others read and/or understand your question? Have you supplied all the details required to answer it or are you leaving things for the reader to guess?
(ii) Supply as much information in your post as you can. "I get an error message when I try 'x'" or "When I do 'y', I have a problem with the angles" is simply not good enough!
If you get an error, state what error it is, along with any error number. If you have an angle problem, say exactly what that problem is.
Remember, we are not mind readers...
(iii) Supply a short code snippet that demonstrates just the problem you are having. Make sure it is fully working and will run just by copying it and pasting it into DB.
You don't need to supply your whole program. We really don't want to comb through 3000 lines of code when the problem is with a single line - especially when a few moments using copy and paste could have resulted in a 10 line code snippet which adequately shows your problem.
5. Be Realistic!
If you are new to programming, most users don't want to hear what you are going to write as your first game - especially if it's a MMORPG!
Lots of newcomers appear on the forums saying that's what they want to write and very few have an appreciation of the incredible amount of work involved for an experienced programmer writing a standard RPG - never mind the increased difficulties and cost of adding that wonderous 'MMO' on the front!
Very few who attempt one ever finish. All
who attempt one as their first ever project are guaranteed never to finish!
If you are new and claim you are writing one, you are sure to get people telling you it's a bad idea. This is good advice, so don't be upset by the fact that people are telling you the truth now - rather than after you've wasted three months of your life trying to do the impossible!
6. Be Polite
The members on this forum are only users like you and owe you nothing. Making demands will get you nowhere.
Ask nicely for help and as long as you've followed the guidelines above you should receive plenty.
If English isn't your first language, say so
and other members will know that what you put may not appear exactly as you intended - and make allowances.
7. Keep On Topic
Double check that you are posting on the correct board before hitting the Post Message button.
Don't make an off-topic post in the middle of a thread - start your own. This is called 'thread hijacking'.
Avoid making pointless posts when you can. If someone asks a question, how useful is it to post saying you don't know the answer??
8. Avoid Multiple Posts
Every post you make has an ID box on the far left which contains your avatar and location. Just below the location at the bottom you will see an Edit Own
If you think of something you forgot to add to a post, use the edit button to add it to your existing post. You can do this as many times as you want - especially if no-one else has added to the thread since you last posted.
9. Use Code Boxes
If you need to paste any DB code into your post, be sure to enclose it in code tags. This does two important things:
a) If the code snippet is long, it doesn't make your post long too. Everything is placed in a closed box which the user opens by clicking on it.
b) It keeps indentation in your code. Pasting directly into the post will lose all indentation.
To put your code into a code box, use either of these two methods:
(i) Paste the code, highlight it all with the mouse then click on the Code button.
(ii) Click the Code button to add an open tag, paste the code and then click the Code button again to add the close tag.
10. Use Sensible Topic Lines
Good thread topic? Absolutely not!
The search facility searches post topics and relies on users making their post topics descriptive. So if you use topics like the one above, don't complain the next time your search returns little useful information!
Try to include the subject you are requesting help on in the topic line.
11. Say Thanks (or 'Don't Abandon Your Thread')!
If you ask a question and someone answers it, please return and post a thank you. Don't just read the answer and disappear as this is ignorant and really annoying as there's no way we can know if you've seen our answers to your questions or you've just wasted our time.
There are many threads on these forums where someone has asked a question. I've spent my time writing an example program showing how it's done and they have never come back. It's not the thanks I'm after, it's more a case of the fact that after all the work I did writing the code snippet, they never came back and looked at it. Or, if they did they were just plain ignorant.
Don't do it!
12. Don't Ask For Code
Other forum users will help you fix problems with your programs. They will NOT
write programs for you - that's not the idea... To do so would simply discourage you from learning how to program for yourself.
The idea is that you LEARN to program in DB yourself
and write your own programs.
It's common for someone to write a small program - called a code snippet - to demonstrate the subject you are struggling with, but no-one is going to write something for you to just drop into your own program and work. The idea is that you use the snippet to learn from and with that knowledge implement it in your own program yourself.
So, don't post an idea and expect someone to provide you with a DB program to do what you want - you will only get negative responses.
As a rule of thumb, never paste a piece of code that someone else has written into your own program if you don't fully
understand how it works.
13. I Can't Program And Don't Know Where To Start
There are many, many tutorials on the forums - all aimed at users with different levels of experience. If you've never written a program before and bought DB with the aim of writing an RPG or FPS then you probably won't understand half of the tutorials on these subjects.
In short, put your RPG/FPS on hold for now and start at the beginning. It's like writing a book in a language you don't know - like Russian.
You need to learn the alphabet first, then the words and finally the grammar to put the words together to make sentences. Only then can you start putting in all the work to write the actual book.
There are a set of tutorial which show you the 'ABCs' of programming here:
Tutorials 1 to 4 assume you have never programmed before and apply to both DB Classic and DBPro.
When you have the basics, you should then start writing lots of smaller programs while learning the rest of the commands.
14. Please Avoid Shorthand ('Text Speak')
This is a forum and you are using a computer. Note that it doesn't say 'Nokia' on the side of it so it's not a phone!
Joking aside, text speak, although not specifically classed as 'not allowed' by the AUP, can be difficult for some people to read.
Unlike phone text messages, there's no limit to the number of characters you can type in a post on a forum, so there's no real reason to use it.
Bad spelling and grammar is something entirely different and others shouldn't pull you up over it. But 'ur', 'u', 'wot', 'l8r' and all the other endless possibilities should be avoided for the benefit of others.
15. Please Indent Your Code Snippets
Although this is really a programming style rather than strictly a 'netiquette' issue, you are more likely to get help from other users if your code is easy to follow.
Un-indented, it's messy, hard to read and you will be more likely to get negative comments.
Indented code makes a lot of very basic programming errors stand out and you will spot many of them yourself - often saving you from posting a silly question.
If indentation is a mystery to you, check out tutorial 2 here:
16. Do Not State Your Age
For internet safety reasons you must never put your age in your posts. If you do, mods will have no option but to edit it and because it contravenes the AUP, you could end up with a noob slap!
17. Please Use Reasonably Sized Images
As a consideration to other users of the forum who do not use 50 inch monitors running at a screen resolution of 4000x1000, please remember that linking to huge images absolutely wrecks the screen layout for the rest of us.
It actually widens the screen to fit in your over-sized image and the rest of us have to scroll the screen to read each line of every other post in the thread.
Please restrict your images to 640x480 or 800x600 if at all possible.
Please feel free to post a link to this thread if you see any newcomers posts which may cause them problems from more seasoned forum users.
Each item has now been numbered, so if it's only a single issue, you can now provide a number with the link.