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Help on help

How to get the best response from the forum by mgagnon
Posted: 20 Sep 02 (Edited 4 Nov 09)

These are some suggestions from members for posting in the VFP forum. Many of the suggestions are applicable to all forums while some are specific to VFP.

  1. Be polite. This is a hard and fast rule. Bad tempered replies don't help anyone, and will just get deleted by site management anyway.

    Addendum: Writing all in CAPS is considered screaming and could cause people to ignore your post simply due to the annoyance factor.
  2. Avoid posting the same question in multiple forums. Try to determine the best forum for your problem or question and post it there. If in doubt, ask. You'll be directed to another forum if necessary. If you don't get an answer in a reasonable time, then post to a different forum.

    Usenet and other newsgroups often allow cross-posting of questions or comments by naming multiple forums or groups. While this is allowed, Netiquete indicates that execessive cross-posting is to be avoided.

    Tek-Tips doesn't provide the same cross-post functionality but people will often post in multiple forums. The main problem with this is that other members will not know about the duplicate postings unless they visit all the forums. An answer may be given in one forum, another answer in a second forum and so forth. If the discussion was restricted to one thread, it would be easier to follow up, comment and get closure on a discussion.
  3. Use a descriptive subject. Many of us will skip over reading the post if the subject doesn't indicate the question.

    Examples of bad subjects headings:
    Does anybody know...
    Urgent help needed! (it might be urgent for you but not for me)
    Error message
    Basic question
    )&*#$^)#&^$ PROGRAM won't ...

    Examples of good subject headings:
    Enable multiselect on Listview
    How to get ADO connection
    Avoiding recordset overrun
  4. Make an effort to look in VFP help files and/or other documentation or articles.  They are also available online at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/fox7help/html/vfp7startpage.asp or http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dv_foxhelp/html/vfp7startpage.asp. Remember to read the FAQs submitted by forum members. They answer many questions. You can also do a keyword search of previous threads to see if someone already asked the same questions.

    If an answer exists in a FAQ or a previous thread, you'll probably be directed to that FAQ or thread rather than repeating the answer in your thread.

    FYI: to direct someone to a FAQ or thread, simply type (or copy and paste) the FAQ or thread number in your post - faq 183-874 or thread 183-108148 (without the space). You don't need to post the shortcut.
  5. Just so you don't get the wrong idea: no question is too basic for this forum. We simply suggest spending a few minutes trying to find the answer yourself, and then if you can't, post your question. There is a lot of knowledge and help here.
  6. Remember that this forum is designed for real programmers and VFP users and it isn't intended as a lazy person's way to get homework assignments done. Nor is it a free program writing resource. Responders are often willing to give snippets of code to clarify an answer or illustrate a point, but it's expecting too much to ask for a 'full code solution'.
  7. Tek-Tips forum members give a lot of credit to those who post questions for whom English is a foreign language. So don't be embarrassed to try.
  8. Include the version and service pack of VFP you are using because the solution that works in one version may not work in another. If you are connecting to a database, give details of which database and which connection method you use. If you are using external add-ins , controls or dlls please specify.
  9. If you are asking a question related to code, please post the code and include relevant declarations and controls that are affected.

    Provide sample result (or desired result) of your code.

    If you are asking a question about an error you are receiving, please report the exact error message. Telling us you are getting an error is unlikely to result in a useful response. 'My app errored!!! Please Help.' will not get as quick or accurate reply as 'When I run my app under these conditions I get a syntax error on this line ... The error mesage is ...'
  10. Please acknowledge answers that help. Sometimes an answer is given but the questioner never replies in any way. It is hard to know if the problem was solved or if the questioner just hasn't seen the answer yet.

    If an answer posted in response to your question solved your problem, post a short reply and let everyone which answer worked for you. This lets the person who posted the answer and everyone else who reads the thread know which answer was correct for you. That way other people can benefit from the knowledge base we are building here.

    Stars are the best way to provide positive feedback. The Tek-Tips community takes stars very seriously. Members appreciate receiving stars but only when they are deserved.

    FYI: You insert Stars by clicking on

    Let username know
    this post was helpful!


    If you solve a problem yourself and the solution hasn't been posted, please post the solution. That way, all questions will have the solutions. And all of us can learn from others' experience.
  11. When you reply to long threads note the person you are addressing. That way we'll know to whom the post is directed. For example,
    johnwm,
    I don't think the solution you posted will work in VFP6. That feature was introduced in VFP7.
  12. Avoid adding your e-mail address to your signature or within the post itsef. This only opens you to spamming. It is also recommend not to ask for someone's e-mail address, for the same reason.
  13. Avoid using HAXOR abbreviations. For example a phrase like "u need 2 c da manual" is annoying and only shows the immaturity of the posters. This style of posting is used in Newsgroups and does not reflect the 'professional' attitude of the posters.
  14. There 2 different FoxPro forums (including FoxPro 2.X) please make sure your questions is posted in the right forum.. If it is not, it may get red-flagged with or without any further notification, and get removed by management.
  15. Don't forget that this is a two-way forum. Even if you start in here as a question-asker, please make the effort to put something back into the site. You'll find it feels good when you  post a few replies as well, besides gaining the thanks and respect of your peers.
  16. Remember that Microsoft, with each new versions includes an extensive file of "What's new in this version.".Take the time to consult it before asking your question, your answer might just be in there.
  17. Avoid taking a thread hostage.If you are not the original poster of the thread avoid taking it over and making it your own. Experts tend to get annoyed and will either not answer or red-flag the thread. If you have a question that is unrelated to the original question, start a new thread.
In summary, this forum provides all of us with an opportunity to help and be helped. Please remember to show respect and appreciation to all other members of the forum and keep enjoying the forum and the programming.

This FAQ was originally created as a TIP by fluteplr in thread183-68247: Suggestions to people asking Questions. Several other forum members contributed to the TIP. This FAQ was originally posted in SQL server by
Terry Broadbent
http://tlbroadbent.home.attbi.com/sqlarticles.h
And a special thanks to johnwm for his editing skills.

I have unashamedly borrowed and modified it for the VFP forum. Thanks to Strongm,Zemp,Lovell811 and StewartUK for their input to improve it.


Give often and give 'til it hurts at http://www.tek-tips.com/supportus.cfmsmile

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