What is the point of this guideline?
"Netiquette" is a clever term coined by The Committee of Cool Internet Terms. It means "follow these rules or be incessantly flamed!" Ok, I don't really know who came up with the term, but it basically means "proper etiquette rules for use in cyberspace."
Ok, but why should I care?
Imagine this: You are an expert poker player. You decide to invite some friends over to play every Friday night. Each of you has many different forms of poker you like to play, and after a few nights, you have all learned many different games. You have fun. You eat Doritos and drink cheap beer. Life is good.
One evening, your buddy Clyde tells you his cousin wants to play. You are reluctant, but Clyde reminds you of the time he saved your life when you were choking on a chip (Dorito, not poker), and you give in. Wimp.
The cousin, Phil, shows up next Friday night, sits down to play, and you announce the first game: Texas Hold'em! Phil smiles at you and asks, "how do you play Texas Hold'em?" You contemplate throwing your beer at him, but realize just in time that it would be a terrible waste of beer. So, instead, you explain the rules of the game. Fortunately, he seems to get it, and you play on.
Now -- wouldn't it be REALLY cool if you had all the rules of the games printed out so that Phil could have read them before joining your poker table? There is -- Hoyle's Book of Card Games. Well... consider this guide your Hoyle's Rules of Netiquette. Sure, you won't win any money, and you won't learn how to bluff, but hopefully after reading this you will be able to post messages without incurring the wrath of the PHP Gods.
Ok, so what do I need to know?
There are many things you can do to make your and everyone's experience on the board more enjoyable. You could try posting some nudie pics, but it probably won't get past the board admins. So instead, here is a list of things to consider. I have pulled this list directly from the official Netiquette Guidelines, RFC 1855. I have only included those that apply to this board. For the full list, see the RFC.
In the interest of saving space, I am dropping the RFC Netiquette guidelines from this post. They are still relevant, however -- please take a look at them here.
Oooh, tell me more!
Yeah, I know... exciting stuff, huh?
There are a few things to consider that pertain more specifically to this PHP board. I will list them here; this list may grow over time.
Don't send emails or instant messages to members of the board asking for help. That is the equivalent of a salesman calling up in the middle of dinner to sell you a vacuum cleaner. It's rude, and you will NOT get a favorable response. If you want help, that's what the forums are for.
When submitting a problem, state the problem in your subject. Most people will skip over subjects that say "Help me please" or "Please read this!!!!!" If you want help, you need to catch their eye with a specific statement, like "How do I create multiple page searches?"
Having a problem with your code? Include a snippet, and be sure to wrap it in
[code=php]...[/code] tags. This makes it MUCH easier to read! Try to minimize the amount of code that has to be waded through. Try to remove parts with the aim of reducing the script to the smallest piece of code that still exhibits the problem. As you snip away parts of your code, you may discover what the problem is yourself, and not have to post your question after all!
Be sure to read and try to understand the error messages. Yes, some of them are somewhat obscure, esoteric and sometimes downright surreal, but they do convey meaning. If it says that a file or directory could not be found, then chances are that a file or directory could not be found.
When requesting help, please be as specific as possible. Don't just say "This code isn't working" and list your PHP code. Nobody has time to read through your entire code list and determine where there might be a problem. Be sure to include the error messages you are receiving, and let them know what you have attempted to do to fix the problem. There's nothing more frustrating than composing a message telling you to try something, only to have you come back and say "I already tried that. It didn't work."
Be accurate! One wrong character can cause code to not work correctly. Make sure the code you are submitting for review is EXACTLY the code you are having trouble with. Cut and paste it -- don't attempt to retype it. Most likely, you will not type it exactly, and if someone tries to tell you "there's your problem, you forgot the semi-colon," the last thing he wants to hear is, "oh, that's there, I just forgot to put in there when I typed it in my message."
EDIT your posts! This forum allows you to edit your posts for a while after you've made them. That is how I keep adding content to this guideline. If you see a mistake, or have something to add, simply edit your post and add it. It is very frustrating to read someone's post about a problem, only to have to go through 5 more posts that basically say "oops, there should have been a semicolon at the end of line 14." Edit your original post and PUT the semicolon in. There's nothing wrong with putting "EDIT: I added a flurg to the blatt on line 42 of my code" at the end of your post.
If you forget the above rule and double post, do NOT post "oops, I double posted -- sorry." That just adds to the mess.
Fill your mouth with cheezits and whistle your National Anthem. Ok, just checking to make sure you are paying attention.
Please do not "bump" your posts. For the uninitiated, a "bump" is a simple post that says "bump" in the subject or body, and doesn't contribute any additional value to the thread. It is done for the sole purpose of making the thread show up at the top of the forum list. If your thread has significant content, someone will find it with a search. You do NOT need to bump it up to the top to force people to read it over and over. It is quite irritating to open a thread that has new posts added only to find out that it has been bumped and has no new important info.
Don't crosspost, or worse, shotgun. Crossposting is the practice of posting the same question in more than one forum. Shotgunning is the same thing, but posted in almost every forum to maximize the number of people reading the post. Most people here read all of the forums, and don't want to read the same questions over and over. If you have a specific question, put it in the most relevant forum. If you can't decide which forum is most relevant, put it in the General Help forum.
DO NOT send a member of the forum an IM asking them for help. The forums are the places to ask for help with issues. Sending an IM to a member is no better than a telemarketer calling you at dinnertime. It's rude, and unwelcome. Don't do it. Only send IM's when invited.
Yes... more, please!
There are a couple of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) here on phpbuilder.com that you should read:
Reading and Posting Messages
General Board Usage
That's about it. Feel free to add your comments, or discuss it here.