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How to Use this Forum & FAQ (Read Before Making Your First Thread)

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  • Hello and welcome to the MSDN Visual Basic Language Forums.

    These forums are both a Question & Answer system for VB.Net related questions as well as a Discussion board for VB.Net Language related topics.

    The following three guidelines will help you both to create a thread that is likely to be read and responded to by the many talented community members who volunteer their services to help others, and to build a knowledge base of information from which others can learn and find answers.

    You may also wish to visit the official MSDN Forums Help Wiki for additional information including how-to articles for using the forum interface.

    Guideline #1: Create the correct kind of thread.

    When you create a new thread (click the Ask a Question button) you have two options at the top of the Start a New Question or Discussion page. Be sure to select the appropriate option to either ask a question or to start a discussion. The difference is that "ask a question" enables the Q&A system allowing contributors to suggest answers and allowing you to close the thread when your question is answered. A Discussion is an open-ended conversation whose topic is not expected to have a specific answer.

    When you create a new question, be sure to use the "Mark as Answer" link to close your thread after the question has been answered. There can be more than one post marked as answer in a single thread, so mark whatever posts directly answered your question. Always select at least one post as answer once you are finished with the thread.

    You can also mark a post as helpful (whether or not is answers your question) by clicking the "Vote as helpful" link under the name of the person who made the post.

    Guideline #2: Write a good post.

    Writing a good post means that you first create a descriptive title for your thread. Never use titles like "Help Me" or "I Need Help" or "Please Help!!!"  Always use titles that briefly describe the question at hand, or the topic to be discussed e.g. "Creating Controls at Runtime", "How do I draw and move a picture on my form?", "Looking for advice on how to (do something)".  Never try to post your entire question in the title. Ensure that the title is brief and to the point.

    At this point you could be done before you even write your question. As you move focus to the Body editor in the new post, the page will attempt to find links to other questions similar to yours. You should take a moment to right click and open in a new tab, or window, any links that look like they could be relevant.

    If none of the suggestions help answer your question, then you can continue to use the Body editor to create your post.

    When writing your post, be sure take the time to explain yourself as best you can, and edit yourself for punctuation and grammar. If people have to work very hard to decipher what you are trying to ask then they may misunderstand and answer something other than what you were asking, or they might simply give up and go look for a post that the user took their time to create. In this forum, you will often find that the level of effort you receive is directly proportional to the level of effort you put in.

    Never use text-message abbreviations when writing a complete sentence (you can use LOL and the like of course, but don't make people try to read things like "c u l8r!").

    Always include the message text of an Exception (error) if one is occurring in your code.

    Whenever possible, try to include a brief example of the code in question. Always indicate which line or lines contain the problem or cause the exception. Always use the Insert Code button in the editor (looks like a box with lines and <> in it).  Paste your code into the dialog that opens and select the VB Language from the dropdown at the top.  If you find that blank lines are lost after you submit your post, put a space on each blank line in the editor before clicking the Insert button.

    Guideline #3: Be polite and patient.

    The vast majority of the contributors of this site are all volunteers who enjoy sharing their knowledge and helping others solve problems. While you will see Microsoft Staff (and Contingent Staff) from time to time, most of the replies to this forum come from people who do this because they want to, not because they are paid to.

    Obviously being a jerk rarely gets you anywhere with other people. So there probably isn't much to say about being polite.

    You should allow up to three days for a response to your question. The practice of "bumping" is discouraged and generally unnecessary as the site offers filters to view unanswered questions or questions with no response. If no one replies to your post after three days, consider editing the post. Make sure you've followed the guideline on writing a good post and try to add more detail if you can.

    Never make duplicate posts or post the same question in different forums. When found, duplicates will be merged or deleted depending on the existing replies.

    In Summary

    By following these three guidelines you can ensure the best possible response to your inquiry and can help to create a valuable repository of useful information.

    If you have comments about, or suggestions for, this thread please start a new discussion titled "RE: How to Use this Forum" (or something similar) and provide your feedback.


    Reed Kimble - "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all"




    Tuesday, January 08, 2013 11:44 PM
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