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READ FIRST: How to help us help you?

Started by Arantor, December 05, 2009, 06:35:31 AM

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Welcome to the SMF coding help board!

You're probably here because you're in need of support customizing SMF on some level, or writing a mod. Sometimes we'll suggest another board or another place to get support, but that's invariably because the other board or place is the best place to get support.

First up, please note that this board may not be the best place for your question - if you want to know how something works in SMF out of the box, the 2.0.x Support and 2.1.x Support boards are probably best, or if you're after support on theme changes or graphics changes to SMF, Graphics and Templates is usually the way to go.

Or, if you need support on a mod that someone has written, you are almost always best going to the link titled "Support and comments for this mod" from the mod's main description page - just that's the central point of focus for that mod, and the folk that tend to read the mod thread itself tend to be the ones who can help fix it or change it.

What we specialise on here in this board is changing SMF's behaviour, in a mod or direct tweak, and that's what we'll help you do, but often we need you to help us help you.

As a rule, the very first thing we'll need is the version of SMF you're using. The code between 1.1 and 2.0 changed a huge amount, as well as that between 2.0 and 2.1, so asking for generic support to change behaviour isn't really going to get a first response of asking what version - it slows down support as it means you end up spending two posts - and subsequent waits for reply - before we even get into tackling your problem.

The key thing really is that the more information you can put into your first post, the faster we'll be able to help. Giving us a one line "how do I do this" question will always take longer than providing a detailed "this is what I want to do, this is how it is now, and this is what I've done so far" question.

Also, if you're trying to change something and it doesn't work, or you've taken advice from us but it hasn't worked as intended: please, please don't just say "it doesn't work." Telling us that is like a having a meal from a chef and saying it tastes funny.

If it doesn't work, what does it do (or doesn't do)? What did you expect it to do? Do you get any errors? Again, the more detail you can provide, the faster and better quality help we can provide you.

In much the same way as the support boards, our quick note on How to ask support questions the smart way is just as true for customization as it is for general support.

As a last note, please try to avoid messaging or emailing members of the Customization or Support teams for help, except in the cases of security related problems or where passwords are involved (almost always, we'll ask you first).  You will almost always get a faster response if you post in public so you have more people who can help you.

Thanks - and we hope only to help!
Simple Machines