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READ FIRST: How to help us help you

Started by Kindred, March 03, 2022, 07:57:30 AM

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Welcome to the SMF 2.1 support board.

You're probably here because you're encountering a problem - and this can put people on edge.  Just remember, when you post here, that we are trying to help you - as quickly as possible.  Don't get angry or frustrated, just tell us what's wrong and we'll help you work out the problem.

Avoid bothering with your pride.  We know just as well as anyone else that everyone makes mistakes... and sometimes they aren't your fault.  If the problem was caused by something you accidentally did, that's okay... we can still help you work it out.  We don't expect you to be an expert at using our software - that would not be at all reasonable, would it?

Please follow these rules when explaining the problem you are experiencing:

1. Read before you post: This means you first need to check the wiki, and also search the SMF support boards to see if your question has not already been asked and answered.  If you decide that the answer to your problem is neither in the wiki nor in the support boards, please follow the rules below when asking questions:

  • Informative subject: Make your topic's title as informative and clear as possible. Using one word like 'help!' or 'please!', or a combination of these words, ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, or strings of !!!!! will get you nowhere and it will not help people who search the forum before asking their questions.  Please, be descriptive.
  • List of specifications: You should try to give as much information about your installation as possible, such as your SMF version, MySQL version, and PHP version. You could also provide a link to a phpinfo.php page, as it would really help team members and the support helpers.
  • Link: Providing a link to your forum will probably give the support team a better understanding of the problem and may result in faster help. (If the forum is locked to public or the problem cannot be seen as a guest, you'll need to create a test account for support team members to use.
  • Problem: Provide a detailed description of the problem you are experiencing, the areas that you are having the problem in, and any error message, will help.

In summary, when and if you do post, please make sure you include the following details:

  • A descriptive subject to your topic. "Help" (or similar) is really not good
  • Which version of SMF you're using
  • A link to your forum
  • Any errors from your error log that may be related (please remove paths and IP addresses - only the filename, line number and error message are needed)
  • A detailed description of the problem
2. Do not bump your topics within twenty-four hours of posting. Everybody here is a volunteer. Forum members all live in different parts of the world and may be in a different time zone to you. Members will help when they can.

3. Do not start more than one topic about the same problem. Duplicate topics will be deleted or locked.

4. Please post in the correct board. When you do post about your problem, please try to post it in the appropriate section.  This just helps us both understand your issue, and help you more efficiently with people who know more about the problems you're encountering.

If you are converting from another forum, you should look at Converters and Importers instead.

Converters and Importers
Please post here if you're having issues with converting from another forum, or you want to know if a converter is planned for the forum software you use.

If you can't decide where it should go, you can also post your issue if you are using SMF 1.1.* here in this board, here in this board if you are using SMF 2.0.* or even here in this board if you are using SMF 2.1.x

Further Tips and Advice:

If you're getting database or MySQL errors, you should look at the quick reference for them first, as it may help you solve the issue without having to post at all.  If this doesn't help, or you're not sure what it means, feel free to post about it here.

If you need help installing or upgrading, please read the Installation and  Upgrade Guides - but if you still have problems, please don't hesitate to ask.

If you're getting any kind of error message, searching for it may give you a better idea.  Sometimes, though, you may come across a topic that had the same message... but is caused by a different issue.  Remember, don't get tied to that necessarily being the problem, and if in doubt you can always post about it.

But searching almost always helps, so don't forget to do so... it'll save you and us time, and get your problem solved more quickly.

As a last note, please avoid messaging or emailing members of the support team for help, except in the cases of security related problems or where passwords are involved.  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 Team

TL;DR --
- Use a descriptive subject ("Help" is useless)
- Provide a clear description of your actual issue including the full log entry of errors, SMF version, php version, mySQL/MariaDB version.
- Provide a link to your forum (and a page demonstrating the issue, if it is visible).
- Don't PM the team/helpers without them asking you to do so.

Please do not PM, IM or Email me with support questions.  You will get better and faster responses in the support boards.  Thank you.

"Loki is not evil, although he is certainly not a force for good. Loki is... complicated."

Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen


"Before you allow people access to your forum, especially in an administrative position, you must be aware that that person can seriously damage your forum. Therefore, you should only allow people that you trust, implicitly, to have such access." -Douglas

How you can help SMF

Doug Heffernan

Quote from: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on March 03, 2022, 08:40:57 AMDone.

Thanks. :) Like this it will not get lost in the shuffle imo.

And thanks to @Kindred for posting it, very detailed and informative.