The Unofficial Poster's Guide

Last updated: 2004-Jul-23

[#] Table of Contents

  1. Table of Contents
  2. What is this?
  3. Basic Guidelines
  4. Forum Overview
  5. General Questions
  6. Common Questions and Answers
  7. Recruiting Threads
  8. Changelog

[#] What is this?

This is the Unofficial Poster's Guide. It aims to provide a source for the basic rules of conduct that are currently merely "unwritten laws", yet are accepted by the community as a whole. These rules are occasionally broken by new posters who do not yet know of them, and regular posters are forced to repeat the same things every time it happens.

To prevent further such waste of time, the Guide aims to provide a consistent repository of such guidelines that all new posters are encouraged to read before posting, and that regulars can simply post links to when need arises. Some of these rules are basic, universal guidelines pertaining to forums in general, but they bear repeating. The purpose of this Guide is not to give coding help; such can be found elsewhere (see below).

The Guide is not affiliated with Matthew Leverton or anyone else responsible for — it's entirely a project run by concerned regulars (well, one regular) who want to make sure remains a pleasant community.

If you think that something in this guide is inaccurate, or if you wish to make an addition or modification, please contact X-G (user id #856) on

The URL to this document is If you found this document elsewhere, beware that it may not be the most recent version. This document is public domain, and you are free to copy the document in its entirety or individual sections for any use you see fit without restriction as long as you do not misrepresent its origin.

[#] Basic Guidelines

A few things are basic decorum on the forums, and should be observed at all times.

[#] Forum Overview

The forums are divided into several boards (listed below), each with its own purpose. When posting, make sure that you're posting in the right forum. Misplaced threads will typically be moved when a moderator sees them.

[#] General Questions

It is not uncommon to see a post asking a question about how to use a function or how to implement a piece of code, or why a particular error shows up when you use the STL. These questions have been answered a hundred times before, and asking them again only serves as an annoyance to everyone else on the board. Therefore, before asking a question, make sure you have consulted these sources first:

If you are certain that these sources cannot provide an answer for you, post your question in the appropriate forum. When asking a question, you have to be as specific and detailed in describing your problem as possible. Do you get errors? If so, post them. Does your program crash? Then note where and how and under what conditions it crashes. Submit a stack trace if you have one. Try to narrow down the bit of code where your project crashes, and post it (use the code tags — see above) along with your question. Be conservative in the amount of code you post first off; it is nearly impossible to locate a problem that's hiding somewhere in 500 lines of code you've never seen before, no matter how well formatted it is. If the readers need to see more code in order to solve your problem, they will ask for it.

Should you after posting a thread about your problem figure it out yourself, do say so in the thread. At this point, if the solution was non-trivial, it is also good form to explain what was wrong and how you solved it, so that others may benefit from this insight in case they run into a similar problem further down the line.

[#] Common Questions and Answers

This is a list of questions that get asked a lot.

[#] Recruiting Threads

Every now and then a post appears where a person requests the assistance of other people to aid in his or her project. The requested people might be coders, or (more often) graphical artists, musicians or anything else that the current group requires to complement itself and complete its project. A variant of this is when a single person posts in an attempt to gather a team from scratch.

There is nothing inherently wrong with requesting assistance with a project. However, the way most people go about doing it alone merits an entry in this guide; such posts tend to be poorly formulated and are often marked by a lack of any relevant information pertaining to the project or the tasks that a recruitee would perform.

One should also be aware of that mainly consists of coders; there are both graphical artists and musicians there, but the coders are a vast majority. Thus, a post recruiting pixel artists or someone to make sound effects is likely to get few replies.

When considering recruiting additional help with a project, first ensure that you have all of these:

If you fail to provide these, then it is likely that anyone reading the thread will feel discouraged and simply not respond. When writing your post, there are also a number of things that must be kept in mind if you are going to be even remotely successful:

Again, failing to provide these will discourage people from making an effort. There are also a number of pitfalls that must be avoided at any cost:

[#] Changelog