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Welcome to the May 2015 edition of the DaniWeb Digest

Maybe it's something to do with a touch of Spring madness, or perhaps the lazy days of Summer have arrived a little early, but whatever the cause we can't help but notice there has been an increase in the number of members posting their questions in the wrong place. By not posting in the appropriate forum you are not only adding to the workload of the volunteer moderating team (who scan the whole of DaniWeb and move such things manually to the correct forum) but you are running the risk of not getting the help you are looking for. At the very least that help will be delayed as people reading the Apple Hardware and Devices forum are not necessarily the same ones who read the C++ forum and have the knowledge to answer C++ coding queries. Just dumping a question in the first place you find yourself makes as much sense as buying an airplane ticket to Las Vegas when you want to go to New York. So here are some easy tips to get the best out of DaniWeb when it comes to asking for help.

Search first ask second

Before you post your question, use the DaniWeb search function to check if someone has not only already asked the same thing but importantly whether the answer you seek is already sitting there waiting for you to find it rather than have to wait for someone to answer it all over again.

Find the right forum

This is easier than you think. If you have already searched the database and cannot find anything that answers your question, then search the forums using the category drop downs at the top of the page. If your question is about Java then you will quickly find the Java forum by clicking on the Software Development category and checking the list of forums that appears.

Use tags

Of course, we fully appreciate that you might not actually know which is the best forum to post your question in, and that's fine as we've found a way to get around that particular participation hurdle as well. The solution comes by way of the DaniWeb tagging system. If your question is code related but you can't find the language listed in the forums, for example, then just post it to the Software Development top level category instead. However, ensure that you use the tagging system to enter keywords that will highlight the query for our community to find and answer. Tags also help when a question covers multiple possible forums. Pick the best fit, and tag for the others. So, another example, if posting a question in the PHP forum about not being able to connect to MySQL, then use a MySQL tag so your post gets exposure in the MySQL forum when anyone does a tag search on that keyword.

Think about your title

The title is the first thing most people will see, and if they are quickly scanning through forum posts then a poor title that lacks any meaningful information is likely to get overlooked. Make sure that the title is concise and relevant to the question you are asking, don't be generic and don't just say 'help!'

Be detailed

In the same way that your post title needs to be descriptive, so does your post itself. However, the difference between the two is that your question should be as detailed as possible. If you are asking for help with code, post the code you have already so we can see what you've done and where the problem is (remember we won't do your homework for you, but we will help point you in the right direction if you've made the effort) and if it's a non-code problem then make sure you give us as much information as possible to enable us to help you out.

In remembrance of Dave Sinkula

It has now been five years since a valued member of the DaniWeb community, Dave Sinkula, passed away after a battle with cancer. We would like to take a moment to remember him, and also introduce him to newer members of DaniWeb who may still stumble across some of his contributions from time to time and wonder who that guy was. Dave was a great programmer, with a particular skill both C and C++; a skill that he was very generous in sharing with anyone who encountered a problem and needed help along the way. You can find the original DaniWeb thread that emerged after his death here but we've also got some new tributes to Dave to share with you.

iamthwee says: A lot of people will remember the so called 'Golden Age' of C, Dave along with Prelude and Salem, were the revered trifecta of gurus that patrolled the cprogramming forums. I will always remember Dave for his snippets. Writing c is fraught with so many gotchas, if I was to ever write a c programme - I would always have his snippets open for reference. I didn't know him personally, and have only recently read the latter stages of his blog. Although he was an expert in the field of c and electrical engineering he was first and foremost a family man and I'm sure that is how he will be remembered by those most close to him.

deceptikon says: Dave and I go way back, from cprogramming.com circa 2000 to flashdaddy (now entropysink, IIRC), and DaniWeb. The banter and sharing of knowledge was top notch every time. :D I think my fondest memories were the many MSN Messenger chats we had about programming and whatever else came to mind. There are a handful of people from these forums that I consider friends, and Dave remains number 1 on that list. From a programming perspective, I was always amazed at his bit twiddling skills since that's something I had to think about yet he could bang out anything without breaking a sweat. On all forums, I honestly don't remember Dave losing patience or failing to help someone thoroughly. Given that he was very active on cprog before coming to DaniWeb, and the tradition of heavy snark there, his restraint was very impressive. Compare it with Narue or Salem, who never really gave up the snarky traditions of cprog when posting on DaniWeb. I distinctly remember his passing, as well as how hard it hit me. I think I completely lost interest in DaniWeb for a good two or three weeks because of it. That might surprise some people since Dave and I never met face to face, but it's a testament to how real online friendships can be.

~s.o.s~ says: When I joined DaniWeb, my main interest was in helping and learning C/C++ which meant a lot of interactions with the forum regulars which included Dave. I learnt a lot from him: not just about programming but also about how to help beginners push their boundaries and think about problems rather than rote learning. Dave is one of those few people whom I owe my current level-headed posting nature to. He was always up for a political debate and very keen about Indian democracy. I remember exchanging PM's with him about the state of politics in India, Indian culture, the political issues etc. He was a IRC regular and talked a lot about his family, work and a lot of other stuff. The fact that he never mentioned his illness to me or to anyone on IRC or forums proves how strong willed & thoughtful he was. Like most of the people here, I never met him in real life but would never forget the impact he had on his friends and in growing the forum.

Member of the Month

This month the member we are inducting into the DaniWeb Hall of Fame is Mattster who has been a community member for two years. During his time with us, Mattster has contributed more than 600 posts, most of them in either the PHP or Web Design, HTML and CSS forums. With a 93 per cent post quality score and 180 reputation points, not to mention his 20 skill and expertise endorsements, Mattster is carving himself out a place in our most valued members rankings. Let's learn a little more about him.

Where were you born, where do you live now, where would you most like to live?

I was born and have grown up in a rural area of the UK, and as for somewhere I’d like to live – maybe Canada or something. I’ve never actually been, but it looks like an awesome place to live.

How old are you?

16

What is your occupation, what's the worse job you've ever done, what would be your fantasy job?

I have my own small business that produces web-based software products to local clients. It’s pretty cool, because I don’t have to get up a 5am to do a paper round like most of my friends. After university and all of that, I’d either like to go and work in technology research, financial services or something along those lines.

What is your favourite OS, what do you like best about it and what stinks?

Normally I use Windows 7 – I liked XP and 7 just seems to work really well. I don’t know if there are that many things about it that I don’t like to be honest. I do, however, have a hatred for Windows 8 (to the point where I refuse to replace my laptop until at least windows 10 comes out). I also run Linux Mint/Ubuntu, occasionally Fedora – which are all good but support and availability of software is a real snag.

What first brought you to DaniWeb and why did you stay here?

Probably Google to ask a question, and noticed a thread where I knew the answer and it went from there…

What one thing would you change about DaniWeb if you could?

The mobile view. Time and time again I get an email on my phone telling me about article updates, so I go to have a look and can’t barely do anything because the site is so difficult to work. A new responsive website would be lovely.

Do you have a favourite forum on DaniWeb and why?

All of the technical forums are friendly and it helps that there are loads of experts to get involved, I personally use the PHP forums more but they are all brilliant.

Which DaniWeb member would you most like to meet 'in real life' and why?

Probably Reverend Jim because he’s had a great career that I’d love to just bombard him with questions. Happygeek has also done some pretty cool stuff in his career, so I’d love to meet him too.

What is the most memorable interaction you've had in the DaniWeb forums, or by PM, in the time you have been a part of the community?

Oh dear I don’t even want to think - there’s been far too many cases where I’ve said daft things. Apart from that, there’s been some very funny things said in the Geeks Lounge…

What do you think of the DaniWeb Reward Points scheme, and have you cashed out using it yet?

I think it’s a great idea! It’s certainly encourages people to go the extra mile with their responses. I haven’t actually cashed out yet, but I’m looking at saving up for something on Themeforest or Codecanyon.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

I love cycling and frequently go running. We often go on holidays to Scotland to our cottage in the middle of nowhere, which is nice to get outdoors and away from everything. I (sadly) really enjoy math and physics, and generally get on quite well with school.

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