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Welcome to the July 2017 edition of the DaniWeb Digest, our newsletter that is exclusively for DaniWeb community members.

As well as editing the newsletter (hello, it's happygeek here!) I am also the Community Admin at DaniWeb. As part of the team of moderators that help to keep the whole shebang running smoothly, I am often asked 'why has nobody answered my question' by new members who are understandably keen to find the solution to whatever the IT problem that is bugging them happens to be. The assumption when a post gets no responses within 24 hours can be that either nobody is reading, nobody has the expertise to answer or even that nobody cares. All three are wrong; very wring indeed. The DaniWeb community is full of veteran developers, coders and IT experts who actually enjoy helping others by way of sharing their vast experience. I can assure everyone that our members want to help, which is why it can be frustrating for them when they are unable to. The real reason that some questions go unanswered is, sadly, that the poster has made it very difficult to do so. If you want to get the best out of DaniWeb, then you can help yourself by helping our experts to understand what you really need. Here are a few tips to help you get the answers you need:

Read the Forum Rules

DaniWeb isn't rule heavy, but there are some practical things within our rules that can make the difference between getting an answer and getting ignored. I urge you to read them before posting so you know the boundaries within which you are working. That said, there are some that could be could golden rules when it comes to your chances of finding help and finding it quickly. The obvious things such as not using offensive language, not asking about obtaining pirated software or how to hack something and posting in full-sentence English (avoiding 'leet' or 'txt' speak) for example. But if you scroll to the bottom rule category of 'Keep it Organized' you will find the really important stuff that you might not realise impacts upon your chances of getting help. I will list this one by one and explain why.

  1. Read the forum description to ensure it is relevant for your posting. We see lots of people who arrive in the Community forum (if you hit the contribute button this is where it defaults to) which is essentially a chat area, and then post a question asking for help with a coding problem. Always check to see where your post is heading, and you can do this by clicking on 'do something different instead' in the contribute dialogue. You will know see a 'Forum' category and the dropdown menu will list all available options. So in our example you would select 'programming' and then use the 'tag with relevant keywords' input to further categorise your posting with a tag for the programming language you are asking about.

  2. Provide evidence of having done some work yourself if posting questions from school or work assignments. The worse case offenders are people who literally just cut and past a homework question and expect people to answer it for them. Even if you do better and write your own question precis, you really need to show that you have already made some attempt at the assignment yourself. This is usually achieved by posting some code or pseudo-code so that we can see where you are getting stuck and point you in the right direction. Just asking for someone to 'gimme the code' is never going to elicit the help you want, or need. If you haven't got any code, then explain in detail why not and what is preventing you from getting that far. We will then try and assist in getting you started.

  3. Do not hijack old threads. Tagging a new question onto an old, already answered, one isn't going to get you much exposure even if the subject matter is related. That original question might have been answered five or ten years ago, so you need to start afresh and catch the attention of the experts all over again.

  4. Do not solicit help by email. Simply because DaniWeb works by sharing knowledge between members, many of whom never need to ask a question as a search provides them with a solution that has already been posted. Taking things to email is, honestly, a selfish use of expert resources as it excludes any other members from benefitting from the answers you are given.

  5. Do not post the same question multiple times. Be patient, ask your question and wait for the answer; if you follow these guidelines it will almost certainly come. Remember that the expert(s) who can answer your question may well be in a different timezone to you, may have work commitments keeping them away from the keyboard and so on. Everyone at DaniWeb volunteers their expertise, so sometimes it might not be an instant gratification thing.

  6. Do not post support questions in the Community Centre, something I have already covered at the start of this editorial.

  7. Do not post editorial articles already published on another websites. This relates more to if you were posting a news or tutorial item than asking a question. Posting the same thing on multiple sites dilutes the value to all those sites, and DaniWeb asks that if you are going to write something for us that it is original and exclusive.

For more tips about getting the best out of DaniWeb, see this guide entitled Read This Before Posting A Question.

Around the Forums

Now that we've got that out of the way, here's our regular round-up of some recent posts that you might have missed. Take a look, and join the conversation if you think you can help or add something of interest:

Web Development: Stefan_1 asks "I have a problem with bootstrap design. I want to make a very simple page which will contain two buttons and a video. The problem is I don't know how to align these two buttons with the video in one row." Stefan includes some code, and a link to an example of what he is trying to achieve.

Web Development: samertaha asks "I have created a function that searches for a category in a category tree object and returns all the paths for it as an array of strings. Please advise how I can improve upon it?" samertaha includes his code and an example of what he's trying to do.

Software Development: Jayanta_1 asks "How can I use Alt+Del to delete a listview item? Currently I just select the row and press del key to delete the item, but I want to delete by pressing alt+del key. How it is possible?" Jayanta includes some code to show what he has tried so far.

Microsoft Windows: PsychicTide asks "I was in the process of helping to fix a friends HDD by plugging it into my system to then chkdsk, get updates, etc. Little did I realize I left some sort of bootloader on the flash drive that I was using and it loaded the USB drive first when I plugged back in my own HDD. some install.wim file or image or w/e was loaded and now my system doesn't even recognize my HDD as a viable loading source once I try to boot my system. I had Windows 10 originally, I'm not sure what the bootloader was. The drive says 'WINPE' Windows Preinstallation Environment according to Google, but I don't know what that is. If anyone knows whether or not I can fix this and simply load Windows 10 with my files again, please let me know!"

Databases: thomas_39 asks "I received an error message and I don't know what to do about it. I have a Delphi app using a MS Access 2010 database. I connect to it through BDE. It worked perfectly until today when the user told me that they can't enter my application due an error message. When I tried to open the database for repair in Access it didn't recognize my password; the message was: "You or another user may have unexpectedly quit MSACCESS while a MS Access database was open. Do you want MS Access to attempt to repair the database?" And then again "Not a valid password" followed by "The database xxx.mdb can't be repaired or isn't a MS Access database file."

That should give you an idea of the kind of questions, across a swathe of the IT landscape, that ends up at DaniWeb. If you want the satisfaction of helping out these guys, or maybe have a question of your own to ask, why not get posting yourself? Who knows, you might end up one of the growing band of veteran posters that the community holds in such high regard...

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