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The Alpha Software Forum Participation Guidelines

The Alpha Software Forum is a free forum created for Alpha Software Developer Community to ask for help, exchange ideas, and share solutions. Alpha Software strives to create an environment where all members of the community can feel safe to participate. In order to ensure the Alpha Software Forum is a place where all feel welcome, forum participants are expected to behave as follows:
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  • Be open to new ideas and suggestions
  • Stay on topic

Be sure all comments and threads you post are respectful. Posts that contain any of the following content will be considered a violation of your agreement as a member of the Alpha Software Forum Community and will be moderated:
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  • Encouraging of others to engage in the above behaviors.

If a thread or post is found to contain any of the content outlined above, a moderator may choose to take one of the following actions:
  • Remove the Post or Thread - the content is removed from the forum.
  • Place the User in Moderation - all posts and new threads must be approved by a moderator before they are posted.
  • Temporarily Ban the User - user is banned from forum for a period of time.
  • Permanently Ban the User - user is permanently banned from the forum.

Moderators may also rename posts and threads if they are too generic or do not property reflect the content.

Moderators may move threads if they have been posted in the incorrect forum.

Threads/Posts questioning specific moderator decisions or actions (such as "why was a user banned?") are not allowed and will be removed.

The owners of Alpha Software Corporation (Forum Owner) reserve the right to remove, edit, move, or close any thread for any reason; or ban any forum member without notice, reason, or explanation.

Community members are encouraged to click the "Report Post" icon in the lower left of a given post if they feel the post is in violation of the rules. This will alert the Moderators to take a look.

Alpha Software Corporation may amend the guidelines from time to time and may also vary the procedures it sets out where appropriate in a particular case. Your agreement to comply with the guidelines will be deemed agreement to any changes to it.

Bonus TIPS for Successful Posting

Try a Search First
It is highly recommended that a Search be done on your topic before posting, as many questions have been answered in prior posts. As with any search engine, the shorter the search term, the more "hits" will be returned, but the more specific the search term is, the greater the relevance of those "hits". Searching for "table" might well return every message on the board while "tablesum" would greatly restrict the number of messages returned.

When you do post
First, make sure you are posting your question in the correct forum. For example, if you post an issue regarding Desktop applications on the Mobile & Browser Applications board , not only will your question not be seen by the appropriate audience, it may also be removed or relocated.

The more detail you provide about your problem or question, the more likely someone is to understand your request and be able to help. A sample database with a minimum of records (and its support files, zipped together) will make it much easier to diagnose issues with your application. Screen shots of error messages are especially helpful.

When explaining how to reproduce your problem, please be as detailed as possible. Describe every step, click-by-click and keypress-by-keypress. Otherwise when others try to duplicate your problem, they may do something slightly different and end up with different results.

A note about attachments
You may only attach one file to each message. Attachment file size is limited to 2MB. If you need to include several files, you may do so by zipping them into a single archive.

If you forgot to attach your files to your post, please do NOT create a new thread. Instead, reply to your original message and attach the file there.

When attaching screen shots, it is best to attach an image file (.BMP, .JPG, .GIF, .PNG, etc.) or a zip file of several images, as opposed to a Word document containing the screen shots. Because Word documents are prone to viruses, many message board users will not open your Word file, therefore limiting their ability to help you.

Similarly, if you are uploading a zipped archive, you should simply create a .ZIP file and not a self-extracting .EXE as many users will not run your EXE file.
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Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

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    Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

    This thread is for the use of experienced developers to post frequently asked beginner questions and their answers. Beginners should read these, but not comment here: if you have a question, please start a new thread so that we can give it the attention it deserves.

    Re: Frequently asked beginner questions

    This is for developers new to Alpha and looking to develop DESKTOP applications.

    Below is a summary list of things to get you going with Alpha on the desktop side. The list below is not all inclusive - but I think it is safe to say it highlights things that have been proven over time to help with your development.

    For the new DESKTOP user/ developer:

    1. Follow a naming convention. Cal Locklin's naming conventions are well thought out and proven over time.
    The link below is for Cal's naming conventions.

    2. As you start to write in Xbasic, make everyting you can into functions(not scripts). They make maintaining your app easier and they serve to isolate your code. Lots of good reasons for using / making UDF's.
    More info from Ira Perlow's site.
    Ira's function tips are below.

    3. If using memo fields. Follow the memo field practice from Dr. Peter Wayne. See Memos That Work on his site.

    4. Use the A5Doc utility for documenting your app. This app is great for documenting your tables, indices, etc..

    5. Cal Locklin's Group Formatter - This utility will pay for itself the first invaluable time saver.

    6. Ira Perlow's CSDA Utility is another great utility for Alpha. More info at Ira's site.

    If other's see something I missed.....please feel free to add to the list. :)


    Last edited by mheller; 04-27-2010, 07:38 PM.


      Re: Frequently asked beginner questions


      If you have ever done a search and come up with literally hundred's of threads, you will first look at the Title/Subject. Those with no discriptive title cause the 'searcher' to spend way too much time reading threads to see if it has any revelance to their issue. So, PLEASE, use words to describe your issue, NOT your frustration.

      TYVM :) kenn

      Knowing what you can achieve will not become reality until you imagine and explore.


        Message board search tips - my experience

        You cannot search for words of three or less characters.
        -The search engine finds words within words and the result would be meaningless
        -It will find index within reindexing,
        -Example - Searching for end would return all posts where these words appeared

        Searching for - test clock will find all posts that contain the words test and clock anywhere in the post in any order

        Searching for - "test clock" will find all posts that contain the words test and clock in sequence separated by a space

        Most punctuation is ignored, commas seem to be accepted for some purposes
        - searching for .index, index(), index., and index seem to return the same posts (with or without quotes)
        - searching for "options, etc." will return posts with "options, etc." and "etc." with both hilighted as found
        - searching for "correct. The" (end of one sentence and beginning of the next) returns posts with both words (any order) and hilights both
        - effectively allowing for searching for "the" as the "the" in words such as "then" is not hilighted.
        There can be only one.


          Re: Frequently asked beginner questions: PLEASE READ

          The following is what I would like to see new users follow--not really answers to questions but a loose guide to help the newbies ask or find solutions. More or less a how-to to use the forum (my own version of course!).

          Please do a thorough search of existing information prior to posting.....Online Help file (no longer updated, but still quite useful), Alpha's Wiki, AND this messageboard (aka Knowledgebase)--even google for non-Alpha specific problems. Most questions concerning the desktop have already been answered in one way or another---learning how to search it will pay big dividends. In fact learning how to search the help files will too.


          First, remember that this is a PEER supported forum for the most are most times asking for help from fellow Alphanians who basically are donating their time to help others (well, and to learn as well!).

          Make certain you post a question in the correct forum....but do NOT limit your searches to just one forum---many/most questions have been around for many versions and the responses are still valid for the most part.

          Do not double-post the same question. Instead of creating a new thread, bump the original by posting back.

          When you do not receive a response it can be attributed most times to:
          1.Not enough information
          2.It simply got buried.
          3.In the wrong forum.

          When you have found a solution, no matter how, post back so the thread does not become a deadend...remember--this messageboard is used by most as a knowledgebase and not generally just to banter amongst ourselves.

          A sample/example of your issue is the absolute easiest way to get help on your specific issue. They can be attached to a reply in a thread using the Advanced Reply. As can screen shots created which sometimes are enough to explain the problem....use jpg or png as they seem to be the best. Don't use Word, Excel, etc unless they are an integral part of your issue.

          Try to use the messageboard Quote and Code tag features as it makes reading about your problem much easier--they preserve the formatting such as indents and such.

          Many of the above requests can have much more detail and have been explained in many threads already.
          Last edited by MikeC; 11-09-2010, 07:18 PM.
          It is only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.
          It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
          Henry David Thoreau