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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:
  • Be professional in your conduct
  • Be kind to others
  • Be constructive when giving feedback
  • 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:
  • Spam.
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  • Quotes from private conversations without permission, including pricing and other sales related discussions.
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  • Sexually explicit or violent material, links, or language.
  • Pirated, hacked, or copyright-infringing material.
  • 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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Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

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  • Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

    I know this might be controversial to some here, but as a person who spends time here helping the Alpha 5 community (Just like Stan Matthews, Tom Cone, Cal Locklin and a host of others), I wonder if you tend to consider yourself a forum user or forum abuser?

    A forum user is someone new to the Alpha environment, or someone who has tried to solve an issue himself, or has searched the help files or the forum messages and gotten stuck. Then they ask for some pointers as to how to approach their problem and continue on with their problem. Hopefully, when they reach the end, they report the solution so all can benefit.

    A forum abuser is someone who asks questions without even doing a cursory search or trying to find a solution. They expect to have their problem solved completely for them, including the code. They never post back the results of their findings.

    And a Forum abuser never contributes back. When they know an answer, or a portion of an answer, or know the thread where the answer resides, they stand by the sidelines, rather than throwing out their info as appropriate.

    I don't think the forum users criticize honest contributions to a thread, and sometimes a comment from someone who doesn't understand the problem can lead to the solution, so one shouldn't be afraid to contribute when they are not sure (or preface it with the fact of your uncertainty).

    And while I realize that many people are on a very slim budget (e.g. writing a database for a non-profit organization) or are doing it "for fun", many are not and they do have extensive funds for development!

    Many of Alpha 5 users/developers came to Alpha because they want to (or have to, due to cost) do it themselves. And much of what they want, can be accomplished themselves or with just a few pointers. But there are some things that only a well-versed programmer will be able to accomplish, and at some point even the expert A5 developer can use some pointers from another expert.

    Have you ever considered that an alternative to asking questions over days or weeks on the message forum (and with the possibility of not getting what you want/need) is to hire one of the many Alpha 5 independent consultants for an hour or two to set you in the right directions or to actually sub-contract out that portion of the problem?

    While I have many other Alpha 5 developers that have used my services to create some code or solve a problem, I'd be hard pressed to name a single forum user that, because of the forum, contracted for my services for a more complete answer. I'll bet other regular, experienced forum contributors probably have a similar experience.

    And how many of you have supported the 3rd party Alpha 5 tool developers (e.g example Partec's A5Doc and AIMS App Analyzer, Group Formatter, Script Formatter, CSDA Code Utility), a way to support their contributions to the forum and to encourage future Alpha 5 tools and addins? I guarantee that each of the above tools will save you more time than their costs.

    So consider being a Forum User and not a Forum Abuser. That's what makes for a better forum for us all!
    Regards,

    Ira J. Perlow
    Computer Systems Design


    CSDA A5 Products
    New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
    CSDA Barcode Functions

    CSDA Code Utility
    CSDA Screen Capture



  • #2
    Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

    Good topic, even if controversial to some. To me, forum abusers, in your terms, present perfect opportunities for other novices or advanced users to exercise their brain to come up with an answer, that they would otherwise expect to be paid for if operating as a consultant. But not everyone operates as a consultant.

    If someone I don't know asks me a technical question in an email, I ask them to pose the question here for all to see. I and others provide thousands of dollars worth of free advice here that we (or at least I) would not do in a private one-on-one manner.

    I think it is very important, proper etiquette, and personally fulfilling for those who receive suggestions test them out and report back a confirmation of the solution. That way the forum provides ongoing knowledge base, not just a list of incomplete and unresolved "questions". Plus its nice to hear back that what you proposed was received and worked.

    There's another class of forum abuser. That's the person responding to a question that does not test out the solution, has no idea if the solution will work or not, just takes an unqualified stab, and without saying it's a WAG. Here's a confession, early on (less now) I would take on questions where I had no idea of the solution. I would work hard to find the answer, then post back a complete and tested solution - but I was doing it in order to learn Alpha. It had the effect of training me in diverse areas, where I would need to know the answer later on, as I developed my skills. So I was using the question-asker just as much as they were using me!!

    I definitely agree to the suggestion of hiring one of the consultants. The big difference is that on the forum you get an answer to specific questions. When you hire someone (competent) they will ask for an overview of the entire project -- very often the best solution is quite different than the one proposed in response to a single question.

    On the idea of forum users not contracting for consulting services: I used to capture the origin of every hit on my website (see here for "Deep Tracking"). 50% of the hits were people clicking on my website link below, from some forum post. So if that's true, then is somewhat depends on what you provide to those website visitors when they click through. I know my website needs an overhaul, but there are lots of things you can do to enhance the odds that someone will hire you to resolve issues that start out on the forum.

    The big thing missing from this forum is some humor. Not one April Fools prank that I could find. Gabe has my vote for the most humorers because he frequently changes his Avatar (bring back the girl) and creates news headline type "man bites dog" topic titles.
    Steve Wood
    Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
    There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
    Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
    AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

      Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
      If someone I don't know asks me a technical question in an email, I ask them to pose the question here for all to see. I and others provide thousands of dollars worth of free advice here that we (or at least I) would not do in a private one-on-one manner.
      I tell them a similar line for private messages. If they want free advice and it does not need to be private (e.g. a question on security of an app I might not want to post in an open forum), then I tell them to post it here and I will respond.

      Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
      Here's a confession, early on (less now) I would take on questions where I had no idea of the solution. I would work hard to find the answer, then post back a complete and tested solution - but I was doing it in order to learn Alpha. It had the effect of training me in diverse areas, where I would need to know the answer later on, as I developed my skills. So I was using the question-asker just as much as they were using me!!
      Nothing wrong with that, as long as you have the the time and are willing.

      I definitely agree to the suggestion of hiring one of the consultants. The big difference is that on the forum you get an answer to specific questions. When you hire someone (competent) they will ask for an overview of the entire project -- very often the best solution is quite different than the one proposed in response to a single question.

      Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
      I know my website needs an overhaul, but there are lots of things you can do to enhance the odds that someone will hire you to resolve issues that start out on the forum.
      I watch the traffic to my web site, and likewise, the cobbler's son goes without shoes. But nevertheless, many just look for a free handout too.

      As for humor, a bit is always fine, but some go on way too long in a thread at times.
      Regards,

      Ira J. Perlow
      Computer Systems Design


      CSDA A5 Products
      New - Free CSDA DiagInfo - v1.39, 30 Apr 2013
      CSDA Barcode Functions

      CSDA Code Utility
      CSDA Screen Capture


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

        Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
        Gabe has my vote for the most humorers because he frequently changes his Avatar (bring back the girl) and creates news headline type "man bites dog" topic titles.
        Yes, bring back the girl. Reminds me of a song, Dreamin', Recorded by Johnny Burnette, 1960. I bet half the forum users would be Dreanin'. 'For Sure'.

        kenn
        TYVM :) kenn

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

          Ira, et. al.:
          I appreciate the comments made and after being a "board" member for over a year and seeing some repeated questions I can sort of understand some of the comments you are making. Recalling my initial introduction to Alpha 5 and learning a completely different way of designing a database was quite a challenge and frustrating at the same time. If it wasn't for the patience of this forum and all who have contributed, I am sure I would have quit Alpha quite a while ago.

          For the past few weeks I have been following one of the Access forums that is set up similar to this one, mainly to observe and see if I could learn more about database design. I also use three database products for track and field that were designed on the Access engine, so I wanted to see how they did things.

          Let me tell you that there is no comparison between the Access forum(s) and this forum. I am happy to say, I love coming here, reading the questions, trying to understand the answers and studying the samples provided. There is a professionalism you will not see on the Access forum. Over there, it seems like the majority of individuals are college students wanting help with their homework. They are very much the "forum abuser" that Ira speaks about.

          The maturity level of this forum is beyond reproach, in my opinion. Yes, there have been a few posts that make me cringe, but it seems those individuals either learn quickly or move on. In my opinion, the vast majority of posts have been courteous and respectful of the lead contributors on this board.

          Pete Schuder
          "Ollie, remember how dumb I used to be? Well, I'm much better now."

          Pete

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

            I liked the Aquarium. :)
            Marcel

            I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
            ---- Confusius ----

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

              Everyone wants the girl back!

              Allright then..here you have it..

              Last edited by G Gabriel; 05-11-2007, 05:16 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                Gabe, you had nicer pictures. BTW, there were two persons who asked, so "everyone....." There are more than 800 active members....:)
                Last edited by Marcel Kollenaar; 04-07-2007, 09:13 PM. Reason: Some syntax was wrong
                Marcel

                I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
                ---- Confusius ----

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                  Originally posted by Marcel Kollenaar View Post
                  Gabe, you had nicer pictures. BTW, there were two persons who asked, so "everyone....." There are more than 800 active members....:)
                  Ha! Gabe knows which picture caused over half the forum to drool on their keyboards.

                  kenn
                  TYVM :) kenn

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                    Marcel asked earler if this is a picture of my wife?

                    Ha! Gabe knows which picture caused over half the forum to drool on their keyboards
                    Yeh.. I do. But what I didn't know is that some others were drooling over "Fish" in a tank and wondering if I was married to a whale!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                      Originally posted by csda1 View Post
                      I know this might be controversial to some here, but as a person who spends time here helping the Alpha 5 community (Just like Stan Matthews, Tom Cone, Cal Locklin and a host of others), I wonder if you tend to consider yourself a forum user or forum abuser?

                      A forum user is someone new to the Alpha environment, or someone who has tried to solve an issue himself, or has searched the help files or the forum messages and gotten stuck. Then they ask for some pointers as to how to approach their problem and continue on with their problem. Hopefully, when they reach the end, they report the solution so all can benefit.

                      A forum abuser is someone who asks questions without even doing a cursory search or trying to find a solution. They expect to have their problem solved completely for them, including the code. They never post back the results of their findings.

                      And a Forum abuser never contributes back. When they know an answer, or a portion of an answer, or know the thread where the answer resides, they stand by the sidelines, rather than throwing out their info as appropriate.

                      I don't think the forum users criticize honest contributions to a thread, and sometimes a comment from someone who doesn't understand the problem can lead to the solution, so one shouldn't be afraid to contribute when they are not sure (or preface it with the fact of your uncertainty).

                      And while I realize that many people are on a very slim budget (e.g. writing a database for a non-profit organization) or are doing it "for fun", many are not and they do have extensive funds for development!

                      Many of Alpha 5 users/developers came to Alpha because they want to (or have to, due to cost) do it themselves. And much of what they want, can be accomplished themselves or with just a few pointers. But there are some things that only a well-versed programmer will be able to accomplish, and at some point even the expert A5 developer can use some pointers from another expert.

                      Have you ever considered that an alternative to asking questions over days or weeks on the message forum (and with the possibility of not getting what you want/need) is to hire one of the many Alpha 5 independent consultants for an hour or two to set you in the right directions or to actually sub-contract out that portion of the problem?

                      While I have many other Alpha 5 developers that have used my services to create some code or solve a problem, I'd be hard pressed to name a single forum user that, because of the forum, contracted for my services for a more complete answer. I'll bet other regular, experienced forum contributors probably have a similar experience.

                      And how many of you have supported the 3rd party Alpha 5 tool developers (e.g example Partec's A5Doc and AIMS App Analyzer, Group Formatter, Script Formatter, CSDA Code Utility), a way to support their contributions to the forum and to encourage future Alpha 5 tools and addins? I guarantee that each of the above tools will save you more time than their costs.

                      So consider being a Forum User and not a Forum Abuser. That's what makes for a better forum for us all!
                      Bump.
                      There can be only one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                        Stan:
                        what are you bumped about?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                          Stan,

                          I agree with most of your statements and agree I have been used by an abuser or two. I have abused once or twice when totally frustrated.

                          Have you ever considered that an alternative to asking questions over days or weeks on the message forum (and with the possibility of not getting what you want/need) is to hire one of the many Alpha 5 independent consultants for an hour or two to set you in the right directions or to actually sub-contract out that portion of the problem?

                          While I have many other Alpha 5 developers that have used my services to create some code or solve a problem, I'd be hard pressed to name a single forum user that, because of the forum, contracted for my services for a more complete answer. I'll bet other regular, experienced forum contributors probably have a similar experience.
                          I agree somewhat to this part, however a number of use here have the knowledge to be a programmer for a living, but not the time to spend helping a lot. I have turned down proposals for writing all or part of an app here because there are no irons left to put in the fire. I hope one of you got those contracts/jobs.

                          People are going to choose who they want to work on their stuff with their own judgement. Maybe they asked me because they thought it would cost more if they went through the alpha site?

                          My 2 cents worth is spent. I do wish users woul check help files and forum threads before posting. Courtesy is real good too.

                          I need to cleanup my website too and ftp the newest app. The old one wont start much longer(out of date).

                          Dave Mason
                          www.lotrun.com
                          Last edited by AaronBBrown; 04-17-2007, 09:38 AM.
                          Dave Mason
                          dave@aldadesktop.com
                          Skype is dave.mason46

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                            I ask a lot of questions here as do many newer users and many think that they are to simple or that they are just looking for someone to tell them the easy way. I run the IT department for a large corporation with over 600 computers users, laptops, desktops, AS400 and networks out the Kazoo. I also have built a really good business developing applications using Alpha5. I come here every day to see what people are asking and always leave after learning something new from many of these easy simple questions. Whitout even submitting a question I see simple submissions that I know the answer to and many times find another way of doing something or something that will help me in another area.

                            If forum members only ask the truly difficult questions that don't pertain to every day real world uses this forum would draw less and less members every day. I'm amazed after being an Alpha user and programmer for over 14 years the Things and methods I learn every time I come here.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are you a Forum User or Abuser?

                              Originally posted by rmssoftware View Post
                              If forum members only ask the truly difficult questions that don't pertain to every day real world uses this forum would draw less and less members every day.
                              What is a truly difficult question for one is probably easy for another because the answer was found in Help or by searching the message board. The issue is posting a question before taking time to search out the answer.

                              kenn
                              TYVM :) kenn

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

                              Comment

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