Jump to content




Ask A Pro Renewal Project (and How You Can Help!)


115 replies to this topic

#1 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM

The forums have grown significantly in the last few months. We've had many new members come through and ask questions, many of them repeats of similar questions that have been asked many times. We also have had many more members posting answers to questions in recent weeks than we have in the past. As it always goes when forums or other online communities grow, it is easy for the Signal to Noise ratio to drop. "Signal to Noise ratio" is a term used to describe the ratio of usable information to useless information, usually in reference to radio communications. Higher is better.

To that end, one change that might be noticed is an increased level of moderation. Posts which do not contribute to the topic or which add incorrect or misleading information will be more likely to be removed or edited, as appropriate. Do not take this personally. The point of Ask a Pro is to provide an environment in which people can ask any question about coding for ComputerCraft, no matter how simple or complex, and receive useful information that answers their question in a relatively timely manner. Answer posts that add false or misleading information are directly counter to that goal. It's all about the quality and correctness of answers here. On-topic discussion about the question or problem presented is always welcome, of course.

Hand in hand with wanting high-quality answers is wanting to provide resources for people to find answers to their own questions quickly. It is demotivating to question answerers to have to answer the same "use == in if statements" or "use parentheses when calling functions" sorts of things all the time. Providing better self-help resources can help filter out the simpler questions if users are able to figure out the answers themselves. I'll be working on a better read-this-first topic that will cover most common errors and simple Lua questions.

A better sticky post can only cover so much information, though. We need a good, high-quality set of tutorials written in a consistent manner and covering topics in a sensible progression of complexity. We have some good tutorials already, but they vary stylistically and in scope, and there is very little in the way of natural progression. I envision a more tree-like structure wherein a user could pick a subject that interests them (such as using a touchscreen monitor) and follow a series of tutorials that would help them learn about the parts of ComputerCraft they will need to know in order to create what they want. The stylistic guidelines I am currently thinking of are as follows (subject to change):

- Do not use Object-Oriented design except if absolutely necessary
- Use best coding practices as far as it does not detract from readability.
- Link to high-quality documentation.
- Link to other tutorials in the series as appropriate.
- Do not comment code heavily, as this detracts from the readability of the code.
- Use code blocks for all code.
- Talk about the intent of code and the general design of the flow in plain English.
- Provide more technical descriptions of what happens in each code example (excepting previously explained code) after each code block.
- Use images if a pictorial explanation is required; avoid ASCII art unless necessary.
- Use in-game images, not emulator images, if terminal images are required.

These stylistic guidelines are open to input from the community. Using these guidelines, here is how I see the rough categorization of the tutorials:

Spoiler

Note that some of the tutorials are rather specific about the order of things and the examples used. If it seems like some of the tutorials don't cover very many topics, be aware that the idea is to go in-depth on each subject contained within. This outline is a rough draft, and community input is both welcomed and desired. If there are existing tutorials that match well with one of the subjects listed above and could be adapted/fleshed out (if necessary) to fit, please link it in this topic. I'll talk to AfterLifeLochie to see if the Wiki will be able to do what I'd ideally like to do with the tutorials.

#2 theoriginalbit

    Semi-Professional ComputerCrafter

  • Moderators
  • 7,332 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Posted 01 August 2013 - 12:10 AM

I quite like the direction you're heading with this. A lot of these points are valid and I agree with the structure of the tutorials. Just three questions though.

View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

- Do not use Object-Oriented design except if absolutely necessary
I'm assuming that if someone has used an OO design, or if the programmatic design largely benefits from an OO design would really be the only times we can use it then?


View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

Using these guidelines, here is how I see the rough categorization of the tutorials:
-snip-
I've noticed that OO design stuff isn't listed... So no tutorials on it?

View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

Term intermediate - redirect, restore, creating a redirect that writes to part of the screen, issues with using term.* in redirects.
I'm assuming that we can also use some metatables examples for redirect objects so that not all functions do not need to be implemented...

#3 Jappards

  • Validating
  • 116 posts
  • LocationHolland

Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:57 AM

So we are going to get a lot more sub forums under Ask a pro? I agree with theoriginalbit. You can PM me if you need some help.

#4 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 01 August 2013 - 09:30 AM

View Posttheoriginalbit, on 01 August 2013 - 12:10 AM, said:

I quite like the direction you're heading with this. A lot of these points are valid and I agree with the structure of the tutorials. Just three questions though.

View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

- Do not use Object-Oriented design except if absolutely necessary
I'm assuming that if someone has used an OO design, or if the programmatic design largely benefits from an OO design would really be the only times we can use it then?


View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

Using these guidelines, here is how I see the rough categorization of the tutorials:
-snip-
I've noticed that OO design stuff isn't listed... So no tutorials on it?

View PostLyqyd, on 31 July 2013 - 01:24 PM, said:

Term intermediate - redirect, restore, creating a redirect that writes to part of the screen, issues with using term.* in redirects.
I'm assuming that we can also use some metatables examples for redirect objects so that not all functions do not need to be implemented...

The idea behind discouraging/disallowing Object-Oriented designs is that, for the purposes of the tutorials, they generally won't be necessary. OO in Lua adds a layer of confusion for new users, and that wouldn't be helpful for the purposes of a tutorial. I'd prefer if, even for the term example, things were not automatically generated with metatable magics unless not doing so would be more detrimental to the usefulness of the tutorial. As for tutorials for OO, there are many external resources that cover that need adequately. The "data type" example/tutorial under APIs should cover the need for it aside from those resources. If it is found that that does not suffice, we can add content down the road.

View PostJappards, on 01 August 2013 - 02:57 AM, said:

So we are going to get a lot more sub forums under Ask a pro? I agree with theoriginalbit. You can PM me if you need some help.

I'm not sure where you read anything about adding sub forums.

#5 immibis

    Lua God

  • Members
  • 1,033 posts
  • LocationWellington, New Zealand

Posted 01 August 2013 - 06:37 PM

I don't see any Lua tutorials in your list. Will new users learn Lua from PIL, then post here when they can't figure out why the io library doesn't work quite right in CC?

Edit: There should be something about not posting solutions with code that's hard to understand for the asker, e.g. here - "Q: How do I wait for X broadcast messages?" "A: Copy-paste this magic function, then use it like this"

Edit 2: Also answers that are just plain wrong - "os.pullEventRaw = os.pullEvent makes sleep not work"

#6 Bubba

    Use Code Tags!

  • Moderators
  • 1,142 posts
  • LocationRHIT

Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:54 PM

I like this. The AaP section of the forums has been cluttered with repetitive questions for far too long now.

I do have a question about one of your points however:

Lyqyd said:

- Use in-game images, not emulator images, if terminal images are required

For the majority of my time I am on a computer that cannot handle Minecraft very well, and as such I always use an emulator whenever I'm doing ComputerCraft programming. Is it acceptable in circumstances such as this to use an emulator for screenshots? If not, why? I have never encountered any differences in runtime between MC and an emulator besides performance issues with the former.

#7 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:06 PM

View Postimmibis, on 01 August 2013 - 06:37 PM, said:

I don't see any Lua tutorials in your list. Will new users learn Lua from PIL, then post here when they can't figure out why the io library doesn't work quite right in CC?

Edit: There should be something about not posting solutions with code that's hard to understand for the asker, e.g. here - "Q: How do I wait for X broadcast messages?" "A: Copy-paste this magic function, then use it like this"

Edit 2: Also answers that are just plain wrong - "os.pullEventRaw = os.pullEvent makes sleep not work"

The PIL is a great resource. I agree that we may find that not having any straight Lua tutorials in this set won't work out as well as it might, so I wouldn't be surprised if we have to take a look at adding them down the road. To begin with though, I'd like to mostly concentrate on ComputerCraft specific things, and link to PIL or the Lua Reference Manual as necessary for more details on the actual language constructs being used. I'd imagine that file IO is probably a section that needs to be added, so I'll look at a good structure that might fit in well with the rest of this model.

For your first edit, I agree completely. Ask a Pro should be about helping someone learn to code things on their own, not simply regurgitating code at them. There are obvious exceptions, such as when the scope of their question is beyond what we can reasonably handle, but even then, it's best to link things as resources and starting points/inspiration rather than simply telling them to go use the existing code.

Thank you for pointing out that post. It has been taken care of. Please feel free to use the report button on any posts containing false information like that one.

View PostBubba, on 01 August 2013 - 07:54 PM, said:

I like this. The AaP section of the forums has been cluttered with repetitive questions for far too long now.

I do have a question about one of your points however (- Use in-game images, not emulator images, if terminal images are required)

For the majority of my time I am on a computer that cannot handle Minecraft very well, and as such I always use an emulator whenever I'm doing ComputerCraft programming. Is it acceptable in circumstances such as this to use an emulator for screenshots?

They would be fine on a temporary basis, but should be replaced with in-game shots as soon as possible. If you are unable to provide in-game screenshots at all, let me know and we may be able to arrange something. I don't consider this a deal-breaker and would not reject good tutorial content because of images taken in an emulator.

#8 Bubba

    Use Code Tags!

  • Moderators
  • 1,142 posts
  • LocationRHIT

Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

View PostLyqyd, on 01 August 2013 - 08:06 PM, said:

They would be fine on a temporary basis, but should be replaced with in-game shots as soon as possible. If you are unable to provide in-game screenshots at all, let me know and we may be able to arrange something. I don't consider this a deal-breaker and would not reject good tutorial content because of images taken in an emulator.

Okay, thank you.

I also have a suggestion for the tutorial portion of this undertaking. I've thought for a long time that the tutorials that many of us write on the forums do not have enough input from other members, and as such suffer from a variety of issues ranging from style, coding habits, unexpected behavior, and more. It would be neat if someone (I would be willing to do it, if given permission) were to make a Google Drive folder that could contain peer edited tutorials. To edit a tutorial, a user could apply via a PM or email (much like the wiki, but probably more restrictive).

I know this sounds a lot like the wiki we currently have, but what I'm thinking of would be held to a very high standard and would read more like the PIL. In other words, it would flow sequentially from one tutorial to the next, and users would not just write them about whatever they felt like.

Thoughts?

#9 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 01 August 2013 - 08:19 PM

I still need to poke AfterLifeLochie about this (as I alluded to in the first post), but I'd like to set up a category or group of pages on the Wiki that would be editable only by a certain subset of the existing editors, but that everyone would be able to edit the talk pages for, so that the high-quality and consistency aspects you mention will be more easily accomplished, while not completely restricting who can submit content to them. I'd also prefer to keep the content within the existing ecosystem of the computercraft.info site, so they will either have to be on the Forum or on the Wiki.

#10 immibis

    Lua God

  • Members
  • 1,033 posts
  • LocationWellington, New Zealand

Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:27 PM

Can we have a rule against not posting code or exact errors?

#11 Sora Firestorm

  • Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:21 AM

After having read through the thread something occured to me :
Perhaps we should have a set of guidelines or something along those lines for answering questions?
Things like "Don't create code for them" and "If you say 'you need to do x', then you need to link to 'x' on the wiki"?
I feel like that would be immensely helpful for everyone, especially the people answering questions.
I'd be more than happy to write up a list of guidelines for this if you would like me to, Lyqyd.

~Sora

#12 Engineer

  • Members
  • 1,378 posts
  • LocationThe Netherlands

Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:09 AM

I really get why there are coming changes to AaP plus a few more tutorials. But the real thing is that most of us dont look things up. I mean really, people come here to ask about coroutines, but if they google 'lua coroutines' they get a pretty good tutorial on coroutines. The thing Im getting at is, people do not often look on the wiki, to look up a function. For example person x needs a function, but that person havent done any resarch because we are humans and most of us are lazy. Of course there are people who are looking it up, excellent, but not too many people who come to ask questions in AaP dont do that often.

When it gets decided that it is going to be a sticky, presumabily not, people still dont look often there. That is just because most of the times people have a question and want an answer, they dont search first. However it is in the guidelines to read a sticky with 'READ ME' or something similair, you should read it. At this point I have seen enough people getting banned because they dont read the rules first. Their choice, of course, but the point is that we as humans go our own way. We do what we want.

However, I have to say that in this community somebody is going to get banned if they dont follow the rules, which I really appreciated. At this point Im rambling :P

#13 Bubba

    Use Code Tags!

  • Moderators
  • 1,142 posts
  • LocationRHIT

Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:42 AM

View PostSora the Hedgehog, on 02 August 2013 - 01:21 AM, said:

After having read through the thread something occured to me :
Perhaps we should have a set of guidelines or something along those lines for answering questions?
Things like "Don't create code for them" and "If you say 'you need to do x', then you need to link to 'x' on the wiki"?
I feel like that would be immensely helpful for everyone, especially the people answering questions.
I'd be more than happy to write up a list of guidelines for this if you would like me to, Lyqyd.

~Sora

I'm not really sure what to think about this.

On one hand, having guidelines is very nice from a moderation aspect and would allow for uniform expectations.
On the other hand, guidelines could put strictures on the teaching methods that some people use with success. For example, not everyone teaches by giving links to learning resources. Some people actually write out the code and then heavily comment it, and sometimes this approach is better depending on the situation.

I'd say that the only guideline should be:
1) Give correct and full information
2) Explain everything
3) Be clear and understandable

If it gets any more restrictive than that, people are going to end up nit-picking the type of response that's given rather than the actual quality of the response.

However, that being said I would like to see what kind of guidelines you have in mind. Just try to keep it as open-ended as possible though so that we don't limit the responses we're getting.

#14 billysback

  • Members
  • 569 posts

Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:58 AM

I don't want to sound patronizing or hostile when I say this, but many of the AaP topics asked which can be answered by a link to PIL etc. can also be answered by google. It seems that many of the people asking these questions either didn't think to google their question first or just didn't know what to google.

But it seems there should be a clear post explaining and giving advice one what to google, or what and where to search to answer your own questions. New tutortials and all that are great, but that won't miracurously make all these people suddenly use the tutorial section. It needs to be very obvious that there are other ways of finding out their answer other than just asking it in AaP.

I don't really have any ideas how this second part could be solved, but the first part seems obvious, a detailed and friendly post that explains where and how to find the answers to some of your questions.

#15 Bubba

    Use Code Tags!

  • Moderators
  • 1,142 posts
  • LocationRHIT

Posted 02 August 2013 - 06:11 AM

View Postbillysback, on 02 August 2013 - 05:58 AM, said:

I don't want to sound patronizing or hostile when I say this, but many of the AaP topics asked which can be answered by a link to PIL etc. can also be answered by google. It seems that many of the people asking these questions either didn't think to google their question first or just didn't know what to google.

But it seems there should be a clear post explaining and giving advice one what to google, or what and where to search to answer your own questions. New tutortials and all that are great, but that won't miracurously make all these people suddenly use the tutorial section. It needs to be very obvious that there are other ways of finding out their answer other than just asking it in AaP.

I don't really have any ideas how this second part could be solved, but the first part seems obvious, a detailed and friendly post that explains where and how to find the answers to some of your questions.

It looks to me like the Useful Tutorials & Resources topic needs to be updated a little with this in mind (or just in general - it could be a very useful index of quality tutorials). If people would like to help out in this respect, I've made a Google Drive document open to the public. Go ahead and add anything that you think would be useful the doc and I'll see about adding it in. I can't guarantee that it will be added to the topic, but it would be nice to see what people think should be in an introduction to the AaP forum.

#16 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:50 AM

I'm very glad to see the level of response and conversation this post has generated. I feel like many of the regular contributors are of a similar mind on this.

View Postimmibis, on 01 August 2013 - 11:27 PM, said:

Can we have a rule against not posting code or exact errors?

Rules require enforcement, and rules such as these applying to questions would remove legitimate questions about fundamentals and approaches, and give a sour taste to newcomers who didn't have their question post exactly in order the first time. I think this would have the effect of closing off the Ask a Pro section more than it would help. One of the goals of Ask a Pro is being friendly to newcomers, as this is many members' first exposure to the forums as a whole. Ask a Pro needs to be a positive part of the community. Other measures, such as a revamp of the sticky threads, may help cut down on questions about a program that don't contain code, etc.

View PostSora the Hedgehog, on 02 August 2013 - 01:21 AM, said:

After having read through the thread something occured to me :
Perhaps we should have a set of guidelines or something along those lines for answering questions?
Things like "Don't create code for them" and "If you say 'you need to do x', then you need to link to 'x' on the wiki"?
I feel like that would be immensely helpful for everyone, especially the people answering questions.
I'd be more than happy to write up a list of guidelines for this if you would like me to, Lyqyd.

~Sora

Guidelines, perhaps, but certainly not rules. We don't want to get overly prescriptive with answer posts, either. Any answer with good information is useful, though some are more useful than others. Perhaps a "Philosophy of Ask a Pro" for answer-posters would be helpful to guide the style of answers, but flexibility is good, since we cannot foresee all of the innumerable exceptions to a set of rules.

View Postbillysback, on 02 August 2013 - 05:58 AM, said:

I don't want to sound patronizing or hostile when I say this, but many of the AaP topics asked which can be answered by a link to PIL etc. can also be answered by google. It seems that many of the people asking these questions either didn't think to google their question first or just didn't know what to google.

But it seems there should be a clear post explaining and giving advice one what to google, or what and where to search to answer your own questions. New tutortials and all that are great, but that won't miracurously make all these people suddenly use the tutorial section. It needs to be very obvious that there are other ways of finding out their answer other than just asking it in AaP.

I don't really have any ideas how this second part could be solved, but the first part seems obvious, a detailed and friendly post that explains where and how to find the answers to some of your questions.

Reworking the sticky posts and providing a better set of titles is on my personal agenda. One of them will contain a common list of errors, and show what causes them and what to look for in one's own code. That post will probably also contain an index of links to the entire tutorial series laid out in the original post.

#17 theoriginalbit

    Semi-Professional ComputerCrafter

  • Moderators
  • 7,332 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Posted 02 August 2013 - 01:21 PM

View Postbillysback, on 02 August 2013 - 05:58 AM, said:

I don't want to sound patronizing or hostile when I say this, but many of the AaP topics asked which can be answered by a link to PIL etc. can also be answered by google. It seems that many of the people asking these questions either didn't think to google their question first or just didn't know what to google.

But it seems there should be a clear post explaining and giving advice one what to google, or what and where to search to answer your own questions. New tutortials and all that are great, but that won't miracurously make all these people suddenly use the tutorial section. It needs to be very obvious that there are other ways of finding out their answer other than just asking it in AaP.

I don't really have any ideas how this second part could be solved, but the first part seems obvious, a detailed and friendly post that explains where and how to find the answers to some of your questions.
*cough* shameless plug *cough* How to Google tutorial I made a while back, conveying the same thoughts... link...

I definitely do agree though. Most things can be solved by Google, and most people seem to not think of Googling...

#18 Sora Firestorm

  • Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:25 PM

I've written up those answering guide lines, look at them them here : http://www.computerc...ns-please-read/

~Sora

#19 Lyqyd

    Lua Liquidator

  • Moderators
  • 8,459 posts

Posted 03 August 2013 - 12:28 AM

Here's a draft of a "common errors" section for the sticky post revamping. I'd like feedback on whether the phrasing of any of these is confusing, and suggestions for any other common error messages that we see a lot, if any.




attempt to index ? (a nil value)

This means that you've tried to access a key of a table that doesn't exist. If you're not working directly with tables, check the API call at the line number the error specifies (like `turtle.forward()` and such) to be sure that you haven't misspelled the name of the API. If for instance, you had `trutle.forward()` or `Turtle.forward()`, those would both result in this error.

attempt to call nil

This means that you are trying to use a function that doesn't exist! Check the line number the error specifies to be sure you've spelled the function name correctly, and check through the documentation to make sure that the function you're trying to use exists in your version of ComputerCraft.

'then' expected

Look at the line the error is on and the line above it. This error usually means that your conditional expression for your if statement is malformed (or that you're actually missing your `then`). Make sure you're using the comparison operator (==) instead of the assignment operator (=) if you're checking for equality.

'=' expected

When the interpreter throws this error, it means that it was expecting you to reassign a variable to a new value. Check the line number of the error and the line above it, and look for function calls that are missing their parentheses. Be sure to carefully read the code to ensure that you aren't misspelling keywords (like elesif instead of elseif).

'end' expected

An "end expected" error means that your code has more block-starting statements than end statements. Many statements start blocks (if, for, while, repeat, do, function), and each time you use a block-starting statement, you must end it. Each of those (except repeat, which must be ended by an `until`) should be ended by an `end` statement. Each if statement needs only one end, regardless of how many elseif statements it also contains.

'eof' expected

This error is the opposite of the previous error. Instead of too few block-ending statements, you have too many. The interpreter throws this error when it reaches an `end` (or an `until`) that doesn't close a block you've previously opened. Verify that each of your ends and untils match their opening statements.

too long without yielding

Yield protection is a ComputerCraft-specific issue, due to the nature of the Java side handling of the Lua environment for the computers. This message means that your program has run for ten seconds without yielding, which usually means you have an infinite loop that is constantly running. You can fix this simply by adding a sleep(0), but it's better to determine how often your code actually needs to run and use an os.pullEvent() to wait for the events it needs. For instance, a loop which looks at changes in redstone state could include an os.pullEvent("redstone") to wait for changes in redstone state before iterating through the loop again.

java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: 256

This is frequently caused by using a function that calls itself to create an infinite loop. You should instead use an actual loop structure. Most commonly, for infinite loops, you would use `while true do` to begin the loop and `end` to end it. To exit the loop, you could use the `break` keyword. If you actually need to use recursive functions, you can use proper tail-calls where possible to avoid overflowing the stack. However, if all you need is an infinite loop, it is preferable to use an actual loop instead. Here is a simplified example of creating an infinite loop with recursion, and the same function with a proper tail-call:

--this function will throw the error
function printMany()
print("text")
sleep(0)
printMany()
end

--this function will not
function printMany()
print("text")
sleep(0)
return printMany()
end

--but you should do this instead, wherever you can.
function printMany()
while true do
print("text")
sleep(0)
end
end


Multiple points

This error is throw when the Lua interpreter thinks you've tried to create a number with multiple decimal points in it (such as 1.0.0). This error tends to crop up when concatenating numbers into strings. If you need a number with multiple points for some reason (such as version numbering), you'll want to use a string.




And here's a draft of advice to users posting questions.




When creating a question topic, be sure to fully explain your question. If you're having a problem with a piece of code, you should explain three things about it. Explain what you're trying to do, the big picture goal for the program. You won't need a huge amount of detail for this necessarily, but it helps to know where you intend to take the project. Next, explain what you expect the piece of code that you're having trouble with to do. Finally, explain what the code is actually doing instead of what you want it to do. This will help us get started on answering your question effectively. Be sure to include the latest copy of your code, and the full error message text if you receive an error while running it. It is very important that we see your code and the full error message (if any) so that we can help you diagnose and correct your code as quickly as possible.

If your code isn't too long (around 200 lines or less), it's okay to post it in the forums in code tags. Place [code] before your code and [/code] after. Make sure that there is no formatting on the text of the code when you post it, as the code block will format your code for you. If your code is too long, it is suggested that you post it to pastebin and provide a link to the paste in your post. If you cannot copy and paste the code (for instance, it is on a server and you cannot access the files), and you have to copy it out by retyping it, please be extra certain to verify that every character matches exactly in the code. It is very frustrating for both the person seeking help and those trying to help if we are trying to debug code that you're not actually using.

Over the course of your question topic, you may require additional help after your initial problem is solved. Each time you need to ask a further question, please re-post the code into your reply in that topic if it has changed since the last time you posted it. We cannot guess the exact changes you've made, and so it is necessary to see the updated code. You should use a single topic for all of your questions on one piece of code, as it is easiest for the answer posters to see the history of the code all in one place, and it prevents multiple people from providing the same advice in two different topics if they see subsequent problems in your code.

When choosing a topic title, make sure to use something descriptive of your question. For instance, "lua error" is a bad topic title, but '[string "woodcutter"]:13: attempt to index ? (a nil value)' is a good topic title. It is always advisable to use the full text of your error message if you are receiving one (and you cannot solve it by consulting the "common errors" guide). The first one ("lua error") isn't very descriptive. Of course you have a Lua question! The second title is much better, as it gives answer posters an idea of the problem before they even open the topic. If your question is more general, use an appropriately descriptive topic title that gets to the center of your question, like "How do I retrieve data from a broken computer?", or "What do I pass to parallel.waitForAll?"

Some questions, as alluded to above, aren't about a specific piece of code at all, but rather are more general in nature. For these sorts of questions, it's still helpful to give a lot of information about what you're trying to do or why you're needing the information. The more information you give, the better we can answer your question, and point you to additional resources that may help you on your way.

Edited by Lyqyd, 03 August 2013 - 08:43 PM.
changed phrasing.


#20 Sora Firestorm

  • Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:31 AM

Both drafts look good, but a guideline for the posting advice :
"When you are posting your code, please take a minute to format it (indentation, etc) for readability. This will help us understand your code faster."
Waaay too often do I see code that hasn't been indented. That stuff is so hard to read. You'll probably want to explain what exactly formatting means within this context, maybe in it's very own section even.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users