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4GuysFromRolla.com : ASP FAQS : The Nature of Things


How do I post in a message board (and get answers)?

[Print this FAQ]

Answer: In my time spent on the messageboard, I often stumble on posts like this:

"Hi all, how do I create a web site that manages the documents in my company and keeps the agenda for our employees. Please post some code."

However friendly the regular visitors on the message board may be, nobody wants to write the complete code for your new web site. Since these and other problems prevent you from getting the answer you need, Iíve decided to write some notes on how to post in a message board and get some answers.

Be sure to take some action on your own before you post in the messageboard. A lot of questions can be answered by one of the following steps:

Read the FAQs
A lot of commonly asked question can be found in the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Be sure to check if your question has been answered in the FAQs (http://www.ASPFAQS.com). In addition you could try to search (http://www.aspmessageboard.com/search/) the messageboard.

Read the Docs
"I would like to test if a certain string contains another string. Iíve heard of the Instr function. How do I use that function?"

This is a good example of a question that can be answered by checking the official docs. (http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/webtech/officialdocs.shtml). Also be sure to check the help files of your database for database or SQL related questions.

Debugging can solve a lot of problems. For example if you're dynamically building an SQL statement and run into problems do a Response.Write of your SQL statement before executing the statement and carefully check the output.

The other big debug help is the ability to see the actual HTML source code that your ASP page is sending to the browser. Simply bring up the ASP page in your browser (even if it still has problems) and then click on the View menu and, in that menu, on the Source menu item. This will bring up the HTML source code in an editor (usually Notepad), and then you can look at it to see if there is an obvious error in the HTML you are generating.

Ok, youíve checked the FAQs, read the docs tried to debug your page, but you still canít figure out that stupid error message. Now it's time to post your question. When you post your question there are some general tips on how to get an answer to your problem as fast as possible, and practice good netiquette.

Don't crosspost
For a description on what is crossposting and why it's considered a bad thing, be sure to read Bill Wilkinsons FAQ.

Give relevant details
Always include details like which Database you are using. For example, Access uses # as a date delimiter an SQL Server uses an apostrophe ('), so it's important to know what database you're using.

Be specific
A question like the first one above is never going to be answered in a serious way. The only reply you probably would get is something like: "with ASP<eop>". So give a complete description of your problem and what youíre trying to accomplish.

Post relevant code
"Hi you guys, Iím trying to insert some values in my database but it won't work, whatís the problem?"

Nobody is able to tell you what's causing the problem when you post something like the above. So post the code youíve tried and describe what you've tried to solve the problem.
On the other hand, don't post your complete 1341-lines ASP page, since nobody is going to read all that code.

Post the exact error code/description
If you get any errors, copy and paste them in your post. The exact error message can be very helpful to answer your question. Also include the line number where the errors occur and make sure you point to the correct line in your posted code (e.g. put some stars (***) at that line)

If you follow these guidelines I'm sure there's someone out there willing and able to help you.

I would like to thank Bill Wilkinson for his input in writing this FAQ...

Happy posting!

FAQ posted by Dutch at 9/30/2001 7:12:40 PM to the The Nature of Things category. This FAQ has been viewed 48,358 times.

Do you have a FAQ you'd like to suggest? Suggestions? Comments? If so, send it in! Also, if you'd like to be a FAQ Admin (creating/editing FAQs), let me know! If you are looking for other FAQs, be sure to check out the 4Guys FAQ and Commonly Asked Messageboard Questions!

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Last computed at 9/17/2007 3:22:00 AM

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