General guidelines

From ArchWiki
(Redirected from Forum Etiquette)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In addition to the code of conduct, each of the fora has its own specific guidelines summarized in the following subsections.

Forums

Guidelines specific to the Arch forums.

How to post

  • Choose clear, informative subjects. This is more likely to elicit response from experienced users who have knowledge about that particular topic. It also makes the topic easy to reference and find in forum searches by future users with similar problems. Further, avoid extraneous phrases such as [HELP!], [URGENT], etc.
  • A sincere effort to use modest and proper language and grammar is a sign of respect toward the community that will certainly be appreciated and is quite likely to elicit positive responses. Refrain from using so-called "textspeak", "netspeak", "leetspeak" and all other forms of internet slang.
  • When asking questions, provide as much information as possible, including error messages, terminal output, logs, what you have previously tried, what documentation and searches you have attempted, and related configuration files.
  • Choose one topic per thread. Long threads are typically discouraged in the technical issue subforums.
  • Post your question in only one subforum; pick the most relevant, and post there.
  • Do not post tutorials or "how to's": documentation belongs in the wiki, where it can be maintained.
  • When responding to an existing thread, always read the original post and attempt to focus on the original topic.
  • Finally, when a solution is found, mark your thread as solved by editing the first post and prepending the tag [SOLVED] to the title in the "Subject" field.
  • Note that you should avoid using [CLOSED], which is instead used by the system to mark a thread which is no longer accessible for new posts.
  • If a thread is marked as [SOLVED], do not reply stating the equivalent of "I am having a similar issue.."; start a new thread and link to the [SOLVED] thread, if relevant.

Pasting pictures and code

Use [code] tags when pasting console snippets. Use a pastebin client when posting large amounts of code. Do not use pastebin.com—it is blocked for some users and has a history of annoying issues (JavaScript, adverts, poor formatting, etc). For non-English locale users: Prepend LC_ALL=C to posted commands so that the output will be in English. Do not post full screen pictures; use links to the images instead, optionally with thumbnails. Any image with dimensions greater than 250×250px or over 50 KiB in size will be removed. Do not post screenshots of text output; post the actual text.

Life is a two-way street

A simple, yet profound and undeniable truth. Ensure your thread includes details and information that others will find useful. Share your findings with the community. Share your failures as well. Posting the equivalent of "Nevermind, I fixed it." in your thread or deleting your own posts for similar reasons is not only selfish and useless to the community, but a complete waste of resources and everyone's time. Also, demanding help or showing an obvious impatience toward getting it is unwanted here. Arch is provided by a community of volunteers. Arch users are strongly encouraged to do research, make an effort, report back in the thread, help others, get involved, and contribute to the community.

Do not be a "help vampire".

Product recommendation requests

Threads seeking advice about computer product recommendations are discouraged. Such topics, like the technology they discuss, quickly become obsolete and are unlikely to provide any lasting benefit to the wider community. You are expected to be able to do your own research and draw your own conclusions about which product best suits your individual requirements.

Old threads/"necro-bumping"

Do your part to keep the forums tidy. As the wiki is where Arch is documented, posting in old threads ("necrobumping") is generally discouraged in the technical issue subforums, since it can potentially create disjointed "zombie" information; outdated posts with data which is no longer relevant due to Arch's rolling nature, combined with more recent posts reflecting more current circumstance.

Rules of thumb:

  • If you have a question, start a new thread and link to the old if relevant. You can also report the old thread so staff can close it.
  • If you have something to add and judge that your information is related, but more up-to-date, start a new thread and link to the old if desired, but avoid duplicating effort by posting information already contained in the Arch wiki.
  • If you have a version-agnostic or corresponding solution, necrobumping may be appropriate if the thread is not more than a year or two old.

No power-posting/empty posts

Power-posting is best described as posting empty and worthless messages. It is not tolerated. People may have two reasons to do this: to increase their post count meaninglessly, or to lend support to an idea as if it were a vote. Examples of power-posting include, but are not limited to, replying with "+1", "lol", "me too", "I agree", or ":)".

When posting or replying to messages, make sure you have something to say. These empty posts clutter up threads and discussion, invalidate the 'Show New Posts' function, and waste bandwidth and server space.

Threads that degenerate into a series of "+1/-1" or "me too/I agree/I disagree" will be locked. Individual power posts may also be deleted.

Bumping

Posting a single word or useless message (bumping) to attract attention to your thread is not allowed. Do your own research, continue to troubleshoot, post the results, and be patient with the community. If people are reading your thread without answering or offering help, you may try supplying more details, or ask to be pointed in the right direction. Often, the reason for posts remaining unanswered is due in large part to the sparse details in the original post itself, or, the obvious availability of solutions in the wiki, on the forum or on the web, and the community's unwillingness to point out the obvious.

Cross-posting

Cross-posting is posting the same question multiple times in different subfora (for example, posting in both Newbie Corner and Installation), or posting slight variants of the question in the same or different subfora. This is a waste of resources and is not permitted. Any cross-posted topic will be immediately locked and marked for deletion.

Thread hijacking

Thread hijacking is the process of replying to an existing thread with a different topic. This is generally discouraged. It is better to start a new thread if you have a problem that is related to an existing posted issue but clearly different. Posts that hijack a serious thread with off-topic discussion are also discouraged.

Dustbin policy (marked for deletion)

Threads that are locked/closed because they are either already documented on the boards or Wiki or are inconsistent with the Arch Way will be moved to Dust/troll-bin. After a period of five days, the thread will be eligible for deletion at the discretion of the staff. The Moderator responsible will clearly mark the thread as "Binned" or "For deletion."

Mailing lists

Guidelines for the mailing lists. See also Mailing list posting style.

Top posting

There is never an excuse for top posting. Do not do it.

Quoting

Only quote the necessary elements from a previous email. Bulk quoting quickly bloats threads and reduces the legibility while simultaneously increasing the cognitive load on the entire list. Prune all of the redundant material and just reply to the relevant quoted material.

Plain text

Plain text is the Unix and email standard. HTML is unnecessary and, for those using command line clients, unwelcome. Keep your line lengths reasonable: 72 characters is considered the default to wrap at.

AUR

Guidelines for the Arch User Repository can be found at AUR submission guidelines.

IRC

All Arch IRC channels are on the Libera Chat IRC network. Users on Libera Chat must follow the network policy and Libera Chat channel guidelines.

The official language of the #archlinux channel is English. If you need help in another language, search international arch channels.

  • The main topic of #archlinux is support for and discussion about Arch Linux. General conversation on software and hardware is allowed so long as it does not interfere with the main topic of discussion. If you are asked to take something to another channel or private message you should do so.
  • Read the channel topic on a regular basis with /topic. It often contains important information.
  • There is only one official channel bot: phrik. Do not spam bot commands and limit your usage to things that are helpful. If you want to bring your own bot into any Arch Linux channel, ask the operators before doing so.
  • Do not flood the channel with text. This includes ASCII art, bot commands and error logs.
    • Use a paste bin to share something longer than three lines. program &> program-output.txt in combination with pastebin clients can ease this step.
    • If you want to try out bot commands or look through the help function, then do it in a /query or /msg. Example: /query phrik help command.
  • Auto-response in channel or in private message is not allowed with a single exception for away responses at nick highlights in a private message.
  • Do not ask whether anyone is alive or uses your software, just state your question.
  • Do not demand help; ask for it. Wait patiently for a few minutes before restating questions. Most questions get answered by just another user, like you.
  • When asking for help, always reply to people that ask you for more information, if you do not know the answer then say so.

Wiki

Guidelines for the wiki can be found in ArchWiki:Contributing.

Bug tracker

Guidelines for the bug tracker can be found in Bug reporting guidelines.