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Survival Guide for the forum

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:05 am
by Hagar Delest
Welcome to the Apache OpenOffice User Community Forum!

Please read these basic rules, they will help us help you.

Try a search first more
Try entering one or two words in the search box (upper right corner) or use the Custom Search Engine at forums index:
Think of all the time that you'll save if your answer is already out there!

This is not a customer service more
We're here to try and help, not to take your complaints.

Tell us what OS you're using more
OOo runs on Windows, Macs, Linux and more. Tell us which one you're using.

Give your message a good title (and other tips) more
The gist of your question should be clear from the title. "Page Numbering" is better than "I need help".

Tell us when your issue is [Solved] more
Add [Solved] to the start of the title of your thread (first post) so we know you have a solution.

One issue per thread more
Stick to one clear question and you'll get a faster answer.

No flames Post within our Policies and Terms of Use
If you can't think of something constructive to say, say nothing. Only a fool argues with a fool.

What all those thread icons mean ? more
Description of the icons used in the forum.

Tips for a better description of the problem more
Don't just say you've a problem, describe it as precisely as possible so we can investigate right away.

About the links in posts and signatures more
Active links are allowed as soon as they are related to an OOo/WP question.

About your account more
In case you've some problems with your login.

About the ranks for users more
What are these colors for usernames?

Search the Forum before posting

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:56 am
by Hagar Delest
Other users may already have had the same issue you're experiencing, so perhaps your answer is already available. So why not have a search before posting. Either use our search (there is also a dedicated search box at the top right of the page), or if you want your search to include all Apache OpenOffice services including our Wiki why not google "<your keywords>". If you want to search a single native language forum: "<your keywords>" where XX is the language locale (en, es, hu, fr, ja, nl, vi, zh, ...).
Note also the Custom Search Engine on forums index:
Note that to improve forum performances, indexed words have at least 4 characters. If you want to search for words of 3 letters or below, you have to use the trick above.

Think about how others might have phrased the question. Use specific keywords; you can always try again broadening the search range if you get no suitable matches.

The default for searches is to list all the individual posts which the search finds. You can request that the search lists the thread subjects by
  • Using the Advanced search and ticking Display results as > Topics
  • Doing a normal search. When the results appear, add &sr=topics to the end of address in the browser window, and press enter
If you find a thread, please be aware: One issue, one thread. It may be an old topic not relevant anymore despite similar symptoms.

In your post, indicate that you've run a search before eventually posting, it will prevent you to get a link to this very rule ! Please understand the ones who help and who see again and again the same questions.

See also that thread: How to ask a question on the forum.

Here are some useful places to search also :
- OOo Issue Tracker, where you'll find reported bugs
- The wiki documentation (most user guides online here)
- The whole documentation portal (links to user guides as PDF, How-Tos, ...)
- Our own tutorials.
For those who wonder the differences between this forum and oooforum, see these threads: Why a new forum? and Crossposting between forums.

This is not a customer service

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:56 am
by Hagar Delest
This is a user to user forum, not a source of paid support. There are no customer service people or software developers here. We are here to help each other use AOO effectively, not to take your complaints.

You may discuss problems or suggestions here, just be aware that this is all unofficial. If you want to report a bug or suggestion to the developers, please do it on the bugzilla see this thread : [Tutorial] Reporting bugs or suggestions.

Basic information needed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:57 am
by Hagar Delest
Please be sure we know what operating system (OS) and version, and what OpenOffice (AOO) version you are using (especially for Linux users : it can be the distribution version or the official one downloaded from the official download site). This basic information is often necessary to answer the question, and will help you get an answer faster.

The forum registration will collect this information and use it as your "signature" that appears underneath all your posts. Don't forget to update the signature information when you upgrade to keep it accurate. Use the "User Control Panel" link (top left).

It's also nice to write it in your posts also (especially if you test something for someone else) so that in the future we know the context since your configuration may have changed meanwhile.

The real version number can be found in the Help>About OOo dialog, the first line in small characters indicates the full release (can be 2.4.1 with a splash screen indicating 2.4 for example, because #.#.1 are sub-versions for bug fixes). Note that you can have more details like build number by holding CTRL key and hitting S, D and T in a row.

Make your post understandable by others

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:57 am
by Hagar Delest
Give explicit titles to your threads : avoid "Urgent help needed" or just "Help !!". They don't give any clue to what the problem is. If you're posting here, of course that' because you need some help. Use keywords to show the users who scan the forum index an idea about what they'll find in your post. Keywords may ring a bell and improve the response time.

Please, no CAPS. Else, it means that you're shouting and it's a quiet place here.

Don't hesitate to use the BBCodes (not available in the Quick Reply), especially if you want to fake tables in your post (phpBB removes the extra spaces and tabs).
See here for the BBCodes explanation: BBCode guide (phpBB forum).

This is an English speaking forum. So please don't post in your native language: first you'll get much less replies, second the thread indexes will become messy, third searches may give threads that other users won't be able to understand.

But we've neighbors on the server (note the locale code change in the address):
Complete list on the landing page: Apache OpenOffice Community Forums
- The Hungarian forum......
- The French forum..........
- The Japanese forum......
- The Spanish forum........
- The Dutch forum............
- The Vietnamese forum...
- The Chinese forum........
- The Polish forum..........
- The Italian forum........
And on other servers:
- The Russian forum........
- The German forum........
- The Turkish forum........ (seems to be out...)

Tag your thread when it has been [Solved]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:00 am
by Hagar Delest
Top right of the first post (click to enlarge).
When your issue has been fixed, please edit the title of your first post and add the text [Solved] at the beginning (this is not an automatic feature, you've to type it manually, beware of the title length). This will appear in the forum index, so other users can spot the threads where they can find an answer to their issue, and volunteers will know that those threads do not need further attention.
The thread title is the title of the first post in the thread. To edit that post, click the button *EDIT top right of the post. You can only edit the posts that belong to you of course.

Topic icons when editing the post
Topic_icons.png (2.34 KiB) Viewed 557748 times
You can also add an icon so that the thread is graphically tagged in the index list.
Image → your problem has been fixed
Image → known issue in the Issue Tracker (users will be able to vote for it)
Image → mostly used by moderators to tag a borderline thread.
When posting your question, please leave that alone to avoid disturbing the thread index with flames and radioactive tags. Even if you need urgent help.

Index page of a forum section
Index.png (31.39 KiB) Viewed 416758 times

Putting the tag at the beginning of the title with the icon makes it easier to scan the indexes because the tag is always at the same place, the eye has not to look for the end of the title to check. Moreover, when the search is performed from an external search engine, the title may be truncated. Having the "[Solved]" tag at its beginning immediately gives the user the information that may be hidden else.

And if you don't get any answer?
If you're the author of the thread (i.e. first post), you can bump the thread (without replying your own issue) with the button at bottom. This way, the thread will be put back to the top of the New Topics display - as if a reply had been made. Note that you can do that only once and after a period of inactivity on that thread (currently 10 days).
Bump button.png
Bottom left area of the window.
Bump button.png (15.84 KiB) Viewed 352215 times

NB: make sure that you're subscribed by default to your topics, see: Check the mail notification.

One issue, one thread

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:13 am
by Hagar Delest
Avoid posting several questions in the same post if they are not tightly related. The discussion will be difficult to follow afterwards because multiple answers will be posted sometimes without saying to what issue it is related.

Don't hijack the thread of other users: if you're not absolutely sure that the issue is the same, don't post in an existing thread. The problems may be different as would be the solutions. If you want to reference another topic to tell what you've tried for example, add a link to it with the BBCode (url or rel), see here for the BBCodes explanation: BBCode guide (phpBB forum). NB: the rel= tag is useful for referencing content inside this forum. Complete addresses here are, with the relative tag, you just need to give the end part after the equal sign and the title between the brackets:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
[rel=viewtopic.php?f=5&t=166]Survival Guide for the forum[/rel]

No multi- or cross-posting. It leads to several discussions and a waste of time because several identical answers may be posted by different users. If a question is related to 2 components, put the thread where it fits the best and leave a note (use red bold font), a moderator can create a link in the other forum pointing to your thread.

Post within our Policies and Terms of Use

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:06 pm
by Hagar Delest
We ask you to respect other users who have taken time to contribute to topics even if you don't agree with their comments. You may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack.

The forum is for discussing and resolving issues in a constructive and open way. The administrators and moderators will intervene on posts which do not conform to our Policies and Terms of Use, for example in cases of obscene, pornographic, defamatory and racist comments, flaming and trolling. Offending posts or the topics that contain them may be locked and the offending content removed.

If you feel that someone else's post is in breach of these guidelines then use the report button (see top right icons of the post header), the topic will be highlighted in red for the Moderators and tagged with a specific icon easily visible. Actions can then be taken quickly as soon as a Moderator logs on. We ask you not to flame this situation by counter posting. If you feel that you post has been unfairly moderated then you may state your position by emailing the forum administrators. The forum moderators and administrator will consider such input, but in all cases their collective decision on content is final. NB: mail address to be changed, until then, you've to use the ooo-dev mailing list (see AOO website and support pages).
Reported post in topic.png
Here is the Moderator view of a reported topic.
Reported post in topic.png (8.81 KiB) Viewed 409974 times

Downloading files attached here or on a third party web site is at your own risk. Any upload of malicious files will lead to a definitive ban of the forum.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:22 pm
by Hagar Delest
Two general points
- Red icons are unread items, blue/grey are read.
- A star on any topic means you have posted in it

Thread icons:
Image - Announcement
Image - Sticky topic
Image - Read topic
Image - Unread topic
Image - Read topic that you have posted in
Image - Unread topic that you have posted in
Image - Hot topic (animated icon)
Image - Locked topic
Image - Moved topic

Forum icons:
Image - Forum with subforums (which have been read)
Image - Forum with subforums (which are unread)
Image - Link forum

Image - Attachment
Image - Go to last post in the topic
Image - Go to last unread post in the topic
Image - Subforum read
Image - Subforum unread

User-selected decorations:
See that section


Tips for a better description of the problem

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:44 am
by Hagar Delest
  • Do you remember anything special before the issue appeared ?
      OS upgrade, application installation, firewall/antivirus update, ...
  • Does the problem happen with a number of different files or only one (or a few) specifically? Does it happen only with new files? Only with pre-existing files? Only with files of a particular format?
  • An example is worth a thousand words. If the problem is complicated to describe, the best is to create a sample file where you can reproduce the issue. If it deals with the interface, take a screenshot. Then upload the file here so that others can see what you're seeing.
      For file samples, remove all sensitive data (replace text by dummy text), just keep the few pages/paragraphs needed. See How to attach a document here.
      For screenshots, use the .png format and crop the pic to show only what is to be seen.
      Files are limited to 128kB, if it can't be reduced below this size, use a 3rd party file sharing site.
  • Have you tried to investigate the root cause ? Have you noticed anything from your tries ?
  • Does the problem involve another program such as Word, or another piece of equipment such as a printer? Include that software version or model number (if possible).
  • For each option you use or look at, spell out exactly how to get to that option (for example, File> Save As, or Tools> Options> Writer> Appearances>).
  • OOo is based on styles. How have you applied your formatting ? Beware that using the toolbar buttons applies a Direct formatting that overrides the styles.

About the links in posts and signatures

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:59 pm
by Hagar Delest
In order to avoid commercial links that could make users believe that commercial applications have been approved by this forum, a strict policy is applied regarding links. There are 3 places where URLs can be used:

  • In post content
    The URL must be directly related to the content and to a valid forum issue. If a topic is about a distro then quoting the home site for the distro, etc. makes sense.
    Use of wikipedia and other reference quotes is accepted.
    A zero tolerance to non-related references will be applied. This includes blatant product plugging.

  • In the profile website reference
    Quite everything accepted here (as long as it isn't a sex or spam site), e.g. company URLs and personal blogs or webpages. Note that this URL is only visible in the users details.

  • In the signature block
    Other AOO/WP related URLs and personal blogs or webpages accepted but as raw text for non-Volunteers; active links will be disabled by admins.
    Use of company URLs in signatures: tolerated for active users as long as it is clear that the primary purpose for posting is AOO related.
    Image not allowed to keep the forum readability.
We remind you that even if a strict policy is applied by the Forum Board about links posted, you take the responsibility to follow them.

About your account

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:47 pm
by Hagar Delest
There are 3 topics in the Site Feedback section covering most of the cases:
As for the username:
  • You should avoid to use your mail address because the spam bots crawling the web will be able to automatically register your address.
  • If you want to change your username, you have to ask an Admin (by PM for example). Users are not allowed to change it, this is intended.

Ranks in the forum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:48 pm
by Hagar Delest
There are several colors used to identify the users in the forum:
  • Blue user: standard user, can read and post in all the public forums.
  • Volunteer: user who has made helpful replies. Standard user can request this role and moderators regularly check user making enough posts with an adequate behavior. They have access to the administration areas where are discussed matters like moderation and technical improvements of the forum (new sub-forum, ...). See also: The Volunteers Guidelines.
  • Moderator: can move topics, edit them and ban users. Edits are done to fix typos, change a topic title when not clear enough (like "Help me"). In case a moderation action is sensitive, they can discuss it with the Volunteers. Note that each action is logged and each post is first moved to a specific section first so that Volunteers can check what is done. A removal can be reversed (it has already happened). Moderators strict rules too: The Moderator Code of Conduct.
  • Admin: top level for administration of the forum.
    Emeritus administrators: former admins who dedicated a lot of time to this forum.
  • Apache observer: Apache management user, created when the forum became part of the Apache OpenOffice Incubator project within the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Has access to the administration forums, including logs, in order to check that the management of the forum complies with the ASF rules.
  • Banned: spam accounts. They are true humans who passed the bots tests. There are 2 sorts of spammers: those who try to post spam in a message directly. Since all first posts are moderated, no luck for them, they are banned before the message goes on-line. The other kind is those who just register and add commercial links in their signature or website field in their forum profile. Moderators have developed some tricks to spot them and the links don't stay long. Even if they edit their profile sometime after having registered.
Note that users themselves set their rank (depending on the eligible one). It means that an admin can set its rank to be Moderator (or even standard user) if he wants.