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Tony's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 18 min ago
Timezone: GMT+10
Joined: 2003-03-12
Posts: 5084
Points: 2662

Before Asking:
1. Search and see if you can find a similar problem with a solution.
2. Check the FAQ, Frequently Asked Questions as often the answer is already there.
3. Validate your CSS and Markup (HTML or XHTML)
4. Ensure that you have a valid full DTD and that you are rendering in 'Standards' mode.
paying attention to points 3/4 above help us and yourself in receiving prompt help as we do not have to re-iterate these points and request that you correct errors and include a DTD before posting back, in all things preparation is the key to asking a well formed question that we are able to deal with in a constructive manner, none of us like to come across as negative in asking that these points are addressed.

The Big Ask:
1. Please choose an appropriate title for your post that best sums up the problem you're seeing, something that is descriptive as this helps members to determine if they could provide help and allows for better search results. Titles that are not suitable include "Help, I have a problem", "Quick, urgent help needed" or "wtf, my code isn't working"
2. Explain the problem as clearly as possible mentioning which browsers you have tested it in and which don't do what you want.
3. Provide a link where possible and try to make the page as clear as you can so it's easier for people looking at the code to see whats going on. If you can, put the CSS into the head of the document and use full paths to any images so we can download the page locally and still see it how we should without having to change paths etc.

As a guide to 'Best Practise' in posting code, these pointers represent the ideal, but do not feel that you have to follow them to the letter, they will however aid us in replying and earn you much respect and praise Smile :

  • Strip everything from your code that doesn't affect the problem. That can be a job, sometimes. You will be amazed at the number of times, though, that the error is made obvious by this exercise.

  • Do not use relative addressing for stylesheets (more, in a moment) or images. Instead of <img src="/images/pic.jpg" />, use the canonical address, <img src="" />. That includes url()s in the stylesheet. If someone decides to copy/paste the code, don't make them have to download your images, etc..

  • Move your style rules (the ones that weren't stripped as not being part of the problem) into the head section. Why make us download and fool with an additional file?

  • Now run the page through Tidy to strip out tabs and replace them with spaces, and to otherwise prettify the code. This will also double check validity of the html.

  • Now, you can paste this stripped down problem code into your post, between [ code ] and [ /code ] bb tags.

  • As a backup, and to show the page in all its glory, post the link to the actual page. It would be a kindness to replace relative addys and move the styles to the head, but not required.

    That is best practice. Doing either is fine, but linked docs should not be altered. Apply fixes to a working copy and post a new link, so that versioning of the problem is maintained.

    'Best Practise' prepared by KK5st.

4. Please do not request private help via e-mail or PM, this is a public forum where help provided is there for all to benefit from.
5. Please do not double post you question to different sub forums, decide on the best area for you're question and post once only. If your not sure where to post to then choose the forum that you think most suitable, if needed a moderator can move the thread to the area deemed most suitable, no harm done.
Double posts will be deleted straight away.
6. Please try and avoid highjacking a thread because the original question closely matches yours, it's always far better to start a new topic than cut into someone elses and start to take it away on a tangent, this is confusing for all and makes replying difficult.
7. Be patient and polite, no one here is paid to help and we all have other lives to live.
act with curtesy towards all members of the forum it will pay dividends in the quality of the help that you receive and a little thankyou for problems solved never hurts.

After Your Ask:
1. If you don't get a response in 24 hrs or so then it's possible that others can't see or understand the problem. Think about rewording the post or offering more information.
2. Don't double post in order to gain attention, we will see the first post use the method above if no-one has responded, double posts will be removed
3. If you find a solution to your problem let us know so that others can learn from your knowledge and we can stop trying to fix something that ain't broke and allows the thread to be considered 'Resolved'.
4. Help others, you don't need to have the solution just suggesting something else to try will help.
5. If one of the reply's to your problem provides an answer, mark it as the Best Reply. That way others will be able to find the solution to similar problems easily and the author of the reply will receive some recognition.

Techniques to Help Solve Problems:
a. Make a copy of the page so you don't mess up all your hard work.
b. Simplify the page as much as you can remove unrelated elements.
c. Isolate the problem by commenting out sections of the CSS.
d. Use borders or background colors to show positions of the elements you're working with.