On Asking Questions

Discuss how to use the Ren'Py engine to create visual novels and story-based games. New releases are announced in this section.
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This is the right place for Ren'Py help. Please ask one question per thread, use a descriptive subject like 'NotFound error in option.rpy' , and include all the relevant information - especially any relevant code and traceback messages. Use the code tag to format scripts.
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PyTom
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On Asking Questions

#1 Post by PyTom » Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:54 pm

Subjects. When asking questions about Ren'Py, please chose a descriptive subject. Recently, we've been getting a number of topics with titles like:

- I'm asking another Ren'Py question
- I have a question...
- A couple of Ren'Py questions...

This makes it hard for people to determine what a topic is about, and also makes it somewhat hard to remember if the topic has been adequately answered.

Please, take a moment to try and pick a subject that describes what your question is about. Doing this will help us answer your question, and will help other people decide if your problem is the same as one they've been having.

This is generally good advice on any technical forum on the internet.

Tracebacks. If you're using Ren'Py and a problem causes a traceback.txt or errors.txt to appear, please copy the contents of these files into your error report. These files contain a lot of information that can be used to help us pinpoint your problem. Without it, we have to guess, which is often inefficient.

Source code. If the error message mentions lines in your script file, please attach the file to your message, or copy in the appropriate lines. This will help us to diagnose what's wrong.
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#2 Post by denzil » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:05 pm

On the asking questions theres nice article on How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
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#3 Post by PyTom » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:20 pm

While I've read that article, I'm not a super-big fan of it. I like discussion, and I'd like people to feel that they are supported here. I don't want people to get stuck tracking down a bug, when they could be making games.
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#4 Post by monele » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:33 pm

On that topic, I've always meant to ask : do you prefer one topic per question or grouping slightly related questions? I know I tend to add new questions to threads and they're not always *technically* related (more project related). Also, if there really is one topic per question, does adding "[solved]" to the subject seem like a good idea?

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#5 Post by PyTom » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:49 pm

I'm agnostic to the question-grouping issue, so long as the subject reflects the questions.
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#6 Post by monele » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:11 pm

Hmm... I see... Will have to observe how it goes next times :)

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#7 Post by BCS » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:54 pm

denzil wrote:On the asking questions theres nice article on How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
No offense meant to you, Monele, but, God, the author of that article is a smug know-it-all. I'm not saying there's not some meaningful stuff in there, but he's really super condescending.
Remember, there are many other users that are not experiencing your problem. Otherwise you would have learned about it while reading the documentation and searching the Web (you did do that before complaining, didn't you?). This means that very probably it is you who are doing something wrong, not the software.
Ugh. (On a more personal note, I know I have trouble phrasing my thoughts when it comes to programming but sometimes it is a genuine bug that was missed ... The sound channel bug in 6.1a springs to mind because it was most recent for me: "What am I doing wrong?" "Am I typing it badly?" "Where's the indentation error?") )

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#8 Post by monele » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:56 am

No offense meant to you, Monele
No offense taken... since I'm not the linker ;)

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#9 Post by BCS » Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:01 am

LOL, I can't read. XD

Sorry, denzil.

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#10 Post by PyTom » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:59 am

Another thing to add to this thread:

Please ask questions on the forum. I've been getting a number of questioned PMed to me recently. While I don't mind answering them, I think it's best that questions be asked in public, as this:

1) Gives other people a shot at answering the question.
2) Allows other people to benefit from the answer to the question.

Now, obviously there are some questions that would reveal spoilers to games, that should be asked in private. I don't mind those. But please use your judgement, and prefer asking questions in public.
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Re: On Asking Questions

#11 Post by herenvardo » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:58 pm

denzil wrote:On the asking questions theres nice article on How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
While I don't think about the content of that article as bad, the tone and form is undeniably too aggressive for the kind of people that might be posting here. However, there is a point of that document that I feel would be worth mentioning:
Search!!
Honestly, I've found myself answering questions about which I had literally no idea simply by skimming the topic list and quoting the answer from a thread where the exact same question had been asked. And that was just skimming recent topics: do you dare to imagine how much you could find by just doing a search on the forum and/or on the ren'py site?
This suggestion is not actually aimed to help answerers (actually, when I try to answer stuff I don't bother too much about duplicate questions: that means more people I might help with my fairly limited knowledge, which always feels good); but to askers themselves: instead of typing both the subject and the body of the question on the post page and having to wait for someone to answer, you just type the subject on the search page and, if you are a bit lucky, you get the answer immediatelly ;)
This is just my opinion, although I'm not sure if it will serve any purpose: the kind of people who tends to read a "On Asking Questions" thread is often the same kind of people who tends to search before asking.
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Re: On Asking Questions

#12 Post by Jake » Sat Sep 20, 2008 9:32 pm

herenvardo wrote:Search!!
As it goes: this is also the reason why it's a good idea to give your topic a relevant descriptive name, and why it's unhelpful to rename the topic to something like "SOLVED!!!" when your question has been answered.

Firstly, just because you know the answer doesn't mean that nobody else has the same problem, so it's useful to keep the question in the title. Secondly, "How do I do such and such (SOLVED)" could be misleading, because it kind of implies that all those other threads without "SOLVED" in the title aren't answered, where in fact they probably are.
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Re: On Asking Questions

#13 Post by LVUER » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:01 pm

Jake wrote:
herenvardo wrote:Search!!
As it goes: this is also the reason why it's a good idea to give your topic a relevant descriptive name, and why it's unhelpful to rename the topic to something like "SOLVED!!!" when your question has been answered.

Firstly, just because you know the answer doesn't mean that nobody else has the same problem, so it's useful to keep the question in the title. Secondly, "How do I do such and such (SOLVED)" could be misleading, because it kind of implies that all those other threads without "SOLVED" in the title aren't answered, where in fact they probably are.
And even after the topic title get SOLVED in it, most of the time the topic just keep going on, becoming larger and larger.
Sometimes producing new questions and the debate about old question still going on. So what is the meaning of solvedhere ^_^
When a topic is solved, I think there should be no more new reply on that particular topic. And I think that is a bad idea (unless we encourage new topics in this forum). So a topic/question will never be solved.

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Re: On Asking Questions

#14 Post by Jake » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:59 am

LVUER wrote:(unless we encourage new topics in this forum).
I seem to recall it having been encouraged more than once in this forum to start a new topic for a new question, for precisely the reason that people searching for answers to that question will find it more easily.
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Re: On Asking Questions

#15 Post by monele » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:17 am

Why not enforce the fact a solved topic should have "solved" added to it? It should be the OP's job, but if not done, it should be asked by people who notice it's missing... and if the OP has sadly disappeared, it should be done by an admin.

And then, when a topic is solved, it could also be closed or at least someone should clearly demand a new topic if there's a new question. It's strict, but it would make searching for things easier in the long run ^^

Thoughts?

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