I think the 'How to use the forum' instructions should contain that suggestion. I think that if posters could honestly start their posts every time with "I swear I have checked what the FM help says about this function.." and "I have searched the forum for 'conditional value list' and I can't see an answer to my question..." then that would be a sufficient test.
From the poster's point of view, it is very difficult to replicate the detail and comprehensiveness of the examples in the in-built help, the on-line help, or the to-ing and fro-ing of previous forum discussions for more intricate cases. And from the Poster's point of view, the reposnse is very much faster - it's right there on their screen.
While responders are capable of making mistakes in their calculation or script suggestions I think the Second Level RTFM response should be HYCTYDAS - Have You Checked That You Did As Suggested. I've read though some posts of 20+ replies that ended up with the person simply reading the very first reply more carefully.
And if I'm allowed a more personal gripe - congratulations, Posters and Responders: we rarely see the dreaded shouting CAPITALS. But they are being replaced by another similar infection: The Multiple Punctuation. You really want to know something????!!! It's okay - we heard you the first time!!!!
Okay: last one's personal, but Rick has a good point.
I absolutely agree with you, Rick. I read many posts, loking to learn or help, but few of them move me to respond.
Some of us have worked very hard at keeping this forum civil even when the person on the other end of the conversation isn't. So I appreciate the acknowlegment that we have been meeting that standard fairly well.
I've always supported the notion that the only stupid question is the one not asked.
Some folks just can't find things in help like they should and many do need to learn to look there first. I keep several standard "newbie" oriented links or blocks of text in a DB where I can easily copy and paste them in response to frequently asked newbie questions. Saves time and several direct users to the knowledge base or the help file as the source of the assistance that they are now reading.
I do think, and have recommended that we set up a read only section of reviewed/approved help aricles and a "How to get the most, best help from this forum" article that lists all alternate sources of help such as the help file and the knowledge base among other hints should be right at the top of the list.
In the meantime, none of us are under any obligation to answer any specific question posted to the forum. It may be tempting to respond to an obvious question with "rtfm", but I'd rather see the post ignored than have a new poster be "talked down to" in that fashion. Let's keep the standards up and find respectful ways to point newbies to all the help sources available to them.
Phil has the patience of Job. And Job was a Saint. If there was a smiley for 'Big, heart-felt, round of applause', I'd include it here: [ ]
"It may be tempting to respond to an obvious question with "rtfm", but I'd rather see the post ignored than have a new poster be "talked down to" in that fashion" - By the same token, we've seen people 'bump' their post up because no-one replied in the timescale they thought appropriate, and they would actually have been well-served (or better-served at least) to find the answer to their problem with a response of: "Search for 'conditional format' in the Help pages". I'm very disappointed that some people have received the perfectly adequate response "Check google for 'filemaker+conditional+format' and look at the second on the list" and they have actually bothered to type the reply "I do know how to use google ("Young Man!"). You do? It's just that I thought... well, anyways.
There only is so much patience that even a PhilModJunk can have, and I think we should be working to conserve it for better things than "How do I make text bold?"
As a newbie, sometimes the problem with searching in "Help" or knowledge base is not knowing the proper name of what one is looking for. Today I described a question about value lists. If I'd known what I was describing is a "conditional value list", then my search would have been much more fruitful.
As it was, Phil graciously informed me of the name of what I was trying to do, and then provided pertinent links. Thank you.