FAQ

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FAQ gratefully derived from http://askubuntu.com/help

About asking
What topics can I ask about here?
What does it mean if a question is “closed”?
What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?
Why are some questions marked as duplicate?
What should I do when someone answers my question?”
Why and how are some questions deleted?
What are tags and how should I use them?
How do I ask a good question?
What should I do if no one answers my question?

About answering
What does it mean when an answer is “accepted”?
How to reference material written by others
Why and how are some answers deleted?
How do I write a good answer?
Can I answer my own question?

What topics can I ask about here?
AskAmiga is a site for newcomers, power users and developers of any and all software and hardware related to Amiga OS, it’s derivatives and it’s hardware platforms. It suits questions about:

  • Using and configuring AmigaOS and it relations such as AROS, MorphOS, AmigaForever, etc
  • Addons such as AmiKit, ClassicWB, BetterWB
  • Running third-party applications and libraries on AmigaOS and anything available on http://aminet.net
  • Emulation of Amiga and emulation on Amiga
  • Development on Amiga or even just targetted at Amiga
  • Services provided by existing Amiga software and hardware vendors
  • Hardware including original Amiga hardware, motherboards, peripherals and expansions such as accellerators
    Any questions not mentioned below!

The following questions are best avoided:

  • Seeking subjective opinions or chatty, open-ended questions such as “what’s your favourite…?”
  • Questions that include overt self-promotion (sometimes it’s necessary, but you must ).
  • Questions with too much scope. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
  • If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

Guidelines for creating questions:

  • Apply as many tags as makes sense. It’s in your best interest to make your question show up in the right place to get an answer and also to be discoverable to people with the same question in future.
  • If a question involves any hardware issues, provide relevant information (Eg: If your question is about a graphics issue, provide video card type, video drivers and anything related to it)
  • Questions should show as much information about your problem as possible. The more work and time you put on your question, the easier, faster and better the answers will be.
  • Make sure the Question’s title shows what the problem is about. Asking “Amiga has problem” is not the same as “Workbench not loading after installing new drivers”. Be specific about it.
  • Remember that we can only help you using the information you have provided on the question. If your question lacks information, a solution will take more time to arrive.

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
  • are more than just mindless social fun

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What does it mean if a question is “closed”?

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be closed by experienced community members. While questions are closed, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening. Closed questions still allow comments, votes and edits – just not answers

Each closed question provides a reason that helps the original poster (or other community members) know what they’d need to do in order to get the question reopened.

These are the categories of questions that may be closed by the community:

  • duplicate – the fundamental goal of closing duplicate questions is to help people find the right answer by getting all of those answers in one place
  • off topic – what’s on- and off-topic is not always intuitive, so it may be necessary to reword the question to fit this site’s scope after reviewing the guidelines.Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope.
  • unclear what you’re asking – sometimes we need more information in order to help solve your problem. Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it’s currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re asking. Edit your post to be more specific about what you’re looking for, and be sure to address any concerns that other users brought up in the comments.
  • too broad – if your question could be answered by an entire book, or has many valid answers, it’s probably too broad for our formatThere are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow down the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.
  • primarily opinion-based – discussions focused on diverse opinions are great, but they just don’t fit our format well.Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than on facts, references, or specific expertise.

Who can mark questions “closed”?

Moderators may close or reopen any question. For more about reopening questions, see “What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen a closed question?”
Why are some questions marked “closed”?

Questions are marked closed for the first five days to encourage edits and improvements to the question. If a question is edited by the original poster when it is marked closed, it will be placed in a review queue to be considered for reopening.
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What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?
If you see a question and you disagree with the stated reason of its closure, you should first try to edit the question to improve it as much as possible. Read the close notice and any comments carefully to address concerns raised there. Closed questions that receive edits within the first 5 days of closure are automatically put into a review queue to be considered for reopening.
Additionally, you can:

  • Leave a comment on the question itself calling for it to be reopened. Be detailed: explain why the question shouldn’t have been closed. Be constructive: name-calling is as likely to drive folks away as it is win them to your cause. Be sure that you’ve read the close notice and any comments on the question so you can address any concerns raised there. Addressing the concerns often means editing the post, which any user may do.
  • Flag the question for moderator attention. Again, explain why it should be reopened. There is more than one moderator, and moderators do reconsider their decisions.
  • If you’re simply unsure about the validity of the closure, the best place to ask is on the community’s meta site. Asking in the meta site allows those who took the action to comment, and will help others to learn about the issues being discussed. You can find a link to a site’s meta in the two place in every site’s top bar: under the “help” menu in the upper right, and in the Stack Exchange site switcher in the upper left.

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Why are some questions marked as duplicate?

The fundamental goal of closing duplicate questions is to help people find the right answer by getting all of those answers in one place. This does not mean that every duplicate will immediately be closed; we love (some) dupes. There are many ways to ask the same question, and a user might not be able to find the answer if they’re asking it a different way.

Marking a question as duplicate is part of the question closing procedure, except when a question is closed as duplicate, the title is appended with “[Duplicate]” rather than “[Closed]”.

Once the question is closed as a duplicate, these comments are deleted and the duplicate information is automatically edited into the question itself. Some duplicate questions may eventually be deleted, but often they are left as a signpost pointing people towards the canonical answer to that question.

If you see a question and do not agree that it truly is a duplicate, edit it to highlight the differences, or try to get it reopened flagging it for moderator attention.
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What should I do when someone answers my question?

The first thing you should do after reading someone’s answer to your question is vote on the answer, like any other user (with sufficient reputation) does. Vote up answers that are helpful and well-researched, and vote down answers that are not. Other users will also vote on answers to your question.

As the author of the question, you have an additional option: accepting an answer that you believe is the best solution to your problem.

    To accept an answer:

  • Choose one answer that you believe is the best solution to your problem.
  • To mark an answer as accepted, click on the check mark beside the answer to toggle it from greyed out to filled in.
  • You may change which answer is accepted, or simply un-accept the answer, at any time.

Accepting an answer is not mandatory; do not feel compelled to accept the first answer you receive. Wait until you receive an answer that answers your question well.

Please do not add a comment on your question or on an answer to say “Thank you”. Comments are meant for requesting clarification, leaving constructive criticism, or adding relevant but minor additional information – not for socializing. If you want to say “thank you,” vote on or accept that person’s answer, or simply pay it forward by providing a great answer to someone else’s question.

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Why and how are some questions deleted?

Users can delete their own questions. Questions that are extremely off topic, or of very low quality, may be removed at the discretion of the community and moderators. Over time, closed questions that are not useful as signpoints to other questions may also be removed, as well as questions which have no significant activity over a very long period after being asked. If you want to improve a question to keep it from being deleted, click the edit button beneath it. See How to Ask for more tips on improving questions.

Moderators can delete any question, and users can request. Additionally, any answer that accumulates enough offensive or spam flags will be automatically deleted.

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What are tags and how should I use them?

A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories.

Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

Clicking on a tag below a question brings you to a page that shows all questions within that tag. You also see a description of what the tag is and how it should be applied on Ask Amiga (since sometimes the tag name is a common word that has a broad meaning in the real world but a very particular, narrow meaning on this site.) These descriptions comprise the tag wiki, which is editable by the community like any other post.

As a general rule, you should avoid creating new tags if possible, and new users are not allowed to create new tags. Even if you have sufficient reputation, you should only create new tags when you feel you can make a strong case that your question covers a new topic that nobody else has asked about before on this site.

Each question may only contain 5 tags at a maximum, so choose the ones that best describe your question. Spaces are not allowed in tags – create compound tags using hyphens rather than spaces (like [ppc-accellerator]) rather than multiple tags separated by spaces ([ppc] [accellerator]).

How to format tags

  • Use all lower case
  • Replace spaces with hyphens (-) to combine multiple words into a single word (e.g., tag “unit testing” as unit-testing)
  • Avoid punctuation (which can make it difficult to use the tag in a URL)
  • When naming a tag, think about how someone would search for that subject. In most cases this means typing out the full name, but you may also want to use the abbreviation. For example, [css] is probably more appropriate than [cascading-style-sheets]

Re-tagging

    As part of the editing process, users may suggest edits or directly edit the tags of a question if they feel a certain tag was used inappropriately or that the question is missing a tag. You should re-tag questions when:

  • You are adding valuable information to the question by doing so
  • You are replacing obscure or difficult to understand tags with well-known and popular tags that are appropriate for the question.

Avoid meta-tags

Do not use meta-tags in questions. Here are some tips to help you determine whether a tag is a meta-tag:

If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag. Every tag you use should be able to work, more or less, as the only tag on a question. Meta-tags, like [beginner], [subjective], and [best-practices], are not helpful by themselves – they do not communicate anything about the content of the question.
If the tag commonly means different things to different people, it’s probably a meta-tag. For example, the meaning of the tag [subjective] is, itself, subjective; the same is true for tags like [best-practices] and [beginner]. Best practices to whom? Beginner by what criteria? Use only tags that have a broadly accepted, objective definition.

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How do I ask a good question?

We’d love to help you. To improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Search, and research

Have you thoroughly searched for an answer before asking your question? Sharing your research helps everyone. Tell us what you found and why it didn’t meet your needs. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to try to help yourself, it saves us from reiterating obvious answers, and above all, it helps you get a more specific and relevant answer!

Be on-topic

Our community is defined by a specific set of topics that you can view in the help center; please stick to those topics and avoid asking for opinions or open-ended discussion. If your question is about the site itself, ask on our meta-discussion site. If you’re looking for a different topic, it might be covered on another site.

Be specific

If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context, we can provide a useful answer.
Make it relevant to others

We like to help as many people at a time as we can. Make it clear how your question is relevant to more people than just you, and more of us will be interested in your question and willing to look into it.

Keep an open mind

The answer to your question may not always be the one you wanted, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. A conclusive answer isn’t always possible. When in doubt, ask people to cite their sources, or to explain how/where they learned something. Even if we don’t agree with you, or tell you exactly what you wanted to hear, remember: we’re just trying to help.

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What should I do if no one answers my question?

First, make sure you’ve asked a good question (see relevant section for more details). To get better answers, you may need to put additional effort into your question. Edit your question to provide status and progress updates. Document your own continued efforts to answer your question. This will naturally bump your question to the homepage and get more people interested in it.

If, despite your best efforts, you feel questions aren’t getting good answers, you can help by promoting your question in other circles/sites.

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What does it mean when an answer is “accepted”?

When a user receives a good answer to his or her question, that user has the option to “accept” an answer. Acceptance is indicated by a colored checkmark next to the answer that has been accepted by the original author of the question.

Accepting an answer is not meant to be a definitive and final statement indicating that the question has now been answered perfectly. It simply means that the author received an answer that worked for him or her personally, but not every user comes back to accept an answer, and of those who do, they may not change the accepted answer if a newer, better answer comes along later.

Often, accepting an answer corresponds to reputation gains.

If you accept:

  • someone else’s answer: You gain +2 reputation and the author of the accepted answer earns +15 reputation.
  • your own answer: No reputation is awarded, and the answer does not float to the top of the list. You must wait 48 hours to accept your own answer.
  • a community-wiki answer: No reputation is awarded.

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How to reference material written by others

Plagiarism – posting the work of others with no indication that it is not your own – is frowned on by our community, and may result in your answer being down-voted or deleted.

When you find a useful resource that can help answer a question (from another site or in an answer on Ask Amiga) make sure you do all of the following:

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer
  • Quote only the relevant portion
  • Provide the name of the original author

Example:


According to Ernest Hemingway – Biographical on Nobelprize.org, Hemingway saw combat when he was a teenager. It says:

After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. Serving at the front, he was wounded, was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals ….

[other sources, quotes, explanations, etc. necessary to complete the answer]

Do not copy the complete text of external sources; instead, use their words and ideas to support your own. And always give proper credit to the author and site where you found the text, including a direct link to it.
See also:

What to do when plagiarism is discovered
Users are calling me a plagiarist. What do I do?
How do I write a good answer?

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Why and how are some answers deleted?

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:

  • commentary on the question or other answers
  • asking another, different question
  • “thanks!” or “me too!” responses
  • exact duplicates of other answers
  • barely more than a link to an external site
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question

If you wish to improve an existing answer, click the edit link. Answers can be deleted at any time by their authors, unless the answer has been accepted by the question asker.

Answers can also be deleted by the community. Moderators can delete any answer, and trusted community members can vote to delete answers scoring -1 or lower (3 votes will result in deletion).

Additionally, any answer that accumulates enough offensive or spam flags will be automatically deleted.
What happens when a post is deleted?

Once a post has been deleted, it will disappear for all users except developers, moderators, and users with over 10,000 reputation. Deleted answers are also visible to the original author. However, deleted posts can be undeleted by casting undelete votes. Once a post has 3 undelete votes, it will no longer be deleted.

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How do I write a good answer?

Thanks for taking the time to contribute an answer. It’s because of helpful peers like yourself that we’re able to learn together as a community. Here are a few tips on how to make your answer great:

Pay it forward

Saying “thanks” is appreciated, but it doesn’t answer the question. Instead, vote up the answers that helped you the most! If these answers were helpful to you, please consider saying thank you in a more constructive way – by contributing your own answers to questions your peers have asked here.

Have the same problem?

Still no answer to the question, and you have the same problem? Help us find a solution by researching the problem, then contribute the results of your research and anything additional you’ve tried as a partial answer. That way, even if we can’t figure it out, the next person has more to go on. You can also vote up the question or set a bounty on it so the question gets more attention.

Answer the question

Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.

Provide context for links

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

Write to the best of your ability

We don’t expect every answer to be perfect, but answers with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar are easier to read. They also tend to get upvoted more frequently. Remember, you can always go back at any time and edit your answer to improve it.

Answer well-asked questions

Not all questions can or should be answered here. Save yourself some frustration and avoid trying to answer questions which…

  • …are unclear or lacking specific details that can uniquely identify the problem.
  • …solicit opinions rather than facts.
  • …have already been asked and answered many times before.
  • …require too much guidance for you to answer in full, or request answers to multiple questions.
  • …are not about Ubuntu as defined in the help center.

Don’t forget that you can edit the question you’re answering to improve the clarity and focus – this can reduce the chances of the question being closed or deleted.

Always be polite and have fun

It’s fine to disagree and express concern, but please be civil. There’s a real human being on the other end of that network connection, however misguided they may appear to be. We’re here to learn from our peers, not yell at each other.

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Can I answer my own question?

Yes! Stack Exchange has always explicitly encouraged users to answer their own questions. If you have a question that you already know the answer to, and you would like to document that knowledge in public so that others (including yourself) can find it later, it’s perfectly okay to ask and answer your own question on a Stack Exchange site.

To encourage people to do this, there is a checkbox at the bottom of the page every time you ask a question. If you have more than 15 reputation and already know the answer, click the checkbox that says “Answer your own question” at the bottom of the Ask Question page. Type in your answer, then submit both question and answer together.

Alternatively, you may go back and add an answer to your own question at any time.

You can also accept your own answer, but you should leave it about 48 hours to do so. After all, someone else may come along with an even better solution to your problem!

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