Guidelines in plain language

First of all I think the forum guidelines are already written in plain language and everybody should read it before posting - but I know that it may still be difficult for some non-native speakers. For example, Creative Commons Licenses and most of code of conducts include a summary in plain language, and I think an equivalent for the forum guidelines would be helpful. What do you think? cc: @qianqian_ye @outofambit


@micuat do you mean specifically a plain language summary of the FAQ, or Asking Questions, or both?

The template text links to both of these when you create a new topic in most categories:

please format code with </> button * homework policy * asking questions
You may delete this before posting.

Anything we can do to make things more accessible, we should do!

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I suggest one simple succinct pinned post (on top) in all the categories that link to important guidelines:


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Thanks, I meant the guidelines. I thought it would be nice to have something like tl;dr - just to give people an idea of what to expect and how to behave even though they cannot follow the whole guideline because of language barriers etc.

Here is a proposed TLDR summary for the top of the guidelines – what do you think? Suggested changes welcome…

Summary (TL;DR)

Ask complete questions to get better answers!

  • Be specific. For example: I wanted a, I tried b, I expected c, but d is what happened instead.
  • Isolate your problem and work in small steps. Share only the code directly related to your problem if it is part of a bigger project, and if something isn’t working, try the smallest code that could do the thing you want.
  • Can we run your code to see the same thing as you?
  • Share what you tried. When you researched your problem, what did you find? What happened when you debugged your code?
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@micuat, @glv – I’ll go ahead and add this to the top of the guidelines if it is what you were requesting. Just give me a thumbs-up – or any suggested changes if you have them.

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My suggestion is summarized here:

It got 8 likes.

Our community should be able to easily find the guidelines and we can direct them to a single post.

Anything that will add clarity to the guidelines would help.

@jeremydouglass Thanks for all the work you are doing! It is noticed and appreciated.


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sorry I’ve been “touring” and didn’t have time to reply. Thanks so much for this and it looks great! I would say “be specific” can be more specific (or a concrete example) but I will give suggestion when I have more time to work on it. Thanks again!!!

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what about making it a bit more concrete, for example:

Be specific. For example: I want to load an image. I tried createImg(), and I expected the image to be on canvas, but what happened instead was the image showing up below the canvas.

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hey all, sorry i was slow to respond. i appreciate all the thought you are putting into this! agree that a short summary at the top of that pinned post is a good idea. having a link list sounds great too, i think it’s probably fine to go at the bottom like an index? but i defer to whatever you all think is best. :purple_heart:


Okay, I’ve added the example Summary / TLDR to the top of Guidelines—Asking Questions as per @micuat’s suggestion.

Do we need a Summary / TLDR for the other pages, like Answering Questions?

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Re:@glv’s suggestion to have something at the top of each category.

Currently, there are posts pinned at the top of each category called “About the X Category” – you can see them listed here:

However, our forum is configured with a setting like this.

automatically unpin topics: [X] Automatically unpin topics when the user reaches the bottom.

That means that everyone in theory reads them at least once, but then they unpin – the good thing is that they are out of the way, the bad is that they are harder to find after that. We could try to deactivate this globally, and it will “bring back” a fair number of pinned topics for lots of users. We could also see about overriding this – trying to make some pins stickier (?) or manually unpinning things…


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