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10 Commandments 

In Memoriam

Terms of Use

VB Petition


Charter for CDMA
MS Newsgroups - Rules of Conduct
Dealing with Trolls
Searching for an Answer to a problem?
Asking questions the right way
Additional Resources

Feeling left out ? Alone?  Wondering why everyone's ignoring you?  Or why you're being flamed for what you deemed an innocent post?

The following tips will not only help you, they will help us help you.

Charter for comp.databases.ms-access

Access is a RDBMS for the Windows Operating System. It includes WYSIWYG design tools for easy creation of tables, reports, forms and queries and a database programming language called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). 

The purpose of the group will be to provide technical help to people who use Access to create simple databases as well as to people who use VBA to create complex databases.


CDMA (along with other technical newsgroups) is a forum for communicating ideas, and you'll find plenty of those here, ranging from brilliant to educated misconceptions, including lucky shots from ignorance.  Understanding what you derive here is the only way to ensure you get something useful. Blindly copying code and methods from what is posted here may get you into more problems than you had to begin with, in which case you're the only one to blame.

If you're looking for help with your homework, consider the fact
that if you were bright enough to come here for help, your
teacher might be as well.
Some teachers lurk in this newsgroup, and at least one has asked for our help in creating questions for you!
The failure on the assignment you are about to receive by asking
your question here is your own!

The following are specifically forbidden in the CDMA newsgroup:

  • Advertising of any kind, even if the product is free, a demo, or otherwise. You may answer a question with a link to a commercial site which pertains to the question. You may also add a phrase and/or link in your signature.
  • Job Postings of any kind, regardless if the posting is for help wanted or someone looking for work.
    1. You may, however, through your regular contributions to the group find that you are solicited via e-mail with opportunities.
    2. There are a variety of resources available to you via other avenues. www.Dice.com is one such resource.  Although not endorsed by this newsgroup, it has certainly enabled a number of our participants.
  • Binaries (zip/exe attachments, v-cards etc.) of any kind. If the exchange of such files is necessary, they can either be emailed to an individual who has agreed to take a closer look at your problem, or they can be made available for download over the web.
  • "Spam", chain-letters and other irrelevant material.  Everybody gets enough of this in their personal mail-boxes. They shouldn't have to deal with it in the newsgroups too! (See also "Answering Questions The Right Way", 4c ii.)

Microsoft Newsgroups - Rules of Conduct 

Peer-to-peer support Newsgroups on Microsoft's news server, managed by Microsoft Product Support Services, have their own specific rules of conduct to ensure a smooth flow of information.

Dealing with Trolls (obnoxious posts) 

The easiest way to deal with Trolls is to ignore them. If they are especially obnoxious, you may want to kill-file (filter) them out.

To do that in Outlook Express:
1. Select a post with their name.
2. From the menu, choose Message
3. Choose Block Sender
4. Answer Yes to the dialog.
This will delete all messages from the selected Author.

Here are the instructions for Agent 1.8:
1. Select a message from a troll
2. Hit Ctrl+K
3. Set the Kill Action to 'Delete'
4. Click OK.
This will delete all messages from the selected Author.
The help file has instructions about more elaborate filter expressions.

Additional details and instructions for other newsreaders can be found at: http://www.hyphenologist.co.uk/killfile/killfilefaqhtm.htm

Searching for an answer to a problem?

  • Start by doing your own research. Look in the help files first!  The help files that come with Access are actually a great source for help (not counting Access 2000, that is).
  • If you've exhausted your options in the help files, try Google. Most likely, someone else will have had a problem similar to yours.
  • It might be quicker to look through the last few hundred messages (that's about a days worth of messages), than to post and wait for an answer.
  • The Access Web is your next stop in your search.
  • Do not confuse this newsgroup with Microsoft Technical Support. No one here owes you a response. People provide responses to questions asked in an appropriate manner as they see fit. This is a public forum where no one gets paid.

Asking questions the right way

  1. Do not expect anyone to answer via e-mail.  You posted the question(s) to a newsgroup, and should expect the same for any answers.
  2. Do not send e-mail to folks posting answers. Everybody has a job and a life, and don't have the time to respond to individual questions.
  3. Multiposting is bad!
    1. You commit the crime of multi-posting your questions by posting the same question to several different newsgroups, one at a time.

    2. Several folks who could answer your questions take this as a serious misuse of newsgroups and will likely ignore your questions.

  4. Crossposting is ok provided you include only the relevant newsgroups
    1. You can cross-post a message to different newsgroups by including the newsgroup names separated by a semi-colon.

    2. Obviously, this feature is easily and often abused.

    3. Don't be too surprised if you get a email message complaining about your cross-posted message!

  5. Use the subject line properly.
    1. A question with a proper subject line is more likely to get a reply than one with a generic cry for help.

    2. The subject line should be brief, yet descriptive of the problem, and also include the version of Access which you are using.

    3. Avoid changing the subject line as the thread develops.  While
      many newsreaders will track a thread based on posting references, some newsreaders, notably Google and Yahoo, only track threads by subject line.  Thus, by changing the subject line, some of the original "audience" tracking the thread will be lost and may not see your post at all. 
      i. Remember that with the volume of traffic here, not everyone is
         able to read every post and many simply browse subject lines -
         if the subject is an area not in their area or not part of a
         thread in which they are participating, that post may not be read. ii. To thank contributors, it is acceptable to add a "Thanks"
          AT THE *END* of the current subject line.
          It is just as effective, however, to leave the subject line as it
          is and express your thanks in the body of the post.

  6. Your Keyboard has a Shift Key. Use it! .
    1. Messages and Subject lines in all caps is considered shouting, annoying and rude.

    2. Messages in all lowercase are somewhat harder to read. So, leave the caps lock off, and use that shift key when appropriate. You may of course use caps to emphasize a word.

  7. Clear and concise questions are more likely to get a clear and concise answer..
    1. If you get a message box notifying you that something is wrong please include this information in your post.

    2. If you get an error number, include that too!

    3. Letting us know what your table looks like, AND WHAT IT'S ABOUT
      helps us answer your questions about queries, forms and reports.
       i.  Making Access guess about it is a bad idea.
       ii. Making *us* guess is even worse!

  8. Be thoughtful of bandwidth and other folks' thought processes.
    1. Trim the messages you are replying to.
      1. Include quotes, but not excessive ones.
      2. The standard rule of thumb is to include only enough to "jog" the person's memory.
      3. Please include =something= of the message you are replying
        to however.  With 300+ messages a day, it's not always
        easy to remember what was discussed!
    2. Do not post HTML or attachments.
    3. Short code segments are very useful, long ones annoying.
    4. If you can't explain it, no one else is likely to understand it either!
    5. Understand that folks are helping you.
      1. Do not be rude to someone answering your question (Rule Number One!) .
      2. Don't bite the hand that freely feeds you.
    6. Don't confuse a concise reply with an insult. Assume that a reply is *not* meant as a personal attack.
    7. Look for Smileys :-), grins <g>, and other "Emoticons".
      1. When you see one, the preceding statement was not meant to be really serious, don't take it as such.
      2. If someone uses an acronym that you don't understand, head for the Acronym Finder for enlightenment.
  9. Things get missed. If you don't get an answer in 2 days, re-post after re-reading your first post for clarity.
  10. This is a community.

    1. We're all human!
      1. Well, those of us who aren't Borg, anyways!
    2. Let folks know what worked when you thank them, and...
    3. Thank all the folks that helped you in *one* message.
      1. This lets us know that no additional help is needed, and
      2. That we gave out the right answer!
      3. (We're all still learning...)
    4. Answer as well as ask.
      1. It is ok to be wrong sometimes.
      2. If proven wrong, accept it gracefully. (See 10a.)
    5. If you are 90% sure, say "I think..."
    6. The use of your real name, unlike some juvenile handle, says "please take me seriously."
    7. These are real people.
      1. Read the From header and/or Signature line and realize that there's a person behind the online persona.
  11. The internet is archived.
    1. Think twice before you hit Send.
      1. Especially if you are angry at the moment.
  12. Don't set your computer to post from the future.
    1. Posting a message with the time/date set to the future causes your message to remain at the top of the queue in most peoples newsreader. Therefore, it has become a common strategy to attract more attention.
    2. Such posts are generally ignored, and may subject you to criticism by the people in the newsgroup.
    3. You have now been warned against doing this! Post that way at your own peril.

Answering questions the right way

  1. All the rules for "Asking questions the right way" still apply. 
  2. *Everyone* is allowed to answer questions. 

      a. You don't have to be a genius or a wizard or the author of a
          best-selling book.
             i.   Although there are quite a few newsgroup regulars who
                  are all of the above.
             ii.  The point is that you do not need to be on a select list
                  of official responders; there is no such list.
      b. You _do_ need to have some inkling about the subject you are
             responding to.
             i.   If you are not sure of the answer, but have some advice
                  that may be helpful, post it with disclaimers.
                  (See below).

  3. Advise people of the nature of your response.
        a. If you are not sure of the answer, say so.
             i.   If you are hesitant about your answer, it may help to
                  wait a while to see if anyone else responds. If not,
                  then go ahead and post, with the proper disclaimers of
             ii.  Conversely, if you are absolutely sure, say so. It may
                  help people to filter out the answers that are potential
                  solutions vs. the answers that are proven fixes.
          b. If the code you are posting is off the top of your head and
             untested, say so!
             i.   The usual term for such code is "air code", because it's
                  been pulled from thin air
          c. If your answer applies only in certain situations, say so.
  4. Be polite.
          a. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
          b. If you can't make heads or tails of the question, a polite
             request for clarification will get better results than
             belittling the poster.
             i.   English isn't the native language of everyone.
          c. The best way to deal with a troll is to ignore him.
             i.   That's the best way to deal with spam, too.
             ii.  If you _do_ feel compelled to respond to a spam post,
                  delete all product identifiers, internet addresses,
                  and company names! Otherwise, you will just be giving
                  the advertisement more exposure.
          d. Use emoticons (smilies) whenever something you say could be
             taken the wrong way.
  5.  Tailor your answer to the proficiency level of the question.
          a. This can be more difficult than it sounds.
             i.   If in doubt, it's usually best to err on the side of
             ii.  Or better yet, ask for clarification.

Additional Resources

The Access Web

Additional Sites

MS Access Web Ring

Thanks to Kathleen Joeris and Karl E. Peterson for providing parts of this document.

1998-2010, Dev Ashish & Arvin Meyer, All rights reserved. Optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer