Registration Agreement

The VSIDO Community Code of Conduct

Introduction:


To have an account on The VSIDO Community site, you must agree to this Code of Conduct. This code of conduct applies in any and all areas of The VSIDO Community and the freenode VSIDO Channel(s) #VSIDO.



The purpose of The VSIDO Community is to provide a fun place to discuss VSIDO Linux. We also want this to be a place where our community can develop and we can enjoy one another's company. To achieve this, we strive to maintain an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all and we ask all members of the community to be respectful at all times. This means please use etiquette and politeness. Treat people with kindness, gentleness and respect. If you do this, the rest of the code of conduct won't need more than a cursory mention.



All posts made to The VSIDO Community express the views and opinions of the author of each post. Those liable for the content of posts and private messages are the ones submitting the material, and not the administrators, moderators, staff, webmaster, The VSIDO Community, VSIDO's web host, or anyone else.



This is a moderated forum, but only in the sense that we act to deal with content that violates The VSIDO Community code of conduct when we become aware of it. The staff of The VSIDO Community attempt to edit or remove any objectionable or illegal material as quickly as possible. However, with the volume of activity we have on our site it is impossible to review every message.



Users agree not to post anything abusive, rude, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, advertising or marketing related, or sexually-oriented. Material that suggests illegal activity or contains illegal content is also forbidden. We do not support circumventing TOS, EULA, etc here. Such threads will be closed and offending users will be penalised with infractions and warnings. Also, our forums are used by people at work and school and we want to ensure they will not encounter material that will cause them problems or cause their access to our site to be limited, so all content should be safe for work and school.



Users posting any content that violates this code of conduct may receive a warning or an infraction that creates a record of the behavior and will be connected to the account (this record is only visible by the member and staff), may have their posts edited or removed, may have their account or IP address banned temporarily or permanently, and could have a report filed against them to their internet access provider. The IP addresses of all users are recorded to provide evidence or assist in enforcing these rules.



Finally, you agree that The VSIDO Community staff have the right to remove, edit, move or close any post, topic or thread at any time they see fit following the guidelines outlined below. You agree that the staff of The VSIDO Community have the right to send a private message with a warning and/or censor any forum user who is in violation of The VSIDO Community code of conduct policy.



Section I - General Policy:



1:)Respect The VSIDO Community Staff: We provide a service in our free time to keep the community running efficiently. We are all volunteers. Feedback is welcome in "Community Feedback and Help" and this is also the place to request assistance with forum software issues. If you believe an error has been made in moderation or other staff actions, please post politely in the "Resolution Center" and help us understand your perspective.




2:)Adult Content, Violence, Illegal Activity: Messages containing violent, sexually oriented, or illegal content or links to sites with this content will either be deleted or saved as evidence. Messages with links to or suggesting illegal activity will also be deleted. Posting or linking to any of these could result in a ban.




3:)Trolling, Attacks and Flaming: These are always forbidden.

   (a)Trolling is posting in a way that provokes emotional responses.
   (b)Attacks and derogatory terms of any kind are not welcome. This includes references to other operating systems and the companies that produce them.
   (c)Flames are messages that personally attack or call any people names or otherwise harass. These, along with any generally condescending posts will be edited or removed at the moderators discretion.
   (d)If a thread is flame-bait (appears to be intended to start an argument or is likely to cause an argument rather than enhance discussion, as in trolling), it will be locked or removed without notice. Individual flame-bait comments in a post may be deleted or edited at the moderators' discretion.
   (e)If the thread turns into an argument, it can be closed to further comment or removed without notice. Sometimes a moderator may split the thread or delete certain portions in order to keep the discussion going, but that is not always possible since we are a staff of volunteers with limited time and numbers.




4:)Spam (unsolicited advertising): Spam will be removed and the account posting it will likely be banned. You are allowed to have links to personal sites in your signature and in your profile, and may post them in threads on occasion (just not often, please) as long as the content of the site linked does not include material that violates this code of conduct and if you are not posting any other form of advertising.




5:)Profanity: We have users of all age groups and of all tolerance levels where profanity is concerned. A language filter is in place to catch most major forms of profanity that may accidentally be used. Do not attempt to circumvent the language filter by using variations or slight misspellings of profanities.




6:)Politics and Religion: These two topics have caused serious problems in the past and are now forbidden topics in The VSIDO Community. Please find another venue to exercise your freedom of speech on these topics.




7:)Thread Drifting/Steering: Please keep discussions on topic.




8:)Report Posts: If you have found a post or receive a private message that you feel is inappropriate or that violates The VSIDO Community code of conduct, please use the report function to notify staff. Do not attempt to moderate discussions or correct other users yourself.




9:)Images: Be prudent in your use of images; they may help to explain something more clearly or indicate a problem you are experiencing better but you have to remember that not everyone has the same bandwidth. If an image is the best way of handling the information, please use thumbnails.  Images must be hosted at an image hosting site such as zimage.com. There are many more, google is your friend!




10:)Links: You may post links to sites with content that is acceptable according to this code of conduct. This is most useful when giving tech support and explaining a topic and then linking to a wiki page or Linux site with more information. You may also link to your personal site.




11:)Signatures: Forum signatures are limited to four lines of text, 10pt maximum font size. Signature content must conform to the same guidelines as all content in this code of conduct.




12:)Avatars: Images must comply with the content guidelines of this code of conduct. A discreet image from your religion is permissible if it is not ostentatious, disruptive, provocative, or for the purposes of proselytising. Political avatars are not permitted at all.  Ever!  This will result in you not being able to post until said image is replaced.




13:)Multiple Accounts: Users may only have one active account. If you feel you have justification for requiring a new account, please contact an administrator to discuss your situation. Users who have multiple accounts without approval of an administrator may be penalized or banned.




14:)Private Messaging: Asking support questions via private messages is strongly discouraged. It is unlikely that users will respond to these requests and it defeats the secondary intent of The VSIDO Community to be a resource for people seeking assistance using internet searches and forum searches.




15:)Editing of posts: When a post breaks guidelines and requires editing in order to bring it back under compliance with this Code of Conduct, the moderator should issue an infraction which will keep a copy of the original post in the staff area. Only after the original post is preserved as evidence should the original post be edited. In the private message automatically sent when the infraction is issued the moderator should specify or describe which part of the Code of Conduct was broken.




16:)Thread Closing: Staff are not required to do so, but are requested to post an explanation in a thread that is closed when time permits. This is a non-exhaustive list of reasons a thread may be closed, but will give the general idea:

   (a)The thread has run it's course and posts have begun repeating themes
   (b)The thread has degraded into an argument
   (c)The thread topic is a duplicate of another current and active thread
   (d)The thread is very old.




17:)Staff: Staff are chosen by the Administrator of The VSIDO Community. Users who have demonstrated a consistent attitude of friendliness and kindness and who have shown a pattern of helpfulness in their posts may be contacted and invited to serve. Recommendations are made by current staff in the staff forums or other users by private message. All recommendations are considered. Due to time constraints and privacy issues the Administrator/staff is unlikely to comment publicly on these recommendations.




18:)Staff posting and moderating in the same thread: This is generally discouraged. Exceptions include when no one else is available or when content very clearly violates the code of conduct.




19:)Appeals: If you have a complaint about a staff action or believe an action was taken in error, the process for dealing with that is to first post in the Resolution Center and a member of The VSIDO Community staff will respond.


Section II - Posting Tips:




When asking for technical support:


1:)Search for posts on the same topic before posting a new question. Sometimes using Google to search The VSIDO Community works better than our own search function. You can do so by entering your search in the Google search bar followed by site:The VSIDO Community.


2:)If a post is older than a year or so and hasn't had a new reply in that time, instead of replying to it, create a new thread. In the software world, a lot can change in a very short time, and doing things this way makes it more likely that you will find the best information. You may link to the original discussion in the new thread if you think it may be helpful.


3:)Try to give clear, specific information in the title of your post. Also, please resist the urge to use a sensationalist, extreme, and flame-baiting title like "I've had it with VSIDO!" "I bet you can't solve my problem" or "VSIDO sucks".


4:)Include as many details as you can. Include as much information as you know, like software version numbers or computer hardware specifications. If you do not know how to find out the information that a user is requesting of you, ask them how to find the information they have requested.


5:)Post a follow up with a "Thank you" or "This worked!" It's always nice to let the people that help you know that you appreciate their help and it lets future readers know the information was useful. You can also mark a thread solved as a courtesy.


6:)When you learn something, use that knowledge to help another user later.


7:)While we are happy to serve as a resource for hints and for asking questions when you get stuck and need a little help, the VSIDO Community is not a homework service. Please do not post your homework assignments expecting someone else to do it for you. Any such threads will be taken offline and warnings or infractions may be issued.


8:)Write your posts in English. We have many users from many different countries that visit here and English is the common language of this community.


9:)Refrain from using "leet" speak or excessive or unclear slang.


10:)Do not shorten your words to acronyms or abbreviations or use URL-shortening services, as is often done when texting or in a Twitter-style update. It is very difficult to read and understand and you are not limited to a small number of characters.


11:)Use color and font properties for highlighting portions of your text, and not for all of the text in your post. Please use the default font color and properties unless you need to highlight or draw attention to a part of your post. ALL CAPS is interpreted as screaming. Funky[/COLOR] non-uniform font size/color is difficult for those who are visually impaired. If you are having problems with reading the font, please adjust your browser.


12:)Do not cross post, or post the same thing in multiple locations.


When answering technical support issues:


1:)Be considerate to the person asking the question. Yes, some users are harder to help than others, but please be respectful to all users.


2:)Try to avoid acronyms and jargon when giving instructions.


3:)If the users' question has been covered in another thread, please give them a description and the link.


4:)If you wish to remind a user to use search tools or other resources when they have asked a question you feel is basic or common, please be polite. Any replies for help that contain language disrespectful towards the user asking the question are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This includes things like STFU, RTFM, and LMGTFY as well as the obvious forms of disrespect.


5:)Always assume that the user is a new user unless you're certain the user is not.


6:)To avoid confusion and auto-formatting issues, please use [CODE] tags around terminal commands.


7:)Wrap long outputs from commands or other text to prevent users from needing to scroll through the content inside [CODE] tags.


8:)Remember to do things the VSIDO way. Often there is more than one solution to a problem. Choose the one you think will be the easiest for the user and the method most commonly used for VSIDO.


9:)Never instruct users to do anything that might break their system.


10:)Explain each step of the solution. If possible, try to teach the user while giving a solution to them. Teaching begets more teaching.


11:)If you're uncertain if a procedure is correct, please tell users so. If your procedure has inherent risks, please tell users what they are.


12:)Replies to questions that ask for help running legitimate software (albeit closed source or proprietary) that do not answer the question, but instead instruct the user that they should not be using that software on the grounds that it is not free serve only to frustrate and confuse the user and may be removed. The goal of The VSIDO Community is to first provide technical assistance and then to educate users on the benefits of VSIDO and other FLOSS or free software.


This code of conduct may change and evolve with time based on constructive feedback and experience. It is our hope that these policies will foster helpful, honest, and civil interaction. It is the users' responsibility to check this page for updates.  All public forum data is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License and should be attributed to The VSIDO Community.




Last updated, 11 January 2013