Forums Update, Tips and Tricks - Please Read!

Started by stephaneb 8 years ago12 replieslatest reply 2 weeks ago2810 views

It's been a few months since the launch of the new forums.  Here are a few thoughts.

The thumbsup and beer buttons   

If there is one thing that could have a significant and positive impact on the forums is if the users would click on the thumbsup and beer buttons on a more regular basis.


The thumbsup button is a good way to help the system know when a user post makes sense and contributes positively to a discussion.  Posts that receive the most number of thumbsups will be listed higher in the thread.  As a user, you can distribute as many thumbsups as you want (infinite supply) but you can only allocate one thumbsup per post (not per thread!).  So if in a given thread, you think that many posts are contributing to the discussion, you can go ahead and click on the thumbsup button for all of them!  Although I would suggest that you focus your thumbsups on the most deserving posts.

Please take the habit to use the thumbsup button in every thread in which you participate or follow. 

As for the beer button, every new user to the forum is allocated 10 'beers' that are meant to be distributed to other users.  Every beer is worth $2.  So basically, every new forum user gets $20 in reward money to be distributed to other users.  No money is coming of the user's pocket (there is no cost to the user) so no need to be nervous about this.  It's all paid for by sponsors.  

So if you ask a question and one or two or three users generously answer your question, please go ahead and click the beer button associated with their post so I can reward them with a couple of dollars on your behalf to thank them for their time.  If you are just a lurker in the forums, you can still distribute your beers to users if you appreciate their contribution to a discussion.


Hashtags are used by the system to organise the archives.  For instance, here are all the posts that have been tagged by the

When posting a new thread, please take a minute to think about the most relevant hashtag(s) to categorize your post, and make sure to add the hashtag to your post.  

Ping a user

When a new thread gets posted, all users who are subscribed to the forum (and haven't unsubscribe from email notifications) will receive a notification email that a new thread has been posted.  

Also, when you reply to a post, the person who wrote the post that you are replying to will be notified.

Now, there might be occasions when you would like to ping a user in particular to draw his/her attention to your post.  To ping a user, you have to know his username.  My username is stephaneb.  To trigger an email to myself, I will simply type @stephaneb and if everything goes well, I should receive an email notification that someone (me!) wants to draw my attention to a post.



Many users are already making good use of the Mathjax engine that is running in the forums in order to display equations. A few pointers/tricks:

1- To post an equation, simply surround TeX code with a couple of dollar signs on each side:

$$ E  = mc^2 $$

$$ E = mc^2 $$

2- If you want your equation to be displayed inline, use:

\(  e^{i\pi}+1=0 \)

\( e^{i\pi}+1=0 \)

3- Mathjax tutorial

4- You can inspire yourself from someone else's TeX code. Try to right click on the code and if it is rendered with Mathjax, you should be presented with the option to 'Show Math As' -> 'TeX Commands'.

Images & Files

Adding images and files is as easy as dropping them into the editor.  A few tips:

1- Try to resize and optimize the image before you upload it.  Keep your image to a maximum width of 600px.

2- If the image you would like to add to your post is already online somewhere on the web, you can simply copy/paste the url of the image and the editor should automatically add the image for you (fingers crossed).  Let me try this myself:

Wow, I love it!

Code Snippets

When you want to add a code snippet to your post, I suggest that you:

1- add the snippet in the editor where you want it in your post

2- select the full snippet with your mouse

3 click on the 'Formatting' -> 'Code' button at the top of the editor:


This is all I have for now, please use this thread to test these things, suggest improvements, ask questions, etc.   

And thanks a lot for using the forums on the #RelatedSites! 

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Reply by martinthompsonApril 23, 2022

Thanks Stephan - I looked for a thumbs-up button to give your initial post some cred (like you can for good questions on Stackoverflow) - have you considered such a setup for *related?

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Reply by stephanebApril 23, 2022

YES!  This has been on my todo list for too long - I will try to implement it asap.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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Reply by wolf22April 23, 2022

Dear Stephane,

Thumbs-Up buttons and beer buttons? Is this the level we expect? A bavarian 'Wirtshaus' with men sitting around a round table in their 'Lederhosen' drinking the beer in a 'Masskrug' and eating 'Weisswurstel'?

I do not think so. Looking on the tiny question I asked some months ago, I feel rather mis- or simply un-understood. May be it's a barrier of language and country. Are we searching for solutions of problems - or simply talking about the problems without intending to find a solution (and meanwhile eating our 'Weisswurstel')? Assuming this I feel rather uneasy.

kind regards


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Reply by dcomer_backupApril 23, 2022

Hi Wolf22,

Just my opinion on the thumbs up feature. The value of the thumbs up is akin, in my experience, to an application wish list. That is, there are certain features, want-to-haves, and areas of interest to the community at large. I do not think of it as people voting to find a solution, it's more of a gauge for the author(s) and moderator (Stephen) of the form to understand what the community is interested in. In a nutshell it is an informal mini-survey. Some view thumbs up as a popularity contest. I believe there is a collective group of serious members that do not ignore a topic because it does not have enough thumbs up. Rather, it can help point one to a solution.

I hope you take my input as constructive and not criticism. I might be more inclined to agree with you if the concern was the beers button. It seems that the beers button somewhat redundant. But then, I don't disparage those that disagree and like the beers button.

Dave Comer

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Reply by LaszloApril 23, 2022

Thanks Stephan for the good wrap-up ! 

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Reply by napiermApril 23, 2022

Hey Stephen,

Is there a search capability?  Subject, keywords, poster, etc.?


Mark Napier

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Reply by stephanebApril 23, 2022

Hi Mark,

there is a search box in about the middle of the right column when you are browsing the forum. It isn't perfect but will do a keyword based search of the archives for you.

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Reply by RayonthetrackApril 23, 2022

This is great! I love that we can tag individuals. Lets really take this community to a more intimate level of knowledge sharing!

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Reply by simonzzApril 23, 2022

Hello @stephaneb, 

Thank you for this guide.

I want to suggest a preview button when posting, of course it should be helpful.



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Reply by stephanebApril 23, 2022

Hi Simon, 

I agree that a preview button could be helpful and thank you for the suggestion but in the meantime, the ability to edit your own posts (once posted) allow you to quickly make changes and correct errors if any...


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Reply by lignumApril 23, 2022

How do you PM someone on this forum?

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Reply by CustomSargeApril 23, 2022

Howdy, did something go wonky with the "Top Contributors" counter?

Not that I keep track... DOH

I Do try to keep up with others (matthewbarr is my metric) in my relative count range. Not to best, but neither trail.

While I'm here - the Beer "vote" is a good idea, but at a count of 10, how do you judge those SO worthy? May I suggest a "shot of beer" being 1/10 of the current beer. With a count of 100, more may be given out. Maybe a 1/20th? - just an idea...and like all, not necessarily a good one.  L8R  <<<)))