Getting started

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Getting started

Post by StormyJerry » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:52 pm

Getting Started

NOTE: For details on these and related topics, see

The forum is built with software (phpBB 2.0, that allows people to post ideas, opinions, and information. Posts are organized in a way that makes it easy for people to find what they are interested in without having to wade through unrelated material.

Postings are organized into three subdivisions:

--Post - A post is a piece of information submitted by a single user. It may be a new post, which starts a new topic, or a reply to an existing post. Posts are typically a sentence, paragraph, or a few paragraphs.

--Topic - A topic is a collection of posts. The posts are organized in chronological order. The idea of a topic is that there is a single post that contains the topic of discussion. The rest of the posts in the topic are replies to this first post and to other replies. Topics are sort of like conversations, allowing many people to state their opinions about an idea, or debate an issue.

--Forum - A forum is a container for topics. Forums often have a general subject that the topics within are about. For instance, we have an Applications and Utilities forum, which contains topics in which people would discuss i-Tree components and their opinions about them.

Navigation is based on these subdivisions. Generally, a user will start at the Forum Index. The Forum Index shows a list of forums. If you click on one of the forums, you will be shown the View Forum page, which is a listing of the topics in the forum. By default they are sorted in chronological order by the most recent post in each topic. If you click on a topic, you will be shown the View Topic page, which is a listing of the posts in that topic. The posts in a topic are organized chronologically, with the oldest post first.


User Accounts

The Forum is based on a user system. When a user is logged in, his/her username will be shown with each post he/she makes. Each user may also have some custom settings which allow them to control the look and feel of the board as they use it.

In order to log into the board as a user, you must register a username. To do this, click the small “Register” link at the top of any page.

You will be taken to the Registration Agreement Terms, which you must agree to in order to register. You will then be taken to the registration information form. Fill out each of the required fields, and any of the optional fields you like. The settings on the registration form will be incorporated into your profile (see below).

When you register, you must specify an email address. All email from the board to you will be sent to that address. You must check your email and click the activation link there before you may log in.

Logging In

In order to post using your username and use your custom settings on the board, you must log in.

To log in, you may use the small login form at the bottom of the Forum Index page. Alternatively you may click the small “Login” link at the top of any page. Enter your user name and password, and click “Login.” Once logged in, you be able to post with your username, change your profile, check private messages, etc. To log out of the board, click the small “Logout <your username>” link at the top of any page.

If you forget your password, go to the Login Page. Click “I forgot my password.” You will be taken to a form to enter your username and email address. A new password will be created, and sent in an email to you. When you receive the email, you need to click the new password activation link. The new password activation link exists so that if someone else enters your information into the Forgotten Password form, your current password will remain intact. After you have activated your new password, you may log in with it. You may change your password to what you like in your profile.

Profile Settings

To edit your profile, click the small “Profile” link at the top of any page.

You must be logged in to edit your profile. To make changes to your profile, change the values on the form and click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.

Each user may choose his/her own avatar or small picture associated with each post. See Forum Rules for limits.



There are two primary ways to create a post.

--In the View Forum and View Topic pages, you may click “New Topic.” This will take you to the posting form, and, when you have posted, will create a new topic with your post as the first one in the topic.

--In the View Topic page, you may also click “Reply.” This will take you to the posting form, and, when you have posted, it will add your post to the topic you replied to. To reply to a specific post, you may also click the “Quote” button in the upper right corner of that post.

When you post a new topic or post a reply, you are taken to the posting form. Here is a short explanation of what you will see:

--Subject - The subject of your post. If this is a new post, the subject is required, and it will be the name of the topic. If the post is replying to another post, the subject is not required, but may be added, and will be shown at the top of the post.

--Message Body - The Message body is a large text area where the body of your post is input. Plain text is the only thing allowed in this text area, but special formatting, links, smilies (emoticons), images, etc. may be added.

-- Smilies - Smilies (also called emoticons) can be added to posts. If you would like to disable them in your post, check the box next to “Disable Smilies in this Post.”

--Signature - You may add a signature to your post. To do this, check the box next to Attach Signature. You may change your signature by editing your profile.

--Reply Notification - When you post, you may be interested in knowing when that topic is replied to. If so, you may check "Notify me when a reply is posted."

--Sticky/Announcement - To make a post into an Announcement or a Sticky Topic, use the buttons at the bottom of the posting form.

--Polls - To add a poll, look again to the bottom of the posting form. These options will only be visible to a user who has permission to make Polls.

To quote all of someone's post, look at the top right corner of their post and click “Quote.” This will take you to the posting form, and will allow you to reply to the post.

To edit a post, look at the top right corner of your post and click “Edit.” You will be taken to the posting form to edit your post, and then click “Submit.” If you edit a post after it has been replied to, a small message will appear at the bottom of it indicating how many times it has been edited, and when and by whom the last edit occurred.

To delete a post, click “Edit” and check “Delete this Post.” Click “Submit” to finish deleting the post. You may not delete a post if it has been replied to (i.e. it is not the last post in the topic).


Private Messages

Private messages allow users on a board to contact each other out of the public eye. Private messages can be described as a cross between email, instant messaging, and forum posting. To use private messaging, you must be logged in to the board. Look at the top of any page, and click “You have <number> new message(s).” This will take you to your private messaging center.

There are three primary ways to send a private message.

--You may go to your private messaging center and click “New Post.”

--You may click “Post Reply” from a private message you are reading.

--You may click the “PMlink” on any user's profile or post.

The posting form is identical to the normal posting form except that the username should be the person you want to receive the message. If you are replying to a PM, or clicked the PM link in someone's profile, this field will be automatically filled for you.

When you have a new private message, the Private message link at the top of every page will display “You have <number> new message(s).” You may click this link to take you to your Inbox. If you have enabled email and pop-up notification in your Profile, you will also be informed by those.

You may delete messages by selecting them and clicking "Delete Marked." Alternatively, you may delete all messages by clicking "Delete All." You may also sort/display messages by age by using the dropdown list box in the upper right corner.

When you send a PM, the message goes to your Outbox. It remains in the Outbox until the recipient visits his/her Inbox, at which point it is moved from your Outbox to their Inbox. While the message remains in your Outbox you may edit or delete your post if you like. The message remains in your control until it is received.

The Savebox is provided as a place to keep important PMs. Often it is used to save valuable messages from the Inbox, and then you can use the Delete All function to discard the rest. You may save messages in your Inbox by selecting the messages (with the checkboxes next to each message) and clicking “Save Marked.”


Usergroups are set up by the Forum Administrator to allow moderator permissions, private permissions, and any other special user settings to be granted to multiple people. This makes it easy to change settings for a group that has things in common without having to edit each user's individual permissions.

There are three types of user groups:

--Open - All users may see the group and group members. Users may request membership to this group.

--Closed - All users may see the group and group members. Users may not request membership to the group, but may be added by the group moderator.

--Hidden - The group and its members are not visible to normal users. Users may be added by the group moderator.

To join an open group, click the small “Usergroups” link at the top of any page. Choose the group to join from the “Join a Group” dropdown list shown, and click “View Information.” This will take you to the Group Control Panel. Click “Join Group” to request membership in the group. The Group Moderator will receive an email informing them of the request, which they must approve before you become a member of the group.


To get to the Forum search page, click the small “Search” link at the top of any page. Fill in the fields as you wish, then click "Submit."

Watching Topics

You may subscribe to topics. When a topic you are subscribed to is replied to, an email will be sent to the email address that your username is registered to. The email will contain a link to the topic that has been replied to. You will only receive one email per topic until the next time you log in to the board.

To subscribe to a topic, look at the lower left corner of the Topic View page. Click the small “Watch this topic for replies” link. Additionally, if you post or reply to a topic, you may check “Notify me when a reply is posted” to subscribe to a topic.

To unsubscribe from a topic, look at the lower left corner of the Topic View page. Click the small “Stop watching this topic link.” Alternatively, you may look at your notification email. At the end of the email (right above the signature) there is a link that will unsubscribe you from the topic.