|1 Posting Messages|
|1.1 There are so many knobs and switches on this thing! What do they all do?!|
|(NOTE: Not everything on this display with be included on the
message board that you're posting. It depends on the configuration of
- If you are in a MB that uses multiple thread modes, this
message will appear to briefly describe how they work.
- Some forums may not allow you to post unless you're at a certain user
level. This message will appear if that is the case.
- This is where you put your nick, or if you prefer, your real name. If
you've posted a message before, this entry automatically gets filled using
a Name cookie.
- If you are posting on a protected message board, you will have to enter your
password. This entry will disappear after the first time you enter
it. (This is because it records a Password cookie.)
- You are not required to enter an e-mail address to post unless you plan on
the replies to be mailed to you. (See #21.) This entry
disappears if you already have it filled in on your defaults.
- This display reports your IP number, including all the proxies you hit and
the IP name. It's used to prevent name spoofing and makes the banning
of users much easier. The administrator may have disabled this
display for privacy reasons, so you might not be able to see it. However,
admins can still see it, regardless of the setting. This is so admins
can still ban offensive users.
- This reports your browser and OS. There is no real reason for it, except
for the stats screens and as a conversation piece. If you encounter a
browser/OS that it can't detect properly,
with the HTTP_USER_AGENT info and I'll add it into the next version of
RPGBoard. (The HTTP_USER_AGENT info is located next to the reported
browser/OS in the form of a HTML comment.)
- This is the subject of your message. Self-explainatory.
- This button is used for posting "No Text" messages. NT messages are
short messages/replies that don't have any real content in them except for
the subject. They are marked with a "(No Text)" tag in the headers.
(Putting *nt* on the end of messages was used to simulate this, hence the
name of the button.)
- You can post an image before your message by inserting a complete URL
here. You can also put images in your message by using the IMG tag (if
HTML is completely enabled on your MB). (NOTE: This blank is not available
if the administrator set Limited HTML or No HTML on messages.)
- This is where you put your message. Duh!
- If you're writing a rather long message, it's recommended that you save your
message often (in case your browser or OS crashes or some other mishap).
Or if you want to save a partial message and finish it later (like on another
computer), you can do that, too. You can only have one saved message.
Saving another one overwrites the first.
- Appearing on replies only, this button will grab the text of the current message
and place it in the body of your own. If HTML is enabled, it will
automatically boldface the paragraphs for easy replying.
- Spoiler messages are black-on-black (or white-on-white or whatever) messages that
aren't normally shown unless you highlight them either with your mouse or pressing
Ctrl-A. (NOTE: This feature might not available on your MB.)
- Normally, when you write a message, RPGBoard formats it to look right, such as
<BR> tags after returns, <P> tags after double-returns, etc.
In some occasions, you don't want it to do this, like when you are writing pure
HTML code. The default is on. (NOTE: This feature is not available if
your administrator has disabled HTML for messages.)
- If you want to include a link to a page, you can fill in the title of the link
and a complete URL of the page that you want to link. If HTML
is enabled on the message board, you can alternatively use A tags in your message
body. (HTML is described below.)
- This link points to the background display page. (This is provided, of
course, that the administrator has enabled multiple backgrounds.)
- This entry is to choose your background. You can select a default background
on the defaults page.
- If your administrator included message tags, you will be able to use these as
warnings/notices to the content of your message.
- This is used to further describe the content of your message. The text
before the entry blank is editable by the administrator.
- Some people just want to pop in a message board, ask a question, and wait for an
answer. This option is for them. Every reply to this message will be
e-mailed to the e-mail address you specify as a HTML message. (A text
version is also supplied if your e-mail viewer doesn't support HTML messages.)
- This will give you three options: Preview & SpellCheck, Preview w/o SpellCheck, and
Post Message. It's recommended that you preview your message before posting
it. (NOTE: The adminstrator may have turned off the SpellCheck, in which case,
you will only see Preview Message and Post Message.)
- This link points to the defaults page. You can set various
options to suit your enviroment, including your background (if enabled), your e-mail
address, your standard font, your standard screen size (to elongate the blanks to
your screen width), etc. Also, you will need to register your name to post
messages on protected boards, and to delete your messages.
|1.2 The MB allows HTML, but I don't know any! What can I try out?|
|Well, here are a few HTML tags to try out (They can be in lower or
|<font color="#FF0000">Also Red</font>
|<font face="Impact">Impact Font (if available)</font>
||Impact Font (if available)
|<font size="+1">Bigger Font</font>
|<big>Also Bigger</big> <small>and smaller</small>
||Also Bigger and smaller
|<a href="index.html">A link</a>
|<img src="sample.gif" width=200 height=50 alt="Sample"> (Don't forget the width/height/alt stuff!)
|<b><i><u><font color="red" face="Impact" size="+1">All together now!</font></u></i><br>Don't forgot to close your tags, else you might get attributes that stay on (like this boldface).</b>
||All together now!
Don't forget to close your tags, else you might get attributes that stay on (like this boldface).
|1.3 HTML is turned on, but I still can't use TABLE tags. What's wrong?|
|I've included the option to disable TABLE tags (by default)
because they can cause some major problems with messages if somebody screwed
them up. Common problems were: none of the message could be seen (missing
</TABLE> tag), message text that spilled outside the main message table (using a
</TABLE> tag to end the table), a never-ending link/font that extended past the
message (using the above trick and forgetting to end the A/FONT tag), etc. The best
solution was to remove TABLE and T[HRD] tags altogether. Sorry, but by containing
the message inside its own table limited message and HTML problems to only the message
body, and not the rest of the page.
|1.4 Can I post a no-text message with a link or image?|
|Yes. If you fill-in the link or image fields at the bottom
and post it as a NT message, it'll post the message with the link or image (or both)
in the message. NT messages with links and/or images have a "Link/Image Inside"
inside the tag. (This is the reason for two *nt* buttons.)
|2 Message Defaults|
|2.1 What are messages defaults?|
|Message defaults are various customizations you can make to your
account to make your messages unique and set various options to suit your enviroment,
including your background (if enabled), e-mail address, standard font, time zone,
standard screen size (to elongate the blanks to your screen width), mini-biography,
etc. Also, you will need to register your name to post messages on protected
boards, and to delete your messages.
|2.2 What do all the fields and buttons on the defaults screen do?|
|(NOTE: Not everything on this
display with be included on the message board that you're posting. It
depends on the configuration of the MB.)
- This is where you put your nick, or if you prefer, your real name. You
can change to something else, though your old name will be removed.
- This is where you can change your password. Please remember it as it
is used for changing your defaults, deleting messages, and in some cases,
posting messages. (See question 4.4 for hints if
you forgot your password.)
- If, for some reason, you need to delete your record, you can do so by checking
all three boxes and hitting the button at the bottom.
- This is your e-mail address. Not necessary, but it is required for the
e-mail reply functions.
- Your default font is automatically used in all of your messages. It's
recommended that you include multiple fonts (separated by commas) as
alternatives for people who don't have your font.
- If you want your font to automatically be bold or italic (or both), this
option is for you. (Any B or I tags in messages are adjusted such that
it will be the opposite of your setting.)
- These obviously adjust the default alignment and margin of your messages.
- This link points to the background display page. (This is provided, of
course, that the administrator has enabled multiple backgrounds.)
- This entry is to choose your default background for all of your messages.
- You'll need to set your time zone to get the correct times, as everything is
recorded in GMT. Be sure to get the right daylight savings time, too.
(See question 2.5.)
- These various options control how dates are displayed.
- This controls how you want to display replies on the main index pages. Some
options are affected by the thread mode of the message board:
- Only show root threads: Hides all replies in all thread modes.
- Show conversations: Hybrid mode, hides all replies except new
conversations. Threaded mode, shows everything. Semi-threaded
mode, hides all replies. (Option only available if a hybrid mode
forum is set up.)
- Include last message indictator: Hybrid/semi-threaded modes, like
show conversations, but adds the LMI to all messages/conversations with
replies. Threaded mode, shows everything. (Option only
available if a hybrid/semi-threaded mode forum is set up.)
- Show everything: Shows all replies in all thread modes.
- Usually, RPGBoard will display the entire root message thread in messages.
You can change it to only display the replies (based on the current message).
- RPGBoard has various header styles to choose from, based on styles from other
(inferior) message board scripts. (See question 2.6 for
information on the different header styles.)
- If set to "neat", very long subjectlines on the index will be truncated, based on
how deep the message is in the thread. This is to curb the one-word-per-line
phenomenon, usually found on 10+ deep message threads.
- If this is turned on, your deleted messages will be shown on the main index
pages. (NOTE: This option is always on for admins.)
- If the board has user moderation turned on, you can control how low the score
needs to be before a message disappears from view. The lowest setting turns
off moderation ignoring. (The latter is always the case for admins.)
- These two options affect whether you want to block out footers or cosmetics (=
custom fonts and backgrounds), on both single and collated messages.
- Normally, NT messages are shown as headers in collated messages, to save on
bandwidth (and give another use for NT messages, which are otherwise pointless
in collated messages). This option affects this behavior.
- By default, your name and password cookies last for a year before they
expire. If you're on a public computer most of the time, you might
want to change this to 10-15 minutes so that nobody abuses your nick and
deletes your messages. (See question 3.2 for more info
- This is used for setting the default setting for the submit box. Normally,
a message will always preview on default, but this behavior is changable through
- Set this to your screen size to change your field sizes. (See question 2.4.)
- If turned on, RPGBoard will automatically save your messages every time you
preview or post a message. This is helpful for those people that forget to
save their messages, or it can be a easy way to correct errors on messages you've
already posted. (For the latter case, you would delete your old message,
reload it from the saved file, correct the mistakes, and post it again.)
- Here you would put all the nick/forum combos that you want to ignore. See question 2.3 for more details. (NOTE: Admins have a limited
form of ignore lists. They can still see the header, but they can't reply to
- Your footer goes here. You can use HTML tags if it's allowed in
- See item 12 in question 1.1.
|2.3 What's the ignore list for? Why would I use it?|
|The ignore list is a "personal
ban list" of sorts. Any messages from the names that you list will not show up
in the threads. (This includes any replies from those messages, for obvious
reasons.) There are a couple of reasons why you would use this. One, if
you have some spammer annoying the site, you can ignore him/her until the admin
comes in and kicks him/her out. (Of course, you should still warn the admin
first.) Also, if you have somebody who is just plain annoying, you might go so
far as to use the ignore list.
|2.4 How come, when I changed the screen size, nothing happened?|
|You probably didn't notice it
but it does change the size of some of the form fields to match your screen size.
|2.5 It's nothing much, but why could you have changed the daylight savings time automatically?|
|Believe me: when I was implementing
the time zone feature, I really wanted to do that. However, you can blame the loose
implementation of DST for the lack of automation. Not only do some of the countries
not follow it, some of the states in the US don't even follow it. On top of
that, there's no standard date on when they follow it. Ugh!
|2.6 What are the different header styles?|
|3 Operating RPGBoard|
|3.1 How does message deleting work?|
|If you make a mistake in a message, or figured out an answer to your
question just after you asked it, or just otherwise want to delete your message, just go
into your message and click on the delete button. You may or may not need to enter
your password, depending on whether you have a password cookie. (See the next question for more information on cookies.) You can only delete
a message if you own it and there are no replies to it. Beyond that, you'd have to
ask an administrator to delete it for you. Also, only admins can undelete messages.
This is so that a spammer/flamer couldn't undelete his own messages (which the admin just
|3.2 What's with these cookies and why should I use them?|
|Cookies are small pieces of information stored on your computer that
can be retrieved later. RPGBoard uses these to store your name and password. Once
you type in your name and password, you never have to enter them again. You'll notice
that your name is automatically filled-in, and the password blank disappears if you already
have a valid password cookie. You can set the expire time for your cookies in your
|3.3 What are the thread modes and how do they work?|
|There are five different thread modes in RPGBoard:
- Description: Messages are fully threaded. All replies are
connected to each other. This is the default mode.
- Pros: Good multi-purpose thread mode
- Cons: Doesn't work well with the two extremes of message population
- Uses: General forums
- Netiquette: Obvious
- Description: All messages are unthreaded, similar to the way
mailing lists work.
- Pros: Index headers are easier to read
- Cons: Lacks the structure of threaded mode
- Uses: ML/MB crossovers, small forums, guestbooks
- Netiquette: Try to compose long list of replies into digests,
instead of sending multiple messages. Address the person you're
talking to, or use quoted text.
- Description: Similar to non-threaded, except all of the messages are
- Pros: All messages are on one page; no clicking on links
- Cons: Lacks a threaded structure (like non-threaded), messages tend
to expire faster
- Uses: Very small forums, personal chat forums, guestbooks
- Netiquette: Same as non-threaded, though more care should be taken with
the netiquette in flat mode forums.
- Description: Combination of threaded and flat modes. All replies
are connected to the root message.
- Pros: Everything is put into structured conversations
- Cons: Limits threads to one topic
- Uses: Q&A forums, UBB junkies
- Netiquette: Address the person you're talking to, or use quoted text.
Please stay on the topic of the thread.
- Description: Combination (hybrid) of threaded and semi-threaded modes.
Like semi-threaded, except conversations can deviate to other sub-conversations (by
clicking on the "View Message" link and replying to it).
- Pros: Thread structure is much neater than threaded mode, theorically
the best mode available
- Cons: Hardest mode to use
- Uses: Forums with very high thread density, UBB junkies
- Netiquette: Address the person you're talking to, or use quoted text.
If the current conversation is shifting out of the current topic, please start
a new sub-conversation, but only do it if you have to. (Constantly starting
a new sub-conversation for a two-way debate is fruitless.)
|3.4 Why does the "Preview Message" stay on all the time? People have to select "Post Message" in order to post it.|
|The reason it behaves like that is because some people have browsers
with the unfortunate behavior of clearing the message boxes when they hit back.
This causes a lot of grief, especially with long messages. Another unfortunate
thing would be to post a message accidently and realize that it contains a slew of
errors. That's why the "Preview Message" option is default. However, this
is configurable as an option in the defaults menu.
|3.5 How does the advanced search work?|
|The advanced search method should work just like most web
search engines. It uses +/-/"phrase" searching, similar to AltaVista and
Excite. For example, say that I use the following:
+"foo bar" -Train +password testing words
The messages MUST have the phrase "foo bar" and the word "password". The
messages MUST NOT have the word "Train". The messages should have AT LEAST ONE
of the following: "foo bar", "password", "testing", "words". Since the word
"Train" uses capital letters, it's a case sensitive match. The rest of the
words are matched case insensitivly.
|3.6 How does user moderation work and what is it used for?|
|User moderation is a feature for regulars to "vote" on the
quality of the messages. It's basically a form of democratic administration,
best used on very large and popular message boards. It works like this: If
you are a fairly regular poster (= usually 100+ posts; though it is on a
per-forum basis), you will be able to vote once on a message to upgrade or
downgrade the score. Messages with a high score have a square bullet on the
headers, while messages with a low score have a unfilled disc for a bullet.
When the score drops below your moderation threshold, the message disappears from
Please note that this is to mark the quality of the messages, not
to reflect your opinions of them. If you disargee with a message but it
makes a valid argument, then don't downgrade it. As a general rule, just
ask yourself "Should this message be deleted?", because downgrading a message
below somebody's moderation threshold has the equivalent effect of deleting it.
|3.7 How exactly does hybrid mode work?|
|Hybrid mode is a combination of the threaded and semi-threaded
modes. All of the messages are combined, like semi-threaded, but you can start
different sub-conversations, like threaded. However, as it's a unique mode not
found in any other message board, it may cause some confusion as to how it works.
It's relatively simple. You start out with the main thread. Then, people
reply to that main thread. Instead of threaded-mode's forced threading for a
simple conversation, all of the replies are found under the main thread, similar to
the way semi-threaded works. However, unlike semi-threaded, you can click on
"View Message", reply to the message, and start a new sub-conversation.
For example, Person A starts the thread about the founding of religion. Persons
ABCD continue with the main conversation, based on the main topic (the founding of
religion). Person C writes a message relating to science versus religion.
Person D, sensing that Person C's message would open a whole new can of worms, clicks
on "View Message" and starts a new sub-conversation on Person C's message. Person
C's message is both a part of Person A's main thread (founding of religion), and as
the conversation starter for a new sub-topic (science vs. religion). The
conversation on both ends goes on as normal, and then Person B writes a message about
evolution, within the science vs. religion thread, which Person A starts as another
new sub-conversation. This sub-conversation stretches on for 30-40 replies, but
since it's within Hybrid mode, it doesn't cause that 40 threaded-deep bullet nightmare.
Two-way conversations (aka bitching matchs) don't have to kill the thread's structure
with all of that thread pollution. Instead, they are nice and neat, and if you
select a Header Index mode beside "Show Everything", you don't even have to see the
replies for a conversation that you don't care about. The Last Message Indictator
(LMI) is useful for figuring out if there are any new messages in a conversation (while
keeping the threads as small as possible), as well as proper use of the log viewer.
BTW, I recommend you start out with these defaults:
Headers in index: Show everything
Collated messages: No footers or cosmetics
Collated NT messages: Expand as messages
Look at it that way first and experiment with it to your own tastes. Any other
(helpful) suggestions and comments about the format are appreciated.
|4.1 Where can I download this great script?|
I'm always around if you need help setting up your own message board.
|4.2 Why is the script called RPGBoard?|
|When it was first started, RPGBoard was originally a message board
script designed for role-playing game (RPG) message boards because that was what my MB
was. Later, people wanted to use it for their own MBs and it grew to include a bunch
of features that could be used in any message board script, such as the message defaults
and spell checking. So, I included configurability for the gaming-specific features
(like the message tags and spoiler message field). Since V2, RPGBoard is an all-purpose
message board script, but I've decided to keep the name anyway.
|4.3 Hey! What happened to ResonatorSoft.com?|
|Heh...now there's a story! Too big for the FAQ, so
I put it here.
|4.4 Help! I forgot my password! What do I do?!|
|Don't panic! If your password cookie is still stored
in your computer, then you can change it without even knowing your old one.
Go to the defaults screen and enter your name. Leave the password field blank
and click on the button. If it lets you in, you can change your password to
something that you won't forget this time :) If not, you can still ask an
admin to change the password, as they have the power to do that.
|4.5 I'm having trouble posting! Could I e-mail you for help?|
|No! I, SineSwiper, am the guy who maintains this script,
NOT the maintainer of the message board! The admins (and in
most cases, only the admins) can solve your problem themselves, if you ask
them. I'm not trying to be rude, but I get plently of e-mail as it is from
administrators (much less misguided users) who need help.
|4.6 I have a feature I want to add to RPGBoard. Can I e-mail you about it?|
|Yes! Feel free to
if you have anything to add. However, you should read
section 6 of the Admin FAQ first.