From WikiChip

#mSL is an IRC channel located on the SwiftIRC IRC network. #mSL was founded by Stirk and Patje in 2007; the years since have provided our community with ample opportunity to observe and experiment on strategies for helping users. Many of the following guidelines are the results of these observations and experiments. We assume new users want accurate, prompt help; we want to provide new users with accurate, prompt help. The following guidelines are best understood in this light. Adherence increases the likelihood of receiving prompt help.

Asking a Question

Asking a question is simple in theory; however, considerable possibility for confounding the helping process exists. In general, simply stating a question is the best course of action. The more effort in stating a question (e.g. clarity or directness), the more likely the question will be accurately, promptly answered. It is easier to advise how not to ask a question. Some common mistakes in asking a question are discussed below.

The most common mistake is asking to ask. #mSL is a channel primarily dedicated to answering questions regarding the mIRC IRC client or its scripting language. Typically, we must provide an obviously affirmative answer and then wait for the user to read our reply before he or she begins to type any relevant information about his or her actual question. Although asking to ask a question may seem polite, it is quite unnecessary in a channel with a focus on answering questions. It only serves to impede our goal of providing prompt help.

Another common mistake is asking a question whose purpose is to find an audience for a more specific question. Often, these questions sound like the people asking them are taking a survey of the channel, for example:

  • Is anyone in here good with sockets?
  • Are there any COM whizzes in here?

Because of their similarity to asking to ask a question, these questions should be treated in a similar manner; avoid asking them in favor of immediately asking the actual question.

The XY Problem

The XY problem is described as such: You have a problem (let's call it X) and you want to solve it. You try to solve it using the straightforward method but you couldn't quiet get it right or you don't know how to do that. You think you can solve it using a totally different method (let's call it Y) which is more obscure. But unfortunately you don't know how to do that either. You come to #mSL asking how to do Y. Because it's not the straightforward or the simple method, we find the whole question really strange. It's best to simply tell us about the original problem, X, so that we can guide you to the correct answer instead of jumping through hoops trying to solve, Y, which is simply strange.

Targeting Specific Members for Help

By targeting specific members, the function of a channel as a public forum is rendered ineffectual. The most common means of targeting one or more specific members for help is highlighting users, especially channel operators, from the nick list immediately after joining the channel. There isn't any reason to highlight a member of the channel for help. If that member is actively helping at the time, he or she will see your message. Otherwise, the highlight is generally annoying. Most take offense when someone assumes he or she deserves special attention from the channel operators.

The second most common means of targeting specific members for help is attempting to communicate with a member through private messaging. Ask your question in the public channel, not in a private query. The reason should be obvious. When a question is asked in the channel, the questioner has the resources of every person actively helping at that time. When asked in private, the questioner has the resources of only a single person. When asked in the channel, mistakes made by one person are corrected by others. When asked in private, mistakes made by the helper go unchecked. When asked in the channel, the best solution is more likely to be given.

Sharing Code

Eventually, you may need to share code in #mSL, for which there are two choices: sending the code directly to the channel or uploading the code to a pastebin, which is a site dedicated to the storing and sharing of text, especially code. In general, if you need to share three (3) or more lines of code, upload your code to a pastebin and then share a link to the pastebin upload; otherwise, directly communicating the one or two lines of code to the channel is acceptable.

We support, created by our very own Stirk, but we accept links to any and all pastebin sites.

Important Disclaimer

These guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are neither universally accepted nor rigorously enforced. Different channel operators may react differently to the same behavior. For example, the maximum number of lines of code you are allowed to post directly in the channel before you are required to upload to a pastebin is not universally agreed upon. One channel operator may ban for spamming four lines of code while another may not mind six lines of codes. In brief, these guidelines are open to interpretation by channel operators, not by regular users. In general, your safest bet to insure you receive help is following these guidelines.

Final Words

Remember a helper is a volunteer who is devoting his or her free time to answering questions. We enjoy what we do; hence, our eagerness to help is proportional to your eagerness to learn. We respond poorly to demands and rudeness.

Really Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions that get asked almost every day:

How can I mimic SwiftSwitch colors in mIRC?

To color the mIRC nicklist similar to how SwiftSwitch colors is, type the following command:

//tokenize 46 $str(.-r 1,$cnick(0)) .* 4 @&~.* 7 % .* 2 +.* 10.on | .cnick $*

Help! I can no longer right click on people in my nicklist! How do I fix it?

It appears like you've misplaced your popup script for whatever reason. First, let's try restoring it using the following script which will check if the file still exists and if it is, it will load it.

//var %x = $qt($mircdirscriptspopups.ini), %y = $qt($scriptdirpopups.ini), %z = $iif($exists(%x), %x, $iif($exists(%y), %y)) | if (!%z || (!$ini(%z, lpopup, 0))) echo -a * Error restoring popups | else { tokenize 32 -ps -pc -pq -pn -pm | load $* %z | echo -a * Popups Restored }

If you've revived an error or the popups could not be restored, you will have to manually restore them. Head over to this post. Download it to your mIRC directory, and save it as popups.ini

To open your mIRC directory, type:

/run .

Once you have saved the popups.ini to your mIRC directory, you have to load it into mIRC. So type:

//tokenize 32 -ps -pc -pq -pn -pm | load $* popups.ini

You should not have your popups back.