Discussion Groups Help and Instructions

Discussion Groups Help and Instructions
Return to Discussion Groups


  1. Signing in and Cookies
  2. Posting a New Message
  3. Reading Messages
  4. Replying to Messages
  5. Adding an Image to Your Messages
  6. Searching For Messages

Signing in and Cookies

When you first visit this web, you will be shown a sign-in sheet which asks for your Name, Email Address, and a password. You may choose any name you wish. It will be used to identify you to the group. This information will be stored in a cookie, so that you will not have to type it in in the future. Should you lose your cookie, the sign-in sheet will appear the next time you log on to the Discussion Group. If you have cookies turned off, you will never be able to get past the sign-in sheet, so make sure you have them turned on!

Posting a New Message

From any of the non-search pages of this Discussion Web, you may add a new message. To do this, just fill out the form with the Subject and Message. The rest of your information is automatically supplied. Make sure that you only press the Submit button once, or your message will be posted as many times as you press the Submit button! Once your message is posted, you will see an alert box confirming your post. Note that the alert box indicates that you should not refresh the page. Refreshing the page will also post your message again!

Reading Messages

When you select a Discussion Group to read, messages from that group will be displayed in the order which you select. By default, this order is by date, from earliest to latest. Note the link at the top of the page which reads "Reverse Order." You can use this to reverse the current order of the messages, and this preference will be stored in your cookie, so that the order will remain the same until you change it again. You may also elect to limit the number of messages posted by selecting how many days old the message you wish to see will be. This is done by using the "Show messages up to X days Old" form at the top of the page. Fill in a number and click the "Go!" button.

Messages are displayed in a "tree" view, graphically displaying which messages are replies to which messages in any given Subject thread. to read any message in a thread, click the Subject of that message. You will be taken to "listmessages.asp," where all messages from that thread will be displayed. You will be taken directly to the message in that thread which you selected, and that message will be colored purple. All messages from that subject thread are displayed on the page. Each message on the page will have at least one navigation icon (these are arrows pointing right or left) in the lower right-hand corner of that message. The arrow pointing right takes you to the first reply to that message, and the arrow pointing left will take you to the message for which that message is a reply. If the right-pointing arrow is missing, there are no replies to that message. If the arrow pointing left is missing, you are at the first message in the thread.

Replying to Messages

When you read messages, each message will have a "Reply to This Message" button below it. This will take you to a form page showing the message you wish to reply to, with a form below for you to post your reply in. Again, as with a new message, push the "Submit" button only once, and do not refresh messages.asp after posting, or your message will be posted more than once.

Adding an Image to Your Message

You may send an email with an image attached to this web site, in order to have this image appear with your messages. Make sure to include the name by which you are identified in your postings, when sending the image file. This file should be in JPG or GIF format, and make sure that it is reasonably sized, in order to fit well on the page.

Searching for Messages

By clicking the "Search" hyperlink at the top of the main Discussion Group pages, you will be taken to a Search form, containing 6 form fields. Each field you place a value in narrows the search. Blank fields are ignored. The Subject and Message fields search will return any records containing the string you type in (the string is anywhere in the Subject or the Message). The Date field will return messages after and including the date you type in (make sure to use mm/dd/yy or mm/dd/yyyy format). The Email Address field will return records containing the exact email address you specify.

Once you post this form you will be taken to a page showing a summary of the messages that match your search query. By clicking on any of these messages, you will be taken to a page displaying all messages from that subject thread. You will be taken to the exact location of the message you chose, and the message will be colored purple.

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