TON Answers is a community-driven initiative to create a developer-oriented Q&A website inspired by StackOverflow.com for The Open Network (ton.org) ecosystem. The goal is to onboard new developers to TON easily and create an efficient collaborative environment where we can learn from each other.
The principles behind this initiative are:
- Decentralized community moderation - TON is an open community. If you have ideas and feedback you can be involved and become a contributor to this initiative. Please DM @talkol on Telegram to participate.
- Aimed for developers - Much like StackOverflow.com, this site is for programming-related Q&A. Don't ask for a recommendation about which new TON jetton to invest in or raise funds for your project.
- This is not a forum - Much like StackOverflow.com, we want to focus on straight to-the-point Q&A without idle conversations and chats. Use Telegram / Discord / ton.how for social community conversations.
- Heavy content moderation - StackOverflow.com is so successful because moderators heavily fix questions and categorize them in the right place. Don't be insulted if this happens to you.
How to ask an effective question?
- Is this a programming-related question? Is it related to TON? If not, it will probably be deleted.
- Be courteous and make sure this question wasn't already asked before. Duplicate questions need to be deleted.
- Provide enough details about your issue, can you give a code snippet in the question to demonstrate it?
- Please try to avoid creating new tags and reuse the existing tags listed here.
- If you include a code snippet, specify the language for proper syntax highlighting, for example
- Please ask questions only in English. We're trying to create an international ecosystem where everybody can participate.
How to post an effective answer?
- A theoretical explanation is not always clear enough. If possible, include an example code snippet to demonstrate your answer.
- Don't just link to an external page, copy the relevant part from the link content into your answer. External links may break, we want your answer to stand by itself.
- If you want to ask for clarification about the question, use a comment. Only post an answer if you understand what the person is asking.
- If you include a code snippet, specify the language for proper syntax highlighting, for example
What are the benefits of this Q&A site compared to asking in chat?
- Strong search engine optimization, which translates to better search engine results - Useful answers make great SEO content. When any developer (from TON-curious to TON-native) uses Google to search, we want them to find an answer efficiently on the first page. We cannot expect TON to become a leading layer-1 blockchain without such a presence in search results.
- Reuse old answers to help new people - Developers are usually struggling with similar issues. We want to avoid a scenario where developers get stuck and need to ask a previously answered question again if they could just Google for an archived answer easily.
- Questions asked on developer chats get washed down the drain - Most of the TON dev community is asking questions in the various Telegram chat groups. Questions asked there get buried in the chat stream. It becomes difficult to search for old answers and all the valuable knowledge does not get archived for later efficient search.
Why this standalone site, why not use StackOverflow.com directly?
The Q&A initiative for TON has been going on for several months. We did several community polls to see what people wanted. The majority of opinions were indeed to use StackOverflow.com so that was our first pilot.
We created a TON tag on StackOverflow.com and got several moderators with over 10,000 SO reputation and created a community incentives program funded by a grant from TON Foundation to reward people for asking questions and answering questions.
We ran the pilot on SO for about a month.. and the results were very poor. SO moderators came at some point and deleted all of our questions. We shared screenshots of these deletions with the community in the TON Society Telegram chat. A community member also contacted SO officially and asked them why all questions were closed. The answer was that they don't want this type of content in the site. We don't believe they have something specific against TON but a more general problem with crypto, where programming meets financial incentives.
It became very clear that we need a solution where the TON community can moderate itself.
Why use Scoold, why not Discourse or GitHub Discussions?
After the poor StackOverflow.com pilot, community members started throwing ideas for alternative platforms. The leading ideas where: GitHub Discussions, Discourse, Scoold, Wiki.
We personally love StackOverflow.com and think that their product is a work of genius. It's not a forum like Discourse. It's a tailor-made developer Q&A platform, very to-the-point and without duplicate/spam questions.
We tried to replicate the StackOverflow.com product with all 4 options and let the community play with the result and see which option people like best. There is nobody in TON Foundation forcing us to use any of these platforms. It's really a community effort. Configuring these platforms to behave like StackOverflow.com as closely as possible is not easy since many of them are not designed for this purpose. Discourse for example, presented a lot of problems, mostly because it was designed to be a forum. It does have Q&A plugins, both community plugins and official ones - but they're not very good. We tried to install them and the result felt like 75% of Stack Overflow.
Then @dariolol from the community suggested that we try Scoold - we never heard about Scoold but we gave it a chance. It's an open source project that copies the product of StackOverflow pretty much directly. The only thing we hated about it was its graphic design.. but the product is very close to the StackOverflow.com experience.
If you want to improve the design, you're welcome to propose CSS overrides. Look at the default site CSS and make your own stylesheet that overrides some of the values. This new stylesheet can be integrated in a few clicks.
Another cool property of Scoold is that it's open source and supports plugins. We have plans to give community grants for implementing a plugin that will allow users asking questions to offer bounties in TON Coin for answering their questions. This is a great use-case for TON - building a web3-based StackOverflow with a real economy.
What's with the corny logo TON Overflow?
We shouldn't take ourselves too seriously. This is a funny homage to StackOverflow. We honestly respect what SO did to the developer world. They really nailed the right product for Q&A. Every developer we know uses SO several times a day. It's true that we couldn't find a home for TON on SO (we really tried), but we still think SO invented something great and deserve the credit.
Any tips on how to use the Scoold Q&A platform?
You can, of course, always answer you own question if you know the answer to it. This way you are helping others and it will also earn you some reputation. You can ask as many questions as you want but keep in mind that duplicate questions might be voted down or even deleted.
Everything related to the website itself should be discussed in the 'Feedback' section. There you can post all your site-related questions, suggestions, general feedback or feature requests.
A question might be closed for various reasons — it has too many answers, it's a duplicate of another question or it's just inappropriate. Closing a question means that no new answers can be posted but that doesn't affect the editing functionality. A question is automatically marked for closing once it reaches -5 votes.
Everyone with the 'Teacher' badge can edit questions.
Answers can be posted to any question that hasn't been closed yet. The good answers are always at the top and one of them can be approved as the best by the author of the question. The approved answer should be the one that's most helpful to the author of the question, rather than the one with the most votes. You should avoid posting answers that are one or two words long. These should be posted as comments instead (see Comments).
Everyone with the 'Freshman' badge can edit answers.
Every time you edit a question or an answer, a new revision is created. Revisions keep track of all the changes in the text, title and tags of questions and answers. The first revision is the original. The next edit you make will create revision #1, followed by #2 and so on.
You can always switch back to the original or any other revision. Restoring back to the original does not delete any of the previous revisions but creates a new revision with the original text restored.
Comments can be posted on all questions and answers. Basically, anything that's too short for an answer should be a comment. Comments can also contain suggestions, corrections or criticism. Bad comments will be voted down and automatically hidden once they reach -5 votes.
Everyone with the 'Enthusiast' badge can post comments.
Voting and Reputation
Voting is an integral part of Scoold. If you like something useful or interesting, vote it up. Questions that are clear and well-written should also be given +1. The same goes for answers that are helpful. If something is poorly written, unclear, rude or inappropriate, vote it down.
Your reputation points measure how much other people trust you and like you. Reputation is earned by posting good questions and answers. It is also awarded with certain badges.
Voting is linked to reputation. You earn reputation points when your post gets voted up and you lose points if your post gets voted down. Voting down costs 1 reputation point.
|If your answer is voted up you get:||10 points|
|If your question is voted up you get:||5 points|
|If your comment, feedback or translation is voted up you get:||2 points|
|If your answer is approved you get:||10 points|
|If you approve an answer to your question you get:||3 points|
|If your post gets voted down you lose:||3 points|
|If you vote something down you lose:||1 points|
Badges are only given to those who deserve them. Being friendly and treating people with respect will always earn you badges and reputation points. So be nice and get some of these badges:
|Nice Profile||your profile is complete (+10 points)|
|Reporter||for each report you submit|
|Voter||voted more than 100 times|
|Critic||voted down 10 times|
|Supporter||voted up 50 times (+10 points)|
|Commentator||posted 100 comments|
|Editor||edited your post for the first time|
|Back in Time||each time you restore a post from a revision|
|Newbie||approved an answer to your question for the first time (+10 points)|
|Enthusiast||reached 100 reputation points|
|Freshman||reached 300 reputation points|
|Scholar||reached 500 reputation points|
|Teacher||reached 1000 reputation points|
|Professor||reached 5000 reputation points|
|Geek||reached 9000 reputation points|
|Good Question||your question reached 20 votes (+10 points)|
|Good Answer||your answer reached 10 votes (+10 points)|
|Eureka!||every time you answer your own question|
|Senior||your account is one year old|
|Disciplined||every time you delete your own comment|
If you ever notice any problems on Scoold, report them! This includes bugs, missing or incorrect information, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behavior. Every report you send helps us keep Scoold a nice and friendly place.