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The FAQ 
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Post The FAQ
We need to have a discussion about this page. Here's what I think about it:

The FAQ is far too large. It is also a poor way to organize information. I have been trying to move some information from the FAQ to the rest of the docs, where appropriate.

It seems that we have been adding questions to the FAQ that get asked on these forums. The assumed reasoning is that if we add the answers to those questions to our FAQ, they won't be asked on the board again. This may work sometimes, but we have to assume that most people asking questions on the board here haven't read the documentation. There are several points here:
- Do not automatically decide that if a questions is asked on the board, it needs to be added to the FAQ.
- Only add questions to the FAQ that are FREQUENTLY asked. Like once a week or something. Less than that, I probably wouldn't consider frequent.
- A better place for questions that are asked on the board might be the new FAQ Forum.


Before you add something to the FAQ, ask yourself: "Is there anywhere else in the docs that this might fit (better)?"

The reason you should ask yourself this question is that the FAQ is just a huge list of questions and answers. The answers are mostly without context. Also, some FAQ answers duplicate information found elsewhere in the docs. If you can integrate your information with some other section of the docs, it would be better than adding it to the FAQ.


Some other thoughts I have about the FAQ:

Many of the questions in the FAQ are related to troubleshooting ZSNES. I would like to move a number of these questions to a new Troubleshooting section in the Support page. I think having all the troubleshooting-related stuff in one place will be good.

I also think we need to have a sticky thread that will be exclusively for discussing FAQ additions/modifications/removals. This way we can delete questions that have become outdated and such.


My overall desire is to have the FAQ be much smaller. Right now it is just too large and has such a variety of questions that it scares me to look in it and try to find anything (and I'm assuming an end-user would be even more scared than me).

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Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:37 am
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I pretty much agree with these sentiments.

I can't think of anything in particular at the top of my head... the FAQ forum will increase over time (though I'm certainly not going to allow a question about "I cannot start FF3", since you would have to be retarded not to try every possible button under certain conditions).

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Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:42 am
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Post Re: The FAQ
Jipcy wrote:
- Only add questions to the FAQ that are FREQUENTLY asked. Like once a week or something.

I don't know about once a week, but I see certain questions asked all the time. Questions like will my save state... seem to be asked on the forum or IRC ~20 times a year.

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Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:29 pm
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I thought perhaps my ROM question was a bit dumb to add from the FAQ, after all I only see it 10-15 times a year, the most recent being last week.

Then not 5 minutes ago in #zsnes:
Code:
<M0E-lnx> can zsnes play snes roms?

And yes, this guy was being serious.

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Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:12 pm
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I looked over the FAQ; here are some of the questions that I think could be candidates for removal, or better placement elsewhere in the docs. I'm also interested in suggestions about the DOS FAQ.


Universal Qs

What is the "save directory"? - This isn't an FAQ. I just dumped this here because I felt it needed to be explained better.
Why aren't my settings saved after I close ZSNES? - I'm not sure if this is an FAQ. Most questions I hear about things not saving pertain to SRAM.
Why do my savestates refuse to load? - This info can be moved to the Readme, or the upcoming Troubleshooting section that Jipcy has been planning.
Can I use save states and movie files from other emulators? - Is this an FAQ? Maybe it could be moved to the Readme.
Why are my movies going out of sync? - This is covered in the Readme.
ZSNES says that my ROM is interleaved and has a header. What does this mean? - I think this is covered in the NSRT guide.
Why don't my games work after applying IPS patches to them? - This can be better covered in the Readme, or in the Troubleshooting section.
Does ZSNES support Snes9x, GoodSNES, and NSRT ROMs? Or only ZSNES ones? - I don't think we need this one.
Does ZSNES support transparencies? - I think this question is mainly pertaining to the DOS port.
Why are the graphics really screwed up? - I don't think this is an FAQ. Having to edit the percentage of execution is probably something that doesn't happen often.
Why do my scanlines look awful? - Not sure what to do with this one ATM.
Why am I missing some video filter options? - Is this an FAQ?
Why is my stereo sound reversed? - This doesn't seem to be a FAQ, and I'm sure most people having the problem would find the option in the Sound menu anyway.
Why am I missing some sound options? - This doesn't seem to be a FAQ.
Why can't I set the keys/buttons for Player 2? - Since the current device is now always highlighted in the listbox, this may no longer be an issue.
Why won't ZSNES accept input when I'm configuring the keys for my gamepad? - This could be mentioned in the Troubleshooting section.
Can I use two SNES add-on devices at once? - This could be moved to the Games page.
Can you please make ZSNES faster? - This question just seems pointless to me. It's already the fastest SNES emulator!
Can you implement dynamic recompilation into ZSNES? - Not a FAQ.
Why does ZSNES crash as soon as I start it? - Is this still a common issue?
Why does ZSNES crash as soon as I load a ROM? - Not sure what to do about this, but I don't think it's an FAQ.
Does ZSNES support loading ROMs which are compressed? - This is more or less covered in the Readme.

Win Qs

Why do I get a black (or corrupted) box when I start up ZSNESw? - This isn't an issue anymore, AFAIK.
Why am I seeing double, with strange colors? - Same as above, AFAIK.
What is the KitchenSync, and how do I enable it? - Not a FAQ, AFAIK. This is just random info dumped here because we didn't know where else to put it.
Will ZSNES Win be able to use my sound card? It wouldn't work for me in the DOS version.
How come I don't get any sound? - This FAQ and the one above could possibly be unified somehow.

SDL Qs

We should probably add a new question about crackly sound in Linux.

DOS Qs

Why am I getting error messages regarding VESA 2 drivers? - Not sure about this one.
ZSNES gives me an "out of memory" error and I only have 16MB of RAM. How do I fix this? - This one should be removed.


Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:06 am
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xamenus wrote:
I looked over the FAQ; here are some of the questions that I think could be candidates for removal, or better placement elsewhere in the docs. I'm also interested in suggestions about the DOS FAQ.


I'll look the DOS FAQ over at some point.

Quote:
Universal Qs

What is the "save directory"? - This isn't an FAQ. I just dumped this here because I felt it needed to be explained better.


Yes, it does. In fact paths may need a better explaination (we have some ongoing thread for someone who doesn't quite understand the damned thing).

Quote:
Why aren't my settings saved after I close ZSNES? - I'm not sure if this is an FAQ. Most questions I hear about things not saving pertain to SRAM.


Well, the cfg file issue happened to one person for some reason.. but generally the SRAM issue is more common.

Quote:
Why do my savestates refuse to load? - This info can be moved to the Readme, or the upcoming Troubleshooting section that Jipcy has been planning.


Sounds good.

Quote:
Can I use save states and movie files from other emulators? - Is this an FAQ? Maybe it could be moved to the Readme.


Possibly.

Quote:
Why are my movies going out of sync? - This is covered in the Readme.


Probably.

Quote:
ZSNES says that my ROM is interleaved and has a header. What does this mean? - I think this is covered in the NSRT guide.


I guess.

Quote:
Why don't my games work after applying IPS patches to them? - This can be better covered in the Readme, or in the Troubleshooting section.


Yes, it does happen... some people still have problems with IPSes really. A recent IRC user seriously had no idea what to do.

Quote:
Does ZSNES support Snes9x, GoodSNES, and NSRT ROMs? Or only ZSNES ones? - I don't think we need this one.


It doesn't really need to be covered, but if you elaborate on roms for a bit to have no "specific associations to any app/emu" would be nice.

Quote:
Does ZSNES support transparencies? - I think this question is mainly pertaining to the DOS port.


Even TRAC's SNEeSe has transpancy now, this question is way out of date and only matters for DOS.

Quote:
Why are the graphics really screwed up? - I don't think this is an FAQ. Having to edit the percentage of execution is probably something that doesn't happen often.


Well, sometimes in rare instances, the new graphics engine is responsible (eg. Stunt Race FX).

Quote:
Why do my scanlines look awful? - Not sure what to do with this one ATM.


Some people really don't understand the limitations of the scanlines code (especially as limited as it already is) I think an explaination of where it is favorable should be noted (specific resolutions can make this far better, which is covered in some older threads).

Quote:
Why am I missing some video filter options? - Is this an FAQ?


Probably not, but once someone realizes MMX Support is required for the operation of most filters, it matters. A related issue that comes up is being unable to select "Enable MMX Support", but that's for people that run really old systems, or DOSBox. I wonder if I should hide this option if MMX Support is not detected.

Quote:
Why is my stereo sound reversed? - This doesn't seem to be a FAQ, and I'm sure most people having the problem would find the option in the Sound menu anyway.


Probably.

Quote:
Why am I missing some sound options? - This doesn't seem to be a FAQ.


Well, if you've noticed the recent/new behavior of the sound menu in 1.50, I think you may want to reconsider that. I think this applies more to the sound filters.. but the current behavior of the sound menu is moreso affected.

Quote:
Why can't I set the keys/buttons for Player 2? - Since the current device is now always highlighted in the listbox, this may no longer be an issue.


Either that, or we flame people to death for not being able to read. It's not even specific to Player 2 anyways, and people have posted about it before... but I wonder if people notice it nowdays. I do think 1.50 visually addresses this well, but some people still don't understand the point of the "Set" button.

Quote:
Why won't ZSNES accept input when I'm configuring the keys for my gamepad? - This could be mentioned in the Troubleshooting section.


Yes.

Quote:
Can I use two SNES add-on devices at once? - This could be moved to the Games page.


Probably. They are game specific anyhow.

Quote:
Can you please make ZSNES faster? - This question just seems pointless to me. It's already the fastest SNES emulator!


Perhaps, pointing out tips to improve it would be helpful, mostly for Windows/DOS users to use ZGet for their optimization needs. The default binaries are compiled for the 586/Pentiums. This is near useless for SDL users since archopt does this for them.

Quote:
Can you implement dynamic recompilation into ZSNES? - Not a FAQ.


It don't think that gets asked anymore, but it is important to explain why that is though... as emulation accuracy doesn't favor dynamic recompiliation I believe.

Quote:
Why does ZSNES crash as soon as I start it? - Is this still a common issue?


Only for one IRC user, but most people, no. Since we've addressed that issue for the SDL port since releasing 1.50, this is generally just not relevent.

Quote:
Why does ZSNES crash as soon as I load a ROM? - Not sure what to do about this, but I don't think it's an FAQ.


I'm not sure if that still happens. I doubt it since most of that code has been cleaned up via zpath. I don't think there are many games at all that crash ZSNES.

Quote:
Does ZSNES support loading ROMs which are compressed? - This is more or less covered in the Readme.


Probably, if it wasn't already covered, make sure to note that 7z/RAR is not supported.

Quote:
Win Qs

Why do I get a black (or corrupted) box when I start up ZSNESw? - This isn't an issue anymore, AFAIK.


I think this is obsolete for the most part. I made a specific commit to address this very issue.

Quote:
Why am I seeing double, with strange colors? - Same as above, AFAIK.


This is a little different. Some video cards simply cannot handle D-modes, and require that the user get the latest drivers (and if it still doesn't work, the drivers are just too old). I've reasonably addressed this as a popup message, but this can happen.

Quote:
What is the KitchenSync, and how do I enable it? - Not a FAQ, AFAIK. This is just random info dumped here because we didn't know where else to put it.


It should be covered in the Advanced section then, lots of hidden goodies are put in the cfg file, but not exposed to the GUI for sanity reasons.

Quote:
Will ZSNES Win be able to use my sound card? It wouldn't work for me in the DOS version.
How come I don't get any sound? - This FAQ and the one above could possibly be unified somehow.


Probably. I think sound works for Windows 99% of the time, minus the occasional poor sound card drivers. There are more staticy issues than anything though.

Quote:
SDL Qs

We should probably add a new question about crackly sound in Linux.


Yes, we also needs things for users to try to address this issue. With 1.51 pending, and we'll probably allow using libao, this will certainly need to be a comphensively answered section. We get this issue A LOT. Nach will probably need to write this section.. there are some recent threads on this very issue for sure.

Quote:
DOS Qs

Why am I getting error messages regarding VESA 2 drivers? - Not sure about this one.


This is normal. In fact, it needs to be kept there. If your VESA2 card doesn't have the requirements, those messages pop up to tell you that it's not quite good enough for ZSNES.

Quote:
ZSNES gives me an "out of memory" error and I only have 16MB of RAM. How do I fix this? - This one should be removed.


I'm not sure if it still applies (attn: Jonas Quinn). ZSNES is able to run on a system that has 16MB (a 486 no less). I'm not sure if it still applies, but we do state that users can use slower systems after all.

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Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:25 pm
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xamenus wrote:
Does ZSNES support loading ROMs which are compressed? - This is more or less covered in the Readme.

The readme doesn't cover 7z/RAR/Zip64. Some people will also wonder how they can make GZip/JMA since they're less well known.

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Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:47 pm
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I've committed some of this. Roughly, what's left to do is:

Explain the save directory somewhere else, and in a better way.
Cover IPS patching troubleshooting somewhere.
Mention the scanlines looking awful FAQ somewhere else.
Gamepad troubleshooting.
Explain why dynamic recompilation isn't used.
Mention that 7z/RAR unsupported in Readme.
Add crackly sound in Linux FAQ.
DOS FAQs may still need work.


Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:30 pm
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Deathlike2 wrote:
xamenus wrote:
ZSNES says that my ROM is interleaved and has a header. What does this mean? - I think this is covered in the NSRT guide.

I guess.

Perhaps this information could be placed in the Games page under Compatibility.

Deathlike2 wrote:
xamenus wrote:
ZSNES gives me an "out of memory" error and I only have 16MB of RAM. How do I fix this? - This one should be removed.

I'm not sure if it still applies (attn: Jonas Quinn). ZSNES is able to run on a system that has 16MB (a 486 no less). I'm not sure if it still applies, but we do state that users can use slower systems after all.

This might be good to have in the Troubleshooting section.

Deathlike2 wrote:
xamenus wrote:
Does ZSNES support transparencies? - I think this question is mainly pertaining to the DOS port.

Even TRAC's SNEeSe has transpancy now, this question is way out of date and only matters for DOS.

For the sake of the DOS port, I think it should be mentioned somewhere that a 16-bit mode is required for transparencies to work. Maybe it would be best in the DOS system requirements.

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Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:25 am
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Seriously, anyone using DOS by now should know about limitations like:
1)Vesa2 required > Sdd
2)Not enough memory > zsnes.PIF edit/swapfile
3)Mouse doesn't work > Cutemouse or some other driver
4)OMG Can't see anything inside Arris Dome > 16bit modes(see 1))
5)No sound > set blaster=a220 i5 d1 (sometimes also h5 p330 t6)

That's from the top of head, maybe something else.


Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:17 pm
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