This a Frequently Ask Question (FAQ) for the Traveltalk Bulletin Board and specifically for the St. Maartin-St. Marten Bulletin Board at

Why does the message board say "Threads active during xxx month"?

The Traveltalk message boards are setup for a monthly discussion time period. Just after midnight at the beginning of each month a new message board is created with no messages listed. The messages from the previous months are archieved, currently going back to October 1996. Any message that has a current reply will be considered an active message for the month along with any past replies. See important note below concerning end of month responses to messages.

How does the treading of messages work?

The main message and the following replies to that message are threaded, meaning that the replies will follow under and indented the original message. However, you will see many messages being indented across the page under each reply. This is a result of how the BB works. When you read the original message and then read the reply you have gone down the message thread process. Therefore if you then add your reply to the (meaning it for the original message) message list, you would in reality be adding a reply to the previous reply message instead of the original message. In order to reply to the original message you would need to return to the original message and then post your reply.

Does the BB allow html coding and/or links in its message?

No, the BB does not allow html coding within the message. You can however type in html coding (primarily for web addresses) to allow for the readers of the message to simply copy and paste the web address into their browser for any links you wish to make available to the BB readers.

It seems that the BB takes a while to load/post a message, especially at the end of each month?

This is a factor of how the BB is setup for the current month's active messages. Whenever you post a new message or a reply to an existing message the BB will refresh the entire message list and replies for the current month. This is also why you will see your new message and/or reply immediately after you have posted your message. See note below about ways to reduce your message refresh wait.

I was unavailable at the end of the month to read the messages, can I read the messages from the end of the month?

Yes, if you scroll down to the bottom of the screen you will see a drop down box listing the prior months' messages. This drop down box currently has the archieves back to October 1996.

Should I post a reply to a message from a prior month?

This generally should NOT be done. The reason for not posting a reply to a prior month message is that the BB will then consider the original message and all the replies to that prior month message as a CURRENTLY ACTIVE message. As a result, the message board will bring forward into the new month the old orginal message and all the previous replies to that message.

In general if you wish to post a reply or continue the discussion, then it is suggested that you start a new message in the current month with the same subject title or even with an "re: same subject". This will prevent all the old messages from being brought forward into the new month, but yet will allow for the discussion to continue about the particular subject.

As with all general suggestions there are exceptions. At the very end of each month there may be a few new messages that have either no replies or very few replies, which then would not create a mass of old messages and replies being brought forward into the new month. In those circumstances, repling to a prior month message might be the most appropriate action to take.

It seems that toward the end of the month the BB begins to slow down?

The BB does not really slow down as much as it is trying to send you a whole month worth of messages and replies. Because all messages are kept as active during the current month and then archieved, it appears that the BB slows down as the month goes along. So depending on how active the message board has been during the month, toward the end of each month it can seem to get very slow in response time.

Is there any way to speed up the BB toward the end of the month?

Because the amount of data grows as the month goes along you can not really speed up the BB, but you can do things which will appear to speed up you viewing of the messages on the BB. This is especially true if during your reading of messages, you use the return to message list at the bottom of one of the message screens.

Because of the different types of browsers, versions avialable and operating systems that are available, all of these items may not work in your particular circumstances.
Reading with a New Window:
Once you bring up the main message list, then open the message you wish to read in a new window. You would do this thru either use of the left mouse button, the apple button on the Mac and the Control key on Windows. When finished reading, then close that window and do the same thing on other messages. If the original message includes a reply, then you would also read that reply in the new window that you had open for the original message.

Hitting the Stop Button:
You can hit the stop button after the main page has been loading for a while, this will generally bring up the most current new messages. However, this will not bring up the replies to older messages on the list.

Multiple windows reading and repling:
After you initially load the main page, you can start reading messages in a new window. Also you can reply to those messages in that window. When you post the message it will begin to reload the entire main page again. At this point, do not close that window, but start looking at any other messages that you might wish to read or reply to. Most browsers by default have it set so four (4) windows can be open at the same time. By the time that you have read or posted another reply, the first window will have refreshed the entire listing of message and you can then use that listing of message to begin the process over again. This will allow for your to have a constantly refreshed window of information.

Using the back button:
This method is browser version dependent, because it does not work with some versions. Depending on your browser and version, using the back button to get back to the original message list will work without refreshing the entire message list again. The use of the back button will not bring up any updated messages since your initial viewing of the main page, but will allow you to quickly review the overall message list. You can always scroll down to the bottom of the screen from reading any message and click on the button labelled return to message list. This will always refresh the main message page in the current browser window.

St. Maarten - St. Martin - SXM, which is correct?

All are correct. St. Maarten is the Dutch side of the island and St. Martin is the French side of the island. If you are reading various newsgroups or bulletin boards you may also see SXM used for the island. SXM is the airport code for Princess Juliana Airport and is commonly used on BB's and newsgroups as an overall abreviation for St. Maarten/St. Martin.

Flaming and how to avoid the wars:

The SXM BB has been relatively free of both flaming and flame wars. Although no BB (with the exception of some that are completely moderated) can claim that they have not had any flame wars. Flaming and flame wars should be avoided as much as possible. What you may consider as an inappropriate question or response might not have been intended in the fashion that is being read into the message. Give the person posing the question/comment the benefit of the doubt and either avoid answering the question at all or a simple answer to the effect that you do not know of any place that would fulfill the requirements of their request.

In those cases where someone would post a question/comment that is intentionally harmful (by whatever standard you may decide), the best course of action is to simply ignore the question/comment no matter how unacceptable you may feel it is. Many of these posters are just looking for a battle and if they do not get any responses then they simply go away. For those that do not go away, there are other courses of action, but posting flame type of responses does not get it accomplished.

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